My student attended LPA for 3 years and this school is the most sterile, unfriendly environment imaginable for young kids. The focus is on the older grades, as test scores rule all. The principal has a established a no fun zone and cast an atmosphere to which few teachers respect her leadership. My face to face interactions with the principal was the final straw and we have since moved to a different nearby elementary school. My student's fear of one of her teachers was met with the response, "well, she produces good test scores." Nope, sorry not what I want my child to be defined by... test scores. Our current K-5 school has been such a welcome change. It is what an elementary school should be, enriching and fun. They are being challenged to think outside the test bubble and are building character. Focus is on the kids developing a love of learning and not on the length of their shirt sleeve or shorts. Or calling the class party 'centers' or a field trip a 'field study.' It is really hard to believe we are in the same district. To LPA I say, get over yourself and your test scores and get back to the fundamentals.
My children have the unique distinction of having attended both Liberty Pines Academy and nearby Patriot Oaks Academy, due to a move from the Country Club neighborhood to a new development near PO two years ago. I can assure you there is a huge difference in how the schools are run and the overall atmosphere. Although I believe the principals at Liberty Pines and Patriot Oaks both micro-manage, Liberty Pines was by far a more negative experience for our family. I agree with many of the reviews before me that LPA is a toxic environment that breeds competition and pettiness. It's all about the numbers with LPA and obtaining high district scores in state testings and assessments. There are definitely great teachers at LPA, but they're continually driven out by a negative principal and a PDO filled with parents who seem to require more attention than their children. I wish I could give it a better review, but I feel as if I need to be honest to protect those moving into our area. Our time at Patriot Oaks has been a very positive experience filled with superior teachers and a caring environment. We're so happy to have moved out of the Liberty Pines Academy school zone and my children are now thriving because of it! Liberty Pines Academy and Patriot Oaks may be right down the street from one another, but they are worlds apart in supplying a loving and caring environment. If you want your kids to be in a warm nurturing environment without all the drama, avoid Liberty Pines at all costs!
There is no "fairness," only favoritism on the part of the principal and approximately half the staff. Hard to instill honesty and integrity into your children, when a good share of the LPA staff has none. I feel terribly sorry for the teachers who do a fabulous job, and there are many. Wish they were the majority, instead of the minority. We clung on to the good teachers during my children's six years there. But, as in any toxic environment, the bad teachers (and principal) have a way of over shadowing all the good done at LPA!
My children 8-10 have been going here since elementary. Both are happy & being challenged. Their teachers are easily accessible & our performance concerns are always met in a timely & approriate manner.
I understand what the parents who have been critical of the "front desk", I don't feel it's a reflection of what goes on in the classroom. If so, you need to strengthen communications with your specific teacher & child.
I don't want a friend at the front desk when a stranger or unauthorized adult comes to check my child out. Think of that before digesting other reviews.
As far as schools overall LPA scores 81%, 10% better than other parts of the county & 20% better than state averages. I read a review from a former Duval Co. parent as "disappointed". You ma'am, are delusional if 81% is not satisfactory for your a public school.
The key here is most parents are involved with the school & their children, a strong community reflects on its school.
Any disappointment or unhappiness, In my opinion stems from Common Core standards forced by the state.
This is a challenge I hope parents & teachers can resolve to keep this school riding high, as it always has.
Thanks for your time,
St. John's Co. Resident since 2001
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.
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.
I am so sorry to see the executive secretary has transferred to another school. She was by far the heart and soul of LPA. I wish her the best of luck in her new adventure of opening anther K8 within our district. To the new secretary, you have some mighty big shoes to fill.
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..