This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Chaparral Elementary School3
Posted August 20, 2014
- a parent
Some leadership changes in the past few years have not had a positive impact on this school. The PTA and volunteers are crucial, but some student privacy suffers, and sadly some parents do gossip about students outside of class. Any new family considering this school may experience getting the least popular, more rigid, demoralizing teachers. We've experienced some extreme inconsistencies with certain staff giving several hours of nightly homework, and others in the same grade, none at all. Unfortunately classrooms are very overcrowded but this is standard for most district schools in the area. Some classrooms here can be described as sink or swim. There also is a select group of parents who have some extraordinary privileges. Teachers do show blatant favoritism to this group. Some lack professionalism and show conflict of interest by being friends with favored parents on facebook and outside of class, even while currently teaching the student. Don't let the awards and titles fool you, this campus could use some leadership and policy changes. Another new principal this year hopefully will improve the atmosphere here for all and demand a more all-inclusive environment.
Competitive parental involvement (good and bad). Allows plenty of recess/movement. Student body is respectful and no bully behavior experienced. Many extracurricular opportunities offered but only through third party vendors and overpriced. Teachers focus on high test scores and fail to adapt their teaching to individual students. Lessons are rushed and crammed. Too much homework (average 1 hr 2-3 rd and 3 hrs by 5th grade and given over district recess). Be prepared to pay for all workbooks, and technology (ipad, laptop) despite funding two computer labs (mainly utilized for testing). Art is funded but is minimal, inconsistent, and dependent upon volunteers. Running club is a mandatory" requirement for the staff to log enough PE hours. Classes have too many students 28-35. Favoritism in class assignments is quite apparent due to the amount of cliques seen with the PTA and volunteer mothers and their relationships with the staff. School nurse" is more concerned with daily funding than sending sick children home when not feeling well. No busing makes for drop off/pick up extremely difficult and time-consuming. Overall average/good academics but questionable otherwise.
My son is currently in 2nd grade at Chaparral. The teachers are highly motivated to teach in the best way for each child in their class. The Principal is driven and very active in supporting all programs to the benefit of the student population. It has strong academic standards, even for the area which is high itself. The parent involvement is almost unbelievably high, because of this the school has volunteer led art and run club programs as well as a Character Counts program. Both PTA and Foundation at this school are strong and actively involved in creating the best atmosphere possible for learning for the entire student population.
Chaparral is an AMAZING school. Recently named a California Distinguished School, we live up to the title! Chaparral is full of excellent teachers who are kind, caring, and amazing at their craft. The parent community is strong and supportive. The administration is supportive of parents, teachers, and students. Learning in a safe, loving, productive environment is the first priority of the staff her.
Chaparral Elementary is a fantastic place for kids. The staff and principal work hard to make sure that every child learns and meets his/her full potential. The school has a strong parent community that supports ongoing programs such as music, PE, and technology, despit the budget cuts and increased class sizes. The current principal came on board in August 2008 and has been a breath of fresh air. She's a stong communicator, loves children, and maintains high standards for staff and students. She's happy and always seems to have a smile on her face. She makes strong connections with the community. She was instrumental in leading Chaparral to recieve the Califonia Distinguished School Award last year. I can't say enough nice things about the school and its leadership. My children love it here, and so will you!
My son was a student at Chaparral for 2 1/2 years in that time period we had such a bad experience. The first day of school my son was so excited to go to school, it didn't last for long he started to complain did not want to go to school, found out the teacher he had was screaming at the kids, i talked to her about it and her answer was that my son was not ready for kindergarten, she moved him down to pep, making him loose a year. When my son went to first grade he let us know that he was afraid of his teacher and when we brought this to her attention she said "well good" I did not know what to think of this, we had a meeting with the principal. We worked everything out, I didn't want to make a big thing out of this but I was wrong. The last draw for me was when I was told of a family emergency. That day I took my son to school and on my was to dropping him off my cell phone rang, I only answered it because my car was not in motion, the person who is out there was so rude after talking to her she slammed the door to my car, I took this to the principal all she did was humiliate me and told the other person that she had done nothing wrong. My son is at painted rock now love it
Excellent teachers and parent volunteers, high academic expectations, one of the few CA elementary schools with a P.E. teacher and music teacher thanks to PTA funding, Foundation funds the fabulous Art Corp program and the computer lab, extra programs like Melody Makers (choir) and Fitness Club (running) help make this school one of the best in San Diego County.
New principle is great - excellent communicator, decisive, firm and team player. School start-up was poor- last minute teacher notices the night before, kids did not get to meet teachers in advance and initial open house left no time for Q & A. Some teachers seem to avoid parents, react defensively to student performance questions and provide little to no communication on a week to week basis (especially at report card time). It would be great if all teachers took example from principle about proactive communication, always better recvd even if the news is not good.
We just started our son here and are reserving judgment. It is a very large school with 7 kindergarten classes. There are issues with the sheer number of kids on the playground (they take lunches and recesses in shifts) and with safety issues in the parking lot during dropoff and pickup times. The teachers seem good and well-intentioned, but the curriculum is quite academic, and there are lots of worksheets and busywork, even at the kindergarten level. The entire district just implemented a full day schedule for kindergarten. The principal is new and is making a real effort at communication, with phone messages and emails to the parents nearly every day, and an improved website. New construction completed with a beautiful playground.