I have two childeren here with the oldest currently in 5th grade. I have been very impressed overall. Most of the teachers we have had are impressive and still seem inspired to be in their proffession. We have had a couple of teachers that were soso, but no bad ones. The class sizes are appalling - but typical for where we are and CA budget (33 kids in the class). The PTSA is very active and provides and great amount of support to the school. We see kids and parents from this school constantly throughout our community and enjoy the small town feeling. As the kids who started in this school fill out the upper grades, I am excited to see development in their middle school program.
We have been with the school since it started. The teachers in 1 - 3 grades are good, 4-6 grades are so-so. No teachers we had communicated with us on regular basis(no emails, nothing). Teachers did not put anything on their web site. The school web site has out-dated info. Most teachers sent their kids to the Charter school after 5 grade. The test score improved recently; no sure what tricks the teachers used; I did not feel any changes in the recent years.
My kids have been attending this school for 5 years. I feel our principal is so dedicated to this school, always finding new and creative ways to make it better. Both of my kids are challenged in their classrooms with differentiated learning targeted at their abilities. The new science focus of the school helps bring about well rounded students rather than focusing only on testing. New after school clubs offer art, drama, science and engineering. There is a strong community feel. We are really happy and plan to keep our kids here through 8th grade.
For those who complain about the education their child is getting, your child is not trapped in this educational system. You have choices: change school, pay for private school, or home school. With the budget the way it is and schools closing, teachers should not be blamed for the pie being cut smaller. There is a huge difference teaching 20 and 30 students and even 25 and 30 students. Heron is a great school. It's very organized and the parents are very involved. Yes, monetary wise, a lot is being asked, but they have more field trips than most schools provide. I think teachers wish teaching is a baby sitting service because they would be making way more than they are now minus the lesson planning, the grading, the prepping and all the other paperwork, and just sing,dance, and make sure the children are safe. Miniumum $3/child x 30 children x 6 hours/day x ~175 days=$94,500. The public should be grateful that teachers are there to "babysit" and provide a quality education. Thank you Heron teachers and every teacher out there!
Last few years being in the school, have come across just couple of teachers who are dedicated to the progress & growth of their students, whether it be a below avg, average or a gifted child. Most teachers in this school are there just to teach an average kid nothing below or above that, their attitude is, they can't be bothered about doing anything extra. Regrading the previous posts about parent involvements, what we have seen is, there are few parents/ families who dominate the scene both in school & class. Many teachers favor the children from such families, neglecting other children. We have seen that partiality in our child's current class. The current principal ( Aug2010) has no leadership qualities, a puppet in the hands of his older teachers. He does not know to keep his word, we felt he is still inexperienced for the post,most senior teachers wanted him so that they could have their way . Previous principal had better leadership qualities in her. Our child is trapped in this education system. This school ( in fact most public schools) is just a free baby sitting place, there is no good teaching in terms of subjects materials or morals appropriate for the grade level.
Heron school's teachers are excellent! My child is able to get advanced work to keep her challenged, although I have concerns that she will be held back academically due to budget cuts. I'm extremely disappointed that Heron does not have the GATE program at their campus! This year classroom size has increased, which is tough on teachers as well as our children. I am happy to bring in school supplies, drive on field trips, etc., to help out because without volunteers, the future for our schools looks bleak. I am happy to see that many parents feel the same way and help out whenever they can. I would really like to see P.E. increased to five days a week instead of only two! It would be nice if more extra-curricular activities were offered.
Class size has been increased from 24 to 30 and the closing of a nearby elem school will increase it more. The teachers constantly want kids to give money and do fundraisers. Parents must drive the kids or they don't go on field trips. P.E. is only two days a week. There is no GATE program. More cuts are expected.
My child attends Heron school. I have been impressed year after year with the teachers. Some of the teachers have been excellent, while others are very good. They have all been experienced teachers and none have been bad. Both the teachers and the principal are caring and very much involved with the students. There is a strong sense of community, as the parents are very involved at this school. The only problem at this school have been district problems with increasing class sizes and budget cuts. It is a shame that NUSD can't get their act together otherwise it would be a phenomenal school. Still as long as the teachers and parents stay involved, we will still come out ahead...
Heron is a wonderful school full of wonderful teachers. By far most of the students at the school are wonderful and engaged in the learning process. The parents seem interested in what their children are doing in class and there is a lot of parent participation in all aspects of the school. The PTSA has bridged some of the gap with the budget crisis and only hopes to do better things next year.
The teachers, staff, and students make Heron School a wonderful community. There is a core of dedicated teachers lead by warm, caring principal which allows the students to feel safe and nurtures the learning environment. The tremendous outpouring of parent and community involvement is also extremely important in making Heron School such a huge, all-around success.