Parents, thank you all for your remarks. I'm so grateful I read them. We're in the process of buying a condo in Stamford; only place we can afford at the moment and I was dismayed when I saw all the ranking by this and other sites. Your comments have rekindled my spirits and I will move with full force ahead. Really, thank you!!!
My children just ended another terrific year at Stark. I am so very pleased with the principal, who is very visible and very approachable. When I go to the school for events (which is often), he is friendly, shakes hands, knows students' names, and approaches parents. We miss the long time Ms. Macchio who retired last June, but the new assistant principal is wonderful, knowledgeable, and friendly. Our PTO is active and involved. There is a great effort to reach out to the families and community, and a strong parent involvement. We have night time events, daytime events, amazing assemblies, great after school enrichment opportunities, informative PTO meetings, and school information meetings on special topics to get parents more involved and informed. It's unfortunate that this terrific neighborhood school gets an unfairly desired bad rap due to state test scores, but the school is so much more than that. Rankings should look at the rate of student improvement, not just flat scores. There are hard working students at this school, and happy, hard working students, including two of mine, and one more entering kindergarten in the fall. We love Stark. Spread the word!
We were extremely impressed with the school and how well my daughter did in Kindergarten. We heard terrible things about the school and always got that look from people when we told them our school district. To our great surprise, this is better than a private school and my daughter reads like a second grader. The prinicple is a hands on guy who stands outside every morning and organizes the drop offs! What principle does that? My daughter finished school today and is so sad to have it end. What an incredible first year she has had. I can't say enough about the school. Also, they redid the auditorium chairs! Great job.
My child attends Stark. This school is much better than the greatschools rating which doesnt accurately reflect all aspects of a school. Take a look at the standardized test scores over the last 3-4 years. The scores are improved year over year and trending upwards. This reflects a rededication to improvement from everyone. My child started K this year. I cannot imagine a school having a better staff. Everyone is genuinely concerned about every child`s success and the atmosphere is warm and cordial. Importantly, parent involvement is very high. The reason I gave the school 4 stars instead of 5 has little to do with the school itself. It is just that I feel it could be funded better by the city and state for necessary repairs and upgrades to the building and facilities. For instance, there are broken chairs in the auditorium. Things like this are disconcerting because it indicates a lack of pride in the school infrastructure itself. The PTO has tried to help by raising funds through special events (the PA system in the auditorium was added through these efforts). But without proper funding from the government the needed upgrades sadly will not take place.
Just like so many other parents, i was skeptical of the school due to ratings when my son had to start Kindergarten last year, but i decided to give it a try anyways. And I am so glad I did!! This is a good school!! The teachers here are so dedicated and the emphasis is always on learning. Just recently, I've had a chance to observe my son's classroom personally (and regularly) and it has been a wonderful experience. The students are all at different learning levels and from diverse backgrounds, but the the class teacher does such a phenomenal job at keeping them all interested and imparting education at the same time. Each morning, all the kids look so happy to be in the class and ready to learn (and this was case when my son was in KG too) and the credit goes to the teachers. Stark s strength is its teachers, be it the classteachers or the assistant teachers. DO NOT go by the ratings. If you as a parent do your part, this school will not disappoint you.
My daughter attended Stark for kindergarten and first grade. We had a good experience. The student body is extremely diverse with very few behavioral issues. There was a noticeable emphasis on manners and both the teachers and principal were committed to the students' growth and development. My daughter won an award given by the city when in kinder and the principal attended the awards ceremony just for her. Don't let the low test scores scare you away. The curriculum is great. My only complaint is that I didn't think they let the children have enough recess time.
I have 4 children; 1 graduated from Stark, 2 are there now and 1 will go there. I have friends in most Stamford schools and the difference at Stark is the teacher dedication and respect. Although the overall test scores may seem poor, Stark has the highest individual growth score gains across the district. Teachers care and work hard to help students. Compared to other schools, Stark does not have any major behavior issues. I notice some of the reviews from 2005 and earlier remark on poor leadership. There is a new principal now.