I am amazed that my daughter is bringing home really advanced work from her kindergarten class. It's a full day program, and the kids seem to be hard at work! It's so different from when I was younger, and there was quite a bit more time for play. But I can't complain---my daughter is writing in full sentences and now loves to read many short easy reading books on her own. She just brought home her "weekend journal," in which she's been writing and illustrating since the beginning of the year. I just think her teacher is doing a wonderful job.
As a parent of children at SSES, I can't help but find some reviews to be shocking.The administration appears to be professional and communicative, frequently sending out email updates and other reminders, and encouraging parents to be involved. The teachers my children have are very professional and have always impressed me with their knowledge. And IT is integrated into the curriculum early---students begin computer classes in kindergarten. As an educator, I have been impressed by the demanding work presented to my children, and have watched their skills grow quickly. And regarding the conversation on the lack of gifted programs---I do understand this concern. But Easton has a lot in common with Lake Wobegon, where "all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average." Test scores show that the students at SSES consistently outperform multiple school districts in the state. Learning is individualized---my children who were learning at a faster rate than their peers were provided with harder work. Sure, a gifted program would have been nice, but as long as my children remain challenged in the classroom, I am satisfied.
I think overall the school is great in terms of the arts and technology however I agree with the other parents when it comes to advanced children. I have two children at SSES and have had decent teachers and a couple of exceptional ones. One of my children is academically advanced and he is bored at school. His teacher gives him extra work but it is just that, extra busy work. There should be classes designed for these children where they can feel accepted by their peers instead of seen as a know it all and have a creative outlet to challenge their minds. There are TWO ends of the educational spectrum, special needs and gifted. They both deserve equal attention and resources. Having that said, my other child is having a great experience and has had fantastic teachers that have been very attentive to his minor academic challenges. To the parent that thinks there is a small percentage of gifted children, there were 15 children in my son's grade alone that qualified for an experimental math class for children who tested above average. Although the class was a step in the right direction it was a one time opportunity and not part of the curriculum.
Yep, everyone has a "gifted" child. According to CT guidelines there are only a very, very small percentage of children in any given grade who are identified as "gifted".... yet the below four parents EACH have at least one. Imagine that! The school's consistant superior test results speak for themselves. I humbly suggest that the problem may be the parents, and not the school.
This school is not equipped to be able to foster gifted children. We tried kindergarten and the teacher had no idea how to work with my child to foster his abilities and when the principal promised extra enrichment work none was given. There was no teacher support. Also my sons teacher indicated that really no work is done in September, October and December. It was shocking! We pulled our children out and enrolled them in private school.
I am the parent of a gifted student and I had a very unsatisfactory experience with the school. They not only fail to develop these children in the classroom, they seem unequipped to handle them in socially appropriate ways. The teachers and administration not only lack the desire to address these kids academically (even in the most minimal sense), they don't seem to know how to handle them without making them a spectacle to the other children. They are not open to much discussion about this issue, let alone finding creative ways to develop these children that would challenge and stimulate them. I got the sense that having children who are bored most of the day is entirely acceptable, as long as they don't misbehave of course. It would have been nice to benefit from the high taxes we pay, but we had to opt for private school.
I have mixed feelings about the school but feel like my kids have been pretty well served there, in particular because of some excellent teachers and in particular the great music teachers and wonderful facility. However, I agree that the administration is weak, the principal is a very poor communicator, and that the school offers almost nothing to gifted, or even above average, students. There is a huge focus on special needs and learning-challenged kids and the size of the faculty in this area is astonishing when compared to the number of regular classroom teachers. I think that is fine, but frustrating when the school offers nothing to more advanced kids. The principal says the teachers are good at differentiating within the classroom (teaching at different levels) but in my experience this is not the case. We've had a few wonderful, amazing teachers and a couple of duds.
Given that SSES does NOT have a T.A.G. program, this school is really only for the middle to lower tier students. They have plenty of aids and programming for the lower tier and special needs school, but nothing for the kds on the other end of the spectrum. As a result, many of these kids are going to private schools or elsewhere.
I have a child at Samuel Staples. I am very confident in the school, its teachers and particularly its principal - she is fantastic!
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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