The look and feel of this place, I feel like I am dropping my child off at a prison. I really dislike it. From my child's comments, there are very few recreational activities, and socialization is kept to a minimum; there is virtually no oppportunity to develop connections with any other children than those assigned to the same classroom, which really hinders children's opportunity to develop important social skills that they will need for the rest of their lives. The official school website is very poorly maintained, as are the teachers' websites, many of which are blank or contain a single picture or information from last year or the year before. It would at least be nice if the multiple amounts of papers that are sent home, with instructions on joining a new link or website for additional resources (how many different ones are there?), the 5 minute Friday phone calls, the emails, etc could all be compiled and placed on the school's website...and keep it updated (at least current year), and with contact information that actually generates a response from a human being that at least pretends to care.
I have a daughter that attends Clark. She is very happy here. This is her 2nd yr there. I moved to this area because at the previous school she attened she was bullied. I can not complain about anything, she loves to go to school, she is treated with respect. She adores her teacher. She always just looks forward going to school. I've never had a problem. Its going to be sad when we hqve to leave.
The administration and teachers have all been wonderful, but the building is far below acceptable standards. Many of the classroom bathrooms do not have dedicated sinks, and hand washing is an "option" that is less encouraged than using hand sanitizer...until a viral infection breaks out and we receive mass letters about proper hand-washing at home. You cannot teach a child to practice good habits only 'sometimes'. I don't know about your children, but mine are still mastering the skill of proper wiping, and slathering a little hand sanitizer on top fingernails containing fecal matter does NOT cut it. These children will grow up to work in restaurants, doctors offices, etc. I expressed my concerns to district personnel and received a pre-generated response that reinforced my opinion that my concerns were neither be understood nor addressed. PROPER hand-washing with warm water and soap needs to reinforced in our schools. Period.
I absolutely love this school & the teachers/staff! They are truly amazing in their teaching techniques! My son started his first yr in 4th grade last year.He was a scared & very scared newbie.His 2 teachers refused to give up on him! They pushed him to talk & socialize with his classmates & they eventually broke through his thick shell! Thank you so much for all that you have done to help my son adjust to his new surroundings (4th grade). He is now very talkative & walks with his head high! Most importantly,he is now an Honor Roll student. He now has the confidence to speak to people :). He is now in 5th grade & is doing an amazing job there also......with the help of his 2 awesome new 5th grade teachers! WAY TO GO CLARK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL! He is going to miss this school when he moves on to Middle School & so am I.
As a father of a gifted student who gets along socially with everyone, it has been hard to see what Clark Elementary has done to my child. He no longer loves school due, primarily, to low teacher morale and ineffectual administrative leadership. The teachers he has had, with a few exceptions, are angry, angry, angry; they take our their anger on the kids and they don't get to know the kids. They don't seem to like teaching, period. More shockingly, did you know that Clark does NOT TEACH: GRAMMAR, PARTS OF SPEECH, SPELLING, PUNCTUATION OR CURSIVE HANDWRITING? Isn't that what Grammar school is for? My child get streight A's in AGP Math, but he's in the low 60%ile nationwide in Math. Clearly, there is a problem here. Also, my son never receives any graded work back. There is NO FEEDBACK. We have begun homeschooling until a spot opens up in another school. If only we could have the money back we pay in taxes to Clark to use for private school. I'll also add that my wife blogged the same comments on this site a year ago and THEY HAVE BEEN ERASED. Don't believe just because you see lots of positive comments is an indication that everyone is happy with Clark. They remove ALL NEGATIVES.
This is my 11th year with my children at Clark. I find it to be an excellent school. Some teachers are better than others (isn't that life?) but most of them have been superior. I have found the teachers and administrators and all 3 of the principals that were there during the past 11 years to be very caring and open to discuss all situations. My children have had many opportunities to challenge themselves from the wonder AGP classes (and the 2 super AGP teachers), to contests like Tropicana Speech, Science Fair, Tivy, Math Bowl, etc.
I am extremely dissatisfied with Clark. My son's first year, kindergarten, consisted of many teachers - 1 moved, 1 had sick children, than many substitutes - not a great introduction to school! The next year my son was scheduled to enter a class with a teacher who was going to miss 12 + weeks! This year we have a second year teacher who is not good with children. I cannot wait to move! This is considered an A rated school! I would hate to see what anything less in Florida is like. Oh, and the principal is untouchable. She has no email, voice mail, or any other form of communication with parents. I, and other parents, have had issues that were brought up to her "assistant" and we all were advised that someone would get back to us - no one ever did! I suppose if you luck out and get good teachers and never have any issues that require principal intervention - might be a fine school for you - just not for me.
I love Clark! There's music, art ,p.e. and other normal studies. (reading, math etc.) The teachers are awesome and try to be your best friend. I am in 5th grade and sadly will be leaving Clark in less than a week. The principal is really nice but can be strict when needed. We just got a new thing for the playground, it's a large umbrella that covers both playgrounds because a student at Clark won a national writing contest. There's 2 different playgrounds one for little kids (k-2) and one for the bigger kids (3-5) CLARK ROCKS!
Clark is an excellent school. My son has been here since kindergarten and he is graduating this year. True, not all teachers' teaching style matches your kid's learning style. But overall, I like the way they teach here. You do not see the tensed up drill but kids perform pretty well academically, which is partially reflected in the FCAT scores. They have many good teachers. For home room teachers, I especially love Mrs. Marsee and Mrs. Pease. They have the magic to make your kids do their best. The AGP class is cool. Kids get lots of hands on experience. You should see their music show. It is very impressive. Many good things to say about this school.
I agree that Clark is an awesome school. The gifted program (AGP) is another fine program offered at Clark. My children have had wonderful experiences with both Mrs. Sciacca and Ms. Mcilwaine. We have found them to be very capable, intelligent and caring teachers. Our children have excelled under their guidance and instruction. Clark is top-rated.