Im a parent of students there and also a resident who lives nearby. Up until about 1.5 years ago its been a decent school and has always had a close nit parent community. Unfortunately the school jumped in too soon on the recent Common Core changes and the myopic focus on test scores, before the new curriculum and teacher training was really ready.
This has led to our children being experimented on with different learning methods and a lot of frustration by Parents who are bearing the brunt of the massive homework overload. Teachers are in constant out-of-class training trying to figure how how to make the Core work. There is also a myopic focus on getting "technology" in to the class room for the sake of looking like they are doing something with it. The lack of honest (or any) communication on this whole effort doesn't help and the Principal, while friendly and caring, seems to be towing the district line, focusing on test scores and positive PR.
The high number of full days off and reduced days the kids are not in school needs to be considered by working parents who need to pay for after school child care and have limited flexibility.
The home and school club is mainly a fundraising organization and does not look at traditional PTA type issues like education quality and addressing parent concerns, tending to keep it friendly with the administration, which is unfortunate given the financial leverage they have.
If they can get a focus back on just letting teachers teach kids full time, 5 days a week in the classroom and doing the job they way they know how, then this will be a great little school once again.
They try to do this and have some programs around it, however it falls down in the realities of playground and in the teacher/administrator politics of the school, as these types of initiatives normally do.
Right now the teachers are having to conduct a big experiment on the children to figure out how to teach to the Common Core. They are throwing out new methods daily. I think they should back off the focus on test scores and let the Teachers teach they way they know best.
WAY too much. I think this is due to their poor implementation of the Common core and the lack of quality curriculum and materials. They are just stuffing the homework folders every week with assignments that sometime aren't even explain in class. And the material are often intelligible to parents. We suspect the Teachers dont like it, but are under orders from the administration.
I've been quite pleased with the quality of the teachers and overall leadership of the school. I have noticed a disconnected in the principal leadership as others have suggested. But what I see as a bigger problem is some very disconnected parenting. People are busy and have jobs, they need to in order to stay in this area, but only a small percentage of parents actually volunteer and contribute to the school. The vast majority rarely set foot on school grounds, dropping their kids at the curb as they race off, ignoring the right turn only sign on the way out as they turn left. While probably not an isolation, the sheer volume of necessary daily goods stacked on the lost and found cart is a sign that some parents just don't care. That worries me. I've also found that while its wonderful that a lot of parents grew up in this area and are long-time friends, there is certainly an atmosphere of exclusivity that wrongly alienates a lot of good people. This cliquey behavior sets a bad precedent for the children who otherwise have no concept of class and superiority. Overall, the locals could be more welcoming to newcomers in the community and all parents could be more involved.
This is an amazing school. I attended a principal coffee today and it was informative and well organized. The focus was on Common Core standards and there is a clear plan in place in terms of teacher training at the school site. In addition there are great programs and a friendly climate.
I have been a part of this school community for almost 5 years. We value the experience that our children are receiving at Carlton. The teachers, principal and office staff are completely approachable and truly care about our children's well being and academic success.. Carlton also has a wonderful community. Parent volunteers spend hours at the school to help enrich Carlton's programs. I cannot say enough about our experience at Carlton so far. We could not be more pleased.
This is the second school which my son has been in (after a move from Campbell) and I am extremely pleased. I cannot say enough good things, from the outstanding teachers to the great administration. My son has never done better, nor liked school so much as he does now. The administration seems to be very progressive in their methods with high focus on results. I would recommend this school to any who are sincerely interested in their children receiving the best possible education and development.
I have been an involved parent at Carlton for 7 years now. I have also taught elementary school for over 16 years. Yes, our school has a newer principal with a different leadership style. In my 16 years of education I have had 5 principals. Each one of them brought something new to our school. It is sometimes hard for parents and teachers to adjust to the changes and it takes time to be open minded about the new ideas. I believe Carlton still has a tremendous staff that is being led by a good leader. When I have had a concern or an opinion, I have always felt I could express these feeling to the principal. In the end, I am pleased that my children are learning, happy and have had wonderful teachers.