My daughter had wonderful, caring teachers all 3 years she was at SES. We will miss the great teachers and staff as 3rd grade is held at a different school. Neither she nor I felt that the homework was overloading. If you as a parent thinks the work is too much, then don't do it. It's not part of their grade, but is good to get them in the habit of doing it since one day it will be and it is good reinforcement for their lessons each week.
The school is dishonest by omission to parents. I'm not sure what the school develops. So far my child is on the third teacher (not counting subs) for the school year. I really don't know what's being taught. On top of it all, the principal and assistant are HIDING from the parents and notifying us by letter that the teacher has "moved on". I found out this last time by noticing the cover sheet on my child's folder changed. A letter was on the inside. Apparently the teacher quit before the winter break and they knew it but did failed to notify parents until after school reopened. I noticed the teacher's absence on Tuesday of the week prior.
Do not enroll your child in this school!! While you are met by smiling faces, it's a cover up for the lack of organization at this school. In addition to the front office being EXTREMELY disorganized, there have been THREE teachers in my child's class in the last TWO months. The teachers that are being hired have almost twenty years experience but would not stay at this school!! The class is small with hardly any behavior problems from what I'm told. If I had to determine the cause I would say it's and administration problem. Not only that I've talked to multiple parents and they all agree that their child hates the school!! They spend more time on cutesy things than academics. My child NEVER has homework or bring home any work that's consistent with the weekly sheets. Nassau County FAILED on this one BIG TIME! MY advice: Hire a whole new front office. Keep in mind, November to January THREE TEACHERS!
My child is now in her final year at Southside Elementary. It is most everything I could hope for in her first formal school experience. The staff and teachers are kind and welcoming, and we have had quality teachers every year (including a district wide "Teacher of the Year for kindergarten). The school's enrichment teachers (music, P.E.) are experienced and passionate about their craft. Even the cafeteria workers and janitor are friendly. My daughter has excelled here, particularly in math. My only quibble would be the lack of any art program, but I would think that issue comes down to the state of Florida and school funding. Overall, I would recommend Southside as a positive and enriching experience for your children's primary education years.
My kindergarten child had none but I felt one paper or a mandatory book would prepare him for first grade, my first grader 4 separate sheets plus reading assignments. That was so overwhelming for me and her she began hiding it from me. By the third sheet we were both so frustrated.
Professional yet caring! Your greeted by warm friendly smiles everytime you see a staff member! Last year I had a student in kindergarten and a first grader. My daughters teacher left 1/2 way through the year, yet the new teacher made the change seamless! My kids were both below average in reading but high in math. By the end of the year both students were reading independently! Each teacher spent extra time with my kids making a huge improvement! Knowing 3 teachers I can say my experience is amazing! When your kids are sad to leave school you know it's a great public school! Proper ID checks are followed, door to door checks for car riders is a little wait but worth it to know my kids don't come out of locked doors until radioed and that the car ID matches the kids. The bus messed up stops and missed stops multiple times, the school tracked down my kids for me after hours. The bus company is horrible! I wish southside was K -5.
My son was in the "Special Education Program/ ESE" for 2 1/2 years went from not speaking to speaking wonderfully and able to write his name by the age of 3 1/2. I was nervous when he passed out of the program into the mainstream kindergarden class. My worries were not necessary he's flourishing, loves his teacher, enjoys school and learning. They do a lot in kindergarten you would never imagine. I'm shocked and impressed by how much he's learning. This is a great school. Yes the location may not be in the most desirable area but drive up 2 streets your on 14th street. It's a small island it's location shouldn't deter any parents away. Theirs like 4-5 bad blocks that are run down one happens to be near the school. My son takes the bus I find that easier for us and since we live off the island but are zoned for that school.
This school's science curriculum consists of 20 minutes once per week of coloring books. Students are not encouraged to challenge themselves. The pace of learning is slow. The guidance office will never return a phone call. There is no cultural learning in the school, in fact, in the pick up line they play an extremely offensive version of the quiet game that teachers refer to as "chinese school house" in which students must sit on their hands and cannot make facial expressions. Many parents are native spanish speakers, yet there is no foreign language education. If you have a high performing child this is NOT the school for you. If mediocrity is your goal, you will love it, because that's all they care about.