We have been pleasantly surprised by this school for our youngest special needs daughter. She started last year in kinder and have been blown away by the love and support we have felt at this school. She has a lot of challenging behaviors and quirks, but the teachers, principal, office, therapists, and everyone else always worked with us to help any situations that arose and even worked around some of her more difficult problems. She was in a mainstream classroom, and we always felt she was included just like her peers and even the kids in other grade levels would include her. We have older kids in PSD and there have not been any school of choice openings for her yet.....but we are so happy that our youngest got "stuck" at Cottonwood Plains!
The school is small enough that children aren't "lost in the mix." Children that excel are given opportunities to challenge themselves while children that struggle are worked with individually, as appropriate.
Our family has had a wonderful experience at Cottonwood. We transferred from another school, where I thought my second grader was excelling, only to find he was behind in some areas. Now, two years later, with the amazing support of his teachers and administration he is able to attend a middle school math program as a fourth grader. My daughter began kindergarten with minimal reading ability and has maintained a reading level two grades above as first grade year ends. For both of my children they have had amazing support from their teachers and appropriately challenged in the classroom and in gifted and talented classes, without giving either of them a ceiling for their learning potential. The "E" in PRIDE is for Everybody Belongs. Cottonwood Plains truly works together to be an encouraging & nurturing diverse community.
Cottonwood is an above average school in many ways. The principal is very helpful and kind. The test scores for most kids are above average. It is a nice building. There are a few drawbacks as well, though. One is a heavily loaded GT program which, similarly to other schools, has a lot of bright or hard working kids but not a lot of gifted kids. The previous GT coordinator was good. The current one does too much test prep for kids whose parents want that identification and retests on similar tests within short periods of time which has increased the problem with overloading the GT program and making it less likely to meet the needs of kids who aren't traditional high achievers.
I am wondering why as a parent, I must understand how the school policy works regarding such things as school attire for my daughter, but the teachers do not. It is not uncommon for me to see high heels and very short skirts on the teachers when my daughter cannot where color in her hair or wear a snow hat in the building. Just today I saw one of the younger grade teachers not only wearing a see through shirt, but you could see her stomach through the shirt. Not understanding the double standard here....
I am excited to start the new school year! Awesome staff to work with, caring Principal, dynamic families, and overall respect for children! There is no better place to be! Happy 2011-2012 school year everyone!
We have had such a positive experience at Cottonwood Plains. We have two children who attend and we could not be more pleased with how their academic needs have been met--both in the Gifted and Talented track and in their regular classes. The teachers have worked very hard to make sure my children are being pushed academically, but still balance having fun and using their creativity. I am especially pleased that they are expected to be responsible for their actions and they explain rules and expectations clearly. I really feel like the teachers enjoy their job and there is a very good parental support system in place.
I am so impressed by what I see every day. Teachers and parents working side-by-side with the best interest of students in mind. Students trying their best, and if success is not immediate, they persevere and demonstrate an "I can do anything" attitude. I would not want to work at any other school. Cottonwood Plains is truly the place to be!