Oakdale Elementary is a great school. The teachers are very involved with the children, provide extra attention to those that need it, along with the help of the Principal (Mark Johnson) even. It's great to see the Principal of the school be so involved with the children; I don't know of any other school (yet) that has such a commendable Principal. The school nurse is also great. She is very patient with the children and assisted my child numerous times with a situation that required monitoring of foods given in the cafeteria as well as the activities performed during the course of the day. I would recommend this school to anyone, especially while Mark Johnson is in charge of running the school.
Although I had my doubts about public schools, I must say that Oakdale Elementary impresses me. I feel that I am being well assisted in my efforts to educate my daughter. She is just turning 6 and already reading chapter books. She is excited about geography, chemistry, and enjoys going to school. I believe we as parents have the responsibility of exposing our children to the arts, nature...etc. I am so grateful to have a staff that is committed to making sure our children are competitive.
The Oakdale school is a wonderful school in many ways, but I could not disagree more about the competency of the administration, lackluster leadership and the spiraling direction that some elements of the program is taking... When a child comes home and says 'I hate school' because recess is awful and boring, you know something is wrong! Oversight in key areas are missing! Teachers have no longer a direct connection to the kids outside the class room during recess or lunch; thus are missing key relationships and insight into their students. The balance -- between work and play, of activity vs. inactivity (and restriction)is a key missing element. A principal must know the population; no guessing.
A warm and wonderful place to send your children. The principal really cares about the children (he knows every childs name and visits the classrooms daily), however the staff doesnt always seem to share his vision of a truly differentiated classroom. Quite a few of the teachers are just riding it out until retirement and they really dont care that he has some groundbreaking ideas on how education in the classroom can be improved to benefit EVERY child, not just the average. Also, the extracurricular activities (especially for the younger grades) are pretty sparce. Unless volunteers organize something, there isnt anything. The teachers take no initiative in this area-only 1 or 2 teacher attends PTO meeting regularly or participate in afterschool activities (the same 2).