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GreatSchools Rating

South Olive Elementary School

Public | K-5 | 691 students

 

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Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 1 rating
2013:
No new ratings
2012:
Based on 2 ratings
2011:
Based on 3 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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31 reviews of this school


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Posted March 26, 2014

I have been very happy with my child's performance at south olive despite the changes to common core which has made it very challenging for everyone. My child started in K and is now in 1st grade. Her teachers and the new Principal so far have been a delight. Her reading and math skills performance are over the top! I chose this school because I wanted my child to be in a diverse school. There is a combination of very rich and poor kids (the middle class is small) and white vs. latino children here and I like that because I want my daughter to remain humble while understanding that she is in some way more privileged than other children at her school and be proud of her hispanic heritage. I only dislike two main things: the excessive requests for money from the PTO, and the parental atmosphere which seems to be very socially and racially divided. The PTO is mainly driven by parents who either don't work or are very rich. Its hard to get involved in activities as a working parent and I wish the school promoted more events outside working hours so working parents could participate. South Olive academics are top notch and is a gifted school. and I am very happy with this school!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 28, 2012

We had a very bad experience. We enrolled because we heard good things and because it's an A school. My child was in the gifted program. The teacher was never very friendly and very disorganized. Announcements for meetings were sent home after the date held, we were given conflicting home work assignments on an on-going basis, notes for other parents with personal information would come home in my child's back pack. It's very frustrating to try and talk to anyone at the school, the phone would ring off the hook before being answered. The positive reviews surprise me because volunteering was never encouraged and there seems to be little family oriented activities unless you count the constant pressure for fund raising. The school is all about FCAT scores and keeping their rating. I also have been warned that there are security concerns (cars being broken into years back) and the school is practically in lock down on a daily basis. The principle as stated in a previous review is difficult to get along with and is more about his admin duties and a paycheck then the welfare of children. A great choice if you want Stepford children but not the place for progressive thinkers.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 12, 2012

My two grandchildren attend South Olive, and I am on the school's SAC(School Advisory Council). I am a reading specialist (retired) and my daughter-in-law is a math coach in the Palm Beach County School District. We are both very proud that South Olive has been deemed one of the best elementary schools in the state. Our wonderful principal, Hank Smith, has definitely helped to accomplish this by having the innate ability to understand and fulfill the needs of our teachers, parents and children. We are very lucky to have such a talented leader, excellent teachers and wonderful children!


Posted September 10, 2011

We are on our second year and I can not express the love I have for the school and Mr. Smith, the princibal. My daughter could not be happier and move loved and safe at South Olive. I am a great believer in children having a diversified enviroment and not being in a social bubble. Thank you to Hank Smith, he brings the best out of every student, no matter they back ground and that tells you a lot about a person. He does not see any difference between wealth or race. Thank you so much for all your hard work and love for the school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 9, 2011

My son started in the 3rd grade this year, 2011, with butterflies in his stomach. He came from a school that acted more as a family unit, Pine Jog Elementary, he has been with the same kids since pre-school and was nervous but excited for a new start when we moved. From the 1st week of school, I started to feel at ease until I discovered the principal, Hank Smith, does not care about the saftety of the children who attend his school. All entrances are closed and the only way in for your child is to walk 10 minutes through a public park and enter through a side entrance. After trying to reason with an unreasonable man I relaized i made a huge mistake by enrolling my son here and we are switching back to Pine Jog.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 18, 2011

My daughter is in the second grade at South Olive and I am extrememly happy with all aspects of this school. I am amazed with the academics at this school and with the teachers and staff. They all truly care about what is in the best interest of the children. I am happy to be apart of the S.O. family.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 13, 2010

This is my son second and last year at this school. I feel so safe when I leave my son in SOES every morning. I feel sad that it is my son last year at this place. I love the teachers, the gifted program, the principal, the food in the cafeteria, the enviroment, the cleaness, neatness, the kids, the parents, the programs, the staff always have a big smile on their face... I will missed this school next year very dearly, I'll never forget it!!.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 31, 2010

Top-down, hands on leadership from a great principal, and exceptionally engaged teachers. SO is a great school and has recently had many out of area principals and teachers observe how they do it to try and replicate.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 25, 2010

