Students enrolled 1367
School leader MS. JUDITH THAYER

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10901 Russell Sampson Road
Saint Johns, FL 32259

School website
(904) 547-7900
(904) 547-7905
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Map of Liberty Pines Academy address.

4 stars
Based on 25 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

May 29, 2014
The education level is good and challenging for students, but the front office staff and principal lack respect and empathy for parent's concerns and at times act even pompass.

- submitted by a parent
May 19, 2014
We are about to complete our fourth year at LPA. When my son began there, the atmosphere was entirely different. The former principal may have not been much of an authoritarian, but he was very much a people person, very approachable, and very well liked by the students. The teachers appeared happy. The current principal is slowly running this school into the ground. She is entirely data-driven and appears to see children in terms of whether or not they are making her look effective. There are some excellent teachers at LPA, but over the course of our time there, they are being driven out by this politically-motivated tyrant who "leads" the school, leaving behind teachers who, for the most part, do not have their heart in it. My son is certainly getting an education and the school is getting their FCAT numbers to boast about, but LPA is not developing children into well-rounded people. We had great expectations of the schools in St Johns County and are considering moving to one of the other high quality schools in the area so that our son will be seen for who he is and not just the numbers he generates.

- submitted by a parent
May 09, 2014
This school has excellent teachers who really care about the students and learning. Most have excellent communication with parents too. I really have never had a problem with the administration or the front desk staff. They are doing their jobs and keeping the students safe. YES! Please be strict. It's my child you are protecting. . I feel it's easy to complain when you have never stood in their shoes and attempted to run a K-8 school with over 1300 Students! The problem at this school are the PARENTS. I have had past administration tell me is that the problem is the majority of the parents at this school believe their child is "advanced." They believe their child should be treated as such and if they don't get into the "advanced" classes then parents get really upset. It's almost sickening how some of them act. They are the ones complaining about the administration. Send your child to LPA without any hesitation. It's a safe, well run school.

- submitted by a parent
November 03, 2013
Please be good to Woofie! Honor the L.P.A. staff & other professionals by not bullying them on this blog!They have feelings too.Do not use this blog to hurt their feelings! I worked several years with these fantastic people.However,I was not a staff member.Now,I'm retired.Your child's needs are very important.Please address your concerns to the proper officials at L.P.A..

- submitted by a community member
August 20, 2013
A+ Teachers and staff are top notch. Children are all happy to be there and come home happy every day.

- submitted by a parent
July 20, 2013
If you can make it past the cold and condescending administration the school is a great place to educate your child. I have had several negative experiences with the principal and the office. I often wonder if they treat me this way, how are the treating the children. I won't be surprised if the principal runs off the good teachers with the hostile environment she is creating. Education is the focus here, do not expect your child to get an opportunity for any extra curricular activities. I'd like to say there is a lack of support for sports, and the arts but in actually it is discouraged by school administration. I believe my children are getting a great education however.

- submitted by a parent
June 30, 2013
I cannot express my disappointment in this school without using profane words so I will just say that we are very unhappy!! My husband and I moved from Duval County to St Johns County due to school ratings. We did not want to have to deal with the magnet lottery for our son. LPA was highly rated at the time and after a lot of research, we built our home off of 210. My son entered LPA in second grade. He started the year with a substitute teacher because his teacher was on maternity leave. She never came back. In the middle of the second quarter, LPA hired a new teacher to replace the sub. The new teacher was TERRIBLE. She bullied my child for the entire length of her stay. She was unprepared, unwilling to talk to parents, unprofessional, and cruel. Luckily, she became pregnant and left at the beginning of the fourth quarter. My son was tortured by this woman and we were livid. The principal was NO HELP. We are considering private school and have written complaints to the school board. The teacher that we had was AWFUL. It was the worst experience of our child's school career. I cannot in any way recommend this school. BEWARE!!!!

- submitted by a parent
May 19, 2013
2012-2013 has brought very unpleasant changes to this once great school, all in the form of the "Principal". I am not sure if she understands that she is essentially employed by us, as parents and taxpayers and am concerned that if she is this rude, condescending, confrontational and completely unresponsive to us as adults and parents, I really worry how she is with our children, especially when we are not there to witness. I know several families who have lost all respect for this school because of this principal, in addition to a few of the teachers and substitutes that have worked with her this school year. I hope the school board is aware and if not, they will be soon as I am going to be one of the many writing letters and calling with my concerns.

