November 03, 2015
I have 3 kids that have moved through school and have had better-than-bad experiences. With the current principal, there is a lot of focus on attracting and mainstreaming children with learning or behavioral disabilities. Not sure why, probably has to do with money allocations. So if your child is on the Spectrum, you have good resources; if they are Gifted, you must wait until middle school. As long as everything is going well, everything goes well. When there is a hiccup, things turn unacceptable quickly, but where can you really go? Most just wait it out. When ideas for new ways to spend money gain the support of strong union members within the school, they get crammed down pretty aggressively. Before we moved up to middle school, some parents removed their kids and left as a result of this style and method. When we will eventually look back on their experiment with "universal" technology use, we wonder what excuses the unions that pushed it will make when test performance actually dips. As anywhere, there are lazy teachers and engaged, caring teachers. If you pick your battles and do your research, you can find a good medium ground that is actually supported by this principal. The test scores you read about are due to highly involved and high-expectation parents, typically with a higher education background. You can make the case that the teachers make the difference, but actually, you could make a stronger argument that good teachers give the opportunity for advancement with parental supplementation; bad teachers fail to get them to that jumping off point. Often top kids will be children of immigrants with great audacity and great drive. If you look at CAASP scores, you will notice that there are almost zero "high school only" parents and few single parents around here. Hence, the kids have the genetics for smarts and the home life and drive to do smart things on tests. Their scoring completely swamps the low achievers and delivers consistently high average rankings to the school and district each year for many years going back. Lots of cool diversity among us immigrants in the neighborhood. Lots of languages. There is a Foundation that supplements money to the school, but it is a little silly: almost all the dollars go to Choir. They will sell you "science and PE and art" but it is like 75% Choir. More goes to "Admin" than Science. You can decide.
- submitted by a parent