This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
North Park Elementary School5
Posted March 27, 2015
- a parent
NPES is an absolute gem. Our son was in the first pre-school class three years ago, and his experience has gotten better every year. Our daughter is in the kindergarten, and is thriving as well. The teachers go well beyond what you might expect, and take a personal interest in every student. Their communication with parents is top notch, and the community as a whole takes an interest in all the kids. There is a great sense of a shared mission. We couldn't be happier with the experience, both socially and academically.
North Park's recently opened preschool is a wonderfully energetic environment where the students and the teachers collaborate to learn. From movement to outdoor exploration to quiet time reading to creating beautiful artwork, not a day goes by where my child isn't excited to go to school. The learning takes place in small groups and engages all of his senses. My son's favorite part of the day is when the 8th grade volunteers come in and work on a project together. All of the teachers are hands on, positive role models for the kids. We are so excited that North Park has a preschool now!
As a fellow student, I know that there is a small bullying issue, however it was always overcome and overpowered by the rest of goodness about NPES. The student-teacher relationships that are developed are remarkable. The academics prepare you perfectly for high school, allowing you to test out of some classes most freshman take. My one complaint is that as a boy I felt discriminated against, but besides that it is overall a great school, and I am happy I went there for all 9 years!
I urge all parents to compare the costs of every private school when investigating your options. The "bag of money" comment below simply isn't true. Yes, the school built a new, excellent playlot and installed new technology in the classrooms: that's called investment. NPES is still half the price of its nearest non-Catholic competitors.
If you want to attend, be sure you have a bag of money with you. Don't be fooled into thinking this is different from Parker or Latin. They are making huge pushes for very expensive things (like the playlot that cost hundreds of thousands!). It's not what we expected when we came here just a couple years ago. We were presented a more "neighborhood" type of school. All private options now seem to be the same.
I'm sorry, but to the parent who writes, "I can tell you from experience that there is not a bullying problem at NPES." This is YOUR experience and just because you have not had this problem does not mean others have not. The problem does seem to lie in the fact that this DOES happen, but the school does not make it known and does not address it as a full school issue. Trust me, IT HAPPENS. I wish it did not. My whole family wishes it did not. It would make things so much better in our household. And, as we've unfortunately found, this IS NOT one child's issue. Look around and see how many families have left. Ever wonder why? It's not always just about not being able to fund their child's education. This is an issue; it's not just "your kid's problem of not fitting in."
I STRONGLY suspect that the same parent has submitted multiple reviews that deal with the issue of bullying. My youngest child is a 7th grader, and I can tell you from experience that ther is not a bullying problem at NPES. I am actually really, really surprised at how well the 7th grade girls get along. I suspect from the multiple reviews that this bullying issue is personal to this one child. It is true that the school does not have the resources to deal with kids who have significant social, learning, and behavior issues, but no private school does. (this is why one of my older kids went to public school.). The focus of the school is on providing an affordable, excellent education to gifted and mainstream kidss, and they do a good job with this.
I have a love/hate relationship with NPES. Lambasting anyone with the old line of, "if it was so bad, why didn't you leave?" is the exact problem with NPES. When you see the documented educational success rate and know teachers give 110% effort, you want the best for your child(ren). There are some really wonderful parents who do wonders for the school, but at times there is a cruel, unfriendly and cliquish element. When bullying happens at NPES, there is a lot of talking the talk without addressing hard reality. They teach character lessons, but with real situations, the staff fails, especially if parents aren t high financial contributors. Those who comment that bullying is addressed have not been in the principal's office. They have not had to have difficult family meetings about whether to change schools or consider a move. It's a shame to think that maybe NPES believes families with problems can be replaced with others willing to pay tuition. It's time the staff really addresses this national problem in their own backyard. Stop denying and help families who love the teachers and program and just wish their child could get an even break.
Thank you to the previous poster for asserting what has also been my experience. To claim that the school does nothing about bullies is essentially false. I have had two children at the school for many years and any time there was an issue with another child, the teachers responded rapidly. I think people who are claiming this are possibly confusing what they view as dissatisfying outcomes with doing nothing. It is always challenging to verify and document claims of bullying, particularly since bullies are usually smart enough to behave badly out of earshot of adults. It is open to debate whether the school does enough to document or verify claims, but that is not the same as doing nothing. I believe they are strongest at handling physical complaints, verbal abuse is much harder to establish, since often it is only the victim or one other child who hears something. Having said that, I believe they are doing their best with the utmost good intentions. And I have to say, just because people defend their school based on a good experience (just as some slam it due to a bad one), it doesn't mean we're all in a cult, that is, frankly an offensive generalization.