- submitted by a parent
May 06, 2013
I have to agree with the past posts. I am extremely upset with the way this administartion handles ESE children and the parents. My son has excellent teachers but they have no authority when it comes to the admin and pulling in the resources needed for these special needs kids. The response of admin is.... move them to a different school. The admin only cares about FCAT's. I love the teachers here at LPA, great nurse as well. The admin and psychologist here needs to refresh themselves on why they came into the education career again. There is a need to start to back the teachers by giving them more support and resources and giving the students the positive supports and much needed stimulation of the outside sources and help they deserve. I hope the Board brings in an admin staff that can get this school where it needs to be, stop farming the kids out to become some other schools problem. My family comes from special needs teachers and they have never seen such disregard for children from the "leaders" of the school and lack of knowledge of the resources that may prove beneficial to a children. I hope for a new admin by next year.

- submitted by a parent
March 15, 2013
We bought a home in the 210 area because we heard its the best school district in north Florida. My daughter enrolled in kindergarten in the 2011-2012 school year. My daughter struggle all year but the principal at the time was very accommodating. When the new year start, we immediately had issues with the new principal. She would not work with us at all to meet the needs of our daughter. I agree with other parents that this principal is ruining the school and possible the high rating this school deserves. The school board really needs to replace the leadership and direction this school is going. After our troubles with her, we pulled our daughter out of the school and enrolled her in a private school. I'm not even going to deal with this school again until they remove the principal.

- submitted by a parent
December 18, 2012
This is our 5th year at LPA. The school continues to do very well, great principal and teachers. My oldest child has moved on to high school and is doing great and my next child is ready to do the same next year. LPA is a wonderful school.

- submitted by a parent
December 17, 2012
We moved to Saint Augustine this summer and I had very high expectations for my children's education based on the reputation of the SJC school district. The teachers have exceeded my expectations and the parent involvement at LPA is phenomenal as well. Unfortunately, the administration at LPA is ruining the reputation of this school and district as well for me. Other parents have told me how different this year is at LPA due to the new principal, that she is the reason things are changing for the worse. My experience with her has given me a lack of confidence in her ability to handle her responsibility to the teachers, parents, and students at LPA because of how defensive she is. The office staff are just as defensive as she is and I feel very unwelcome when I walk in the office door. I agree with others who say she is on a power trip, which I feel is a sign of one's own insecurities, and i don't like leaving my children under the responsibility of someone like that. I am taking my issues to the school board hoping that they will improve LPA, and I hope other parents will do the same. In the principal's own words, I have high expectations and I'm not apologizing for that.

- submitted by a parent
August 22, 2012
Last year, I would have given LPA 5 stars, hands down. However, with the new principal, it is barely getting 4. She is rude, demeaning, cold, and completely on a power trip. I hope that LPA can sustain its excellence despite her. Parents and teachers alike are watching closely. She has already cancelled the Wolf Buck program which the students loved and taught them long term goals, positive behavior, and savings lessons. Also, PE is now cut to every other week, and my child reported they they have to learn vocab words instead of being active per her request to the PE teacher. I am all for strong vocabulary skills, but not in PE. There are appropriate times and places for everything. It has not gone unnoticed that upon the announcement of her new position as principal, we lost some VERY valuable teachers and staff. We LOVED our former principal, who started LPA from inception. He is the reason for its excellence. May it not be decimated. Teachers are TREMENDOUS! Education is 5 stars. Everything is 5 stars aside from the new principal. There are no negative stars available here for that rating.

- submitted by a parent
March 01, 2012
Excellence in action! This school is run very well. It has caring, loving teachers, and wonderful, supportive families. The caliber to which the teachers and students are held makes for a professional, educational atmosphere. The greetings of teachers and the principal inside the halls is warm and inviting. My daughter adores her Kindergarten teacher, and I am confident that she will be happy through 8th grade here. :)

- submitted by a parent
January 23, 2012
Liberty Pines Academy is wonderful!! The vision the administration has for the school is truely inspirational. The only problem that I have encountered at LPA is the parents! What a bunch of spoiled people. Everyone thinks their child is "gifted" and belongs in a gifted class and if their child does not perform well then who's fault is it?????.....well the teachers of course. I have never lived in a community with so many people who feel so entitled!! I rather have my kids play with kids from the city. I need more down to earth people that don't try to pass of responsibility for their children's actions on to thoes poor teachers that just want to teach children!!! Anyway, I feel sorry for the teachers constantly getting abused by thoes parents. I have seen it happen too much! Leave them alone so they can teach our kids instead of kissing your butts.

- submitted by a parent
July 30, 2011
Beautiful new facility. Principal is friendly, big on social aspects, interacts nicely with the children, runs a smooth though highly regimented facility, that produces good FCAT scores. Overall the principal is nice, and school is good except for all ESE segments. Some teachers are wonderful, some are not at all. Nurse's office is excellent. Front desk is awful--run like a prison camp and very unfriendly and not completely competent. The one AP is nasty to children and parents alike, like a truancy officer, undermines parental authority with children and disregards their insights. Needs for gifted students are not understood or addressed, and grading practices are discriminatory against them, in the interest of equality(??). No exceptionalities are handled well. Many parents of ESE students from the area have pulled their children from this school, and go to private options, which is just sad. Parents have expressed unusual levels of resentment toward this school, which leaves one wondering. It sounds like ESE students are grouped in separate classes like outcasts, while gifted students are treated like average students. One size fits all.

