I knew as soon as I heard the words “There is no running on the playground” that something was wrong with this school system.The kindergarten class didn’t have grass and there is no running on the asphalt. “It’s not safe and can cause really bad scrapes.” Scrapes, bumps, and bruises should be a part of childhood—they’re how kids learn to manage risk.
The “No running on asphalt” policy is the norm for the entire district. In the face of an ADHD epidemic, an obesity epidemic, and neuroscience that proves that kindergartners cannot sit still for long periods of time, how can we require such young children to stay still all day while adding increasingly heavy academic demands? Children who behaved well each day were given green cards.Then yellow cards, then orange cards accompanied by a phone call to the parent, then red cards signifying a visit to the principal’s office. How many more yellow, orange, and reds are given out as a result of the lack of energy release throughout the day? How does self-esteem suffer in the kids who are trying to behave but incapable of staying still that long?I began to see more global problems. The running was now the least of my worries—even if it was the underlying cause of many of the problems.
I heard children lectured for minor violations (like drawing instead of writing letters). I saw timers being used at stations. I saw children stressed.I saw teachers withholding recess from children unable to complete their work. The kid could be goofing off or legitimately slow and needing help, but the punishment was the same.I saw kids showing anxious behaviors.I saw certain boys being labeled and regularly put in the corner as a way to control behavior.I was saw a pervasive lack of compassion, or even tolerance, for age-appropriate behavior. I saw it from teachers, I saw it from coaches, I saw it from playground staff, and I saw it in the rules that disregarded common sense.
When my son became afraid to write his name, I was concerned. When he stopped writing and drawing all together, I was devastated.
It wasn’t that I was having trouble “letting go” of my first baby, as some at the school had suggested to me. It was the school. It was the school’s profound lack of respect for children. It was their institutionalized ignorance of basic child development. I hope things start to change in public school but we left the system.
Respect is not modeled here. My definition of respect is to treat people as you would like to be treated and I saw kids being treated not as people but as obstacles. I get that class sizes are too big and budgets are slim but when we forget children are just people with less experience it's easy to treat them poorly and when students aren't given respect by the teachers how can you expect them to show any back? That's called fear not respect.
This school has great test scores and is in a beautiful neighborhood. None of that matters though if your kid doesn't want to go to school and is stressed out in Kindergarten. Did they learn a lot quickly in kindergarten, yes, but there was no time for fun. I don't want my child to hate school. Not enough time for lunch or snack, no running on the playground at recess, and kids who are afraid to make mistakes. I felt very unwelcome at the school as a parent except for financial contributions and filing tasks. I don't expect that most of this is unique to this school except that there may be more pressure to get the kids ready to score well on tests.
As a parent of a kindergartner, this is my first year impression of MRE listed as thumbs up or down: Thumbs up 1. Great parent involvement and many activities for parents to be involved in. 2. Nice campus. 3. Active and engaging principal. 4. Good enrichment classes for arts and science. 5. Really good PE teacher. 6. Strong core of parents who run the FFA. 7. Positive learning environment with some good teachers. 8. Friendly parents and kids. Thumbs down 1. Overcrowded classrooms with one teacher. 30 kids to a class is absurd. 2. Allowing too many kids to "Choice" in or bus in. If the school can't manage a reasonable class size for the neighborhood kids, they should not let kids from outside the neighborhood to attend. This is not a knock against the "Choicers" as they are good kids but rather an unhappiness with policy. 3. Front office staff could be better. One, in particular, is just plain out rude and is lucky to have a job. 4. Miserly ungrateful parents who didn't contribute to the pledge drive. With 710 kids, the pledge drive should have easily raised more than $63,000. Any parent who didn't contribute at least $200 should bow their head in shame.
The moto for this school is "Work Hard, Be Nice" and the students, teachers, administrators, and volunteers all live up to it. The school is a fantastic environment for children to grow with both rigorous academics and plenty of time for the children the move around and play. The school offers science, music, P.E., computer instruction, and art (through a parent-volunteer program) in addition to the regular curriculum. My son is only in first grade now, but I am confident that he will continue to grow and thrive at this school.
Miramar Ranch is a great school with impressive state testing results, good teachers, and a very involved Family Faculty Association that raises money for science, music, art and lots of other programs the district does not provide.
Miramar Ranch is a fabulous school from the teachers to the principal and the volunteers! I've had several kids attend Miramar Ranch and the teachers did a great job preparing them for the next grade as well as middle and high school as far as academics, time management and organization. Our principal is outstanding! She has a fun personality, is great with children and has the respect of the teachers. The volunteers are an amazing part of the school providing lessons in Art Corps, Character Education and choir - creating well rounded children.