My child is attending Calusa for the second year now. I do have to say that the drop off in the morning is starting out so much better than last year. It is so much more organized. I also like when picking up my child from aftercare the school is no longer open for anyone to walk through. It is a good system and it works well.
Our child just started K in Calusa. We had an excelent impression about her teacher. This teacher is very organized. She treats the kids with a lot of love and respect. We can see that she loves her profession.
I am new to the area but coming from the Midwest I am used to great schools. My son started attending Calusa at the end of the year and most of the staff with the exception of the teacher (she was great!) did not make him feel comfortable. Drop off and pick up are a nightmare! The monitors yell at the parents to keep moving and their system is confusing, I got a bad impression of the school by the way I was treated by staff. I worked 12 years in the School District in Green Bay Wisconsin so I know first hand about the challenges of working in a school. We were always reminded to make parents and students feel welcome and always have a good attitude. I am looking for other options but it seems that the only choice to receive quality education here is private schools.
I totally disagree with the response that says Calusa is not 'student centered'. This school is rare in that they are so wonderfully student centered. Each and every staff member, principal, ap, teacher, aid, parent, student, etc. are highly involved in student success and community involvement. This school is truly a family within our community!
The school is a good school. Many people look at schools and rate them unfairly. Calusa has over 700 students and they all have differences and needs. The 40 or 50 teachers there do a great job with the kids not just my own. They work hard to do all they need to for the kids and prepare them for testing. We need to look at what the school does and rate it fairly. They have an impossible job and still work at it daily. My kids loves the school and is learning. That is enough for me.
Coming to Calusa from private school has been a very eye opening experience. Pros: obviously, cost - (using savings to pay for music lessons, tutoring, science camp, etc.), extremely close to home, diverse mix of children. Cons: introduced myself on second day of school to principal - he couldn't have cared less! I reached out to shake his hand, he did so, almost reluctantly and barely made eye contact - terrible first impression - I gave the benefit of doubt and tried a couple more times throughout the year - same reaction - leadership starts from the top down!; I'm also disappointed by the lack of 'Good Morning', 'Good Bye', 'How Are You?' etc. that the teachers aids and assistants at car pool display - most of the time they are standing in little groups with each other chatting. Hitting my word limit - Calusa needs to be more student centered!
Small and personable, with no overcrowding problems. Has been through several principals so went up and down in rankings and performance. Now seems to be leveling off and performing well. Good parent involvement.
I am very happy with the overall Calusa school team. Their staff are caring, well educated 'educators' that understand that each child has individual needs/learning styles. We'e had very bad experiences w/ 2 other local public elementary schools that were clueless to my sons needs. We feel that Calusa is an 'A' school for many reasons!!!
This is my daughters second year in Calusa and I've been happy with her progress. Didn't have much parent involvement with her class even though I volunteered on every list possible. I would like to get more involved with my daughters class, and hope the teacher or class mom takes care of that. My daughter loves Sports, and after school activities. (Daisies and cheerleading). I'm in PTA to help and hope there is more 'structure and control ' over the meetings this year. I'm glad to see the school is providing more security measures, I was very dissapointed with that last year. Anyone could have walked into that school. Still could use more.
This school has an excellent feeling of community. If you have an issue, the staff is more than happy to speak with you. Communication is a two-way street. If you feel you're not getting enough info, contact the teacher. They also have email addresses through the district if calling is difficult. Pick up and drop off are always a nightmare so the bus and aftercare are the best solutions if possible. The PTA is a big presence and has a core of hardworking individuals. I feel more parents could be involved at this level. Many parents volunteer every day or every week. Attend a classroom event and a good dozen parents are always there. Be flexible this year with a change in principal and SACC director. This is my choice for elementary school.
Calusa is a wonderful school with a great family feeling of community... the academic program is strong as the majority of teachers have been there many years.. the PTA is a strong presence in the school and supports many events, fundraisers and meetings to make this a better school for the children!
Poor communication of what was going on within the classroom and also other areas of the school. I knew more about what was happening with PTA 'activities' than anything else. Parent envolvement poor. Never met the principal. Tried to help a couple of times, never contacted. I was dipleased with school orientation. We never left the classroom. I expected to at least hear what the children would be doing for the year or something about the teacher and philosophies.P erhaps even had a chance to ask questions and meet other staff members. Drop-off is a nightmare. I'm sure it's better than some scholls in the area, but I'm not thrilled with it. Public Schools need to have higher standards-and I'm not talking about meeting 'FCAT requirements!'
Overall, a very mediocre experience. Very poor 'PR' (parental relations) and poor home school communication.
My daughter had a great experince in this school. The administration was very responsive when I had questions and concerns. The teachers went out of their way to enhance my child's experience.
We have had a great experience with Calusa. Many parents who can afford private schools prefer to send their kids to Calusa. The teachers are excellent and the staff is enthusiatic, although at times they get a little bureaucratic. The parking situation isn't great and drop offs in the morning can be a nightmare, so put your kids on the bus if you can or aftercare (even if they stay only 1/2 hour you will avoid the huge waiting lines. The aftercare program is great, my son loves it. The academic programs are good although I havent' seen anything out of the ordinary. Parent involvement is high. There is a core group of extremely involved parents who are in the classrooms daily and do a lot of volunteer work. Other parents arent' involved at all. There is a wide socioeconomic and ethic/cultural religious diversity - makes for a nice mix.
This year has been okay , but having moved from the chicago area recently we are not overly impressed.
There is no question that, overall, the staff and faculty are qualified and dedicated. However, the school seems to be slow in identifying specific, and varying degrees of learning disabilities.
My son has been in Calusa for a couple yrs. now and has done very well. He began enjoying school again. He loves his teacher and because of that he is looking forward to another year with her. He is actually looking forward to going back to shcool. I have to say that I give the credit all to Mrs. Dilbert she truley cares about her kids and not only do we see it, but so do the childeren.
We came to Calusa mid year and found everyone to be extremely helpful in making our daughters transition to a new school as smooth as possible. We found a wonderful community of people both in the classroom and in the main offices. This is, in our opinion, a truly model school and we consider ourselves extremely lucky to have been part of it for the second half of the school year, which marked the end of our daughter's elementary schooling.
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