This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
South Olive Elementary School5
Posted November 01, 2014
- a community member
I attended south olive elementary 16 years ago, and all I can say is that my memories from elementary school are some of the best memories I have. I love south olive. Every time I drive past it, I think of all the wonderful teachers I had, and how much fun it was to learn. I am actually friends with my old teachers on facebook, and when I see them out in public, it is always a wonderful occasion. My husband and I will be sending our children here...when that day comes. (Awesome memories I have: Learning my times tables and being rewarded with an ice cream sunday; In kindergarden when I learned how to spell by putting shaving cream on my desk and writing out my letters in the shaving cream! SO FUN!)
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!!.
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.