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GreatSchools Rating

Mary Esther Elementary School

Public | PK-5 | 634 students

 

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Last modified
Community Rating

3 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 2 ratings
2013:
Based on 3 ratings
2012:
Based on 2 ratings
2011:
Based on 2 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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23 reviews of this school


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Posted August 18, 2014

I pulled my daughter from this school 6 years ago because of the rude unhelpful administration staff and extremely unrealistic ideals of a kindergarten teacher. My youngest is now in the PreK program and when they told me he would go here I almost cried. I went in hoping it would be better. Was I ever wrong. The staff is extremely rude. They refuse to answer questions and if they do the answers are ALWAYS incorrect! I asked a question and got 3 different answers at the same time. The staff laughed thinking it was funny none of them has the same information. My child's teacher has been fantastic, but other teachers I have met and interacted with have acted like it is a bother for you to ask questions. I wasn't sure where I needed to go during orientation so I asked a teacher and was told "get a map and learn to use it". Overall I am completely disappointed in the lack of care or professionalism at this school. I have submitted a formal complaint to the school board, not that I expect it to do any good. If your student is set to go here, just be warned that you will probably greeted with rude and unhelpful people.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 4, 2014

The teachers are hit and miss with this school. The teachers are more interested in convincing parents they love to teach verbally, then showing dedication through involving parents and improving student skills. There is zero communication from the teachers or administrations end unless initiated by the parent. Then it's delayed and limited. Teachers heavily dependent on worksheets for homework instead of involving any critical or creative thinking skills. Principal and teachers turn off any parent involvement, belittling their involvement or suggestions.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 18, 2013

So far I am not impressed with this school. My son's teacher told me that the kids get tested at the beginning of the year to see what they know. She said that she "wants" them to do bad so they can show improvement...because this is how she is rated. Awesome right? I know many teachers think like this...but please...dont tell a PARENT! My son is smart for his age...not a genius....but a quick learner and there is NOTHING they do for these kids. They help the kids struggling, but do not do anything for those kids that need a little harder work. It is true that Mr. Massey is nice...he greets me in the halls. I have not interacted with him as yet. The front office is nice. Its sad because this school does have potential...but there is no motivation to offer something "special" to make this school better. It seems as thought they do the minimum and are average at best. The lunch menu they offer the kids is DISGUSTING. So much for teaching the kids about healthy eating. Nachos Supreme anyone? Chicken Nuggets? How about offering a salad bar? kids do eat salad! And for the grand finale? I submitted to volunteer in the classroom, have done training...and NO ONE has called....
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 13, 2013

I love this school principal Massey is very sweet and my kids love him and I also like the way he takes time to meet with me and my concerns and he probably the only principal I have seen helping in lunch room picking up trash and watching the children !!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 3, 2013

I went there in the 1970s and have positive memories. My kids go there now.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 13, 2012

I am not sure where the previous parent got their informatin, but there have been 3 principals in the last 6 years which is not uncommon. I am overjoyed with Mary Esther. The teachers are hardworking and dedicated to their students. I volunteered a lot in and out of the classroom frequently. The music program is back and better than ever! And Mary Esther was the only elementary school to make an A rating between Edwin's, Wright and Florosa. If you don't believe me go and talk to Mr Massey who is readily available to chat everytime I go there!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 31, 2012

Our child attended school for six years. We have had three great teachers out of 12 (keep in mind they switch classes) 5 different Principals in 6 years. No music program or guitar program that left with Dr. Neese. Lunch is a hostle setting with attendant who guards/guides. I absolutely love a few teachers. This does not make up for the teachers who are just collecting a check. Parents are not encouraged to visit the class room. If you vollenteer you will never be allowed in the classroom. (that would allow you to see what occurs behind closed doors)
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 22, 2011

Mary Esther Elementary is a great school with a caring faculty and staff. Exciting things will be happening with our new principal, Mr. Massey. We have a computer lab, PE program and Music program in addition to the regular academic classes. Parent involvement is encouraged; we have a very active PTO that sponsors several events throughout the year. YMCA provides before and after school care on campus. We invite you to come visit our school!
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted April 5, 2011

Teachers do not care about their jobs. Tell the kids to deal with it, or get over it. Principal says they will take care of some issues, still waiting to hear from him. Have a niece who went to a Niceville school with A-B grades transfered to Wright and now is a C-D student. She hates everything about the school. Other niece used to love going to school, even wanted to go on the weekends. Now hates school and can not wait for summer vacation. HOPING to get a waiver and change schools!!!


