We have been very pleased with our experience at Alafia. My oldest has attended for the last 3 years. Her teachers have been wonderful and have worked with us to make sure she is not just succeeding but thriving.
I applied to have my son attend this school based on my personal experience since this is where I went to school from K-5. When he was offered a seat and accepted, I was beyond ecstatic for him! I really thought he could excel here academic and behavior wise. That clearly was NOT the case! His teacher agreed that my son could have a learning disability but blatantly denied it when confronted by the Principal who was also my Fifth grade teacher back in the mid 90's. They were both too busy to sit down and discuss with me why my child was the only one out of all the kids in his grade level to miss an end of the year party (yesterday) but then say he's good enough to attend today. Really?! And no one notified me about this like they said they put a note in his agenda and I went through it about 10 times and no note was written to me! My child isn't perfect but is it really right to tell him he can't go to a party an end of the year party at that!? He will be going back to Buckhorn Elementary this Fall. I expected so much more from this school,was extremely disappointed how they treat their kids, how they handle issues & when school takes in and let's out. Don't go here!
I am very fortunate to have found Alafia Elementary School for my son. The school and the educators in the school are not only skilled but very friendly. My son loves the school and that means a lot to me. I see the difference in his reading, writing and maths skills. I see lot of improvements in his behavioral skills as well as communication. Entire staff, including the principal, teachers, and admin staff is very friendly. I am sure to continue my son with this school for next 5 years and send my second kid also to this school. I wish they had more extra-curricular activities such as sports, multi-language program, but that would not stop me from recommending this school.
The school facilities are great and my kids are really loving being there. Having said that, any military moving to Hillsborough County need to be aware that while FL has signed the military interstate compact, it is not recognized in this school district. Even though my child was gifted in previous schools, we are 1 month into the school year and just signed the approval to get him tested for gifted even though I met with the school officials in April when we were under contract for our house. And the only reason we got this meeting was because I went over their heads to the district. Other than that, we are satisfied.
Six years ago when we came to Alafia I would have been the first person to sing its praises to the rafters. There have been many changes. Our current principal is little better than the last one. She can be hard to reach, very rarely seems to be at the school, and often picks and chooses her battles sometimes to the detriment of children. Don t dare talk bad about a favorite to her! It is very frustrating to the parents that expect more common courtesy. The major issue at the school does appear to be the choice few parents who seem to think the school is belongs to them. In the past two years I have watched what was once an excellent PTA turn into a horrible mess. The few good parents who want to be involved often get passed over. The favoritism shown at the school is actually beyond disgusting. If your child is well behaved, quiet, and EARNS rewards the honest way, they are often overlooked. It is disgusting how blatant it is done. The principal will side with her favorites often to the detriment of the sweet children. Over the course of six years I have seen a once beautiful and loving family oriented school become the poster child for a common melodrama.
My daughter is now in 4th grade at Alafia and her father and I are both involved at the school. It's a wonderful, warm, nurturing learning environment with a very family-oriented atmosphere. The Principal and her staff are fabulous. The PTA is very active and enhances the learning environment in so many ways. And the teachers my daughter has had have been top notch. Barbara Baker must be the finest Kindergarten teacher in the entire county, maybe in the whole state of Florida. Kathy Mulvihill is an incredible 3rd grade teacher who brings amazing warmth and joy to both her students and their parents. Carol Townsend has such an obvious passion not only for teaching her 4th grade students but for guiding them in the right direction as they go forward in life. These beautiful, gifted women have been such positive influences in my little girl's life. Thank you, Alafia!
My daughter loves fourth grade. She loves her teacher. The other children are friendly and the Principal, Assistant Principle, faculty and staff actually know her name and smile and greet her. Wow! What a difference from Cimino Elementary where politics outweighed principle and your status in the school indicated which teacher your child got. The new Principal is bringing this once great school back from the edge. The Hillsborough School Board and the School Superintendent should be replaced.
Since enrolling my fourth grader in Alafia we are having the best school year since Kindergarten. The atmosphere is extremely positve, the Principal keeps her promises and her teacher is wonderful. For years we had mornings when my daughter just did not want to get out of bed. Now she sets her alarm clock, her feet hit the floor and she goes out the door with a big smile on her face. She is actually dissapointed when Saturday rolls around. I had a terrible experience at Riverview Elementary and the more I tried to communicate the worse things seem to get! I am so thankful for Alafia, there is genuine enthusiasm and they act like it is an honor to teach my child! I am seeing her learning and growing in such a positive way!
Our family loves Alafia Elementary. Its teachers are so dedicated and caring. Our daughter had Ms. Nichols for kindergarten and Mrs. Bethoney for first grade - both top notch teachers. We look forward to getting to know her second grade teacher and all future ones. Alafia Elementary certainly lives up to its years of excellent recommendations. The new principal is also doing a wonderful job.