Smoke Rise is a very good school. My child is thriving here academically and socially, and I have been very happy with the quality of the teachers I have dealt with on a personal basis. My child was welcomed from day one and has participated in a variety of extra-curriculars since coming to this school. I see a lot of children who are happy, feel safe, and thriving at Smoke Rise Elementary. I can't explain some of the current dissatisfaction among some former parents. I'd rate this school 4.5 out of 5 stars, with a half point being deducted for the everyday grievances you typically have to deal with in any public school. I'm pretty realisic, however, and realize that every school has issues. Bottom line - your child can have a great experience at this school.
Maybe this IS one of the better schools in DeKalb, but that does not make it a great school. There is little accountability for poor behavior by staff, students, or parents. Discipline is a major issue now. Folks have not left because parents from other attendance zones came here to find a better education for their kids. That is a facade the principal created. The folks who left WROTE the charter so that those parents who value education COULD come! They left b/c they too want better for their children... better than our county seems able to offer. Claiming that they didn't appreciate incompetency because they haven't seen worse is inane. DCSS is in trouble, and SRCES is a perfect example of the whole. Instead of trying to make improvements so that neighborhood families would have a school where their children would be challenged and safety would be upheld, apathy has become the norm, and anyone who finds apathy unacceptable is treated as overzealous or irrational. The families who left are now in schools where their children feel happy, safe, and are thriving. Too bad they couldn't get that here, despite herculean efforts! Hopefully DeKalb is able to turn it around soon.
Smoke Rise is a great school. The last school we attended was very overcrowded and the administrators and teachers seemed overwhelmed by too many kids and too many behavior problems. This is not the case at Smoke Rise. We're so thankful! The teachers we have encountered personally have been wonderful. We have found the principal, Mr. Moore to be an effective and professional leader. Those who are not happy simply have not had enough (or any) experience at other schools in the county. If they did, they'd realize how good they have it! The only negative thing we can say has nothing to do with the staff but the fact that some of the parents/families in the Smoke Rise community seem resentful that "outsiders" (such as my kids!) are at the school due to it becoming a charter school last year.
This school has been renowned for it's quality in the past. Sadly that is not the case today. Many of the local families have pulled their kids from the school in favor of private school. The principal, though very polite and nice, has not shown himself to be the most outgoing leader, which is important in such an environment. There are many parents who are trying to volunteer and help bring the school back to its days of glory, but, their efforts haven't always been welcomed very warmly by the administration and sometimes the staff. Interestingly, since becoming a charter (with a requirement that parents join/participate in the PTA), the PTA membership is now down to 49%. With effective, active leadership, this school could be turned around. Let's hope Dekalb Co. will step up and allow this school to actually operate as a real Charter School with parental involvement and that this can turn it around. It would be a shame if a school with the reputation that Smoke Rise has were allowed to continue to deteriorate as it has been for the last several years. Note: there has to be a reason for the 6 rating on this site given the reasonably respectable CRCT scores at SRECS...
We've always been pleased with SRE. The parent involvment has been remarkable and truly makes the difference in the school. The teachers and administrative staff have always been very approachable and eager to help in anyway. There is an common thread running through the place of kindness, commitment and a desire to excel. You can't help but feel it when you spend time there. We look forward to allowing all our children benefiting from the special growing experience SRE provides. Melanie Johnson
This school is outstanding! My husband and I are so glad our Pre-K and 1st grade sons are attending this school. The teachers and staff do a wonderful job of teaching, mentoring and caring for our children. I am an active parent at the school. In my many days visiting the school, and observing, I can't help but comment on the great behavior the students have. I never see a child roaming the hallways, being disruptive, or anything of the sort. Things are organized and on track. My children absolutely love going to school. They are learning so much, and I never hear any complaints from them concerning their teachers, friends or otherwise. My Pre-K son brought his guitar to school the other day and played it for his class. That is how comfortable he feels about his teachers and classmates. SRE is the best! Tasha Carr
I have had a child at Smoke Rise for the last six years and have a good experience. I am excited about the direction the school is going and have nothing but respect for the administration and the faculty.
I am a newer teacher at Smoke Rise and I could not be happier! I taught in two other schools prior to joining the Smoke Rise team and I never experienced the sense of community that I feel every day at Smoke Rise. The staff members are so incredibly caring and always place the children's best interest first and foremost. The passion that is present at this school amongst the teachers and staff is inspiring.
I have been a student here at smoke rise Elementary for about 5 years, And I am know in 4th grade.The activities of this school. are fun and enchanting. The work they give us here is great, and every year there are memories to cherish. THIS SCHOOL ROCKS SOCKS!!!!!!!!
Smoke Rise is a good school with a lot of dedicated parents. The staff and parents are working hard to make this school the best it can be; trying to bring it back to its glory days. But, it really needs the community as a whole to support it and send their kids there so it can be a true neighborhood school again.
A former educator and proud involved grandparent of a male student entering his third year at the school, I find Smoke Rise to be an excellent institution. Under the leadership of Mr. Beaver, ALL students had the opportunity to take advantage of an exceptional learning environment due in large measure to the support from the community. Student/staff diversity also increased during his tenure. Consistent parent/guardian participation can alleviate the concerns of the first commenter and greatly enhances the overall achievement for any student. One might also consider, that the ethnicity of an individual does not dictate one's ability to succeed. Mr. Moore's first year has not been without some cause for concern. His ability to continue the legacy of a strong school/community relationship is essential to the school's continued success as well as his. However, I do expect great things from Mr. Moore in the coming year. The goal of this grandparent and the Smoke Rise Community is to retain a School of Excellency. Volunteer and Join the PTA!
I disagree with the previous parent's assessment of this school. Smoke Rise Elementary was one out of four schools in the state of Georgia that achieved a National School of Excellence award in 2002. This was under the administration of the admirable Mr. Hal Beaver, who was responsible for developing numerous programs to enrich the education of his students. To suggest that he or any member of his wonderful staff were insensitive to the cultural or ethnic backgrounds of the student population is absolutely preposterous, especially because of the fact that the school staff are culturally and ethnicly diverse themselves. We welcome our new principle, Mr. Aaron Moore, and hope that his presence will help to reassure doubtful parents of the excellence of this school's learning environment.
Smoke Rise Elementary is a school that has a lot of support by the community and parents. They have several fund raising events/programs and many programs to help enrich the children's learning skills. I feel like the only element missing is it's insensitivity to diversity and lack of programs for boys. This school needs mentoring programs for the boys and teachers who are willing to educate children with different ethnic backgrounds. And teachers should be more enthusiastic during teaching. The principal also has a problem with this, and refuse to let go of this mentality. Too bad his peers doesn't know this or they would think twice about giving him a position in the Principal Association Group/Committee. Hurray for our new incoming principle who has already made a impact due to his ethnic background.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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