- submitted by a parent
June 06, 2011
LPA is what you would expect from a larger public school. There are some wonderful teachers who communicate well with the parents and monitor their students progress. Then there are some very questionable teachers who I honestly think are just there to collect a paycheck .I truly have nothing positive to say about the VP. She is harsh and unfriendly both to parents and students alike. The P is very well liked by the students and is responsive to parent concerns. The regular receptionist is awful. I dread going into the school because she will give you a problem about everything! The school nurse is increadble!

- submitted by a parent
April 14, 2011
This is the best school my child has been to. The teacher has been extremely easy to communicate with. The front office has always been professional and held to the standards. The curriculum in on par or ahead of national standards, cant help that fcat is holding everyone back, and the behavior of the children seems good. I havent heard of extreme or problematic children in the classrooms. The facilities are brand new. The only knock is the school lunches. Do not buy school lunches. They are horrible and wretched.The school lunches should be boycotted. I cannot believe we would ask children to eat that junk and request their parents to pay for it. Shame on the Supervisor. The school is great though, I highly recomend it.

- submitted by a parent
January 12, 2011
I was extremely unhappy with the leadership at this school. The principal is a wimp who does not "lead the school" but is lead by a select few on the PTO and a VP that makes Cruella Deville look like Shirley Temple! The school is so big that if you need an answer to a question you need to "e-mail this person, or go on the school website." Parents are not made to feel welcome at all, at least if you have any input or understanding of what your child needs... or questions etc. Heaven forbid you have a complaint, they have no need for any improvement at LPA, Just ask them lol. I got my child out quickly.

- submitted by a parent
November 15, 2010
Many of the reviews here seem to have been written by teachers/staff of Liberty Pines. Not a single parent I know there has such positive things to say. The teachers are very difficult to communicate with, the assistant principal is very unfriendly, and the principal himself is a marshmallow--and not in a good way. The school is far too large to function well, many of the teachers are very weak, and children who do not fit the mold are made to feel unwelcome. Liberty Pines is everything a school should avoid becoming.

- submitted by a parent
no rating January 22, 2010
We moved here from NY and heard great things about this school, however it was anything but! My daughter is in 2nd grade and was in the gifted program at her school in NY, but here they wouldn't put her in anything. She became so bored in her class! Another thing that annoyed me and I felt was just unfair...because it is a K-8 school, the younger children do not get to use the gym during PE class! They only have Gym every 2 weeks, which is just crazy I think, but they had to either go outside or they ended up in some room playing board games! how ridiculous is that! Ok and last but not least, the vice principal is seriously not a nice woman! She might be fine for older kids, but does not know how to talk to elementary aged children at all, she terrified my daughter!

- submitted by a parent
no rating December 10, 2009
The staff is hit or miss available. Some of the teachers are very available. But several times last year I had to make phone calls to the front office to get a few teachers to respond to an email or phone call. I would best describe this school as, a middle school with too many elementary school teachers. 6th and 7th student expectations are not elevated to match other middle schools. My son will not be returning after Christmas break. Because I don't feel they are preparing him for high school educationally or socially.

- submitted by a parent
November 04, 2009
My daughter teaches there and they have great programs, teachers who care about the students & a wonderful relationship with parents. Their principal Mr. Kelly wants the best teaching experience for each child.

- submitted by a community member
October 04, 2009
The teachers and administrators are great and our PTO couldn't be better!!!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 03, 2009
I cannot imagine a better school out there - from the wonderful teachers, principal and staff to the great parents who spend so much time and energy to make our school awesome. Go Wolves!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 02, 2009
The principal and staff are very easy to talk to and always around to answer questions. I feel safe when I am in the school and even more importantly, I know my kids are safe too. The vibe in the school is one of excitement and energy.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 02, 2009
We love our school, great staff, very family friendly!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 02, 2009
I love that it's new; has great teachers; devoted to the kids

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 02, 2009
We have a great group of students, staff, and parents who all help to make this school so great. And with a K-8, it faces many more challenges than a typical school.

- submitted by a parent
September 29, 2009
Liberty Pines has the most amazing dedicated staff and teachers! The student body K-8 shows are three R's of Respect, Responsibility and Ready to learn every day. Our parents are dedicated volunteers, and the community around us are top notch businesses! We are an A school, in the top district in the state of Florida!

- submitted by a parent
September 23, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
August 11, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
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Liberty Pines Academy
10901 Russell Sampson Road, Saint Johns, FL  32259
(904) 547-7900
Last modified Liberty Pines Academy is a Public school that serves grades PK-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 10 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Liberty Pines Academy Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 32 reviews. Top