I don't write many reviews for anything, but after reading a few of the most recent posts I am compelled to action. Waters Elementary is our neighborhood school, I have been a parent at this school for 3 years now. While the office staff may need to work on their communication skills, please ask yourself, does that affect your child's education - No. What I can tell you, is that the principal is an amazing advocate for our school with CPS. She knows the system and when it changes, she studies it and works in legitimate ways to do what is best for our students - period. As far as the teaching staff - truly wonderful. Art, Music, Ecology, Math specialist, Language arts - you name it. My second grader is learning amazing things every single day. Are there teachers who are not the most desirable? Yes, of course. The world is an imperfect place. However, the community at this school is unlike any other I have encountered in this city and as any study will tell you - that counts for something - including the effect it has on the quality of education your child receives. The strengths of this school FAR outweigh the weaknesses and communication is a primary focus of improvement this year.
I have been very impressed with most of the teachers so far. They show a willingness to work with your child, listen to parents concerns and opinions and provide more than one avenue of learning for the kids. My one main concern- it's a real shame that Waters has such a rare opportunity to teach drama arts to the kids, but they employ a teacher that doesn't seem to have any passion for it. She hasn't had an exciting play or production since my child started in 2008. I think with all the remarkable theater and acting going on in Chicago that it would be incredibly easy to find a drama teacher who would love putting on great children's plays that would excite and ignite their creativity. Unfortunately, this drama teacher is mainly known for her yelling, her close friendship with the principal (very unfortunate) and her complete lack of interest in making drama fun and creative. I say again, it is an incredible shame.
My child attended Waters from k until 5th grade. The teachers she had early on were fantastic but as she went on they became far less so. For two years in a row she had teachers who literally yelled (and I heard them) at the kids nearly every day, really for no reason other than perhaps their own frustration. To say to a 10year old "shut up or I'll shut you up" is unacceptable to me. Also agree with the comment below about the office staff and principal. I have also overheard the principal bring kids into her office, close the door, and really yell. She is not at all interested in communicating with parents, and the asst principal is just as bad. However, the worse thing is that I felt my daughter's academic progress definitely slowed as years went by. She was not challenged and I was surprised that some basic grammar and math lessons that I thought she should have mastered were unknown to her.
My children have been attending Waters Elementary for the last 7 years. During that time, we have seen several changes--mostly for the better. There is an awesome group of parents that work really, really hard to improve the school. Unfortunately, it is a CPS school and there is only so much that can be done, it seems that there are many roadblocks trying to complete any project/improvement. The teachers are wonderful, for the most part. We have lucked out and loved all our teachers, however, I have heard a few horror stories from other parents that get that one bad egg. My biggest complaint would be the principal and the office staff. The principal has very poor communication skills, lacks maturity and tends to have a condescending attitude towards parents. The office staff is disorganized, slow, rude and overall not helpful. This may not be apparent at first glance, but the minute you need something or have a question--the rudeness is there. All in all, the school is ok for CPS...not the worst, but definitely not the best.
It's not often that when you go shopping for a school that a jewel like this one exists right in your own neighborhood. We have been extremely pleased with our teachers there so far, and we have met so many other parents who are committed to making this school exceptional. This school is a fine arts magnet cluster and the art and music programs are outstanding. But really the reason you go to a school goes beyond the warm community feel it offers and focuses on academics. Working with the new principal and our teachers has paid dividends as now the class work seems more challanging and test scores continue to go up at this great school.
I love waters because its a good school and my family attend school there.
We love this school for it's phenominal ecology program and for the emphasis on fine arts and music for all. We love this school for it's passionate parents organization "Waters Today". We love this school for the supportive and hard working administration. This school is located within a wonderful family community and needs to continue to move forward and improve to one of Chicago's top public schools!
It is the best choice for parents that want their children to learn not only academically but also ecologically
Because they care about their students and take a special interest in chidren with needs!
