Dunbar got a new principal before the 2013-14 school year and the school has improved markedly already with lots of good new teachers and a new attitude. Don't let older reviews scare you away - it's worth checking out again.
Under the administration of Principal Sarah Jacobsen-Capps, Dunbar Elementary Magnet School has quickly come to embody the best of public education. The energy and focus of Ms. Jacobsen and her staff is infectious to the point that I often leave the school questioning the wisdom of my career choice, so inspired am I by the commitment, focus, and genuine caring of the Dunbar faculty. The school only falls short of five stars because of pervasive shortfalls in public education funding, which affects Dunbar as it does any other school. But the student-to-teacher ratio is ideal, the curriculum is ambitious, and I am proud of the school's attention to diversity, character, discipline, honor, and effort. I recommend Dunbar Magnet Elementary School without hesitation, and laud the efforts of the Dunbar community - well done by all.
This is my 3rd year here at Dunbar and I have seen wonderful things happen here! All of the teachers and staff are completely devoted to the school and to the success of the students placed in our care. Dunbar is truely becomming the "hidden jem" in Hillsborough County. If you are reading the reviews here, my suggestion is not to read back beyond the 12-13 school year.
My family has been with Dunbar for 4 years now. The last two years have been amazing! The principal Mrs. Jacobsen is very kind and caring to both students and parents. She truly cares for all of her students and their success. The assistant Principal Mr. Felder is also an asset to the school, he is very hard working and will do anything to help a student succeed! All of the teachers are very kind and supportive. This school needed new leadership and boy did they get it! In the last two years I have never seen teachers go out of their way to ensure a child will get the grades needed to move to the next level. They are consistently looking towards each childs future and not just the current year. Two of my children have had the same third grade teacher and she is amazing! Little did I know that last year was her first year teaching. I found out this year, and would have never guessed. I would have thought she had been teaching for at least 5 years (that's how good she is!). If you are considering bringing your child to Dunbar, I suggest you set up a tour. The small class sizes and family atmosphere is something every child should experience. Everyone will know your childs name!
As the media specialist at Dunbar I am happy to report that we are a school of readers. Our book circulation numbers are very high, as is our use of myON, an online library with over 3000 titles. We have special reading incentive programs for each grade level, as well as fun events throughout the year to inspire and encourage our students. Our school has an extraordinary teaching staff that includes dedicated classroom and resource teachers. Dunbar is privileged to have one of the finest administrations in Hillsborough County lead by Sarah Jacobsen Capps. We are constantly improving both the social climate of the school, as well as increasing our academic standards.
My Daughter graduated last year from Dunbar. My Son currently is in 3rd grade at Dunbar. If I had it all to do over again, knowing what I know, I would have enrolled my kids back in Dunbar. Both my kids are straight A students with the help of these outgoing teachers. The principal is a real jem that stands up for what is right, even if it goes against the grain. There has been some teacher turnaround however, the staff has been consistently wonderful and caring. I have high expectations of my kid's school being a former Father of the Year in Headstart. I give Dunbar 5 stars! Make no mistake, your child will have to work hard for those high grades. Thanks!
My oldest finished Dunbar last year because he wanted to stay with his friends. My two younger kids never started going there because Dunbar went way downhill while he was there. Every year, there were tons of new teachers but the same principal. Bottom line is that there are many better magnet schools in Tampa.
I love how the teachers enjoy the students and care for the students!
I am a parent of 3 students that have attended this school. Looking past the title of magnet school, this school does not have much to offer. My daughter just graduated from this school and all her achievements were reached on her own. There is always a new set of teacher every year. The principal is cold and phony. She is not a very warm person and seems to care more about the spotlight than the students. You have to buy tons of school supplies and give them to the teacher and your child never gets to use them. Someone really needs to look into whats going on in this school. I went out of my way for over 3 years to drive to this school from Brandon because my children seemed to love this school. When they started to complain that's when they were pulled out. Beware!
