Providing you with my honest opinion which is why this forum was created. My child attended Macfarlane Park from K-5th - my rating is based on: (a) Teachers - communication, involvement, quality, classroom structure, IB curriculum (b) PTA - excellent involvement, thanks to the community of great parents (c) Guidance counselor, Nurse, Front Office Staff, Cafeteria, PE Coach, Spanish/Chorus/Library/Strings - 5 starts all the way around, highly trained individuals who absolutely love what they do and they do it with class (d) Principal - this by far was the most disappointing experience I had during the 6 years. Future parents, please be aware of the lack of leadership and care the Principal shows. It's scary to have someone in authority who uses her title to bully parents, children and staff. The principal lacks all character traits of an IB leader. It saddens me to have seen first hand the lack of ethics and professionalism from someone in such an important role. As a parent, my advice is to make the best decision for YOUR child, always be involved. If something doesn't seem right use the tools you have at hand to have it researched such as calling the school district.
Macfarlane Park has consistently been one of the best elementary schools in Hillsborough County for a decade. Great staff, great administration, great students, and the best PTA in the state makes a great school. I will say that there have been lots of teachers coming and going and switching grade levels over the past couple of years. A lot of the staff who left became lead teachers at other schools, but still, it's a lot of change. I really hope it doesn't affect the quality at Macfarlane. It hasn't yet, thankfully.
We were initially happy with this school and felt the IB curriculum was providing an advanced academic experience for our children. The school offers extras most others in the district do not (Strings, Spanish). While the Strings program is a jewel, Spanish was highly disappointing. Many teachers/staff here are dedicated and engaging with the students. However, there are others who don't model Respect, Caring and even Commitment; aspects of the IB program that are supposed to be the foundation of this school. Students here have the same issues with bullying and cliches you find elsewhere, which we had hoped wouldn't be the case in an IB school. The school has degraded in quality of both education and environment since 2010. Being a student (or teacher) here used to be a privilege that was respected and coveted by all. Over the past few years there has been a "revolving door" of teacher turnover. New hires are often first year teachers. This says a lot. We have seriously considered moving our youngest out. We now give this school a B-, downgraded from an A.
Our oldest daughter has been attending MacFarlane Park since last year (she is now in first grade). I knew before she started VPK that this was the best fit for our daughter and I could not have been more correct in that assumption. We drive our daughter over 28 miles one way to school every day and will continue to do so in order for our daughter to attend this wonderful school. This school understands that it is important to not only learn, but serve those in our community and world. Our daughter loves the variety of classes, great gifted programs, and continuous opportunities for school and community involvement. If you want a small "family" type school whose goal is to provide an environment where all types of learners and backgrounds are welcome; you will find it at MacFarlane Park. From International Festivals and Peace Day to Strings Concerts; your child will be able to pursue their interests while receiving an A+ education.
We love this school! The teachers are wonderful, caring and go the extra mile. The kids are excited to go to school and are happy and smiling when I pick them up. The small class size and small school size lead to a child centered education that is family oriented and mutually supportive. We have loved our time at MacFarlane Park!
MacFarlane Park Elementary is an inclusive, culturally diverse school. The school is intimate and friendly to all of the parents and students. The teachers are rigorous, yet fun and fair. We feel incredibly fortunate that our son is attending the "World's Best World School".
This A rated small school is nurtures students natural desire to learn. The mission statement of the IB curriculum is: "The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment. These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right." This school fully encompasses this mission statement in the classroom, clubs, and service learning programs. This school also teaches all students both violin and introductory Spanish beginning in Kindergarten. The PTA is very active in providing programs and parent-led fundraising to ensure our school has everything it needs to be successful and effective in giving our children the best education possible. The staff includes teachers and administrators with bachelors, masters, & doctoral degrees.
The IB program isn't for everyone and there are challenges when choosing a school outside your own neighborhood (playdates, etc) but we have been nothing but happy with our experience at MacFarlane. We have had a child enrolled there for the past two years and now have both of our kids there. Couldn't be happier with the content, rigor and breadth of the curriculum and have been very pleased with all of the teachers and staff. I wish more parents could and would get involved.
This is our fourth year at McFarlane Park and we absolutely love it. In fact, I gladly drive by our A-rated neighborhood school daily because I firmly believe that this is the best school in the county. There is a spirit of inclusion, diversity and high academic standards. We have two sons with two very different personalities at the school. All of their teachers have made them better students and better people. We consider ourselves lucky to be a part of the MacFarlane Park family.