Love the Principal, teachers and staff here! I'm sending my 3rd child here and my oldest is in 10th grade...it continues to be a fabulous school!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 23, 2010

South Olive continues to excel at producing the county s best students and young citizens. Our family s experience at the campus has been consistently pleasurable throughout the nine years and two students who have enrolled. The administration is led by Hank Smith, a principal who utilizes his knowledge and experience to deliver academic excellence in an environment that fosters faculty growth. The administration and staff have cultivated a relationship that allows for flexibility in providing the best education plan for an individual student. Advanced metrics are utilized to predict student achievement and areas of improvement leading to faculty discussions on how to best challenge the student. Combined with an involved SAC and PTO base of parental involvement, this has lead to a consistent growth in academic achievement that is the envy of public and private elementary schools across the county and state. Partnering in this hotbed of learning is our student body, which is rich in both cultural and economic diversity. The entire faculty has created a culture where success is independent of culture or economic strata. Quite simply, this is your elementary school of choice.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 23, 2010

I am a parent of 3 children who have all gone through South Olive Elementary. It is an amazing elementary school with outstanding leadership and academics as well as top notch teachers. It is a true "neighborhood" school.


Posted August 23, 2010

The criteria for a 5 star rating on this site include excellent teachers, strong principal/school leadership, and challenging academic program. South Olive not only meets the requirements for a 5 star rating, but exceeds the criteria. The teachers are incredible. They have a unique ability to balance between strong academics while continuing to provide this age group comfort, confidence and nurturing to make learning successful. The principal, Hank Smith, has not only surpassed academic hurdles and met high goals year by year but he does so while continuing to work hard to make South Olive a safe haven for the students. His leadership has provided a positive atmosphere for learning. The academic program at South Olive exceeds all expectations. Despite the mess we were handed last year, Mr. Smith, the teachers, and support staff stood up and embraced the challenge and were unbelievably successful in the end. South Olive Elementary School, Mr. Smith, the teachers, the staff, made my children s elementary experience fabulous and provided a solid educational path for their futures. I am thankful, proud, and lucky to be a part of this educational family!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 23, 2010

I am a new parent at this school but am very impressed with my little girl's teacher. I also know that there is alot of parent involvement and it is rated an "A" school. We are looking forward to an excellent year!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 21, 2010

My son attended this school and I am not pleased with it at all. His teacher is great but I feel that regardless of how well the student is performing it is noever enough. I dont think that they realizze it is a elementary school and they expect way too much of children at such a low grade level.. When the issue was presented to the principal I was pretty much brushed off as if my concerns were not of interest to him. If I didnt live in the school zone I would prefer to attend another school. 2 more years and he will be out of the school. I cant wait.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 10, 2010

I was so disappointed with the academics at this school I had to take my child someplace else. I was told that the other children would eventually 'catch up' to her - meaning that she should sit and not learn anything for a period of time. It's a shame because the parent involvement at this school is wonderful. The new school has been fabulous and eye opening to how much kids can love school when they are challenged. They need to raise the academics at this school - I know many parents that have left for the same reasons.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 9, 2010

This is the 1st year that my children attended the school. it has been a very negative experience for my children, husband and I. I am requesting to have them transferred to another school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 3, 2009

My kids have been in different schools in the state and all I can say is that South Olive Elementary School is 2nd to none!!!! I cannot put my finger on what make the school so great, it must be the hard working parents/ community working with the teachers as one! I feel so lucky to have had my kid attend South Olive Elementary School. Thanks again to all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 26, 2009

I never new I would be so happy with a public elementary school in palm beach county school district. The school, teachers, and parents at south olive are the best. My daughter loves school and never wants to miss a day.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 25, 2009

South Olive Elem. is an amazing family. The education that my daughter has received is priceless, and how involved the school and staff are just amazing. South Olive experience has been a very positive environment and learning experience. The staff and parents are so involved in everything that the children do. I am thankful that my daughter had the positive experience and begining to her education.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 15, 2009

Great school and teachers.Really caring and involved!! Good use of resources and encourageparent participation.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
Math

The state average for Math was 58% in 2014.

164 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
68%

2013

 
 
81%

2012

 
 
84%

2011

 
 
61%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 57% in 2014.

