My school is too noisy and too large. Not enough, none in fact, attention is given to processes involved in solving complicated math problems. Teachers have too much to do in a short amount of time. More teacher training is especially needed with language classes and math. Inexperienced instructors need more guidance. Parents are working overtime to make up for the deficiencies.
This school has gone down the tubes. We've been there for 5 years and it used to be excellent. It just isn't the same this year. No recess, silent lunches, no running allowed on playground. I'm just sick of it. We have to move, I think. It's such a shame.
At Walt Disney Magnet School, I have no problems with the teachers but lower grade administration is not helpful at all. Loved this school last year but extremely disappointed this year. It is very disheartening and I'm definitely going to try for different school for my kids next year.
WEI enrolled my daughter for Walt Disney I in 2008/2009 year.The classroom teacher was nice,unfortunately the specials teachers were not.I witnessed the art teacher, the tall, in her late 50s,who wears a lot of accessories and long red nails asking kindergarten children hold their hands up, my assumption was " she must be putting stamps or stickers of some kind.No, she slapped each 5 year olds hands with her gigantic accessorised hand.I held back my tears and upon pick up told a couple of parents of that pod. I tried to write this review, but the site hadn't let it post, was kept blocking.I pulled out my child the next year.I still regret having sent my child through the traumatizing long experience. Also saw sub.teacher yelling at kindergartners to walk down the stairs in soldier style, making corners. The pod layout as my friend said it " worse than a third world country"
Our daughter attended Walt Disney and was very happy with it. We care about her education and she transferred from a renowned private school. We were thrilled when she was chosen. She attended from third to sixth grade. She was 'placed' just below the gifted level. She was inspired by her teachers. She was on the Disney track team. In sixth grade, with the recommendations of her teachers, she was accepted into the gifted program for sixth grade and learned Chinese. She took the Academic Center tests, along with other Disney Students. As a result, she was accepted to Whitney Young's Academic Center. We regret that the current Mayor is diverting funding from good Chicago Public Schools. This may put more stress on educators and impact the quality. However, enough about my opinion on the poor oversight of Chicago Charter Schools. Each grade is broken down into home rooms, where the students are taught. Some home rooms focus on those to whom English is a second language, while another may work with more challenged students. We were very satisfied with Disney. Our daughter is now a Freshman in high school. No regrets. We'd do it again if we had the chance.
I thought when I my child got into Disney that this was going to be a great experience and opportunity for him. It has not been. Kindergarten was fine. But I must say once the kids get to second grade the teachers openly admit that they yell at kids! The kids coming here majority seem to have discipline problems and the kids who really count and the school cares about are the gifted students. I am sure the positive views are from gifted parents. I also had a teacher openly admit that she does not do guided reading, had not heard my child read, nor could even tell me about my child's comprehension level. The students are also in a very tense environment with many rules in a chaotic environment. The technology is sub par, having a smart board and iPads is not special it is normal to be in every classroom now. The school does not pay for any special websites for kids to do extra learning. It is also very hard to contact teachers and to communicate with floor directors. I have once called everyday for three weeks before I finally got a hold of a floor director. Save your time and energy to invest in a school that really cares about kids and makes learning fun with high test scores.
My child had a negative experience there that hurt his confidence and his love of learning. He started in 1th and I had to pull him out at the end of 7 th. yes! Very late and he was upset. There are so many kids like any other CPS school but teachers are pushed to do miracles they do what they can. And communication with most of them is impossible. They will just tell you "the kid has to study mam" they have no tutoring or any help (except if the child is in the gifted program ) . Kids fall in alternative programs when they can't catch up but there are not meetings w parents to solve the problem. I noticed my son was behind but I couldn't send him out of the school to get help like many of us. Kids than end up with IEP are considered lazy and treated as such. I looked for help for 2 years until finally one person heard me out but still i wonder about others who are struggling. teachers are not allowed to be them and grow and that same feeling is share with the students who are yelled at all times. Communication and involvement and genuine love of teaching plus lets just say appreciation for teachers is needed.
It's a good school the teachers are great and my daughter she's learning a lot and she's happy to go to school every day.
My daughters school is Walt Disney Magnet School. this school is one of the best schools in Chicago. they interact with the children and the parents and teachers involved in their learning.
Love ...love ...love Walt Disney Magnet School!!! The teachers challenge the students in a fun way... My daughter absolutely loves waking up every morning and going to school. The principal is strict but, hey that's what the kids need and it works! GREAT JOB to the staff and Dr. Hagstrom.
My daughter has had great teachers and learned so much in her two years at Disney. I definitely feel she is getting a good education along with some great extras-science arts this year is a fantastic addition. She enjoys coming to school every day. We love the diversity too. This school represents the city well. That being said, there is tension in the school. It is extremely large and everything must run like clockwork for there not to be chaos. This is why things may seem stricter than other schools. I know there is debate on Dr Hagstrom and whether her method of managing the school is the best or not. It can't be an easy job. I hope she realizes her teachers/staff are the face of the school. It pays to keep them happy. A more collaborative approach with them rather than a dictatorial one could prove most helpful. I want this to continue to be a school my daughter wants to attend.
This school is insane! The administration terrorizes their staff with unbelievable expectations. The classrooms are noisy, slammed with children, and a difficult place for learning. The discipline problems in this school are like no where else I have seen and the administration's lack of follow through only makes it worse. I would never send my child here. The teachers are great and talented but they are placed in a situation in which they are going to fail one way or another. BE CAREFUL!
