My child attended KG here, but I am familiar with 3 other elementary schools. By comparison, Longwood is just okay. My observations: PROS: Everyone I met at the school was always very friendly and helpful. The school held several evening family events, like math/science night, reading night, etc. CONS: The teacher didn't have good communication, and did not respond to email. I was very disappointed in the lack of art program. I tried to join the after-school art club, but was never called back. I was told the kids had art some weeks, but my child never brought any artwork home. I expected more learning through art in kindergarten...my son's done more in a month at his new school (1st gr) than he did all year here. I was disappointed in the lack of recess, especially for 5-yr-olds. The principal said it was left to the discretion of the teacher, so I can't say how many may actually provide it, but ours didn't. Bottom line: If we returned to the area, we would move to a different district. The other schools we've seen offer so much more. The only local school I have personal knowledge of is Plew in Niceville, and it is head and shoulders above Longwood.
This is the first year I have had a student at Longwood. Having heard a variety of opinions on the school I made the decision to enroll my child here and if I had concerns about the quality of education or the learning environment, I would move him to another school. I am happy to say that I have been very satisfied with our experience at Longwood this year! The concerns I had heard going in were with the principal and what the lack of leadership has done to the PTO and extracurricular activities as well as a concern over the open classroom setup. I don't have much to say about the principal other than she was rarely seen but Longwood is getting a new principal next year anyways. Having volunteered in my child's class regularly, I can assure you that the open classrooms are not a noise issue like you might think, the children are very focused and the "pods" really do seem like a separate classroom. And I cannot say enough great things about all of the staff at Longwood. The teachers are phenominal! From the moment you are greeted with a smile at carline to the moment you pick your child up, it is obvious they love their job and the children very much! Very happy at Longwood!
As a parent, I would not hesitate at all to send my child to Longwood for their education. The quality of teachers at this school is excellent. We have had positive experiences all around with the staff, the one exception being with the cafeteria staff. But the administrative staff is very friendly, welcoming and helpful and I always feel right at home at Longwood, as does my child. It is a very quaint little neighborhood school that has a safe, family feel to it. The Kindergarten teacher we have is simply wonderful. She has a very unique way of relating to the students and under her love and care , my child has realy flourished. She uses very creative and fun teaching methods that really resonate with the children and you can tell they really love learning at Longwood Elementary.