164 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
76%

2013

 
 
78%

2012

 
 
79%

2011

 
 
76%
Scale: % level 3, 4, or 5

About the tests


In 2013-2014 Florida used the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT 2.0) to test students in grades 3 through 10 in reading, 3 through 8 in math, in grades 5 and 8 in science, and in grades 4, 8, and 10 in writing. The FCAT 2.0 is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Florida. The FCAT 2.0 has 5 achievement levels, with level 1 being the lowest and level 5 the highest. Florida considers scores of level 3 and higher to be on or above grade level. The goal is for all students to score at or above level 3.

Source: Florida Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 63% in 2014.

118 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
86%

2013

 
 
79%

2012

 
 
77%

2011

 
 
89%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 61% in 2014.

118 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
78%

2013

 
 
86%

2012

 
 
84%

2011

 
 
83%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 53% in 2014.

120 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
85%

2013

 
 
98%
Scale: % level 3, 4, or 5

About the tests


In 2013-2014 Florida used the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT 2.0) to test students in grades 3 through 10 in reading, 3 through 8 in math, in grades 5 and 8 in science, and in grades 4, 8, and 10 in writing. The FCAT 2.0 is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Florida. The FCAT 2.0 has 5 achievement levels, with level 1 being the lowest and level 5 the highest. Florida considers scores of level 3 and higher to be on or above grade level. The goal is for all students to score at or above level 3.

Source: Florida Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 56% in 2014.

98 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
77%

2013

 
 
69%

2012

 
 
91%

2011

 
 
78%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 61% in 2014.

98 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
77%

2013

 
 
75%

2012

 
 
82%

2011

 
 
79%
Science

The state average for Science was 54% in 2014.

98 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
70%

2013

 
 
79%

2012

 
 
83%
Scale: % level 3, 4, or 5

About the tests


In 2013-2014 Florida used the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT 2.0) to test students in grades 3 through 10 in reading, 3 through 8 in math, in grades 5 and 8 in science, and in grades 4, 8, and 10 in writing. The FCAT 2.0 is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Florida. The FCAT 2.0 has 5 achievement levels, with level 1 being the lowest and level 5 the highest. Florida considers scores of level 3 and higher to be on or above grade level. The goal is for all students to score at or above level 3.

Source: Florida Department of Education

Writing

The state average for Writing was 81% in 2012.

116 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
93%

2011

 
 
100%

2010

 
 
100%
Scale: % scoring at or above level 3

About the tests


In 2011-2012 Florida used the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) to test students in grades 4, 8 and 10 in writing. The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills needed to progress through school. The FCAT writing exam is scored on a scale of 1 to 6. The state considers a score of 3 or above as meeting state standards.

Source: Florida Department of Education

  • In 2011-2012, this school received a grade of "A".
  • In 2010-2011, this school received a grade of "A".
  • In 2009-2010, this school received a grade of "A".
  • In 2008-2009, this school received a grade of "A".

About the tests


Florida uses School Grades to measure the overall performance of a school each year on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). Each school is assigned a letter grade (A-F) based on three criteria: the overall performance on the FCAT, the percentage of eligible students who took the test, and whether or not students made progress in reading and math. The School Grades are calculated by adding points earned from each of the performance criteria listed above.

Source: Florida Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2013-2014 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school
Hispanic 50%
White 41%
Asian 3%
Black 3%
Two or more races 2%
Source: FL Dept. of Education, 2013-2014

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Limited English proficient 6%N/AN/A
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 0%N/AN/A
Source: FL Dept. of Education, 2013-2014

Teacher education levels

  This school District averageState average
Bachelor's degree 78%73%61%
Master's degree 20%N/A36%
Doctorate degree 0%1%1%
Other degree 2%N/A2%
Source: FL Dept. of Education, 2012-2013

Teacher credentials

  This school District averageState average
Classes taught by non-highly qualified teachers 3%N/A5%
Source: FL Dept. of Education, 2011-2012

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School basics

School Leader's name
  • MS. SHARON HENCH
Fax number
  • (561) 202-0250

Resources

Extra learning resources offered
  • Title I Schoolwide program (SWP)
School leaders can update this information here.

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7101 South Olive Avenue
West Palm Beach, FL 33405
Website: Click here
Phone: (561) 202-0200

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