I have two children at Disney, my daughter is a 4th grader and my son is in 1st grade gifted; both my children started at Disney as 3 year olds in the Tuition Based Pre-School. The teachers, staff and administration have always been great to my kids and my family. Some of our closest friends are other Disney families. My daughter and son have each been challenged by their respective curriculums. Whenever I have had concerns about my children's academic performance, their teachers have always addressed them and we worked together to help my children improve. Whenever my children have been hurt or gotten sick at school, I get a call immediately and my worry is alleviated because I know that the nurse or clerks will take care of my children until I can get them. Before enrolling your child at Disney, be sure to tour the school and make sure it's a good fit for you and your child. Academics always comes first at Disney. It's a large school with a lot of rules and an open learning environment (Pod system). It's up the each family to make connections with other families. Many things that work at small schools do not work at Disney. Ask lots of questions before enrolling your child.
My son was challenged in Kindergarten. Differentiated reading groups helped him read. Our son's teacher was excellent in making sure he was challenged and even went beyond the scheduled coursework to make sure the class was ahead. They do MAPS testing to find out the individual students strengths and weaknesses in math and reading. Many after school activities and field trips. Very impressed with the teamwork that is involved here. Floor directors are responsive to parent's concerns. They are stricter on rules here since it is approx. 1600 students but it works to make sure there is order in the student population. The diversity of the student body is a definite plus. It is a good representation of the many cultures in Chicago. I'm proud to have my son be part of this academic community.
I was initially very excited about Disney. There are indeed some good teachers. However, I have found the school to be diifficult, offensive and poor in terms of dealing with my son who has a physical ailment. I was terribly disappointed in the treatment given to him, as well as towards me. I have also seen teachers screaming at children, which was unreal. In my opinion, there seem to be some significant cultural orientations towards power over relationship and I seriously question staff morale at the school. Many staff, both teachers and administrators seem angry. It is too bad, as I was really hoping for more. Also, agree with others that non gifted classes are not so strong.
My son started with the school this year (in Kindergarten) and we are very pleased so far. His teacher is great and the principal is an amazing leader (I haven't seen any unfriendliness but she does come across as no-nonsense, which I think is an asset in a school this size). We have felt very welcome with the school and I like the disciplined approach. We were worried about my son not adjusting well to the pod system because he has always been sensitive to loud noises but he has not had any issues with it. I was surprised at the homework and focus on testing so early but I don't think that is specific to this school--that's just the way things are these days. I wish the kids in the tuition based afterschool got some extras such as Chinese or chess. Also it would be nice if they taught language to non-gifted classrooms, but I understand the need to focus on the basics. Overall we are very happy and our son has learned a lot and made some good friends.
I have two children here and this is my third year with Disney and I would recommend Disney to anyone! Every year that I have been here, they have introduced new programs and software to help the children succeed. Their emphasis on eduction, supervision, and technology is unmatched as far as I am concerned. There has not been a meeting that I have attended where the principal didn't take a few minutes to stop by and speak to parents and ask if they have any questions or concerns for her. She is amazing! The only concern that I have is their policy on small siblings at the school. Every event, (graduations, fairs, award ceremonies, orientation, etc), has a strict no children under five policy. This is a huge problem for me as I have two small children and literally no family and friends in Chicago. In all fairness, I do believe there are parents for this and they do record the events for you. You just have to pay $15 for them. With that being said, I still plan to have all my kids attend Disney! Seriously though, this school has re-built my faith in the public school system! The teachers and principals here are excellent! 5 stars!
My daughter attended Disney for four years. She was placed in a classroom based upon her scores for comprehension. She eventually was placed in the gifted program. She wrote a letter in Msndarin Chinese to a pen pal in China and received a response. We never felt resources were that diminished during the three years she was not in the gifted program. She never expressed that she was distracted by the pods. She actually liked the open floor plan. Due to excellent preparation and optimism by a committed teaching staff, she was accepted to Young Academic Center. We enjoyed her participation on both the track and soccer teams. The art program was has a deserved great reputation along with an elective and theater programs. There is a PTA for parents who wish to meet other parents and create community. Our daughter thrived at Disney Magnet.
We have two children at Disney and they both love the school. The accelerated classes offer Chinese, but after a few years I expected my older child to, at least, be able to speak in phrases, not just single words, as this is how language is learned. The open pod system can be difficult for some children-- it can get noisy in the pods, especially if teachers don't control their classes. I've spoken with more than a few parents who have mentioned that their child(ren) are having problems staying focused because of the noise level in the pods. There are lots of parents/relatives helping out in classrooms. I've heard a few complaints from parents whose children are not in the accelerated program that too many resources are devoted to that program. I question what resources they are speaking of: daily Chinese class; an annual special project and one assembly associated with that special project are the extent of expended resources that I see. The daily Chinese class is incorporated into the standard schedule... not as extra time devoted to these children. Teachers have been, mostly, excellent; executive staff can be a bit autocratic/unresponsive -this seems true at most CPS schools.
Disney is a great school but the Principal might as well be a drill sargeant in the Marines. She has to ease up a bit/ stop putting the teachers in so much fear. She has very young and bright teachers that will bring better ideas to the table if only, she were to let them. Parent involvement 90%. It obviously has the highest funding from any other school in the city which in turn keeps it above average in the tech. (just about everything else). It's very fast paced and the kids can easily get overwhelmed if the parents do not get involved and tone it down when not in school. This school is very serious (sometimes too much) but they build a strong student in the end. Many of my family members have attended this school and are now at the top high schools in the city, with some on there way to medical school and some that run companies in Washington D.C. (friends children). Two reasons why I give it 4 stars instead of 5: 1) the Principal 2.) lack of community feel. It's very hard to meet parents and for your kids to hold their friends, due to the size of the school. Some high schools are "college prep", I would call this grammar school "corporate/ big city prep".
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