My daughter attended Ashton for 2nd grade and was in the gifted classroom. Her teacher had almost 30 years experience, but seemed to have no understanding of gifted children and their emotional sensitivities or mental health issues. The school counselor was not any better. My daughter is not an easy child, with a genius IQ, she has a tendency to question authority, has poor peer social interaction, sensory processing disorder, dyslexia, dysgraphia, social and separation anxiety. None of these are uncommon among gifted children and this should be no problem if you understand them. Unfortunately this school did not. A few weeks into the school year, I was blind-sided at a parent/teacher conference in which I was told my daughter was the most disrespectful child the teacher had ever met. When I discussed with them that a psychologist had wondered if she had ADHD, I was told to medicate her or she would turn to drugs and alcohol later in life. After a horrible year that destroyed her self-esteem and self-efficacy, we decided to move back to OK. Here she is accepted, understood and loved at her school. She is a Kiwanis Terrific Kid, and Vice President of her student council.
Ashton is the most amazing school. The teachers are brilliant and engaging. My children are so happy at school. We moved from Illinois three years ago and I could not be happier. No bullying or mean cliques. The PTA goes way beyond and we are thrilled to be part of such a great school.
We love Ashton! We moved here partway through the school year last year, and my kids were made to feel welcome and comfortable right away. Last year and this year they have incredible teachers who relate so well to the kids, who give (for the most part) interesting, challenging assignments, and who maintain excellent control of their classrooms in a calm manner. My kids always enjoy the fun projects they work on, and hardly realize they are learning so much in the process. The principal, Mr. Renouf is always friendly and approachable, and really gets to know all of the students and families. The school does a wonderful job of, despite its size, offering such a warm, nurturning environment.
To the previous parent: You don't need a voucher system. Sarasota offers school choice as well as charter schools. There is no reason to have your child at a school where your child is not thriving. Best of luck to you.
We have had two children go through Ashton and now have a 3rd. The first two the school was wonderful, but now in 2012 it seems to have lost the best teachers, and the principals seem to lack the leadership they once showed. My son is so demoralized by the teachers in this school he is very depressed when he comes home. He does not like to go there, and the staff is not much help. We would like to send him someplace else, but its not like we have a choice. There is no voucher system in sarasota, as there should be. We feel stuck sending our child to a place he is not wanted. Maybe its better for girls, but it is not good for boys.