We absolutely love Steck. We moved to Hilltop primarily to reside in Steck's school district and have not been disappointed. It is a very rigorous, high-performing and fast-paced school, which is why it is ranked as one of the best elementary schools in the state. The downfall is that the school is highly desirable due to the incredible teachers and parent involvement, so the class sizes are large. However, the school has been creative in managing class sizes through applying for more funding for an extra teacher/class for the larger-sized grades. For instance, my daughter currently has 19 children in her morning (literacy) 1st grade class. In the afternoon, she joins her other classmates for "specials" with the bigger class of 29 students. Additionally, the PTA raises money through their annual auction to fund full-time para professionals to assist in every classroom, and to offset public funding shortfalls in art, music and technology. The teachers are absolutely my favorite part of the school. We have never been disappointed with the quality and dedication of our two children's teachers. It's a great public school option!!
Steck was our neighborhood school and while it receives high ratings it was a nightmare. The school does very well with high performing children but is incapable of working with children with different learning styles. The teachers told me they didn't know what else to do with my children. I pulled my children out of Steck and they are now happy and thriving at their new school. Their standardized test scores are improving and they are making up for the time lost at Steck. My only regret is I wish I had moved them sooner!
I had three children at this school last year (2009-2010) and we were a Steck family for three years before that. This year, I pulled all of my kids out and I have no regrets. There were two primary reasons for doing this: 1-Huge class sizes, and, 2-A one-size-fits-all approach that did not allow for learning differences. As far as I know, from friends that still have kids in this school, the 2nd grade now has 36 students in class! Of course, most of the kids are very smart and well-prepared for school, but these big class sizes and the lack of individual attention were not a good fit for our family.
Having moved here from abroad this year, we deliberated long and hard over both public or private schools for my daughter, Steck is absolutely amazing. Under the leadership of an outstandingly personable and highly efficient principal, Steck has phenomenal teachers and every child counts. My daughter loves going to school every day and the peace of mind knowing she's getting a good foundation is immense.