yes, Chad, the director is ambitious, but that is not necessarily good for the school. In my opinion he has plans to move within DPS, and has little regard for what impact the changes he makes will have on the community at RMSEL. He has, for instance, radically changed the curriculum, so now the school pretty much teaches to the test. There is now homework throughout all grades, technology throughout all grades, so that Kindergarten is very different than it once was. The school is loosing its hands-on aspect of learning. Is it more hands on than most schools? yes. Is it what it once was, say 5 years ago? Absolutely no, and we haven't been there that long. Students spend lots of time taking pre and post assessments (tests) in a manner unheard of just a few years ago. And this has lead to the loss of many a good teacher. Teacher turnover here has been tremendous the past few years as the changes were implemented. Some parents like the changes. They think this is "academic rigor". Some of us recognize this for what it is, teaching to the standardized test and not true learning. Still, this place is better for our children than many schools with rigid desks .for now.
RMSEL has wonderful teachers who are enthusiastic and dedicated to the students. Chad, the principal, is ambitious and focused on academic performance. The students and families support each other and are interested in challenging themselves academically. The expeditionary learning style works well for students who are self motivated.
We have two sons in the lower school and they are both thriving. Their teachers are highly dedicated to their students, and always available to the parents. The new director is amazing and accessible, and is pushing RMSEL in a positive new direction while still upholding its unique philosophy. While our sons are doing well academically, it is RMSEL's emphasis on teamwork, character building, and personal growth that we most appreciate. Our children are learning how to be life long learners, and loving the experience. We feel lucky to be a part of the RMSEL community.
This is a great school, but only if your child is completely self motivated. Not ideal if your child needs to be supervised and told to do homework. Once you get behind, it's extrememly difficult to catch up.