Principal turnover is terrible for a school and we are on our third Principal in the past four years. Our new Principal seems to bring little direction, personality or presence to her position and rarely interacts with the children or the parents. An inordinate amount of focus on being quiet at all times (even during lunch) and a minimal amount of outdoor time (20 minutes) doesn't allow for socialization or time for kids to develop relationships with each other. I appreciate the passion our teachers bring to their positions, but also feel that at a 1 teacher per 25 kids ratio, that the class sizes are too large to focus on each child's individual needs or to give extra attention to kids who need it- and they all need it at one point or another. If you were thinking of moving to this area solely for the school I would urge you to reconsider.
I believe Oak Grove is a good school, however our experience was not great. My child began in kindergarten with a new teacher who was so focused on him sitting quietly every second of his school day that it significantly affected his confidence. During the in class assessments, if he became distracted and provided a delayed answer, it was marked as if he had not mastered the material. Many of the older teachers lacked patience in the same respect, not knowing how to channel the energy of the young boys. There is even a time out table in the middle of the cafeteria that was often full with boys who were talking during the classical music period, placed there by the ever so stern cafeteria monitors. It was not until we switched classrooms that we experienced a teacher with more patience, and were able to see the spirit of Oak Grove that many speak of. I do have to say that as a minority I feel as if my son stood out more (in the way that a red sports car speeding on the highway gets the ticket while speeding with the other cars). My husband and I both observed him at school numerous times, even pointing out to his former teacher that she missed other kids doing the exact same thing. She omitted telling us when our son was taunted or hit by other students, and pushed him once which she was unable to deny when confronted in the presence of the principal and vice principal. I honestly lost faith in her. I tried to not let it cloud my judgement regarding the school, but it's difficult. If you are a minority and thinking of choosing this school, or parents of very wiggly, active children, I suggest the following: Be involved. Ensure that they know your expectations. Of course hold your young one accountable, but hold them more accountable.
For us, it was overwhelming to hear our son say that he was not looking forward to school. And that he knew he was going to have another bad day. For that reason we are going private, to a place with a smaller teacher to student ratio and greater transparency.
Oak Grove is an amazing school with A+ teachers, supportive and helpful staff members, and an outstanding new principal! The new principal has completely changed the atmosphere of the school and turned it back into a community school where the focus is placed on the students! My children loved everything about the school and so did I.
I cannot say enough amazing things about Oak Grove Elementary School. My daughter has gone there for four years since Kindergarten. She is thriving academically, socially, and emotionally. The school has a comprehensive, well-rounded curriculum. Oak Grove offers fun and challenging options for students during its aftercare program as well at an additional cost (i.e., drama, Spanish, chess, dance, etc). The teachers are very involved and caring, as are other parents. The test scores are WAY above the state and national averages each year per grade. The student body is diverse and the community surrounding the school is socially liberal. It's just a great place for a child to receive an education!