I'm glad the neighborhood is finally waking up and taking notice of this great school. I'm a huge fan of the school's art & music programs and the ecology program is also very strong. The academics have improved year after year and the principal has done a great job of finding new hungry teachers. The new campus park is fabulous, my kids are looking forward to many sunny days on the turf field.
The parent's, staff, and faculty really care about the students and care about making this a great school
Fully rounded education addressing intellectual, social, emotional and physical development through academics, arts, technology, ecology, physical fitness, etc.
I strongle disagree w/ the post made on Oct6, 2009. I have children that attend Waters & I am greatful they go there. I completely disagree w/ the statement made that the kids in the higher grades misbehave uncontollably & may be a bad influence...THIS IS TOTALLY FALSE! I have a child in the middle school & many of those kids are very respectful & courtious. There are no major behavioral problems, no gang problems, the police are not called to the school, etc. Waters is a great school, academically it is challenging and also Waters allows has alot of parental involvement.
Whoever posted the last neagtive review obviously has not been in the school. If they had they would have seen well behaved kids anxious to learn. The school has had a rennaisance over the last few years with more neighborhood families deciding to attend this fine arts school. Test scores are up - but more importantly the the parent commmunity is committed to making this school one of the best in Chicago. If you live in the area - you owe it to yourself to at least take the tour - we did and our two kids couldn't be happier.
This school is a negative choice in my opinion,the teachers are nurturing, but no real learning goes on as far as i am concerned. Kids misbehave uncontrolably in the higher grades , they may be a bad influence. My advice- dont even bother
Contrary to the last post, the assistant principal has very dark hair...don't know who she was talking about! The administration, staff and parents are very caring and supportive. There is a great team of hands-on parents. The school is doing a fantastic job of transforming itself and making green improvements while retaining its Spanish-speaking families. The school is diverse and close knit at the same time. It's a great place to send your kids...good things are happening at Waters! I have two kids there and anticipate sending my third in a couple of years.
When we first moved to Lincoln Sqaure we had concerns about where our kids would go to school. Hats off to the parents who rolled up there sleeves and got involved because the school has never looked better. My daughter now attends and my son will join her in the fall. We've been so impressed with the warmth and caring of the teachers we've met, and the parents group really has moved mountains. Looking forward to the construction being finished so that the rest of the neighborhood will know what a gem this school is. If you are still looking for a school, this one should be on your list.
I have 2 children at Waters. The community effort has been amazing. They have truly been making things happen over the past few years...which is a very difficult task in the CPS system. My children are being sufficiently challenged and inspired. They both love their teachers. My only dissatisfaction is not in the schools power. These differences could only be made if there was adequate funding and improvement with the national norms for public schools. Lack of PE, arts, and a need to 'teach for the tests' is a systemic problem. In light of that, Waters is doing what they can to provide the type of education they feel is best to holistically educate the children-- while still trying to improve teat scores. The ecology program is unmatched. I am proud that my kids are learning the invaluable lesson of the benefits of community activism.
Waters is a model of a neighborhood school. My two children have gone there - one currently and the other graduated from there and is now at Lane Tech. Waters art and environmental programs are unparalleled in the school system. These programs provide a nurturing atmosphere for the kids. Plus, the conscious approach by the teachers and administration, parents and community to multi-lingual and multi-cultural education based on equality is an enormous asset to the children's learning. Parent and community involvement is on an incredibly high level - and that approach has been built up for the last 15 years. Waters faces what all public schools face - budget cuts, anti-public school smears that includes racism and families that face real economic problems. For example, rents and housing costs in Waters area have been going up and pricing working families out of the neighborhood. That's why having strong community backing is so great.
This school is all about community and integrated learning and we are pleased with that! We feel lucky to be a part, and know that our daughter is getting just what she needs regarding education, socialization and compassion for people and the planet. This school has so many great things going for it and great people are at the top of the list!
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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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