I will just piggyback off of a review that nailed it! 1 It's definitely not a 'bad' school but has significant flaws. 2 It's a Magnet School for Math and Science, but really doesn't offer much of anything extra in comparison to other schools and 3 Math and Science FCAT grades should be much higher than they are. 4 The administration (front desk) are not very (try not at all!) helpful or amiable. 5 I don't have a real rapport with the current Principal but have not gotten any warm and fuzzy feelings from our brief encounters nor have I received any positive feedback from the students (my daughter included) or staff. (It s like I wrote this myself!) 6 The previous Vice Principal, Ms. Johnson was very competent and approachable (I agree, unfortunately she is currently at another school) which brings us to the main problem is teacher turnaround.
The school's staff is mixed in its ability and approachability. The Assistant Principal is very likable and helpful. The 4th grade teachers, Miss Fisher, Miss Lerner-Gilly, the art teacher, and the PE teacher Mr. Nickles seem professional and positive toward the children. The Principal and some of the other teachers need to be more positive like those other teachers and the place would improve.
I could not be more pleased with the teachers. My son used to complain about going to school. He now shows enthusiasm for school, and pride in his work. His teachers (Ms. Barrett, and Mr. Turner)have done everything to make school interesting. For the first time my son is excited about learning.
I cannot wait for the school year to end so that my son can be rid of this school. It is quite disorganized and has all new staff every year. The discipline has gotten worse every year.
My daughter has attended Dunbar since 1st grade and it's definitely not a 'bad' school but it has significant flaws that need to be addressed. It's a Magnet School for Math and Science, but really doesn't offer very much of anything extra in comparison to any other school and the Math and Science FCAT grades should be much higher than they are. The administration (front desk) are not very helpful or amiable. I don't have a real rapport with the current Principal but have not gotten any warm and fuzzy feelings from our brief encounters nor have I received any positive feedback from the students (my daughter included) or staff. The previous Vice Principal, Ms. Johnson was very competent and approachable which is important to a Parent. The main problem is teacher turnaround. Only 1 of my child's previous teachers is still employed there. There's somethiing definitely wrong there.
This school is a little secret more people should know about. The teachers all care very deeply for the success of the students. Students have resources that many schools lack. most importantly there are plenty of opportunities for hands on activities and learning.
I enjoy working for Dunbar Elementary. It is truly a joy to work under such a caring administrative staff. I have seen the administrative staff stay as late as 8:00PM just to make sure the school was running effectively. Anything I have ever needed my administration has been there for me, which helps me give 100% to my students. Dunbar has excellent leadership, which in turn makes Dunbar a great school.
The school could be great. The potential is there. The administration and teachers truly care for the students. The only thing holding the school back is a complete lack of discipline for the students. Poor behavior is meet with excuses rather than consequences. This allows poor behavior to escalate and is also a hindrance for higher achievers. If students were disciplined more effectively the school has the potential for greatness.
I must say, that contrary to the latest negative reviews, my son has had the been time of his educational experiences at Dunbar. My son's teacher is awesome. He started out with one horrible teacher but Mrs. Carson was prompt in replacing her with an outstanding teacher. My son loves school and doesn't want to miss a day at Dunbar. Administration listens and cares about every child and parent. I've seen Mrs.Carson actually assist in the cafeteria when they were short workers. Safety is overly stressed and I feel very safe and secure knowing my son is having a wonderful educational experience.
The school was very good but I've only been to one other school and it was slightly better but besides that it was awsome.
This school is just as disapointing as the other 4 schools I have had experience with in Hillsborough County clearly the problems are hewn directly from the administration, as I have experienced lack of communication from all levels, I have been currently waiting on response from the principal for several weeks on a very sensitive issue, also I attempted to get response from VP again with no avail. I was told to purchase additional supplies in excess of the norm, only to find the teacher has stockpiled them and have yet to be used - with half the school year completed. I am thouroughly dissapointed with yet another Hillsborough school - and suspect that the school choice program is really a cover for the district wide lack of standards enforcment.
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