This is a wonderful school. When you are able to affort a private education but choose to go through a public school, you have a higher level of scrutiny. My husband and I have been very happy about this school. It is quite structured, however. Those parents who want their kids to be treated 'special', may be quite disappointed because every kid is treated the same. That is what struck me as a positive aspect of this school. There is not too much time allowed for non-academic exploration, but there are afterschool venues that are provided for a nominal fee and fill the gap. We have two children and are unsure what a fit it will be for our second one who is not as focused as the first, but I will say that the level of parental involvement in the school, as well as the quality of the teachers, has impressed us both that we will recommend this school wholeheartely. A word of caution though: A lot of Tiger Moms; so do not be surprised. This is not a laid back touchy-feely environment. If that is what you are looking for, this is not the right school for you...
My daughter enrolled at Phoebe Hearst mid year of 1st grade. Her teacher Ms. Auge is AMAZING! She really helped Madison acclimate to classroom and Madison was in full pace with her peers by 3rd quarter. The staff, principal, and teachers are truly a community. Not to mention the support that the fellow parents provide is unmeasured. I would highly recommend this school to any parents that values their child's education.
Phoebe Hearst has been a great fit for our diverse(2 inter-racial Dads with a bi-racial son) family. Aside from academics being a priority, we equally impressed knowing that the school was a big advocate and supporter of anti-bullying initiatives. Our son was one of the first Kindergarten classes in 2012 and he loved it. He is now in the first grade and loves it too. The Principal and school staff are very attentive and demonstrate genuine concern for the students. Parents are very involved as well which helps create a welcoming and supportive environment for everyone.
Awesome school! Our son transferred to Phoebe Hearst (2nd grade) from a private school. Our worries were quickly put to rest when we found that parents are very involved in school activities and their students education. As a whole, the kids and their parents are respectful and considerate. The principal and teachers do a great job - especially considering the super high student:teacher ratio. Kids are eager to go to school and the environment encourages learning. Test scores are really good but this can be explained easily. Phoebe Hearst is a GATE feeder school so many of the top students in reading, math and science go to this school. There are a lot of ex-private school families. Most of the parents we talk to are really happy with PH. That said, each child has different needs and the classroom environment is largely influenced by the teacher, students, parents and overall tone set by the principal. The high student:teacher ratio means that parents have to really engage with their kids to make up for any lack of personalized attention that the teachers cannot provide. Looking forward to a great 3rd grade experience this school year.
PH is a good school and scores well in all the standardized tests; however, this shouldn't come to anyone's surprise mainly because PH is a non-neighborhood schools most of the kids entering kindergarten are assessed prior to the opportunity of participating in the lottery. This school can handpick individual students which isn't a good practice in any public school system. Other schools do not have that luxury and no school should be allowed to conduct any kind of assessment as this promotes an imbalance in education opportunity.
You get what you and your child put into this school. Yes, the teachers are strict and have high expectations. However, some parents expect the teachers to do all the work during school hours but does not provide any support after school. Don't blame the educational system if you're not helping your child by complementing the day's lessons.
I cant see what everything about school is so great. as more students are joining the teachers cant prioritize their students. they are focused on high scores and good grades yet cant help them. its sad to see Phoebe becoming so arrogant and all.
I switched my 3 children to this school, I have to say I'm very happy with all 3 teachers and the school in general. There is a lot of parent envolvement which is great. There are high expectations and it's "cool" to be smart at PH.
In a climate of a public schooling crisis, I feel Phoebe Hearst is rising to the challenges and continues to provide high academic expectations for all students. As a parent of a child in both a "GATE" class and "non-GATE" class, I see equal expectations of both children. There is no doubt that this year has brought big changes in the forms of bigger class sizes and "new" teachers (aka experienced teachers at a new campus). However, this is a change that all schools in our district have faced. In looking at a couple negative reviews of Phoebe from this year, I feel compeled to remind people that we must not place blame on our local schools for large class sizes and experienced educators teaching grades they have not taught before; as these changes are district, state, and union mandated. The principal's leadership at Phoebe is strong and for those that are willing to be part of a solution, there is a solution to be had for most problems. It's no secret that positive behavior and academic rigor are basic expectations at Phoebe, and that may not be for everyone; but if you want peace of mind that high expectations will be held for your child's public education, this is your school.
Everyone makes a big deal about Phoebe being the "top" school, but we don't see what all the hype is about. I would suggest parents sit and observe a few classes in action before putting their child here (don't just do the principal guided tour). The teachers are "handed" gifted students but some have become complacent and quite arrogant. There aren't any awards or kudos given to the kids for good attendance, improving academically or anything. They use negative reinforcement constantly by taking away recess. We can't understand why they don't use any positive reinforcement techniques to engage and reward the children. In addition, now that the lower grades are packed with 30 kids per classroom, my child's teacher is very overwhelmed and it's negatively impacting the students. Many of the parents feel that the principal needs to ease up on the constant "PR" and focus more on staff development INSIDE the classrooms. I would not recommend this school.
