To the person below me, yes that teacher is Ms. Sims. She is very picky-picky on a lot of the students. Almost like she as favorites. You can tell all of the other teachers really care about each individual student and their education. I love this school and when I grow up, if I have kids, this is the elementary school that they'll be going to.
My son attends Nettelhorst and overall I am pleased, he is pleased. I like the diversity and urban setting. Some complain that the curriculum is not above grade level, then why should it be when the majority of any group of children are at grade level? The teachers are fantastic and he loves them all, not the science teacher. My son confided she seems to "pick" on certain students. He says every day she picks the same students, and when they give the wrong answer, she insists they say it louder because she can't hear them. He says she stares at them and repeats the same question over and over, and it makes HIM feel embarrassed. He wonders why she picks these same kids, instead of the kids that raise their hands. The way I see it, if it s making my son feel that uncomfortable, to tell me about it, I have to wonder if it is more bullying/intimidation than teaching method. I d like to think we have evolved from that kind of old school teaching, not what I would expect at a progressive public school. Yes, there is an elitist feel in the air when it comes to their fundraising campaigns. Though it s nice to have parents with time & money for fundraising!
I don't know who the greatschools troll is that posted the story about the principal, but i'm given to doubt it because (1 she doesn't yell at anyone, as is widely known, 2) i've never seen anyone in that office "yell" at anyone in alomst 10 years, and 3) the poster likely has an axe to grind, as there's no context in the story at all. the greatschools boards (for all schools) seem to be peppered with axe-grinders hoping to get a dig in here and there. anonymity makes the reviews sort of useless (particularly the negative ones), because you can't judge the value of the reviewer in any case.
Fall 2012 I would not send my child here. Day I visited, Principal was yelling at an adult in the office! How rude and unprofessional. I turned around and left.
Nettelhorst has a great story and is on a great path but the academics are not there yet.. It is a beautiful school with phenomenal grounds right out of a fairy tale book but great paintings not a great school make and until they make academics more rigorous the children will suffer. Smaller class sizes, reduced teaching to the test, greater focus on the quality of education is key. Children are being taught below grade versus above grade. This is unfortunate.
Having my children at Nettelhorst the past 5 years has been a blessing. The teachers truly care about their development as responsible, caring, educated students. They set positive, high expectations and develop my children to meet those expectations. We have a good partnership and good communication. The administrators take the time to know the students and work with them to resolve conflict and make good choices. Parent involvement is always encouraged. Parents are always welcomed to get involved in school. The community school feeling is evident in that the students never want to go home. As long as everyone continues to work in the best interest of all children, Nettelhorst will remain the best place for my children.
Move to Oak Lawn, Evanston or Lincoln Park instead, I would not reccommend this school.
I've been a parent at Nettelhorst for 8 years, which is well before it was "fashionable" to go to Nettelhorst. Although I respect the views expressed, I do need to challenge the posts given what I know. 1. The Nettelhorst community is one community. This has been demonstrated many times by the fundraisers we have had for our families that have experienced tragedies and hard times. This has happened for many families in Nettelhorst, many of whom are close friends of mine. 2. Raising money is, unfortunately, a necessity in public schools. The vast majority of the money raised at Nettlehorst goes to providing more teachers as our community values quality teachers as the foundation of a quality education. 3. The vast majority of families at Nettelhorst are working class families that make less than six figure salaries. All families are welcome and our community is always looking for more helping hands. 4. Nettelhorst is one of the few schools where you find parents participating and present in the school from the time it opens, until well after schools ends. Nettelhorst is a participatory school and welcomes everyone who wants to participate in their children's education.
Nettelhorst does not live up to the reviews of this school, they are manufactured by an overzealous parent's co-op's panderings last year to boost a higher rating. The school is disorganized, touts diversity yet is really about higher income bracket parents creating an elitist community where fund raising is the main concern. The fund raising also divides the school into the haves and have nots, creates resentments on the part of those who feel they cannot join in. Unless your family makes a six digit figure every year, stay away, you are not welcome.
I feel the need to post because I find the 1/7/12 post, obviously from a student, disturbing. I have 2 children at Nettelhorst and am an active parent volunteer. We love this school. To the student I say, please speak with the administrative staff and your parents if you feel you are having difficulty being challenged. Also, it sounds like you feel bullied - and no one should put up with that - make your voice heard!! TALK TO SOME ADULTS AND CHANGE THIS!! To reviewers who have complaints about the "lack" of things at Nettelhorst - you should visit other Chicago Public Schools and get a feel for what they are like - you would change your tune. Nettelhorst, for a CPS, is heads above the rest and it's due to the teachers, administration and parent involvement! Don't knock what helps make Nettelhorst wonderful!
This school is very poor with educating the students. I am a new student at Nettelhorst and the things that they teach me are too easy and not challenging enough. The teachers are very loose and some of them do have a lot of attitude. I strongly say that this school will not be the school to put your kid to success. Not to mention the students here, they are very judging and unpleasant. They are the kids that you don't want your kids to be with and be influenced by. Not learning anything and just having a hard time with bullying- doesn't sound like a great school to me. Also, they don't even have enough lockers for all classes so there is a lot of stealing. (Somebody has stolen 60 dollars from me) I think that this school is just unacceptable and I just wait for the day until I'm in highschool. Please, if you really care about your child then you wouldn't put them in this school.
