Yes this school is predominantly hipanic but that is not the schools fault, that is politics. I have never had trouble talking with ANY of the staff because they ALL speak English. The progress this school has made over the last few years is incredible. Teachers are great. They are caring and will go above and beyond for the children. They have so many opportunities, activities, workshops, meetings, and a goals for each year. This year we had an outdoor movie night, carnival, math night, family reading night, career day, and I could go on. I have never seen such a dedicated principal and staff. If people would get over themselves and put their children ahead of their own ignorance, they would see this school is miles ahead of other schools like Ison and Heards Ferry.
I am a parent of 3 kids in Lake Forest and my kids been there for 3 years except for the little one. This is a great school with very good teachers. I want to recognize Mr. Grossman, Mr. James and Ms. Pope as the best teachers I ever seen and thank them for their dedication. The new principle is fantastic and is involved all the time, the staff is extra friendly. My kids loved Lake Forest although we are a minority. The only thing is that many teachers do not give much homework; rather they let students do most of the work at school. The activities, events, and field trips are great and improved a lot. If you do not mind the Hispanic majority in this school, go for it.
Let me tell you why I gave this school 5 stars: Yes it's true. The population of this school is around 90% hispanics. Yes, the people who live in the $500K homes located across from the school is districted to attend Heards Ferry. HOWEVER, my son attended this school for 3 years, prior to us relocating to a different state, and the compassion that the teachers have at this school is unbelieveable. The teachers at this school are there because they want to be. The challenges they have to endure on a daily basis outweighs everything else. Dara is a wonderful principal who LOVES her school and does all she can to make sure her students come into an environment where they are welcomed. Don't get me wrong, if you want a politics school, then this isn't the place to go. However, if you want a school where people care and you feel the warmth once you enter, then LFE is tjhe place. Regarding the FCBOE, they knew exactly what they were doing when they built this school. However, that is a decision they will have to live with.
This school was clearly built to take out Hispanic students from Hartsferry and place them into Lake Forest - which I have no issue with. My main issue is that we live in America when you visit any schools here you shouldn't have to wait 10 minutes just so someone can translate for you. What kind of message are they sending out? Is it fair to have 20 Hispanic students in one class and one white/American? No I didn't think so, we live in a diverse city and if they were going to build a new school and put so much of OUR TAX money into it they should have built a diverse school for all kinds. I have no problem with Hispanics or any other cultures/religions but my point is this is unfair to those who actually have to send their children to school such as this. They didn't only make it for apartment complex students but also got near by HOME OWNERS that are near those apartments. This is just beyond ridiculous! And even worst is when you call Fulton Country School system none of them want to hear it. Really?
It's true about the Spanish speaking issue, but my daughter really enjoyed her Kindergarten year there. Her teachers were wonderful and the school building is very nice. They have a carnival each year that the kids enjoy. The kids speak English and interact just fine, but the problem is that the parents do not and that makes it hard to carry over friendships outside the classroom.
I went to a parent conference today, and in the entire auditorium, there were only 10 English-speaking parents, the rest were all Spanish-speaking. They told all of the English speaking parents to sit at one table. They attempted to send an English translator to our table, but we couldn't hear her, so they did the whole thing in Spanish then English. I've found out that they have zoned all the apartments in the area that are predominanly Hispanic to this school. It's totally unfair to all the students to have to attend a school that has NO Diversity! Especially in a city that is so diverse. The most upsetting part is that there are Luxury Townhomes and Houses immediately surrounding the school that are not zoned for Lake Forest. The school itself is brand new and very nice. That's about where my positive feedback ends!
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