Teachers make the decisions of what to teach and how to teach without any guidelines in place from the administration. For example, if a teacher wants students to complete and turn in all their assignments using a laptop, then the administrator is okay with it. Many students still needed to practice handwriting, spelling, and other fundamentals. The computer software did all the work for them. Our student was punched by another student and the administrator's response was your child must of said something in order to provoke being punched.
Character building curriculum lacked. Valued traits were often not modeled by adults, so our students saw big disparaging in what was expected of them but the same expectations not followed by the staff.
Primary grade level teachers were effective even though there was a lot of testing. Intermediate level teachers were in many ways ineffective including teaching to the mainstream students, lacking control over behavioral problems, lack of meeting learners' needs. Many teachers were very young who may bring lots of energy but severely lacked experience.
Teachers seem to be flexible with homework. Some parents asked to have more homework sent home while others say homework was too much. Meaningful homework is beneficial but so is having a well-balanced schedule with opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities (sports, music, clubs).
There are some great aspects about Sierra including well-organized curriculum, wonderful community, after/before school programs (running club, science, and art), soon to be new facility, hard-working staff and easy fundraisers. The intermediate grades were a nightmare including the BYOD program (complete open internet access for students without any safeguards in place and 80-90 percent of the school day on computers), an administrator that's "open door policy" is smiling/nodding only to lack truly protecting and looking out for students' safety or making meaningful changes (politician thru and thru), no differentiation to meet learner's needs (products all look the same and pretesting not used to group students according to their needs or drive instruction), changes in instruction are quickly made to teach the latest-hot educational topics without reference to solid research/development and many incidents of bullying during recess both physically/verbally being hurt (adults on duty were " texting on their phones" or told students to handle it themselves). Overall, Sierra would be great if it didn't have such an imbalance in some fundamental educational elements and remind itself of what is best for students.
Love this school so far. My only concern is the constant testing in early grades. Everything is based on tests and test scores. Students are purposefully tested low to show growth for the school later in the year.
Sierra is amazing! I am a parent of a Kindergartener, had a Niece that went to Sierra and also attended myself and have never had one complaint! The Principal, Mr. Brickley, is so involved with the school and is loved by both Students and Parents. He makes himself available to answer any questions and has a positive, high energy, upbeat attitude towards his position as Principal. I volunteer at the school on a regular basis and always see him interacting with the kids making sure everyone is on task and working hard while still building a love for learning. Mrs. Jones is my Son's Teacher and all I can say is WOW! She was blessed with an amazing gift to teach children and truly loves her job. Mrs. Jones has built a unique bond with my Son and he gets excited to see her everyday. I have never seen a Teacher so organized and creative which makes school such a fun place to be. Her soft voice keeps all the students focused and calm and my Son has progressed a significant amount since starting at Sierra. We are so fortunate to be in the Sierra District and I would highly recommend this school to ANYONE!
My son is attending Kindergarten here in the full day program. I can not say enough good things about his teacher. She is excellent!! My son is already reading and it's only half way through the school year. I am so impressed with the staff and teachers here. I am so happy this is my homeschool. The parent involvement here is exceptional. I can not wait for my younger son to start here.
We have lived in a home a few blocks from Sierra Elementary for over 25 years. We have watched "three generations" of kids and are on our fourth attending Sierra. We have known the children, attended their functions with their families, and can say nothing but good about this school and the impact it has had on the children, their families, and our neighborhood as a whole. What a pleasure to walk past the school and see the whole area covered with cars when there is a PTA meeting or open house or student activity going on! What a joy to walk past when the children are outside at recess and hear the high-pitched squeals of the children laughing and playing with one another. The values taught by the teachers, the support given to all by the principal, and the family involvement are exceptional at Sierra. We sometimes feel "guilty" that we do not have a child who attends Sierra - seems as if we ought to make our home available to someone who does. This school is one of the biggest "selling points" of our entire neighborhood and one of the best assurances that our children will grow up to be well-educated, "solid" citizens.