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.
So far I am hating this school. My first impression for her teacher was that she was hung over at the meet and greet. She kept muttering things under her breath like, "I'll be with it once school starts". Now that school has started I can't seem to build a line of communication with her. I've sent friendly notes to school and emails and the only response I get is from my daughter saying that she told her to tell me that she will get back to me soon. The office is another joke. They told me we didn't need a school physical and then sent home a note saying that she may not return after a certain date if she didn't have one. So the day I pulled her out early to get a last minute school physical done, I called ahead of time to make sure she was waiting in the office and ready to go. I was on my way with a toddler and an infant. When I arrived they called her classroom. I had to wait 15mins for her to pack up and head to the office. It was incredibly unsupportive of and unhelpful, especially after I had literally just called. They told me that it wasn't their policy. I am so happy that we will be leaving this school soon. Schools should be much more supportive of parents!!!
My experience at Southside has been wonderful. I love that the students get to participate in music, library time,and physical education. The staff encourages the students to be involved in the school and community. Mrs. Hickox has been a wonderful influence on my son.
My daughter is in kindergarten here. It's so great! She has Mrs Hickox who is firm but very loving. The office staff is extremely friendly and helpful and know you right when you come in! I have also found the principal to be top notch!