This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Robert Down Elementary School3
Posted April 19, 2015
- a parent
Overall this school lacks innovation and creativity because the leadership is shortsighted and unwilling to take risks. After school math program is not much more than a babysitting program, at the very least. The Resource Program is stuck in the dark ages to the point of being oppressive and children with learning disabilities do not receive equal curriculum opportunities as do students without special needs. Children with learning disabilities are often given assignments within the classroom for drill and kill work in outdated paper/book programs. Teachers teach children to read mainly through repetitive, visual learning modalities which works for some students, but not for many, especially students with dyslexia. I knew of one parent whose child had been in the same resource program using the exact same materials for years with little progress but the school did not try to use alternative programs with this child for success. Sometimes, one size does not fit all. This school will benefit from taking risks including trusting that children with special needs grow from challenging and diverse curriculum that engages rather than bores students to tears.
I know nothing about Robert Down, other than the extreme positives that neighbors of my rental home tell me. Its reputation is so good that i'm informed that I can get considerably more rent for it than in any other area around the peninsula. People forego pricey private schools for it. The teacher student ratio is 12:1. Its rated 9 of 10. Its on an upward spiral. That speaks volumes for the neighborhood and the school itself.
Overall this school lacks innovation and creativity because the leadership is shortsighted and unwilling to take risks. The Resource Program is stuck in the dark ages to the point of being oppressive and children with learning disabilities do not receive equal curriculum opportunities as do students without special needs. Children with learning disabilities are often removed from the classroom for drill and kill work in outdated workbook programs like Reading Mastery, a program the school has used with little change for more than 15 years for K-3 students. Reading Mastery teaches children to read mainly through repetitive, visual learning modalities which works for some students, but not for many, especially students with dyslexia. I knew of one parent whose child had been in the same resource program using the exact same materials for over 4 years with little progress but the school did not try to use alternative programs with this child. Sometimes, one size does not fit all. This school will benefit from taking risks including trusting that children with special needs grow from challenging and diverse curriculum that engages rather than bores students to tears.
My family moved here from SF specifically to attend Robert Down. My wife is a teacher and we are both Ivy league educated so we understand the value of education and how difficult it is to create and maintain a great school. I have friends w children attending SF private schools paying $40k per year who have stated they are jealous of our school and community. RD may be the best value on the planet. Supply and demand dictates many things. Try to rent a 3BR home in the Robert Down district, its nearly impossible because so many want to attend the school.
Robert Down Elementary school is truly excellent. The principal is great, very reasonable and no-nonsense. The teachers are very experienced and handle children of all types with ease. The school has great learning facilities and approaches to teaching and learning. They have plenty of very well organized fun events for the children and parents and it really brings people together to feel part of the community. If you work in the Monterey Peninsula area it is worth moving to Pacific Grove just for your elementary school age kids to go to this school
My child attended RHD for all 6 years and we couldn't have been any happier. We had excellent teachers, great admin support and the principle is top-notch! I volunteered in class every year and was always greeted warmly by the staff! My child had outstanding grades every year and is now in middle school continuing to have outstanding (4.0) grades. I recommend this school to anyone living in our district! Keep up the great work Otters!!!!
I like the School in particular. I am very dissatisfied by the politics of the Administration. Which is supported by the Administrations Superintendent and his Assistant Superintendent. They do not truly encourage parental involvement, as they claim like many schools want parents to participate. They have gone out of their way to knock down one individual who was very interested in the Kindergarten Program and its overcrowding. The Principle has since the beginning of 2013 -2014 school year to banned him because he has a supportive but non-participatory group of parents listening and expresses his thought in a group e-mailing. I was not interested in being involved, as I had heard from previous teachers that they (The School District) will drag anyone down that stands up to them for the students entire school years at PGUSD. Their agenda is not the same as the parents they represent in all cases. If I were to do it again I would have gone to the school board meetings and spoken up, as he did. Then again would I have been banned as Disruptive or Assertive? A parent in the middle at RHD
Amazing school with great parent participation. Had a horrible 5th grade teacher which is now teaching second and hoping that they'll figure out to be rid of her after this year. Principal is great and overall it is a wonderful school. Seems like there is always one bad apple...
This school is a wonderful place! Our child attended RD for almost three years. When an issue arose, the staff and principal were wonderful. The community is a nice blend of locals and military. The teachers are committed to their students and welcome a parental partnership. I can't say enough good things. Even a "weaker" teacher is superior to where we moved. When we discovered we had to move early, our child's 2nd grade teacher (Mrs. Johnson) looked up where her new school was to make sure the transition would go smoothly. We miss it dearly and wish our child's new school was as warm, welcoming, professional and committed to an excellent education as RD.
I love the small town feel of this school. Parents are welcomed on campus, and even drive on field trips. Tons of hands on learning and outings. Very relaxed atmosphere. Teachers are extremely willing to work with individual needs and learning styles. (And, I don't simply mean IEP, I mean each and every student!) Negatives: My kids have attended 4 different elementary schools, and I have never seen such "clique-i-ness" in this age group, as I saw here. Similarly, I noticed the administration was very quick to label students, and definitely "played favorites." Overall though, without hesitation, I would recommend this school to my closest friends.