The location is perfect to where we currently live. Both my children have attended FLE, Forest Lakes Elementary since K. The school is well located, clean, and secure.
However, the education and experience your child has is hit or miss by a mile. My oldest child was fine until 3rd grade. He was bullied badly, (hit, kicked, spat on, pulled down stairs, tripped, books knocked out of hands, made fun of for his dead father....) The worst part was the teacher (who still teaches there but in a lower grade) allowed it to happen because she likes the student who was doing the bullying. I found out she was also bullying my child, (allowed the bullying, called him stupid, laughed about his Dad, gave him bad grades, and never offered help). My child was failing math and not once was I contacted by the teacher. Not once did she show any concern to this. I had to pay a huge amount in private tutoring to get my child caught up in math so 4th grade wouldn't be so hard. It was a struggle at best. When I addressed this with the school the Principle (who is a nice person, but worthless educator and Principle) did nothing to help. The VP got involved and made some changes. The bully was "talked to", guess the "zero tolerance" really isn't zero, more like 80%. but the teacher was allowed to continue teaching with no investigation and no consequences. My child was moved by my request to a teacher that was well liked. However two weeks after he was moved that teacher was fired with no regard to how the kids felt or what that would do in the middle of the school year. Guess not having tenure is a huge mistake at this school. My other son has been lucky. He is very smart and doesn't need much to guide him in the learning department. He has had mainly wonderful teachers. He's excelled due to his determination not what the school taught him.
I have volunteered in the classrooms as well as other locations of the school. I have noticed the cliques of teachers and other staff. Not a bad thing unless is spills over into the education of our kids.
Be careful the school grade does not reflect the actual school. The test scores are not accurate as the with all others they teach to the test not to learn. Some teachers are OUTSTANDING others, horrible! Be involved, don't back down, make sure your child comes first!
I absolutely LOVE this school! My daughter is currently finishing up her 1st grade year and we have been so pleased with the education she has received thus far! Her Kindergarten and 1st grade teachers were amazing!! The lines of communication are always open, I was able to volunteer both years...the front staff is amazing. The aides in the classroom are excellent and really help with all the students. The school is safe and very clean. The PE coaches, who help with carline, are amazing! They remember who you are in carline and are very outgoing! We did go to a closed campus this year, which was difficult. I always walked my daughter to her classroom and it was a great time to get to know all the staff. Everyone is very friendly. I think any experience in school is partly what you make of it. I make sure to volunteer and to talk to people in the front office and any staff. Vice Principal McHugh is very kind and goes out of his way to say hello. Although I have not dealt with Principal Aspen often, she is very kind. We moved to this area because of the schools and we have never regretted it! We look forward to when our youngest daughter starts school here in 2016!
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 .