I am a dad of a thrid grader at South. I'm not a teacher, I don't know much about how this whole nonsense about testing works and I certainly don't claim to understand the fight between the union and the school board. I honestly don't care about that. What I care about is my son and the education he recieves and whether or not he's happy. Here's what I know: I see a happy kid running into school every day. I see the crossing guards and the principal and the teachers and the secretaries all great him by name. I hear him talk about the kids at school and rarely do I hear anything negative. I know my kid is happy and I know that the teachers he has had to date have worked hard with him and every other kid to be sure they get what they need. When I walk into the school for a conference or just to pay the lunch acccount, I'm greeted by friendly people who may not know my name, but they know my son, and honestly, that's what I care about. This is a great school and I can't think of one single reason for anyone to not try it. You will be amazed at the caring that goes on.
My son has been at South Ridge for 4 years now and he LOVES it! I've had nothing but a great experience with South, despite many of it's negative reviews. My son was identified early as an advanced learner and the teachers have done everything within their power to challenge him. My e-mails are always answered promptly by whomever I've contacted, whether that be administrator or teacher. If they can't answer my questions, they've referred me on very quickly and I've always gotten the answer. They truly do their best and they really never get the kudos they deserve. You must try this school and you must ignore the blah-blah-blah about test scores. The kids RUN to school because they're so happy to go. They run out happy, talking and playing with one another regardless of age. Really, I love this school and respect all they do for kids.
The submission regarding fighting on the playground is completely absurd. I drive by the school a few times each day and I have never seen anything other than play from the students. I have been volunteering on a regular basis at the school for 4 years and have yet to see any arguments let alone fights at the school. There is ALWAYS at least two teacher's aides and usually a teacher on the playground with their class. The teachers are engaging, caring and passionate about their students. I have always been greeted by the office staff when entering the school and Dena (the principal) is visible in the school, not hiding in her office. Technology is used in every classroom and both of my children love going to school there. I wouldn't go anywhere else in Castle Rock, with the IB program, the diversity of the student population and the dedication of the teachers it's not a hard decision.
I have been a parent at SR for 5+ years and am VERY active in the school PTCO. I spend a ton of time volunteering at SR and have gotten to know the inner-workings of this school with a unique perspective. The review below is shocking to me. I know that the aids are on the playground the entire time, supervising the kiddos with little tolerance for bad behavior. The Principal, Dena, has always attended to any concerns I've had, so I question the merit of the story featured below mine. I've never EVER seen an out-of-control scenario where there is violent behavior & no supervision at SR, so I urge you to take that story with a grain of salt! Getting to know the folks who run South Ridge, I truly can say nothing but good things. They are the most caring & attentive & treat my child, who has learning disabilities, with respect and an understanding of his learning differences. They allow him to show his knowledge in the way he knows how and that really helps boost his self-esteem. We don't all learn in the same way and I've been impressed continually of how this school recognizes that fact & encourages their students to shine in the way they know how. This truly is a great school!
I am an employee with the school district and actually pulled my children from a magnet school mid-year and selected to re enroll them at South Ridge. Every school has it's challenges, but I really grew to appreciate what South Ridge had to offer. There is an extremely knowledgable and dedicated teaching staff. The interest that teachers took in getting to know my children and understanding their learning profiles was more than I could have hoped for. Both kids were kept engaged in the learning process and participated in school functions voluntarily. Considering neither is academically oriented, I could only credit the teachers for inspiring them to become involved. I also liked the diversity of the school. I think it a rare opportunity in a place like Douglas County for children to learn and understand that there are people of all different socioeconomic backgrounds and ethnicities. That there is not just one way to solve a problem and not just one "right" way to do things. My children will graduate from S R with a greater tolerance and understanding of individual differences. This is an invaluable lesson to learn and perhaps unique to South Ridge.
My children attend South Ridge and I am very pleased. They identified in Kindergarten that my daughter needed help with reading. They have provided one on one tutoring everyday in 1st and 2nd grade with a literary specialist. I have even hired the teacher to come and tutor at my house. The staff is kind, polite and caring. I believe the supervision at school is outstanding. The PTCO is great and very involved in school, even earning enough money for a brand new playground! I believe my children get a true education at South Ridge due to the diversity of all the children that attend. It is not a new and shinny school, but that is not what makes a school good, it is the teachers and staff and South Ridge has amazing ones!
We have three children that have attended South Ridge. My oldest is now in sixth grade. We have been very impressed with their overall elementary experience. We have enjoyed excellent teachers and a great administration. I love the international focus of the IB curriculum it really engages students and teaches them that we live in a global economy and about cultures beyond their front door. It has been a very warm and caring environment for my children. I like the diversity at the school as it is more representative of the broader population and enables students to learn critical social skills that will benefit them their entire lives. We are strong advocates of South Ridge Elementary!
I stopped by mid day to drop off something for my son. I was devastated when I saw what was happening at recess. I saw several children fighting in the kindergarten class, literally punching each other, kicking, pushing each other down on the ground. As much as I yelled over the chain link fence for them to stop punching a boy, no one stopped. The only thing that ended it was the fact that the bell rang. I ran inside and notified the staff, and my husband called the police. When I went back out, literally minutes later, the next class, 1st and 2nd graders were fighting even worse in the back corner of the field. In BOTH instances, there were NO TEACHERS, and NO SUPERVISION. The kids again, kicking, punching, one kid was sitting on another child's chest, his arms pinned down by his sides. He was in a head lock with someones arm across his neck, and the being punched in the back of the head. I was screaming and pleading with the children to stop. I tried scaling the fence. It was out of control. More or less when I demanded a meeting with the principal, she completely down played it, saying she didn't see anyone hurt, and no one admitted to it. I am withdrawing my son.