I highly recommend this school. I agree that if you want to drop off kids and have minimal involvment, it may not be a great fit. Parents here are engaged, active, driving change and there's always more to do to help. Many parents attended Northshore or private schools themselves and expect a great education. Over the years, I see us roll up our sleeves and make it happen, whether it's a new science lab, partnership with NU for science, a new auditorium, new jungle gyms that first graders wrote letters to get, or funding a teacher or an outdoor classroom. I find it to be a school that our whole family from grandparents to children contribute to making better.
I sadly have to agree with some of these criticisms. There are some great teachers but it seems the school puts far more energy into good pr than academics. My daughter hardly learned any math or science last year and she is entering 6th grade. The school has some serious issues with the curriculum and teachers that don t seem to get addressed. Just look at the test scores.
Nettelhorst is a great story about parents, the principal, and teachers coming together to improve their local public school. Nettelhorst is a shining star in the Chicago Public Schools system and it wouldn't be possible without an active parent base and a principal who gives everyone strong direction. Nettelhorst has worked as a community to solve its financial woes. Through fundraising, both from the parents and corporate donations, the school has found creative solutions to reduce class size, add curriculum, and improve the physical structure. Plus, the parents hosted a city-wide symposium to educate other school parents about how to improve their school. Any child is lucky to be a student there. You can feel the buzz when you walk in the building.
My family has had an excellent experience at Nettelhorst. My son's teachers (kindergarten & 1st grade, plus special ed) have been dedicated, knowledgeable, and go above and beyond to work with us. He is highly motivated by them and has learned so much! The principal is an able administrator and inspired educator, and walks a very difficult fine line between running the school and working well with very involved, assertive parents. There's no doubt that this school has an active fundraising culture and a high profile; but I see that as a positive. The parents' group has raised enough money for an additional teacher to keep class sizes down, completely renovate the auditorium, and create a state-of-the-art science lab. Without fundraising, none of this would be possible, and all of it is academically focused and benefits ALL students at the school. The school isn't perfect; it is odd that a fine and performing arts school doesn't have a full time music teacher, for example. The only reason I can see for any "disappointed" reviews is that expectations were so high to begin with. Nettelhorst has a great reputation, and of course no school is going to be perfect.
i've been stunned by how good a public school can be. thoughtful, interesting curriculum, a reputation that attracts the best teachers (and after 5 years, i've not had a bad one), and parents who attack any problem that arises. I've had more access to the Principal than I ever thought I would, and I've had LOT of access, so I can only attribute any contrary experience to a lack of outreach effort on the parents behalf. My own child loves the place. As far as I can see, the fundraising has solved a lot of problems and isn't at all unusual for a school in these times. Not every school is right for everyone, but this one is outstanding in my family's eyes and nearly all of the parents I talk to feel the same way. I don't think it's easy to create a great school inside the CPS system, but they've done it.
My children have been at Nettelhorst for a combined nine years. Every teacher they have had has been excellent. The Principal is very easy to reach and the fundraising is used to reduce class sizes and otherwise improve the school. While no school is perfect for everyone, Nettelhorst is a wonderful place for children to go to school.
I have to agree w/ the review on disappointment. The school is so involved in getting money that they forget about the kids. My children don't even have school books that they can take home. My daughter doesn't even have books, period. They say they are too expensive. I had to buy the workbooks and reference books for my kids. Yet they are constantly fund raising and asking for money???? And they fight silly things like free breakfast - how could this be a bad thing? Or furniture in their hallway - which the Fire Dept told them to remove because it's a fire hazard? Additionally - they have a pretty serious lice problem that they fail to acknowledge. They need to shut down the school and call in a professional lice pest control (and they exist) to clean up the school. Use that money for something that really makes the school a better place. I will say this - the teachers that we have had are great. But - they are no more exceptional than any of the other teachers my kids have had at other CPS schools. And the parent involvement is ridiculously high.
I have never been as disappointed with a school as I am with Nettelhorst. My daughter and I moved into this neighbourhood specifically for this school. It had great ratings and reviews so we went in with the highest hopes and boy have we been let down. Instead of spending their time and money on things that really matter, teaching the children, they chose to use their resources to manipulate the media to try and attract people who can donate more money to the school. With the exception of two teachers my daughter would have fell through the cracks academically. I've made multiple attempts to meet with the principal throughout the three years we've been here and she refuses to call or email back. When I finally went into the office and demanded to see her I was told I had to make an appointment first by emailing her. However she doesn't answer her emails so its a total catch 22. They claim to be a performing arts school, however they don't offer band or chorus. All after-school activities will cost you about $300 for a six week period. I thought this school cared about teaching children in a nurturing environment but I was wrong. I recommend you look elsewhere.
There is so much about Nettelhorst that I love. My daughter has attended for 7 years and we have been proud to do our part to work towards the school's transformation. She has loved all of her teachers and has always been very successful academically. The only complaint I have is that I feel the school is losing the diversity and spirit that attracted us years ago. At assemblies the parents of young children stand in front of the auditorium, so they can get photos of their kids while blocking the rest of us, and the ones who don't leave as soon as their child performs speak to one another loudly as the older kids perform. I hope, as the school continues to improve, that parents realize that in order to truly be a "community school," all members need to be shown respect, not just the white affluent families.
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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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