My son at Explorer is in one of the most truly diverse and multicultural settings I have ever seen in a school. The leadership has true vision and the teachers are dedicated to developing the whole child. Sure Explorer kids can read, write, and do math, but they can also collaborate, problem solve, and create. I couldn't be happier.
Make sure you look at the dates of each review. Whatever this school was, it is no longer. There is very little emphasis on Math and Reading skills. Children are subjected to group projects where they only become as capable as the weakest member. If you child has any abilities, it will only drown in this environment of social emotion learning. After receiving the test results ranking Explorer students to the national average, every parent I spoke to said their child ranked Below average. This contradicts what Explorer Elementary is publishing. Since last year was the first year this particular test has been taken, I believe Explorer will have to update their ranking to show that their learning process no longer works... and maybe never has.
Explorer Elementary Student Parent
Not at all. Even the teachers resort to allowing the class 'free choice' when the kids are misbehaving and the teacher no longer has the patients to continue teaching. In some classes, kids experience more 'free choice' days than learning days if the teacher is no longer capable of dealing with them as a class.
Since grading is based on the teacher's opinion and not a solid test result, even the students are aware that certain students are more equal than others. This causes jealousy and spite between the students.
Many children do not work well in this social and emotional environment. Teachers do not know how to deal with them and hugs only go so far. Bullying becomes uncontrolled and these children end up holding the whole class back. Since Explorer is group base learning, a groups with these individuals end up paying the price. It is Explorer's dirty little secret.
Explorer gives children an opportunity to become deep, caring thinkers, engaged learners, and excellent communicators. None of this would be possible without a great minds of this community working together to design a learning program in which everyone -- children, parents, and staff -- are a part of the process. Explorer's use of gifted-level learning strategies for ALL children makes it a place children LOVE to learn. Excellent principal, outstanding staff, supportive parents, great volunteers working together to help children learn that the world is a beautiful, complex and wonderous place to learn and grow.
As the martial arts enrichment instructor at Explorer Elementary, I have to say that I have never seen a more tight knit faculty and a more nurturing principal than Jill Green. She genuinely cares deeply for her teachers, parents and students. Each time she has stopped by my class, she treats the children with such kindness and love and is respectful to me as the instructor. She has definitely created a comfortable place where children feel safe to be themeselves and also where teachers feel safe enough to express their creativity.