This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Phoebe A. Hearst Elementary School2
Posted January 23, 2015
- a parent
This is a very academic school. Because there is a GATE program, it obviously draws many competitive parents here. My son is doing well there and went to the GATE program after being identified at first grade. My daughter is in Kindergarten and hates school. The teachers at this school are NOT warm. You will not be rewarded by a 'warm community feel' here. A lot of 'tiger moms'. My wife and I wanted to give public school a try, and even though the school is strong academically, we fear they will beat the love of learning our of our children. They get excellent scores on their test scores, because that is all they do. Go to the playground and watch the kids. There is not a lot of what you would expect in a regular elementary school. Kids dragging around backpacks that are 3 times their size with a flat expression on their faces. As we believe education is a long road for our little ones, we felt this is not the most enriching environment. If you can afford a private education and are debating whether you should give the public system a chance, we did, we were not impressed. We are pulling our children out.
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.