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.
Our 2 kids have attended Deer Canyon for 4 years. Overall the education is fine, although class sizes are now 27 even at the Kindergarten level. Reading is taught in Kindergarten. Most teachers are good. Standardized testing happens 4 times/year. There are no programs for gifted kids. Most families have a stay-at-home or working part-time mom, many of whom are heavily involved in school activities. There are no teachers' aides, so parents volunteer in the classrooms and run the art program. The PTA is very active and runs a lot of events that are fun and build a strong sense of community. A Foundation raises money to fund a science lab and teacher, language arts learning lab and teacher, and PE program and teacher, along with computers, workbooks, and classroom supplies. Sometimes it feels like the Chinese-speaking parents are not very well integrated, but more of those families may have 2 working parents. We have seen no evidence of bullying, in contrast to what our kids encounter when interacting with kids from other local schools. Overall, Deer Canyon is a public school that has weathered state budget cuts on the strength of its highly committed parents.
What a lovely school! Outstanding academics without the pressure cooker feeling you sometimes get from that. The teachers have been excelling here for years so it's a well-oiled machine. Nice kids, nice parents, a beautiful neighborhood school tucked away like a gem. So grateful we found it!
Deer Canyon is a lovely school full of supportive staff. My son was being teased in the first grade and the teacher was very supportive. I have to say because the students are 'well off' there aren't fights or threats like there were in my working class neighborhood growing up. But I think Bullying is taken extremely seriously. I also like the new principal. She has had some big shoes to fill this year and she is lucky enough to come just as everyone is doing budget cuts. But every concern I have had has been dealth with. I am glad we bought our home here.
I've worked at this school for 8 years now. The work environment is wonderful and the community is lovely. I moved my daughter over from another school to be here with me and she really excelled. I love it here and, though I've had several opportunities, would not work anywhere else!