I am a parent of a second grader at Whittier Elementary. My Son has been enrolled in the dual language program for three years and I am very pleased with the individual attention, small class size, exposure to diverse cultures, spanish emersion learning, and of course the amazing teachers. The list really goes on. This is a great program and comes highly recomended from a mom of three (and a preschool owner).
I have a daughter in first grade in the dual language program. This is our second year at Whittier and we are so glad to be there. Our home school is only a block away but we are happy to drive the five miles to Whittier to be part of the dual language program. We are pleased with the staff and the programs offered at Whittier. My daughter has great friends, great teachers and great learning opportunities. The school is safe and provides a large amount of diversity that only adds to her educational experience. I would definitely recommend Whittier and am so glad we made the decision to attend there.
I am the parent of a 1st grader in the Dual Language Program at Whittier. We could walk to our home school, Highlands, but the idea of my child being bilingual by 6th grade is why we go to Whittier. Other benefits include a truly diverse student body: over 13 languages spoken at Whittier. Also, because it's a Title 1 school, there is extra staff. My son had an amazing reading specialist in Kindergarden, even though he was one of the stronger readers. He now reads at a 4th grade level. His teachers are strong, smart and very caring. The last principal turned the school around over the last 7 years. My understanding is that the scores were very low. Now, they are at par or above the local schools. Whittier was one of two schools in all of Idaho to receive The Distinguished Schools award by the Idaho State Board of Education this past year. The new principal is following the same path as the last and is open to parents and keeps close communication with the faculty. The neighborhood is safe, the school is safe and my son's friends are delightful. Whittier is a school on the brink of greatness. I'm thrilled to be a parent t at this school.
Whittier Elementary School is a low-income school with a high percentage of ELL students. (Primary language is not English). This year is the first year 1st grade is developing a dual language program. Early prep in Kindergarten started the process and 1st grade is creating the foundation to develop students who will be fluent in English and Spanish as Whittier continues to advance the program. With Idaho ranked at the bottom for teacher compensation, the amount of effort, sacrifice and dedication these first grade teachers are giving - Whittier Elementary School gets my vote for one of America's Favorite Schools.
I realize that the test scores for this school are well below where they should be, but I don't feel that they are a reflection of the school's ability to teach. A majority of students come from low-income areas of town, where both parents are forced to work full time, thus giving the students less help with homework and such at home. I don't say this to judge anyone, because we were one of these families! After moving to a high-income area of town, we were shocked to see just how much was taken away from us by leaving the Whittier school district. My daughter has a slight learning disability, and learned in leaps and bounds at Whittier due to its abundance of remedial programs and tutoring programs. When we moved, we were told that this help would no longer be available to us at our new school! My daughter spent her entire 5th grade year at this nice, upscale school learning absolutely nothing, because no one would give her the help that she needed. When I complained that she could not learn at the same level as her fellow classmates, the school's answer was to give her 4th grade level work instead, so that she would receive passing grades. When I begged them to hold her back at the end of her 5th grade year, they refused, saying that she had received passing marks in her subjects (Cs and Ds based on 4th grade work). I have since pulled her out of her school and chosen to homeschool her, basing my teaching style on that of the teachers who lead the remedial and special help programs at Whittier. We never would have moved from Whittier if we'd realized just how much help this school had to offer! The downside to Whittier has been a higher incidence of minor violence and smoking, and the area surrounding the school is not one that I would want my daughter to walk to school through. I felt that that part of town was dangerous, which is why we moved.