The Principle at Macfarlene Park is very unprofessional and clearly needs some refreshing on her job duties. I have never had to encounter an educator in all my life that didn't want to help a child succeed. She is only worried about how good her school looks and tries to relocate the kids that make her school look bad. What makes you a great school is how well you teach our children not what school district grade you get by withdrawling children you don't like (without permission) mind you. Her school failed to do thier job during the school year for my son with a learning disability and now she doesnt want to be held accountable. Well as a parent I will fight for my child's right and education.
This school is absolutely fantastic. I have been pleased with the teachers, administration and staff for several years. There is a community of people who genuinely care for students and their progress as individuals who will lead the world one day. This school has provided a wonderful academic and social atmosphere that has prepared both of my children for middle school.
School is on the decline, used to be good. Too many teachers leave after a year or two.
This school is fantastic. I drive almost an hour to get there and it is well worth it. The teachers will go above and beyond to make sure your child excels. As a parent I do my best to make sure I am communicating with the teachers and they do a great job of giving me great feedback. I love their violin program. Thankfully neither of my sons have experienced bullying there and they feel safe. It is a great school and my kids love it!!! THANK you to all the amazing staff!!
Biggest disappointment! My son began in middle of 2nd grade. The communication with his teacher was beyond poor and I could not get any updates on his progress to save my life. I also will never understand how the first 8 weeks of the semester everything is fine...I hear nothing from his teacher (even after several emails) and then the last week he comes home with a progress report and an "N" under the behavior marks on his report card. Call me crazy but I'd think I should be notified much sooner so I can attempt to fix whatever issues are occurring. 5 days before school ends hardly sounds reasonable. So we can say this would be the teacher and they can make or break the year but the principal is another story...and not a good one. Within the 1st week of my childs attendance he was told "there were never any problems at this school until he arrived" and then when I approached the principal she told me my child was a liar....while later on in our convo she informed me she never had issues in his classroom until he arrived, sounded almost like what she "didn't" tell him. School might be better if you started in K so you can fit into the clique and child be accepted. Good luck!
I am surprise to hear the comments about the lunchroom staff. I volunteered in the lunchroom (lunch) for five years and never witnessed this behavior.Often times, students will not report Incidents of bullying. Please encourage your child to talk to you and report thhese incidents. Finally, I am sorry your child did not have positive and rewarding experiences. I am looking forward to having my grandson there 2013
This school is welcoming and committed to providing a quality education for their students. The teachers are engaged and do a fantastic job balancing fun with work. My son is completing his second year at MacFarlane and I'm excited that our second son will be a kindergartener next year.
This school provides an excellent education! I am a new parent to the school and I have felt very welcomed by the staff and by the other parents. The PTA is welcomed in the school and has an obvious presence. We appreciate and support our teachers. My daughter has had a wonderful first year! My only complaint is that more children don't have access to this kind of experience. I hope to see even more IB schools open in the future.
This school has some real "issues" at the administration level. They offer great programs, and "most" of the teachers are good. Its the few that are not that make the experience less than desirable. New kids are not integrated effectively and there is a lot of bullying from the older kids. The workers in the lunch room are disrespectful to the kids. Kids are people too! Not worth it unless your kid starts at the kindergarten level!
What can I say about this school other than from top to bottom, it is excellent! The administration is exceptional, the teachers are absolutely, hands down, the best in Hillsborough County and the PTA is the strongest I have ever seen. My kids left their neghborhood school to attend MacFarlane and they have never looked back. They are studying Spanish, play violin, attend art and scrapbooking clubs, are challenged and rewarded on a daily basis, and genuinely look forward to school each day. When you walk through the halls of MacFarlane Park you will see smiling teachers and staff, happy kids who are eager to show what is happening in their school and parents who feel very comfortable in the school and proud to help their school in any way possible. The school is very clean and I feel confident in my children's safety as well. The IB program challenges kids to learn about the world and their role in it. The school is very involved in outreach programs locally and worldwide. It is important to this administration and the teachers, to show the children they can make a difference in the world and to give them the best education possible. We love our school!
MacFarlane Park is full of wonderful teachers who care about the children inside and outside of the classroom. The diverse curriculum allows the students to excel...we are so pleased to be part of the MacFarlane Park family.
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