Our son is now in 1st grade and we love this school. At the end of Kindergarten the students were able to read in 2 languages, write paragraphs in 2 languages and count over 100 in 2 languages. There are a lot of interventions to help kids who are having difficulties and for kids who are advanced adding another language is a great way to challenge them. The school uses positive behavior systems to encourage positive behavior and in the classroom the kids are supported not criticized or ridiculed. They implemented a plan to decrease playground fights and essentially eliminated it. This school is amazing, the principal, the teachers, the support staff, even the custodians are all amazing and enthusiastic about their jobs and their school. I am english dominant, but totally appreciate that this school allows spanish dominant parents the opportunity to really know what their kids are doing as everyone who works here is biliterate.
I have two children at DIA and a third that starts kinder next year. We have been very happy with their teachers and we love the dual language program. Our fifth grader has been part of the gifted and talented program for three years now and the opportunity for individualized learning this provides has allowed him to advance and remain challenged. Standardized test scores do not measure the benefits that students get from learning in two languages -- we have never felt that our children were being limited or held back in any way. In fact, we know families that have moved their children to DIA because they were not sufficiently challenged at other schools. We feel lucky that our kids are at DIA and wouldn't trade it for any other school in the grand valley.
This school lacks adequate resources to assist gifted students and students with learning disabilities/challenges. When inquiring about possible classroom interventions (outside a learning plan or 504) to assist a struggling student, the school sent home a brochure for an alternative elementary school. Additionally, there are no resources available to assist English dominant students who are struggling in Spanish (this is an issue when students spend 50% of their day learning in Spanish). Resources/tutoring in English are available to students who qualify for free and reduced lunch, regardless of student performance/learning needs. In 2012, this school had high staff turnover.
I have found that DIA has performed extremely well for my son. He arrived second semester of kindergarten and has kept pace. I find that the challenging schedule has improved him in so many ways. With respect to the comment made on April 8, 2008 I see a lot of finger pointing going on. Since when has it been the education systems job to... I often find that many parents feel they don t have to step up. If there is a gap in a child s learning there are other tools available in the community to assist with that issue. One example would be Sylvan. A school as demanding for a child as DIA may not be the place for a child that has a parent unwilling to fill the learning gap. I have found the educators to be very accommodating and open to having parents join classes and get involved.
Childern are being bullied. Teachers are not taking action. My child has a learning disabitity, and this school told me they don't have the resorces to deal with the disabitity. The principal & all teachers involved had only one suggestion and that was to take the child out of that school. The child has attened that school since kindergarden. The child in now in 3 grade and has a reading level at frist grade level. This staff was not very dedicated to help this child to close the gap. They blamed the child that he/she was a bad child. And the only solution was to pass her/him to another school. Students are pick on by other students and teacher and principal are told and nothing is done, it continues until the child hate to go to school . I would not recomened this school to any one.