Our experience in the past five years has been been improving every year. The recent change of Principal has been a significant step in the right direction as she is committed, engaged, personable, and truly community oriented.
Academically, while we wish the school does more, but honestly, the foundation skills are being taught to the majority of the students, and it is a safe environment for learning, provided by caring staff and faculty. With few exceptions, the teaching staff is energetic, engaging, and well qualified to lead these kids through primary school.
As a Visual Performing Arts Magnet school, the teaching of the arts by a Music, an Art and a Drama teacher who are all FULL TIME faculty, give these kids an amazing experience all while learning so much. This is of course, in addition to the regular curriculum which has only been improving over time.
The Two-Way Billingual Immersion program is another plus! The program has allowed Native English speakers and non-Speakers to inter-mesh, learn together and help each other out, helping both groups grow in language ability as well as cultural awarness.
Community oriented events- The school aong with its active PTO have continued to put on events that welcome the entire school community to partake, including Drama performances, Fund-raisers, and carnival-like festivals. These events allow everyone in the community to join in on the fun and feel engaged to be part of this school's community.
In 2015-2016 a new Principal has come into the school and she is vibrant, and dedicated to making this school even better. She is approachable and personable and has been willing to make changes to things in order to make things better and keep more of the community engaged.
As with many schools, the more advanced students are left with few options to get even farther ahead as over half of the school is not up to standard. If it were not for the Billingual program and Arts programs, I suspect the number of students performing below average would be much greater since many would leave for other schools.
Conclusion- May not be for everyone, but our family loves Trace as we stay active and engaged in the school community for the sake of our kids and have met some great friends too.
Learning at school should be enough. Homework allegedly gauges kids learning but the reality is, for many parents its just something to hold their kids occupied so the parents don't have to engage them.
Every teacher we have run into so far emphasizes this with their students. A few bad apples do make things rocky at times but as we are nearly complete with our Trace journey, it is clear that the school is doing the best they can given the demographic.
The school makes every effort to teach the kids to respect one another and despite some issues with how violators are treated, it seems to work for the most part. Unfortunately, there are many families n today's age that shirk their responsibilities and their kids may suffer for it at school, but overall it seems to work, especially with the new staff they have in place (2015+)
Ms Warburton, Mr Boston and Ms Van Derwark are the Trace Arts dream team! First of all, we're so lucky to have an arts program with music, drama and visual arts in a public elementary school. On top of that we have an amazing group of teachers supporting the program. They all go above and beyond to support the students and consistently help out in fundraisers and other after hours events. Ms Warburton even attends all the PTO meetings!
I think the Trace arts program helps develop these types of soft skills/values. It is great to have the students for example participate in plays and in a strings orchestra - they learn to work together and support each other to success.
I think much of this begins at home but yes, my kids seemed to be pretty tuned into these concepts from school also. Just recently there was a Cornerstone reading program around the theme of "bucket filling" with positive actions and words and they've taken that message to heart.
We love the TWBI program and the arts the school has to offer. The reason I'm not giving the school 5 stars is really the school district's fault: The classes should all have a permanent teaching aide given the class sizes.