Chaparral Elementary is not what the scores and reviews indicate. We have two children who have been attending since 2013, and each year has been more miserable than the last. We have experienced teachers in 2nd and 4th grade bullying students, with little to no recourse for blatant mistreatment. It is very difficult for parents to advocate for their children, to accuse a teacher of something, or bring about change in a classroom, even with direct contact with the senior administration. The teaching styles and conduct of the teachers there are beyond reproach, and are never questioned, evened with tangible evidence of their poor behavior. Grades assigned in class are meaningless, provided the child’s test scores are acceptable, and actual learning progress is difficult to gauge because of this. A parent has to balance being involved with their child and the consequences of what might happen to their child if they are communicating their concerns too much to the teacher. Some teachers are tenured at this school, and one 4th grade teacher in particular harasses the kids and annually fails to educate his students due to his outdated and unchangeable teaching style (parents try furiously to have their kids moved from this class, he is notorious and been at it for years!). We experienced bullying early on with one of our kids, and at Chaparral the child who makes the accusation is not given the benefit of the doubt (the bully is). If you think your child may have special needs, or you are considering having them tested to make such a determination, find another school to attend. Chaparral is not equipped to conduct this testing in a timely manner, and in our opinion, they are not staffed or trained to handle exceptional circumstances. Make sure you research the Poway Unified School District, and all the financial and legal problems surrounding the leadership there. It has been a terrible experience, and the research we did prior to getting here was a total lie.
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!