This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Sunset Elementary School3
Posted September 29, 2014
- a parent
The School has a wonderful Dual Education Program for Spanish, (it also has French and German), I can only comment on Spanish. The School offers two subjects for gifted children (Math and Science). However, the criteria used to determine gifted is applied in most instances using the bilingual score. Most teachers are not properly trained for teaching gifted children. The regular curriculum is a repetitive style of teaching very much average when compared to other schools. The school environment is autocratic and unpleasant not appropriate for children raised with autonomy and independence . If you are interested in the language and your child is in the median score of the performance levels you are ok, if your child has learning differences or is gifted (130 or more), this is definitely not a good school for you.
This school is not for everybody, at least not for the Magnet Program. Your children must be either high achievers or gifted to keep going here. My son is not gifted, but he is very competitive. The amount of homework is reasonable, and parents need to supervise it obviously. Teachers e-mail you their homework in advance for the week coming. My son is in the Spanish Program, and we got the Spanish and English homework 95% of the time right on time. Parent involvement is amazing.
One of my children is in and I don t like that school. They stress out the kids with the fcat and charge them with a lot of homework. Kids are not kids anymore in that school. Some teachers are really good but some should not being teaching in magnet. The staff at the main office is really not nice. You will never feel welcome. My other child is in an other school that score as well as sunset but so much better...
Great School. High academic standards. Great teachers. Parents are very involved. The bad thing is it is hard to get into since it is a lottery and that can frustrate a lot of people. My son has been in Sunset Elementary for two years and we are all very happy. They do give a lot of homework though.
My child was in the Spanish program and struggled immensely with the workload and the structure. There is nowhere to get the Spanish homework assignment other than in class, and if your child does not write it down then you will scramble to call other parents or your child will get a bad grade. There are hours of homework starting in the second and third grades which can be a real stress on the whole family when they have such a long school day (out at 4:05 except wed 3:05) and everyone would like to relax when they get home. Both parents and children have to shift into work mode again at home or at least get tutors in many cases. The program was not good for my child's self-esteem and the school is inflexible about making any exceptions for anyone. It does have wonderful homeroom teachers and math and science teachers but they need to work on the Spanish program and the teach the children in class- not expect them to learn everything at home. It would be helpful if they started to conjugate verbs before the 4th grade as they are expected to read pages and pages of stories and understand them without any context on how the language works.
My kids did the test for the magnet program;No considerations,staff and administration are extremely rude and extremely pretentious;Especially Mrs Pujol Burns,the leader teacher, I was asking her questions about the program, she got nervous and she hang up on me on the phone.!!!! I already put a complain about her attitude to my embassy ; It is unacceptable .We decided not to go in this school,you should do the same.....
The academics are overrated and in the Spanish language program the children do not receive instruction in grammar i.e., proper use of pronouns, tenses, verb conjugation etc. So, your child may have a couple hours of Spanish a day but may not be able to have a conversation. Main focus of the program is vocabulary. The math "magnet" program is the same as regular math in other public schools. There is a bullying culture at the school. It is shocking and disgusting that with all the bullying awareness on tv, internet and social media that bullying is tolerated. Many of the parents are in denial and will tell you great things about the school. As a past parent, I am telling you that it is not a good environment. The school tolerates bullying and the academics are a bunch of hype.
Our child is in the first grade Spanish magnet program and gets 1 to 3 hours of homework nightly. The standards here are high, and students and parents are expected to meet them on a daily basis. Teachers, not so much. Far as I can tell, homework isn t checked by the teacher it s checked by other students for completeness, not accuracy. Class work doesn t appear to be reviewed either, since I m always finding uncorrected mistakes. Most learning will take place at home. The school s 10 rating on this website is an illusion and a matter of pure demography. It has the benefit of being in a wealthy neighborhood with households that have a stay-at-home parent that can dedicate 500 hours a year to school work, or money for tutors that can help. If the teachers and administrators deserve any credit for the school s success, it should be for expertly marshalling the resources of their parents to do the job they should be doing themselves. If you ve got plenty of time, money, or other resources, your child will do well here. Otherwise, you and your child will struggle.
We live nearby and visited the school several times to help us decide if we wanted our children to attend. Although I never saw inside a classroom, my husband and I were thoroughly unimpressed by several administrative staff members (of both the regular and language programs). Unorganized, arrogant, uninformed, rude. Nothing about the school made me want to have my children attend.