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.
I have become very disappointed in this school. They are not very approachable and you must go over their heads and straight to the principle if you want to talk to anyone. They are always sending letters home late for up coming events and information you should know late. Not only this but when your child misses a few days for being sick they send you a letter home requesting you to call the office to speak with someone about your child's absence. When you bring your child back to school and they have to be sent home because of being ill again they send yet another note home telling you must contact them. I became very disappointed with this school and can not wait till the end of the year so my son can go to a different school. My son has also gotten to the point of not wanting to go because even he states they don't listen to me when I try to explain something I just get points docked and my color moves. Very unsatisfied with this school.
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 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!