This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Norma Coombs Alternative School5
Posted October 15, 2014
- a parent
My children are in Kinder & 2nd grade at NCAS. Both kids have caring supportive teachers. The new principle is devoted to her students. Literacy is a top priority at NCAS. Students are happy and there is a lot of parent involvment. Parents are asked to donate to help with some programs but isn't that the norm at all schools these days. We have school choice options and we choose to go to NCAS. Demographics is an even slice out of Pasadena. My children are academically on par with their friends from private schools.
The school has a new principal and is making progress. There is still ceramics. There are still music programs for 3rd, 4th, and 5th, plus after school choir for all grades. There are new mobile computer carts but funds are needed to continue computer instruction and the school is asking families to donate. There is still a part time librarian and teachers do take students to check out books throughout the year. True, there is not much of a science lab but it needs funding. Parents who want to get more involved or who have ideas for solutions are welcome to share. Every school has its challenges and I think this school is making good effort to move forward. My kids have made progress every year, thanks to the many dedicated teachers there.
Sadly, Norma Coombs has had two disappointing principals in a row and it isn't the school it used to be. The website promises great programs but the school doesn't live up to them. The science lab is a joke. My child's mixed grade class was terrible. The Library is never open. The Principal only cares about her favorites and if you aren't in her special clique don't expect to have any issues with your child addressed. But she won't hesitate to ask you for money over and over. She only cares about using technology for education and is willing to strip out all creativity to pay for computers. It seems her goal is to have robots for teachers and chase out, and shut down, any human that doesn't follow her regime. If you want your kids to learn first hand about fascism then definitely send your kids here. There are some good teachers but most have lost their light and are just going through the motions. There are a few great parents working hard to do good things, but they get little support from the majority. It is the same small group doing everything while the rest drop off and pick up and never look back.
School does not have the funds to help educate your child. California State Test results from 2013 did not count. Funds were pulled from this school. No music class, computer class started a few months before school was out. New teachers are needed. New principal is needed who cares about these kids and the their future.
This is an appreciation of a teacher that exceeded my expectations! PUSD has a jewel in there system.Mrs Charlotte Caldwell, an outstanding and caring second grade teacher at Norma Coombs Alternative School, went above and beyond the expected time given for each class. When most teachers are relaxing on their break, she would spend extra time with my son to help him become more engaged with his school work. Also, I noticed that she took the curriculum and changed it to meet my son s needs to in-crease his learning potential. She noticed my son had a hard time focusing and tookthat as a challenge rather than a problem. My son enjoys going to school now be-cause a teacher cared.
Hope I'm wrong, and I admit I'm spoiled, we used to be able to afford private elementary (it had it's own difficulties), but I felt like a person there not a number on a line in the boiling hot sun chanting. NCAS, so far sub-par. A slew of kids. My special needs kid is lost in the sauce trying to figure out an overwhelming situation for neuro-typical kids. Lots of lip service when we get into IEP meetings. They're over their heads and don't call a spade a spade. We're headed for rough roads ahead in this scenario. Playground a dustbin, buildings uninspiring, curtains faded....no flowers, no grass...Kid's still sweet, hope they have support at home, b/c it's a jungle here.
I have a 5th grader and a 1st grader at NCAS. We have been through some transition in leadership over the past few years which has been a challenge. However, the teachers have been consistently fabulous. They really care about the kids and have a passion for teaching - even in the face of the budget cuts that all schools across CA have been dealing with over the past few years. Parents are very involved, which really helps keep the extras like library, computer lab, music, and ceramics going - as well as fun activities like fall festival. I'm happy we've stuck with NCAS, even with some of the ups and downs over the past few years.
This a great school. Dr. Williams was a great principal. My son is missing the pledge of alligiance, the morning show. He missis Dr. Williams. Thes darn parents from the PTSA think they speak for all the parents in the school. They want to do the principals job so bad I want to see them run a school after they obtain their Doctorate. Other than the PTSA the teachers are great & they really care for our children & their education. They challenge them to think outside the box.
My child has been at NCAS for the last 4 yrs. NCAS have faced major challenges throughout the years but we survived. People can complain all they want about the principal but what people don't realize is the principal only has so much power. Every decision must be approved by the district. It's not right, but it is what it is. There are too many politics, gossips and no nonsense bashing and it's ridiculous. Parents, STOP IT! We are here for our children's education. There are parents that should just step aside and see how they act. When you point a finger at the principal, there are 4 fingers pointing back at you. Grow up parents!