This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Talcott Elementary School5
Posted April 03, 2014
- a teacher
I think you should know that my school is a very caring and rigorous academic school for grades prek-8. Our staff experiences range from 3-35 years. Every Student achieving academic success is our main goal. We need some extra financial assistance to help us to continue to grow and provide each child a great education!
My son has been in the Pre-K program for 3 years at Talcott. He has sensory processing disorder, and due to the amazing teachers, and special ed program, he is thriving! My daughter was enrolled in our parochial school and was recently told she could not be accommodated for her Apraxia of Speech. She had a chronic illness, Graves disease, most of 2013 and finally had major surgery to remove her thyroid. When we were told she would need to leave her previous school, Talcott's principal Mrs. Olimpia Bahena, was able to transfer her within a few days. Since then our daughter is getting the special ed she needs. Her teachers, classmates and the rest of the Talcott family have welcomed her and made her transition amazing. There are so many activities available for the students and families. My daughter is in Girls on the Run and they even have a family cooking class with a volunteer chef, which is awesome. Talcott is a Fine Arts and Museum Academy, which brings music, drama and art into the classroom. The students also have an opportunity to visit museums, symphonies and other cultural field trips, multiple times a year.
Talcott Fine Arts and Museum Academy has proven to be a nurturing and organized educational environment for my children. Talcott's faculty, staff and parents care about the children and have found creative ways to use the limited resources of CPS, to immerse the students in positive cultural, artistic and educational experiences. Even children with learning disabilities have a chance to develop and learn according to the individual child's needs with the guidance of excellent teachers and special education professionals.
This school has been really a great experience for my kids. They have a lot to offer the kids for after school. My kids both love their teachers and look forward going to school. My kids are in PK and 3rd grade. The ladies in the office always seen to be helpful and nice. Keep up the good work Talcott Tigers.
This school is one of the hidden gems in our city. I think the principal does a great job of continually pushing the school to improve. The most noticeable way she does that is by making great hires. I have been so impressed with each new staff member we've received, including the full-time Specials teachers who are motivated and clearly love their job. We started 5 years ago in the English preschool with Ms. Torres who is organized and great at communicating with parents. We have since switched to the Spanish immersion track and I can not say enough good things about it. My first grader is now fluent in the language and reads and writes in Spanish as well! I have three children in the school, so we have gotten to interact with several teachers and my husband and I are always impressed. The teachers on the Spanish track are very collaborative and there is such a variety in the student's day. We are so glad we found this school!
This school was once great for a Chicago neighborhood school. Under the direction of Principal Bahenas, the school has become disorganized, unsafe, and has evolved into an overall poor environment for learning. Although the information states that the student:teacher ratio is 17:1, there have not been fewer than 35 students in any of my son's classes over the past 5 years (no aides or student teachers). Teachers are uninspired, teach begrudgingly, & pay no attention to students as individuals. The school administration is unequipped to deal with the needs of students with learning, cognitive, or mental disabilities nor do staff seem interested in preparing themselves to do so. Communication by administrators and teachers is entirely inadequate and they are also unresponsive to parent concerns. Unfortunately, I have nothing positive to say about Talcott. I am so disappointed that I cannot find another option for my son. Since he has special needs, he is unable to qualify for schools with academic entrance tests, and we haven't yet "won" a lottery for another school. It's a terrible situation in which to be. I advise parents to keep their kids out of this school if they can.
We switched to Talcott Fine Arts and Museum Academy from another nearby "small" CPS school this year and absolutely love it. Ms. Mendez is an awesome Kindergarten teacher and is very organized and supportive with the kids. She works with each child at their own level and pushes them forward while involving the parents. School activities are well planned and well communicated in ADVANCE to the parents. Administration is straight forward, open and honest and actively seeks continuous improvement. There is a great sense of community, parental involvement and school spirit here. Talcott offers numerous afterschool activities and a dual language program. Talcott is a Fine Arts and Museum Academy so they have partnerships with most of the museums and offer a choir, art class (2 art rooms), a music class, band and much more.
Don't be fooled by the test scores! This school is an amazing school with a very dedicated staff! My son is in preschool and I am extremely happy with everything I have seen him exposed to. Last year, the preschool team put together a huge Art Gallery and the teachers encourage parents to be involved through various events. This school is definitely worth checking out! Give them a call, they would love to let you visit the classrooms during the day!
Talcott Fine Arts and Museum Academy now has openings in the Preschool for All Program (free!) This year, they have begun a Dual Language Program (Spanish) in one of the two preschool classrooms. Both classes are 1/2 day from 8-10:30 am and 11:15am-1:45 pm. They have: Fine Arts Integration (Drama, Music, Visual Arts); Museum Partnerships with the Art Institute and Field Museum; Fun and Engaging Activities; Innovative, Interest-Based Project Learning; Early Writing Experiences; Annual Art Gallery; Highly Qualified, Experienced Teachers who are dedicated and grant winning. Last year, Mrs. Dayna Darby won the Kohl McCormick Early Childhood Teaching Award. All of the teachers are committed to excellence and possess post-graduate degrees and endorsements and are national Board Certification candidates. My daughter is now in her second year of preschool at Talcott. We chose Talcott. It is not our neighborhood school.
Talcott Elementary has excellent teachers, curriculum and staff! I've been at the school for several events and it's bustling with creative and intellectual energy. The students are truly engaged and the teachers' strong dedication and deep involvement with students is clearly visible.