Posted May 27, 2009

I could not be happier with Mary Esther Elementary School! My family is zoned for Florosa, but when I went into Mary Esther to check it out, I was so impressed! The secretary, registrar and principal are friendly, professional, and go out of their way for families. We moved to this area in the middle of my son's second grade year and he had some serious catching up to do, but his teacher worked with us both and he was very successful. I was so pleased that I registered my daughter for kindergarten this year, even though she was accepted at Liza Jackson. I have never been sorry - her kindergarten teacher is wonderful, as is my son's third-grade teacher. The PTO is very active, there are lots of volunteer opportunities, and the entire staff really care about the kids and their success.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 20, 2008

We moved here from another state where the schools were horrible. Our son was more than a year behind academically compared to Okaloosa Co schools. Mary Esther and the staff were awesome! They put him in tutoring two afternoons a week and his teacher and support staff were in regular contact with me. Our daughter started school there this past August and it is amazing how much she has learned. I can say Mary Esther does have a music and art program and even a guitar club and chorus, both of which my eldest participates in. I do not like the fact that only K-2 gets recess, however that is the case with the majority of schools in Okaloosa Co. This is because of the FCAT and the focus on hours per day in academics. That is not the individual schools' fault. We love Mary Esther!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 7, 2008

Mary Esther is an awesome school. I have never seen such a caring and committed staff. The third grade has a Beach Program where the children learn about our beaches and sealife. No where else do you get such hands on experience. I would not hesitate to send my child here and feel safe and confident about it. Most parents jumped on the Liza Jackson train only to find out it is no better than Mary Esther. For being a Title I school, this school matches or exceeds Liza Jackson's test scores.


Posted April 10, 2008

I have read the reviews and i must admit I agree with all of them. Her is my review.. For starters the school has excellent security precautions, I love the fact that the office is the only way to enter the bldg. All other doors are locked... So kudo's on security.. Principal does take her time in responding to issues, however she does have a school to run with more than just one student. Also she has to take certain issues to the higher ups of the school board before making a decision herself. She is on a budget... The caferteria seems clean and nice staff. The teachers all seem like they generally care for the children. I feel that it is a homey enviroment.... I really love this school... Not everyone is going to like every aspect but for the most part the students are the school's main priority....
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 2, 2007

Not to sure what the reviewer means by not enough socialization for the K-1 grades? I volunteer every week in a Kindergarten class. They are always working in groups and doing projects together. They also sit next to each other during lunch. I have witnessed other students helping out the ones who need some extra help doing some projects. Great school!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 29, 2007

This school, like many other schools, has a lot of room for improvement. There are crucial areas and programs that the students need in order to be well rounded academically. For example, there is too much focus on FCAT, and no art class to boost creativity. Not enough socialization between students, especially in the K-1 level.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 11, 2007

Great School! We were a little hesitant to send our daughter to Mary Esther due to reading some reviews posted here and other sites. I have seen first hand the excellence of this school because I volunteer on a weekly basis, in my child's class. I also eat lunch with her every week and get to experience the lunch time also. No school will ever be perfect in some parents eyes. But I can assure you that Mary Esther is a great school!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 15, 2007

The school is not quick to solve any problems you may have. I was told our child was on the young side of (late aug dob) and would need to repeat kindergarten instead of title I tutoring. I never gave up and after days leading to weeks of calls we were finally in title I program. This school really needs some help in response time. The principal is leading her second year, and still has not returned daily phone calls or offered to see us at the school when we have stopped by twice now in two days 'open door policy' to discuss your child seems to be selective. I do however praise the wonderful teacher she had last year.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 3, 2007

I have two children attending this school. There is a lot of room for improvement. Although there are some great teachers here, the principal often seems uninvolved, need to improve music program with new material, library should be utilized more, an art program is needed, and general attitude towards students needs to be improved. Not enough 'fun' allowed. These are children after all.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 29, 2007

I have a child in K and one in 4th at this school. While not a terrible school, I still think there is lots of room for improvement. The staff seems quick on following up through emails and calls, however I've had trouble getting conferences, and have seen little follow through on promises of tutoring etc. Having said that my children love going there and love their teachers, activities, etc. I think they are attempting to make progress regarding communication, parental involment etc. Overall an ok school, but sometimes doesn't measure up to other elementary schools in Okaloosa county.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 20, 2006

This is my daughter's first year at Mary Esther. She is in 1st grade. They don't have enough parent involvement and I think they could do more with art and music. I also think they should have a better and healthier lunch menu. There should be more extra curricular activities for the students.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
Math

The state average for Math was 58% in 2014.

