This is a wonderful cozy neighborhood school, with active parents, teachers and admin. The current principle has been promoted to a district job but the selection is underway with parent participation in the selection process. Explorer is a Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) school. It has a new technology center, interactive library with student touch screen work center. Explorer also excels in reading with test scores among the highest in the state, in fact one of the other local school districts sent reps to learn from our reading program. There are many after school activities for children to be involved in, Landshark's running club, both cub scouts and girl scouts. It's a great school and we will really miss it when we move.
Run!! D20 doesn't mean every school is great. The admin does nothing about bullies. They do not listen to parent concerns. The only first grade teacher worth keeping in education is brand new! Overinflated egos that discount academic concerns of parents. We choiced into a far better school at all of the concerns we had were flagged as areas that needed improvement by the new teacher at the new school without parental involvement. What a concept... A school helping a child! You won't find that at Explorer. If you try they attack you for hurting thief feelings. Beyond ridiculous. Sorry excuse for a school and administration. The same teacher had numerous kids leave the school & request a new teacher yet she's consider a "good teacher." Standards admin placed based on friendship not abilities so the children suffer. Sad & sickening.
Run away. If you love your kids, choice them into another school. My son went to Explorer for kindergarten and first grade. His kindergarten teacher was awful and needed to retire 10 years ago. The administration claimed to not know the bullying this teacher was doing to my child, but I don't believe that. I brought the problems to their attention and they still did nothing. His first grade teacher was better, but that's not saying much. I knew there was a problem when he would cry if I showed up at school during the day. I found out after leaving this school that he was being bullied by other students, in front of his para and teacher. I don't understand how any adult can stand by and watch a child being mistreated. The SSN teacher has good intentions, and I think she really cares about the students, but the SSN program is too big. There is no way for her to manage the number of kids and paras in her program. The administration is worthless, they don't take action when there is a problem. You will not feel welcome by the front office staff, and the school does not encourage families to get involved in their child's education. Love your kids, pick another school!!!
I love having my kids at Explorer. It's a neighborhood school with 3 classes at each grade level and a preschool. There are no busses, so most kids walk or ride bikes in warm weather. The principal is amazing - very positive and professional. I've never heard her say a bad word about anyone. She and the asst. principal get along really well, love to have fun, and do things to get to know the kids like being on recess duty or having lunch with a few kids each week until they meet them all. The staff is very welcoming. Many of them have a lot of experience. They also have fresh faces, though, so it's a good mix. There is a very strong TAG program that supports kids at all grades, not just those in 3rd-5th who have been formally identified as talented and gifted. They also have a good special ed program and RtI for kids who are struggling. The staff seems to treat kids like they are all theirs and there is great collaboration and teamwork. The P.E. teacher offers free intramurals and there are lots of clubs and activities, too. The PTA is amazing. They offer several free family events in addition to fundraisers and are very supportive of the staff.
This is our first year at this school and I am so happy with our decision. They provide individual plans for your child, whether they need a little extra help or are advanced. The teachers provide great communication. We couldn't be happier. I am only upset with GreatSchools Rating...growth, seriously? Look at the actual test results if you want to see the real value of this school!
When we moved to the area, we chose Explorer as a school for our children based on current reviews at the time, and a very nice tour of the school. After two months, however, we found that our students' needs were not being addressed, the counselors were offering sub-par help for our child in need, and the teachers were slow to make changes for our advanced girls. When the students are tested in week 1 for placement, it should not take more than an entire quarter to finally test them further for Talented and Gifted. My 4th grader spent 10 weeks learning nothing in Math, for example. She also tested well above grade level for reading and language, and yet even at the quarter's end, the teachers were still not placing her in a better class for her ability. We feel that we lost all that time on their learning, with not much hope for improvement. When it came time to transfer out (which we did), none of the teachers, the counselors, the assistant principal or principal took the time to ask "Why?". I found that shocking. What administration wouldn't want to know why they were losing students? They didn't seem to care at all.
I love this school! My son is in his second year and is thriving. All his teacher's have been outstanding and the principal and staff committed, engaged and caring. I can't say enough good things about this school. There is also a lot of parent participation.
I think that the school has enjoyed riding the coattails of a great reputation for quite some time. I don't feel confident in all staff changing fluidly with best practices. I have often seen teachers with minimal patience for wiggly, energetic children. Whatever happened to teaching to the different learning styles? How about some kinesthetic choices or more breaks. If your child is an "in the box" kid then you're in luck here. I find the class switching of 5th grade ineffective. I also do not like my kids watching movies on Fri. Movies are not for school time. I do like the integration of kids with special needs into the classrooms. That's awesome. The principals are fun and sweet. Explorer needs to really examine the ways in which they differentiate for ALL kids, and I don't mean reading groups. I mean for all those kids & families who don't fit the mold. Look at the CDE growth model. The population is becoming more diverse and I don't know if Explorer is ready yet. Summed up: "A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be. Wayne Gretzky
Explorer Elementary is a fantastic school for many reasons but one of my favorites is the fact they reach a huge diversity in students. I love the fact that they integrate those with physical disabilities with the other students so that children learnhow to reach out and care and be sensitive to those around them. They have the students best interests at heart and they work very much like a family should. I love the inter-action with the students and Mre. Lang as she desires to get to know the children. It is a great school to model after.
RUN! This school has a lot of work to be done before it should be even a consideration. Never saw the principal until the day I filed for a transfer. The fourth and fifth grades are going through restructuring with teacher teams, and your child is the guinea pig. The teacher my child was assigned was AWFUL! He was bringing an extra change of clothes to school because she was not letting him use the restroom. After we dealt with that, she continued to pick at him for things that were not important to the point he was unable to learn with her. The assisant principal is the only saving grace for this school, but she is not in your child's classroom all the time. All I can say is RUN and don't look back!!!