Downes is an amazing schoolwith great kids,parents,and teachers!!!!! Ihave had nothing but positive experiences throughout the years. If you are aninvolved parent and regualry visit the school you would know how great the school is.
My children have all hated this school. I have heard teachers yell at students, call them names, ask them if they've taken their "meds today?" My child was bullied and the school denied it to the point of the principal telling me I am enabling my child. I've seen other children traumatized by being at the school, sitting at the front door, crying and screaming, refusing to go in. At lunchtime the kids get yelled at the whole time to ship up and hurry up. All of my children have been not allowed to use the bathroom. They also made a big deal about me wanting my kids to wash their hands before lunch. I was told there are too many kids for hand washing so my kids were given special permission to wash their hands. This year there is a new principal so hopefully it will be a little better. Although, my son was recently sick and was told my a teacher that he was faking. The only reason I send my child there is because his controlling, abusive father insists on it and we are currently in court about it. Don't send your child there, it's like a jail. They think they own your child.
I only give four stars as my children have just started at Downes in Jan 11 and things could change. I have to say that everyone has been welcoming. I see no truth to an earlier review regarding the principal. She's been very communicative and approachable. My children have minor special needs and everything is being addressed and then some by many teachers and staff. There is a team spirit here i did not have in my former school in NJ. The PTA is very busy and involved lots of programs for the children to participate in. So far it has a very good feel and I am happy about the diversity