97 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
51%

2013

 
 
46%

2012

 
 
51%

2011

 
 
53%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 57% in 2014.

97 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
62%

2013

 
 
60%

2012

 
 
54%

2011

 
 
53%
Scale: % level 3, 4, or 5

About the tests


In 2013-2014 Florida used the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT 2.0) to test students in grades 3 through 10 in reading, 3 through 8 in math, in grades 5 and 8 in science, and in grades 4, 8, and 10 in writing. The FCAT 2.0 is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Florida. The FCAT 2.0 has 5 achievement levels, with level 1 being the lowest and level 5 the highest. Florida considers scores of level 3 and higher to be on or above grade level. The goal is for all students to score at or above level 3.

Source: Florida Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 63% in 2014.

89 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
66%

2013

 
 
56%

2012

 
 
62%

2011

 
 
70%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 61% in 2014.

89 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
65%

2013

 
 
55%

2012

 
 
64%

2011

 
 
71%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 53% in 2014.

92 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
65%

2013

 
 
87%
Scale: % level 3, 4, or 5

About the tests


In 2013-2014 Florida used the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT 2.0) to test students in grades 3 through 10 in reading, 3 through 8 in math, in grades 5 and 8 in science, and in grades 4, 8, and 10 in writing. The FCAT 2.0 is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Florida. The FCAT 2.0 has 5 achievement levels, with level 1 being the lowest and level 5 the highest. Florida considers scores of level 3 and higher to be on or above grade level. The goal is for all students to score at or above level 3.

Source: Florida Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 56% in 2014.

98 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
61%

2013

 
 
60%

2012

 
 
63%

2011

 
 
62%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 61% in 2014.

98 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
61%

2013

 
 
68%

2012

 
 
76%

2011

 
 
71%
Science

The state average for Science was 54% in 2014.

98 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
52%

2013

 
 
53%

2012

 
 
62%
Scale: % level 3, 4, or 5

About the tests


In 2013-2014 Florida used the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT 2.0) to test students in grades 3 through 10 in reading, 3 through 8 in math, in grades 5 and 8 in science, and in grades 4, 8, and 10 in writing. The FCAT 2.0 is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Florida. The FCAT 2.0 has 5 achievement levels, with level 1 being the lowest and level 5 the highest. Florida considers scores of level 3 and higher to be on or above grade level. The goal is for all students to score at or above level 3.

Source: Florida Department of Education

Writing

The state average for Writing was 81% in 2012.

73 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
79%

2011

 
 
99%

2010

 
 
97%
Scale: % scoring at or above level 3

About the tests


In 2011-2012 Florida used the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) to test students in grades 4, 8 and 10 in writing. The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills needed to progress through school. The FCAT writing exam is scored on a scale of 1 to 6. The state considers a score of 3 or above as meeting state standards.

Source: Florida Department of Education

  • In 2011-2012, this school received a grade of "A".
  • In 2010-2011, this school received a grade of "A".
  • In 2009-2010, this school received a grade of "A".
  • In 2008-2009, this school received a grade of "A".

About the tests


Florida uses School Grades to measure the overall performance of a school each year on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). Each school is assigned a letter grade (A-F) based on three criteria: the overall performance on the FCAT, the percentage of eligible students who took the test, and whether or not students made progress in reading and math. The School Grades are calculated by adding points earned from each of the performance criteria listed above.

Source: Florida Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2013-2014 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school
White 44%
Black 31%
Hispanic 11%
Two or more races 10%
Asian 2%
Source: FL Dept. of Education, 2013-2014

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Limited English proficient 3%N/AN/A
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 32%N/AN/A
Source: FL Dept. of Education, 2013-2014

Teacher education levels

  This school District averageState average
Bachelor's degree 55%57%61%
Master's degree 40%N/A36%
Doctorate degree 2%1%1%
Other degree 2%N/A2%
Source: FL Dept. of Education, 2012-2013

Teacher credentials

  This school District averageState average
Classes taught by non-highly qualified teachers 0%N/A5%
Source: FL Dept. of Education, 2011-2012

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School basics

School Leader's name
  • MR. GARY MASSEY
Fax number
  • (850) 833-3474

Resources

Extra learning resources offered
  • Title I Schoolwide program (SWP)
School leaders can update this information here.

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320 East Miracle Strip Parkway
Mary Esther, FL 32569
Phone: (850) 833-3371

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