Great community, parent involvement, principal, teachers and curriculum. Mary Silveira is a school that educates the whole child, not solely focusing on academics. By incorporating a monthly "Life-Skills" program, MES students are reminded of the importance of their behavior and contributions to their community and fellow students, in addition to their school work. In areas where my child has needed further challenge, he has been given the opportunity to work ahead of his grade level, and in areas that needed more attention, the teachers have accurately identified any issues, as well as offered solutions to support him. With school-wide "jobs," the children learn about responsibility, and with citizenship awards available every day, the lessons of accountability are also strongly re-inforced. By gathering the entire student body for bi-monthly assemblies, complete with the pledge of the allegiance and the singing of the school song, the children develop a very strong sense of community & belonging. We had a choice of several school districts when we moved to Marin County, and we simply couldn't be happier with the Dixie School District and Mary Silveira Elementary.
Parent participation makes for a Great School. When parents come to Back to School Night they learn what their child is being taught, they indicate their appreciation of the teacher, and they show their child that school is important to the parents. A school can encourage parent participation by giving a raffle ticket to parents attending Back to School night, by giving a raffle ticket when parents certify they helped their child with homework, that the child understood the work, and saying where the child needs extra help. Raffle tickets could be turned in to the school office anytime. The drawing would be held once a semester. The prize could be a dinner for four at a local restaurant, tickets for four al a local movie theater, or tickets to a nearby museum, or whatever. Businesses could be asked to donate the prize. They could be thanked by free publicity of the drawing in announcements to parents and in naming the winners on a slip sent home with the report card.
In an effort to educate the "whole" child, academics are not given enough focus here. There isn't a formal program for children in the upper achievement range. It's up to parents with foresight who are willing to volunteer their time to help these students in the classroom (and help their own children at home), or individual teachers who are already overburdened with a myriad of state & federal mandates. Ironically, it is these very students who bring up the test scores of the school. This school consistently scores lower than the other two elementary schools in the district--why? What are those two schools doing differently? Instead of leadership/administration on all levels that seems to be mired in bureaucracy (as evidenced by trite self-serving excuses, answers that sound substantial but nothing comes of them, or how long it takes to make changes), it needs to coordinate efforts to address this critical need. In addition to the "whole" child, how about educating "all" children to meet their needs?
A wonderful school with dedicated and talented teachers. They hold every child to a high standard and are interested in creating better citizens. The school is must more diverse than many in the county which appealed to our family. Parents and families are encouraged to take an active role in their child's development and the staff is led by a dynamic and caring principal. We were new to the area and were a little apprehensive in starting from scratch and being the newbies, but I am glad to say that the community has embraced us with open arms and we could not see ourselves anywhere else!
We love Mary Silveira because of its focus on a well rounded education. Students are involved with school wide jobs & life skills, parents are encouraged and welcomed on campus, teachers are caring. As close as you will get to a private education without the cost.
My children attended this school for two years until we chose to move them to a neighboring school district. The school has a "one size fits all" educational program. The majority white upper middle class students and families participate in a very traditional educational delivery program. Students of color, and students who may need some support in learning do not receive the support they need. When my wife and I surfaced our concerns with the teachers and the principal, nothing changed. We made our decision to leave because it felt like it was just lip service to make us be quiet. Our children are much happier having left.
Mary Silveira has an amazing set of teachers and the parent support is incredible, everyone is done to earth and when I have had a problem everyone pulls together and help each other, never have I known a better community and network support.