We are so glad our little one is attending kindergarten at Phoebe Hearst. Even though, he transitioned from being in a preschool class with just 14 kids to a typical 30 student classroom, he is learning and having a great time. And teacher manages to encourage all the children to thrive even if some of them are at different levels. I'm most impressed with the parent involvement and how it is encouraged. I'm having a ball helping at my son's classroom and knowing that every effort we as parents do to support the school is in our little one's best interest.
The transition to Phoebe has been less than favorable for our family. A small group of older kids have bullied our child, physically and verbally. We have received very little assistance from the staff regarding resolving or preventing bullying. At my child's last school, we NEVER had any issues with bullies or unresponsive staff. This school seems to focus so much on academics and high test scores that they seem to have forgotten how the well being of children is equally important in the overall school experience. Test scores aren't everything and seeing my child so unhappy at this school has been an awful experience.
I was really worried at first because of the high student:teacher ratio at the public schools and I was going to enroll my daughter at one of the private schools in East Sacramento. But so far I've been very happy with the experience at this school. My daughter's teacher is great and I hear from the other parents of kids in the older grades that the academic curriculum is bar none. I think we made the right choice. My daughter is having fun and the parents I've been so far are really great. The school is very welcoming and very open to having me around as much as possible.
What a find this school is. I have two kids in this school. One is in the 4th grade GATE class and I have a new younger son in kindergarten. Amazing teachers. Parent involvement is welcome by the principal and the teachers. This is an amazing environment for kids to be in and I'm glad this school is in my neighborhood, even though it's not really a neighborhood school. One word for this school and its teachers: AWESOME!!
I have a son in 3rd grade and my other son started kindergarten this year. Amazing difference with our experience at this school vs our experience with my other son's kindergarten year. The academics is really more challenging at this school and less trivial (which is what my other son got at his other kindergarten school). Don't get me wrong. I don't believe it's necessary for kindergarteners from the beginning start off gangbuster with academics, but it's kind of nice for my second son to start reading more substantially and doing more real academic stuff. It makes me feel like he's really learning something early on. Just my two cents. Great school, especially if your child is academically gifted.
The last post is interesting because I've had the opposite experience with the addition of Kindergarten at Phoebe Hearst. With all that goes into starting a brand new program and the currnet budget situation SCUSD schools are in, I think the program is phenomenal. No kindergarten in SCUSD has any less children, it's a district cap at 31. Also, Phoebe Hearst has parents volunteering on a regular basis to support the learning environment. Surprisingly, the PTO has supported art lessons weekly for enrichment for the new Kindergartners. My child's teacher shared with me that she is working with the 1st grade team to be sure that the Kinders are totally ready for Phoebe Hearst's rigirous 1st grade program. The new kinder rooms are bright and clean, and the teachers are all welcoming. My child loves school, and the facility is meeting our needs.
I have a daughter in the kindergarten class and I was really nervous at first because I wasn't sure what to expect. I know that I'm a pretty hands on parent and I didn't know if the teachers would give me hassle for that but to my surprise, my daughter's teacher reassured and made me feel so much better. She has a great time at school and she's met a lot of new friends who happen to be in the neighborhood too. She's learning a lot and loves school and loves to read with me. I could have had her go to the private schools in town with more personal attention but I'm glad my wife and decided to enroll our daughter at Phoebe Hearst. The teacher is amazing, the principal is on top of everything and the families are wonderful.
After jumping through many hoops, my child is in kindergarten here and I don't understand what the big deal is with this school. First off, the class size is 31 (one teacher, no aide) which is quite large. Secondly, although having been a teacher for 20+ years, his teacher has never taught this age and has been clearly stressed to the limit from day one. She has no patience and gets upset at the slightest thing without realizing that if she had even a bit of control over the class, she could reign this in and be much happier. The kids aren't even allowed to ask questions during class! Furthermore, there are three kindergarten classes and hers is the only one who doesn't allow the children to work in the school garden (too messy) or do anything outside the mandated curriculum. I am disappointed that we came here with such high expectations only to have a five year old who used to love school now dread leaving the house every day. To make matters worse, she's catering to the lowest common denominator and the lesson plan is for a three year old at best. I know it's public school, but this is ridiculous.
This is a great school with an excellent principal who is realistic (given the budget) and supports the kids and teachers. In 2012 this school will also have Kindergarten classes. The parents and kids make this school a great place. The one drawback is an excess of busy homework that seems a bit unnecessary. The kids are expected to be at or above grade level and the GATE program allows the teachers to repeat the material less often. My son loves this school.
My daughter has just finished first grade and I'm astonished at the progress that she had made. This is the ideal school for anyone that wants their children to achieve academically and be in a safe environment. Homework is at least one hour a day for first grade, and the school does enforce a strict uniform code and on-campus rules. Students and parents though are rewarded with meaningful teaching, excellent quality extra curricular activities and a school run efficiently and effectively.
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