We just finished our Georgia funded Pre-K at Parkside. Our Pre-K tearchers were Ms Fangmann and Ms Andrews and we could not have been happier. We came from private pre-schools since our child was 1 year old so the free public school was a huge welcom! Our son has a late birthday so he has always been the youngest in the class. I debated whether to red-shirt him or not and we are happy to say we will not! We start Kindergarden at Parkside this year with Ms Williams who is highly recommended. The school def has a few kinks to solve but has a rock star prinicipal, Caitlyn Sims, and a phenomenal PTA. This school has free breakfast and lunch for all children. It is on it's way to be an IB accredited Charter System school. Academically this school is far superior to other "lottery" schools in the neighborhood and this comes from parents who have left Wesley Charter and ANCS Charter to come to Parkside. Also every morning the enitre school is greeted by the Principal and all the teaching staff to welcome the parents and children. In terms of the Preferred School Care for the After Care program, there needs to be some improvements. The enrichments are paid per program. Some enrichments are excellent (Tennis, Gymnastics) while others need some work. This year we have an amazing team of parents in the PTA to make that last step up to change Parkside to be the coveted school it should be in our neighborhood!!! Def sign up and register while there is still space. The secret will soon be let out!
After our first year, we have noticed myriad issues that either can t or won t be fixed anytime soon. The majority of the students come from public housing. The kids are woefully unprepared and therefore, the teachers have to teach to the bottom, at the expense of the prepared kids who want to learn. The principal seems to focus more on CYA and spinning the issues rather than truly acknowledging or addressing problems. She simply smiles, offers platitudes and focuses on why we should be happy with the status quo. And, the ENTIRE school checks out after Spring Break. The specials like art, music and PE classes, are canceled for the rest of the year. Teachers cancel all homework, so there s no further academic progress. Even going outside to play all but ends, which is crazy and utterly indefensible. The only bright spot for Parkside is the PTA, which is run by a core of very engaged parents. But even that can t offset the lack of real leadership and the detrimental impact of the public housing students. Their predicament is sad, but they re only bringing down the rest of the school.
As a parent of two daughters, I tend to compare the two. My oldest will be 19 in March and my youngest is 10. My oldest daughter attended Parkside and is now in College. Because of the age gap I lost track of the school and chose to put my youngest in a Charter school. Bad choice. The school focused on dicipline, uniforms, and foreign language. If the child is not a teacher's child or part of the click then they will fall by the wastside. Also, for the kids not as socially advanced they are manipulated and portrayed to be a problem or unruly child. Upon registering my baby I came across administrators and teachers that are still there now my oldest was there. They welcomed me and said you can always come back home : ). This made me feel so good . This school wants all their kids to well and learn what is being taught !!!
When my family moved to Atlanta in the summer of last year we had a plan to send our Kindergartener to Parkside until we could land an ever-coveted spot at ANCS or Drew Charter. What we quickly realized was that Parkside is rich in diversity, has an administrative team that is dedicated to the their students and school, and significant parental involvement. Big things are happening at Parkside and I'm excited for next year and the years to come!
School is a warm and caring environment that allows kids to grow and perform,. They are ready to move on to Middle School when they are done here and continue to achieve great things, it has been a pleasure sending our kids here for the last 8 years and we have three more years here. We are looking forward to all the great things that the school does
My odlest son will be finishing up his 5th grade year at Parkside in the next couple weeks. He has been there for 7 years (since he started PreK) and we have been completely impressed with the faculty and the wonderful education that he has received. We also have a 2nd grade daughter who has been there since PreK as well and will remain through her 5th grade year. Every single teacher that both of them has had has been top notch. As a school system employee myself, I have worked in several schools around the Metro area and Parkside is among the best of the best. There are plenty of enrichment activities that might not be available at some other schools including Gifted, Robotics, Safety Patrol, Dance Team, music lessons, etc. Parkside has become a second family to us and is a diverse and accepting community school that I highly recommend!
I have two children at Parkside Elementary School, both started in the Pre K program. I couldn't be happier with their success! Both kids have excelled socially and academically. Parkside's teachers are involved and teach the students more than just what is in the text books, they teach how to be successful in life. The Robotics club, boys public speaking competition, piano have been some of my favorite extras that not all other schools offer.
Parkside Elementary has been the perfect choice for my twins daughters. They started in Pre-K and have had another amazing year in Kindergarten. I've been very impressed by the experience of the Kindergarten team and how much my girls- who are the youngest in their classes- have learned in such a short amount of time. Both are reading- one proficiently- and are excelling in math and science. Most importantly they love to learn and are excited to apply what they're learning to the world around them. Their creative spirit has been nutured as well- I see it in the stories they're now writing! I love that when I walk through the doors at Parkside I'm greeted by friendly teachers who know me and my children. I feel confident in the leadership of our new principal, Caitlin Sims, and can tell that she is focused on strengthening and building upon the good foundation of the school. It's important to me that my children attend a school that serves and is representative of their community, provides them with a strong academic foundation, as well as diverse social experience. Parkside does this and more families in the neighborhoods it serves are coming to the same conclusion.
My daughter is currently a fifth grade student and has attended Parkside for the last six years beginning in the kindergarten. Her first principal, Dr. Battle as well as her second principal, Dr. Luck were phenomenal leaders. My child loves her school and I have enjoyed each teacher she has had the opportunity to learn from. The teachers are strong, educated and grounded in love. She is challenged when necessary and given encouragement when needed. All teachers are different but Parkside is a like a second family. I feel so at ease, leaving her in caring hands each day and I know she is receiving a quality eduation. I love the extra curricular activities offered at the school as well as the diversity that has been there since my child started in the kindergarten. We will truly miss the relationships and the family bond that has been formed once the school year comes to and end. Parkside is an awesome school and both of the previous principals worked diligently to put Parkside on the map.
My first-grade daughter is in her second year at parkside and we couldn't be happier. Learning is fun but rigorous (expect homework right from Kindergarden). The teachers are warm but professional - my daughter gets hugs just about every morning from her teachers. The administration is communicative, approachable, and truly interested in input and finding solutions to issues that arise. And as a parent, you are welcome just about any time for observation, meeting your kid for lunch, chaperoning field trips, or volunteering during or outside of school hours. I am impressed with how many teachers hold advanced degrees and/or are from very prestigious schools. I also love how well-equipped Parkside is - because of its Title 1 status, it gets extra funding, and uses it wisely. Rooms have promethean boards, multiple computers for students to use, a special digital slate for teachers to project visuals onto the promethean board, and lots of other high-tech equipment. These kids will be well prepared for the 21st century! I wish more families in Grant Park would consider Parkside as a viable option - it has so much potential, and with more parent involvement it will truly shine