There is nothing but positive to say about Forest Lakes Elementary. Both of my children attend FLE; one is in the Gifted Program and has been attending from K-3, the other started attending this year (2014-2015). The location is safe and well kept, access is secure (gated/locked) neighborhoods are outstanding, the administration continually seeking to advance the school and students and will not tolerate any form of harassment, the teachers take pride in their work and it shines through the students. Parent involvement is held to a high standard, especially with exceptional students or those needing additional help. At any time, you could contact anyone from teacher to principle (Karen Aspen) and get a response by email within one day, more of the time within a few hours. They always want to help in any way possible and do their best to foster a safe, adaptive and progressive learning environment. For those saying the teachers are overwhelmed, the state sets the bar on the student to teacher ratio, not the school. Never once out of 4 years have we ever felt rushed, if anything, encouraged to talk more. One needs to complain to the FL Dept. of Ed. if they see change necessary.
Not as exceptional with autistic children as they claim. Parents kept out of communication, pushed towards choices they are against. Get a lawyer if you want anything for your child. Will tell you of their great programs, but some do not ever come to be for most or all of the school year. They have an agenda of when they will promote or hold back all ASD students (only held back in grade 3 for all), regardless of their achievement or lack thereof (all zeros on tests, promote!). They base it on the FCAT and do not do what is best for each child No flexibility in lesson plans for special needs or typical students who excel in some areas. Very disappointed in the administration of the school. Avoid parent input at all costs, avoid outside consultants/therapist/doctor opinions until pushed by legal means. You WILL NOT be allowed to be involved in your child's education, no matter how much you volunteer or donate or are present every day. Definitely needs to be revamped as far as their priorities and family friendliness, understanding special needs and communicating and including parents. Even good teachers are shackled by administrators. This school made me reconsider homeschooling.
I am currently in my freshman year of high school. I remember coming to Forest Lakes back in kindergarten, first, and half of second grade, dreaming every day of going to East Lake High while playing tetherball haha. This was an awesome school and I'll never forget all of the friends from Louisiana who came to out school while their houses were being rebuilt from Hurricane Katrina. This was the second best elementary school I went to, behind only Lowry.
We recently moved here from NC and our daughter went to a private school. I have to admit not being from the area I was worried to say the least. What a wonderful school! I have had a amazing experience and so has my daughter. Nothing but good things are happening there. I am very pleased with our decision.
One of the better schools in the county. Great neighborhood and a decent campus. Kids come from good backgrounds(Which imo matters a lot) and we have a set of involved parents. Would highly recommend .
Overall, not impressed. We left the school after 2 years having had 2 kids there. Prompted by great ratings and comments by other parents, we tried it. Pros: Nice campus , great neighborhood. Cons: Fairly soon, we realized that the teachers seem somewhat overwhelmed and education was average, attention mediocre. One of our kids is very gifted and the teacher was quite oblivious to that. Our other child needed more help and despite their best efforts we didn't see the improvement we hoped for. They even have ''separate field trips for gifted kids"! My child told me that and that was the day we made a decision to move to private school. In my book, that is reverse discrimination. In any case, one year later, both our children have made amazing strides in the new school, thanks to the teachers personal attention, and positive reinforcement. All students are treated equally, wear a school uniform and smaller class sizes make a huge difference. The bar is definitely set higher in private schools.
I think this school has the best first grade teachers in the county. My daughter has learned so much in one school year that it is amazing!! I hope second grade is the same.
This school is one of the best schools in Pinellas County from the teachers to the office staff they all have been amazing.
It is sad to see a school filled with kind and considerate children is led a by a principal who only cares about numbers and not individuals. The principal does not display a concern about what is best for the school, instead, it is clear that she will have her way no matter what the cost to others, and if you offer an opinion that is different than hears, God help you. I can only feel sorry for this principal and the lonely life she must lead, why else would she treat students, parents and children with disabilities so badly?
Horrible principal! School could be good if they got rid of her. I have been a member of The School Advisory Council (SAC) and PTA and I can honestly say that all the principal cares about is the facts and had every excuse in the book for why the school is declining. It's just a fact that ever since she took over the school has gone down. I even know of parents that had to hire an attorney because she is all about being "right" instead of what is right for the student. Currently an "A" rated school that is rapidly declining. Horrible school. Glad I moved and now my kids go to a different school
I hate this school....like a previous poster said, all the principal cares about is the fcat results, She pushes off any dealing with parents on the vice principal who is horrible also. There is so much bullying and lack of caring for students that may not perform well on the fcat....I have seen children moved to other schools in the district because they may lower scores....I hate it the worst school ever no community feel either.
Wonderful school, Great parental involment & Excellent teachers. My daughter started kindergarten and had the BEST teacher and really blossomed as a student. The staff are so friendly and want you to be involved in your child education as with school functions as much as possible. We Love Forest lakes!!! this school is definitely above and beyond any public school I have ever known:)
Principle is aloof to the problems and concerns of parents and students in her school. As long as FCAT scores are there she could care less about you. She has consistently ignored fellow parents voicing concerns and even turns and "runs" away as you approach her. Long time parents and staff have all said the same thing...the school has been on a steady decline since she took over.
I love Forest Lakes Elementary because, it is such a great school, my daughter started going there when she was in 3rd grade, she is a very shy little girl, and the teachers made her feel so welcomed, her grades are good, she passed her assessments, and the fcat, so I feel that this a great school for any kid
educational school principle is doing a fine job. I'm glad that my child goes to school here. He is a 2nd grader this year and is doing well on the tests.I would convince people to take their child to the school. keep doing well my son will be going here for the next 3 years.I can count in you to teach him well and get him ready for junior high school. thank you. school parent.
My daughter has been there for 3 years and they are awesome! The teachers and principal really care about the kids and they always keep parents informed about their progress and what's going on at the school and in the community. Forest Lakes is one of the top schools in this area.
I currently have two children enrolled in Forest Lakes Elementary, K & 1st grade. I am told that the previous Principle was 'The Best', however in 2008-2009 school year, Forest Lakes 'wonderful' Principle retired and the school obtained a new one... not so 'wonderful'. Forest Lakes is now run by two women who do not have children, and it seems to be more concerned about what 'research shows', than what 'children show'. Their biggest concern are FCAT scores, and it starts in K. My child in K has 3-4 reading times throughout the day which cuts into their 'outside' time (12min a day now)... There are also no Spanish classes offered. Overall, as a parent I don't feel that Forest Lakes is very well rounded and the focus is not on our children, but FCAT scores.
It's one of the best schools in the county - I love the teachers and principal. I like that they send email messages as well as sending notes home with students.
Forest Lakes has been a great school for my son. The teachers and staff have been real helpful and have really worked with my son to prepare him for Kindergarten. AWESOME school.
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