I am friendly with quite a few teachers at this school. They are afraid of Joy Taylor. They have been unhappy with her and her philosophy on how to run the school. They are aware of many incidents of being quite unfair to the kids.
The principal Joy Taylor sets a great example of dishonestly and underhanded behavior to achieve her desired result. She is willing to alter the truth to fit her need. A lack of integrity and fairness at the top trickles down to everyone below.
When my child attended this school, a classmate of his was found walking down US1. Somehow he walked out of his 2nd grade classroom and out of the school without being stopped. When I approached Joy Taylor about how this occurred and how it was being prevented, she was very unpleasant. A week later, my son left his computer class and wandered back to his classroom without anyone stopping him. Again, a visit with Ms. Taylor did not end well. After that point, she took her frustration with me, out on my son. She was rude, allowed my son to be bullied, and watched my son with a very very critical eye. She created such a unpleasant learning environment for us, we pulled our son out of this school. When my son found out he was not returning to Hartley, he was so happy. He told me, "they made me feel bad about myself everyday." We are so happy to be away from that horrible woman. We know many many people who have had similar issues with her. If your child is not a statue, you will eventually have an interaction with her.
If you are moving to St Augustine make sure you are zoned for Hartley. This is the BEST school in the county. I wasted a lot of $$$ in private schools for my older son who is now in college (and was not prepared at all for college). I have my 6 year old in Kindergarten and we love it! Ms Jones is great. Hartley is safe, great parent involvement, easy to communicate with teachers and principal and most of all best test scores.
Hartley is a wonderful school. My youngest daughter finished second grade there and she simply blossomed. It is a safe enjoyable environment for children to learn in. The teachers and administration are fabulous and are always looking for parent involvement and are always there if you need any help.