I was concerned about sending my kids to South Ridge because of the low test scores, and the horrible school website- the look is so outdated, and the information doesn't seem to be consistently current. The website is awkward and ugly. I worried they wouldn't be using or teaching with much technology. I was pleasantly surprised by the use of SmartBoards, iPads, laptops, and technology in general. After our initial hesitation, we are very pleased with South Ridge.
I have gone to South since Kindergarden. I have enjoyed watching South grow and become an IB school. I have been able to grow and learn at my own pace. I love the teachers and their teaching styles. I have had the ability to be in all the highest groups since 2nd grade. I have really enjoyed South's anti-bullying policy. I have never had a bullying problem, only girl drama, but that's life. Overall, I love South and always will. Go to South, it will be one of the greatest things you could dofor your child!
We built a home here two years ago and I read some of the negative reviews about South, but saw that they were an IB (International Baccalaureate) school which peaked my curiosity. Since I believe in neighborhood schools and love the IB philosophy, I thought we would give it a try. What I found was a diverse population, a dedicated and passionate staff and a community of families that work together for their kids. This school is a legacy school, where 2 and 3 generations of Castle Rock citizens have gone. The school has character and history, something rare for the new buildings in Douglas County, and a pretty location near Memmen Ridge Open Space. They have recently renamed the school to fit their new philosophy (South Ridge Elementary, an IB World School), and are in the midst of a school garden project, a re-flooring project (over the summer), and a playground renovation. I would like to see more parent involvement, but there is a diverse and approachable PTA that works collaboratively with the staff. Go in, meet the principal and take a peek for yourself.
South has been a wonderful school for our family. The teachers and staff have been amazing and very dedicated to the students growth. The IB curriculum really encourages the children to stretch their thinking outside of the box and go above and beyond. The school is supported by a wonderful PTCO. The playground equipment is in need of an update, which is in the works, and the parking situation is a bit of a hassle, but worth it when you see your child truly enjoy school.
This school is impressive as it has high caliber teachers and such a personable staff! They teach the kids a world view perspective on how they impact the world through their choices and use technology to adequately prepare them for the real world! My child has a unique learning style and his teachers are always willing to accommodate him so he can learn the way he does best! Since he is a "wiz" on a SMART Board and on an IPad, his teachers allow these devices to assist him to express his knowledge of how our world works. The Parent Teacher Organization is also a nice group of people who put on some really nice events throughout the year in order to bring our school community together. We came from a highly rated, affluent school up in the Cherry Creek School District 4 years ago and this school is such a better experience for my child (e.g. the former school had bullying and kids with no manners and a sense of entitlement). The review previous to mine is baffling, as I see so many positive benefits for my child at this school from compassionate, skilled teachers to an approachable & accommodating Principal that it's really hard to see how that person could have that perspective.
Run from this school. My kids went here for 1 year, and the other two for 1.5. We moved from a rural area, and that school was great. My oldest tested 3 times and was above average. When I told the teacher this,he didn't believe me. He never scheduled one parent teacher confrence, despite my constant requests for them. When I stopped by at the end of the day, he said he, "didn't have time for this." My kids grades went from straight A's to C's and D's. The bullies rule this school. Not the teachers. With my other 2 kids, they were being taught and tested on Spanish. In second grade. Let these kids be able to read and write in English first. Then when they get that, then throw a new one in there. Every day when I would pick up my kids, they would be in tears. Every Day. Thanks Goodness I found a better place for them all. Avoid This School At All Costs!!!
My three sons (1st, 4th and 5th graders) go to this school and have since Kindergarten. I had my doubts to be honest. It's an old school (my husband went there!), and very diverse (not just with ethnicity, but also income levels), creating a "real world" experience. This is what I want my children to be exposed to. The teachers and staff have been awesome. My kids are doing extremely well based on grades and CSAP! Above grade level in many subjects. The only problem we have ever had was from another student, and that was handled very well by the teacher and principal. I cannot fault the school for that. There are a lot of ESL students at this school and I think unfortunately that might bring down the schools scores. That should be expected. The proof for me was in my own childrens CSAP scores. I'm involved, I wish more parents could be!
I moved my kids to a "9" school in DCSD when I took a new job and wanted them closer to where I would be during the day. I am not sure I made the best decision. My kids received a better education at South. The new IB program really allows them to challenge each child individually. My kids may be back if they will take us!
Despite my initial reservations, I have been very happy with South Elementary. The principal takes an active interests in her students and the concerns of parents. My children continue to learn at or above their grade level and are benefitting from teachers who see and address their potential.
South Elementary is an excellent school. By halfway through the school year my kindergartener (who has trouble sitting-still and focusing) was reading , writing, learning simple math skills and most of all learning "good conduct". My 2nd grader was doing very complex reports for science and being challenged in the areas of Math and Creative Writing. This school is the best-kept secret in Castle Rock ! Very small class sizes and excellent teachers !
My kids love this school and as a parent I really believe the teachers and staff go out of there way for all the kids at South. My son loves going to school. How many kids actually love going to school? I am always greeted with a smile and teachers take time to share with me there concerns or awards my kids receive. I would rate this school a 9 out of 10. Play ground equipment is small and parking could be better.
I have personally volunteered at South and am AMAZED at the teachers! They really do go over and beyond what's required to reach all the children. I didn't know if my son would be challenged enough but his teacher has pushed him beyond even what I would have expected. I think my children are getting valuable lessons about how to live in the real world and are learning to see the world more globally thanks to the I.B. program offered at South. If you have any doubts, just try it for a year and you will be amazed!
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