Our overall experience with the school has been extraordinarily disappointing. There are a few good (read good as meaning capable AND dedicated) teachers here and they are scattered amongst the chaos. I do not blame them as it's management's responsibility to create and organization that excels. Teachers cannot do this on their own. This year 2013 - 2014 the school is under new leadership at both levels and things are not getting better, rather I fear the opposite. There is little to know visible structure/discipline, more school fights, and the culture of no homework and fantasy grading scales continues on. The scale for a C at this school ranges between 65-79%. Why? It has created a false sense for the students, and will be worse moving forward into high school, and beyond. Teachers are always absent. A few new teachers this year seem to be assigning large amounts of homework to their kids (my child is one of them). Everyone is frustrated and upset. It's obvious the kids are behind. Does the school realize it's their fault? No. No changes to help the kids. Instead they want the teachers to "lay off". That's how we got here. Everyone laid off. Do something! Help the kids.
It's amazing that the Board of Education turns a blind eye to this circus. Never have I seen such complete incompetence and lunacy. Furthermore, it is totally asinine that they think wearing their new socialist uniforms is going to turn the tide of academic achievement. If they spent a mere 50% of their energy addressing the real problems, rather than policing clothing and ID cards, then they may actually make some head way. Communication with parents is dismal, passion of the teachers non existent, and overall care of the children's future is a total sham. What I gather is these teachers are just in it for the paycheck, a small one yes, but you get the point. Unfortunately I live next to this school and have been denied on 2 occasions for my children to be relocated to another school nearby.
This school has excellent teachers that run a tight ship. Their band program is outstanding. The principal is excellent and you can tell she is always trying to improve the school. There is a reward program called the Renassance program that your should encourage your child to join. Even though Iao is a huge school our daughter had a very good experience there and made many friends from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds.
Teaching staff is very good if they stick around. There are honors classes, but unfortunately many of the children don't care about acedemics. I have talked to my daughters friends and the say that their parents are of no help. More community involvment would really help this school.