This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Explorer Elementary School1
Posted December 21, 2014
- a parent
Very disorganized and student safety not adequately addressed. Notices given out had incorrect info, if given at all. Even on first day, class rosters not posted where they were supposed to be. Almost missed concert because of no notice home. Found out from 4th grade son 2 hours prior. Staff not on duty on-time in the morning but would yell at our kids- even in front of us- for being too early. Addressed concern to principal, nothing done. Daughter had classmate expose himself on playground and got nothing more than voicemail from AP. Went to check kids out early one day, never asked for ID. I called staff out on this and was told "We just go by the child's reaction." (IT IS DISTRICT POLICY TO CHECK ALL ID'S). Daughter's teacher ignored her. Daughter came home upset daily over missing recess because teacher couldn't get class to stop talking. One day she missed recess to clean her desk. Teacher said she didn't do it during given class time. When asked what my daughter was doing instead, she didn't know and couldn't even say whether she was in the room or at TAG. PTA makes after school program relocate w/ no advance notice leaving parents to wander looking for kids.
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 am very impressed with this school. One of the strongest points about this school and district 20 is communication with the parents. They do an excellent job communicating with parents, from emails, to videos, to district classes, parent portal etc... Explorer has an active PTA and the money raised goes to grants for school programs. This is the only elementary school in CS with the STEM, science, technology, engineering and math specialized program. STEM is in addition to the computers and iPads in the classroom and separate technology class. It's impressive. But at the same time the school is cozy, warm and inviting. This school is a true neighborhood school. Very few students are bused in we all walk in together.
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!!!
We" choiced" into Explorer from our "home" school in d-20. WOW!!! This school is made of dreams. From students to teachers, to specials, to admin to the PTA, everyone.....I mean everyone is behind my child's happiness & success. They are right on top of their education. The people who make up Explorer are very proud of being there & actually love being with the students. A++++ school. Mrs. Lang is a wonderful leader & partner at this school. Way to go Mrs. Lang, teachers, staff, admin & parents at Explorer!