This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Forest Lakes Elementary School1
Posted January 31, 2015
- a parent
I am very disappointed in this school, to say the least! I discovered that my daughter's teacher had been bullying her in class and secretly giving her "F's" on these ridiculous "book chats" assignments she gives during class, but never sends home a grade for the parent to see. We misunderstood the "book chat" process (the book has to be "approved" first) - my daughter was constantly reading at home (she's in the gifted program). The teacher gave my daughter a "C" in Language Arts for 2 semesters (she's a straight A student). I did some digging and discovered my daughter would have had A's if it hadn't been for the 2 book chats (per semester) that teacher gave her a 0 out of 100 for and NEVER ONCE sent me home a grade letting me know!!! Needless to say, I marched straight to class the next day and laid into the teacher. The teacher was unapologetic and rude. I got the principal involved (which was pointless) because she wanted to wait until "after testing" to talk (my daughter's test scores are always through the roof). In response to being mistreated, I transferred my daughter (and her high test scores) to another school BEFORE the testing. Maybe now I have their attention.
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.
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?