This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Ross Elementary School5
Posted October 21, 2013
- a parent
Where to start... Shout out to Mr. B! The kids want to work so hard in his class. What an inspiration he is for them at an age when most kids feign indifference (middle school). They learn to think deeply and critically for themselves. And that Fab Lab! (Fabrication Labratory) 3D printers, woodworking, and a few other things that I don't even know the name of, but the kids can't get enough of this hands-on elective. Engineering comes to life here. An English Literature classroom organized around a comfortable set of sofas conducive to the sort of discussions we all experienced at university. A laptop for each child in grades 6-8. The new and respectful Superintendent is running the school, not the parents. Thank goodness. (This issue comes up a lot in Marin.) And the best part? It is a K through 8 school. Families keep their children on one campus longer, as is typical of the private school structure. The community of parents is tight, when you find your core group. The downside is that there is zero financial diversity. Most families donate $3k per kid per year. Not exactly "real world" experience. Not sure that issue can be solved. Gorgeous town, though.
Ross School is truly outstanding. Superintendent Chi Kim is now entering her second year as the leader of the district. Ms. Kim is a talented, bright, hard working individual who places children at the center of everything that the Ross School does. This year, there are several new initiatives being rolled-out to increase responsiveness to the individual needs of each child's learning style. My child has attended the Ross School for the past 8 years, and the school is now at its highest-performing state; even higher levels will be reached in the next 1 to 2 years when the new programs gain full traction. (Just one example: a one to one Chromebook program for every middle school student). Quite simply, the Ross School rivals the best local private schools. Its facilities are brand new. Our teachers are dedicated professionals being challenged to further enhance their teaching capabilities.
This school consistently ranks among the best in academics. Many kids are moving on to some of the top schools in the county, or even boarding schools. Even though it is a Public School, the average size of a grade is only around forty students, and the teaching is stellar. A first class education is given, and the teachers care about their students. We just got a great new principal, who will help this school continue to get better.
What a difference a year makes! Ross has the leadership and vision to take it to the next level. Our new Principal, now with a new job title, Superintendent/Principal, has the conviction to move us forward. She has hired a new administrative team focused on doing what's best for children. The school has decreased bullying & increased its API from 911 to 939. Scores will just keep going up with a Leader who believes in high expectations, engaging and rigorous curriculum, and compassion for children, balanced with accountability for all. It is a challenge to be fair in this affluent community, but Dullea knows how; all children, whether or not their parents donate $20,000 or the suggested $3400.00 per student are treated fairly. She knows how to balance support with acceleration for the gifted. 6-8 students have Friday enrichment classes. BEAR Time for the entire school is a dedicated block of silent reading. The school environment is completely different than 2 years ago. Kudos to Dullea for her courage, vision & integrity to move Ross forward. Her new team and hires reflect her wisdom. intelligence and leadership! What an exciting time for Ross School, long overdue!
Ross School is a great place for kids who don't want to follow rules, pay attention in class or do anything besides be cool. Really. There are some excellent teachers but they have gotten no support from the lack of leadership the past four years. Ask yourself-why does this school NEED a kindness campaign? Gee, could it be because there is little or no kindness? No GATE program or anything else for the advanced student. Finally got smarter than a fifth grader and sent my kids to a private school-where no kindness campaign is needed!
Our family moved to Ross four years ago when our children started at the Ross School in first grade. We were instantly welcomed with open arms by the Superintendent Tammy Murphy and quickly recognized her as very hard working and extremely experienced administrative leader. Recently she led the team that recruited another outstanding leader to our school, Pattie Dullea, Principal. Together this dynamic duo are creatively bringing new programs to Ross School while continuing to build on the core values of community that define our local culture. Yes sometimes innovating means eliminating outdated programs and shifting resources to more effective positions. Isn't this what good managers are paid to do? Yes just like our country, our little town also struggles with change. But, we need to trust our leaders and give them a chance to do their jobs while offering them our help and assistance.
Ross School is a very mixed bag. There are some wonderful teachers and, yes, many students have received a first class education there. We are in the midst of a major power struggle between the Administration, the Board of Trustees, the Faculty and MANY parents over the direction of our little one school district. The Administration has recently eliminated a reading program which successfully educated scores of learners for over twenty years. Our Special Education program is, once again, in turmoil as the Coordinator has been laid off for budgetary reasons. Our test scores have fallen over the past years. We do have a Kindness Campaign in place, but that is because we really need it. Change is coming, you can count on that. New Administrative positions have been created during our budget shortfall. The new facility, however, should be wonderful. Just do not expect a panacea.
The Ross School is a wonderful K-8 school run by a very talented and experienced Superintendent (Tammy Murphy) and Principal (Pattie Dullea). We have witnessed their combined leadership throughout the past year as we've faced the wrath of the California budget cuts. Our school's leadership team turned lemons into lemonade using the budget crisis as an opportunity to reinvigorate our curriculum and bring new proven learning techniques like RTI (http://tinyurl.com/5utoj5) to our campus. Tammy and Pattie are always open to parent feedback and are constantly working to incorporate the values we aspire to as a community into our school first. The recent Kindness Campaign has not only inspired our children, but also our parent community. We are so fortunate to have the dedication, experience and talents of Tammy and Pattie in such a small community.
Ross Elementary School is an outstanding 5-star public school. I am proud to say my kids are receiving an exceptional education at this outstanding school. I can think of less than a handful of foolish people who would deign to write patent falsehoods about the amazing leadership of our administrative team and our fabulous teaching staff. Several forward thinking schools in CA have utilized a 'Kindness Consultant', and are now Blue Ribbon Schools. What a great goal to strive for! If you are truly seeking an excellent education, come visit our school in person, and meet our 'dynamic duo', Tammy Murphy and Pattie Dullea, for yourself.
The Ross School District is truly a special place to learn and grow. The Superintendent and Principal have worked tirelessly to bring the entire program up to the high educational standards that the students, teachers and parents deserve. The amazing vision and leadership of the superintendent, combined with the instructional expertise of the new principal has brought the district into the 21st century. I am so thrilled for our students and to be a part of such an incredible learning community.