My child attended this school for HALF first grade. We were transferred to another school on an emergency transfer after his life was threatened by another first grader. and sadly that was not even the worst off it...the school was required to have hearing regarding this matter, which was scheduled for 9am the following Tuesday. My husband and I showed up at 8:40am, we were immediately called into the social workers office where we were apologized to profusely because they HELD THE HEARING WITHOUT US due to the other child's mother having to be at work. I was informed that my 5 year old son was sworn in under oath without me present, which is illegal. And when I how and why none of the adults and officials present saw this as a problem or issue the principal said, "my apologies, I fumbled the football".
Woodward is home to superior faculty and great administrative leadership. That fact is the school is completely an "Unknown" to the surrounding single-family home neighborhoods due to "white flight" or, more accurately, middle class flight. While the school is as advertised on the economic demographics, it is more like a 7 or 8, not a "1." The school atmosphere is excellent with an emphasis on leadership and scholarship. As a school funded in large part by federal dollars, our school is as well-equipped, if not more so, than our wealthier neighboring schools. The primarily immigrant-origin parents are very much of "traditional" values and discipline is excellent in the classroom with deep respect for educational opportunities and educators. There is no better school in the area for my child and he has been excelling with the support of superior primary teachers, gifted certified teachers, specials (reading, music, art) and a group of highly diverse classmates. The only reason I don't see Woodward as a "5 star" school is due to the facilities which are out-dated and generally neglected by the DeKalb school system.
Woodward is a gem. Folks in the community shuttle their kids off to private schools because most of the kids at Woodward speak Spanish as a first language. Last time I checked, being bilingual was an asset. Anyway, the new principle is amazing, really progressive and forward thinking. There is a new wave of teachers who are young, fresh and open to trying new things in the classroom and differentiating for students who needs extra extension and supporting those who need more help. I think Brookhaven should give Woodward a chance, we need more diversity and kids from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Childhood (Especially elementary) should not be all about test scores, but about creating a decent little person who is well adjusted, has had a wide range of experiences and social interactions from people outside their community and who refuse to stereotype or judge others based on the brownness of their skin or how much money their parents have. There are some teachers at Woodward who probably have been teaching a bit too long, but that's every school. I love Woodward, and the community it serves. I love my kids, and couldn't think of any other way to spend my workdays.