We've been at SLES for several years now and are disappointed with the increasingly negative environment.
The school leadership, the principal, in particular is blatantly rude, shows reverse prejudice- treating her African American and Hispanic families with disregard, holds childish grudges, and seems rarely happy. On the flip side she certainly knows her students and does maintain an open door, but as a principal those seem to be the things that are non-negotiable, and what good are they when the communication is sour.
Given her demeanor it is our belief that she is modeling negative behavior for her staff and students and in turn there is a culture of disrespect. We've dealt with a few teachers who believe in motivating/ encouraging students by belittling them. Many teachers are very 'old school' and not fit to prepare our children for a college or career of the 21st century. This past year we learned that the assistant principal "left" given some physical encounters with students. His casual demeanor was misleading when in reality he was negatively interacting with them- smacking them upside the head, bumping into them intentionally, etc... These incidents are actually documented with the district. Just another example of the contagious negative behavior. Additionally the school has a bullying issue. No surprise there.
Now there are certainly plenty of good caring staff, teachers, and families at the school who contribute to creating a positive learning environment but the overall experience is not one that deserves a recommendation. There are also lots of 'clicky' families, low school spirit, and poor parent engagement. We had been warned by other families, who had come and gone after only a few years, of the poor school culture and the warning is one we wish we certainly would have heeded.
This school is not a 9 as indicated. I would agree with the many comments regarding the behavior of Administration starting with the Principle. Her ability to maintain her position must be related to the Chicago Teachers Union inability to address poor performance or the detrimental behavior of their members. In my opinion the Principle is rude, inappropriate and unlike her formulated communication to parents when she is requesting donations, she is not respectful nor grateful to parents participation in helping SLS. The school can no longer allow outside of the neighborhood enrollment yet one of her close friends daughter is permitted to be enrolled even though she lives in the suburbs. It is a shame that the school parents do not unite to give SLS the leader these kids deserve.
Teachers are disrespectful and rude. They favor "smarter" kids in the class and put them on a pedestal. Others are put down by their race. My favorite teacher was Mr. Coppula by far he was the best teacher in this school he had a very innovative way of teaching the curriculum. While others just read out of a book. Homework assignments were all from the internet or the textbook/workbook. I've been denied helped countless times which resulted in poor grade. My questions have also been had "eye rolled" at and i've been portrayed as "stupid" because somethings I don't catch on as fast as others.
I wish I could give this school less than one star. The school is filthy, trash on the floor, milk on the stairs, and even pieces on chicken! There has been times where I came home crying from being bullied my weight and my physical appearence. The children use fowl language (and teachers do not care one bit) and i've seen people being bullied everyday. The principal FORCED children to donate over $30 for a "fun run" and if you didn't you were taken away from basic privilages. We were forced to go outside in negative temps. The bathrooms are the most fowl things i've ever seen in my life. The mirrors are so musty that you can't even see yourself in the mirror. I've never seen the bathroom be cleaned before and there is even pieces of weave in the sink. The school is extremely small and they don't have enough classrooms to even teach the kids in. We were taught in the hallway, the little theater and the part I am going to tell you may shock you we were taught IN A STORAGE ROOM. 6th period was held in the lunch room everyday for a year and we sat at tables of crunched up hot cheetos, milk, and chicken. The staff never cleaned up before we were taught in it. The whole class would have to all grab a wet, milk filled, non-reusable, but still reused wet towelette everyday. These often distracted the children from learning and in total used up about 2 full weeks of learning time (10 min) everyday during class. Kids have been touched in private areas and have been made sexual advances at. Kids play dirty truth or dare DURING class while the teacher is doing whatever. I have witnessed girls crying because teachers told them they can't wear certain clothing pieces that were not purposfully meant to enhance certain features. This shows teachers and staff over sexualize 12-14 year olds. Students talk about doing inappropriate things to girls while inappropriate gestures and then called a "thot". In conclusion do not send your child to this school unless you want a 9 month long year of suffering
Homework is busy work, and minimally helpful, and the children are shamed, by having to stand up and change their behavior card from green, which is good, to yellow, which is a warning. It's demoralizing and hurtful, not to mention the teacher uses a behavior chart for homework processes
My daughter is finishing up 1st grade, on the heels of a horrendous kindergarten experience. Her teacher, who claims she must keep her "strict" reputation, has all but crushed my daughter's passion for education. The teacher is mean, the administration (and teacher) are dismissive and disrespectful, the school is unbelievably filthy - we routinely visit our pediatrician due to rashes and infections from the toilets, there has not been a language teacher or curriculum all year, and the resulting stress on my daughter and the family is not what I had read about or planned for a start to my young child's educational journey.