Posted February 22, 2009
As Principal of Dwight Junior High School since 2002, I'm very proud of our students, teachers, school and community. No doubt you will read a variety of perceptions on this website regarding our school...All I ask is that any visitors to this site keep an open mind and personally stop by our school to find out for yourself why 'It's a Great Day to be a Redbird!' Mr. Mark Pagel
Several teachers in the junior high are completely out of touch with what is expected after students transition to high school. Great cooperation between the two districts must begin in earnest. Teachers at the junior high level have previously resisted changing their curriculum or teaching style in response to concerns from the high school (especially in Algebra). This continues today, despite Herculean efforts by the high school to improve this situation. The junior high administration does nothing to monitor or improve this situation.
I was extremely SHOCKED to read all the positive reviews because my experience with the grade school has not been a positive one. I feel some of the teachers are not aware of differentiantiation. Their expectations are low and they do not challenge the students beyond grade level standards. The principal is NOT involved beyond the door of the office and that is disappointing. During a conversation with her, she kept using the term "your child" and she clearly knew my child's name. Very cold and impersonal!
Dwight has a wonderful Grade School full of teachers that go way beyond their regular day. My children talk all of the time about how much they love their teachers. The community and parents work hard to come up with many extras to keep the children busy outside of school. I am proud to say that i also had the same experience growing up in Dwight. There are many graduates from Dwight all over the country that are at the top of their fields. I think this proves you dont need to come from a huge school with advanced classes to excel. You need the drive and the support from your school, parents, and community. Dwight does an excellent job in providing this. It is a Great place to live and raise your children.
Great experience in the school district with a student with special needs. He got great assistance from staff both inside the school and support staff from outside the district.
I noticed while reading the parents' comments that many of them are from 2004. Many things have changed for the better over the last seven years at Dwight Grade School. The "bullying" problem has been helped out with drastically with many seminars for the students. They offer "Red Bird Bucks" for students with positive attitudes. Every issue I have ever had with my children at the school has been handled quickly with care and understanding. I am happy my children attend Dwight Grade School.
My daughter is a proud redbird and has been since we moved here in 2006, and when she entered junior high she's been even prouder. DGS is a great school full of wonderful teachers. They spend their money wisely, and make sure the students get the knowledge they need. At times the school may seem pushy on what they teach but its all in good intensions. They have recently adapted the PBIS System which has done wonders for the school the violence level had gone way down. almost to absolute zero. I recommend DGS you cant get a better staff anywhere and the children are so welcoming. I highly recomend this school for your child.
When Chicago schools are taken from the average scores, this school fares poorly with the rest of the state even with a low student teacher ratio and higher than average teacher and administrative pay. I question administrative quality and teacher dedication in this school system.
We just moved here from out of state and we chose Dwight because of the small town living and the school. We have a child in the special needs program and a child in junior high and we have never been happier. I disagree with so many responses on here. I am at the school often and the staff and kids are so great. I do have two issues, some students haven't been taught good manners,(but that starts at home parents) and I do wish the junior high had high academic classes for advanced students. I think the teachers and staff care so much for these children and I feel a laid back and relaxed vibe when I am on campus, very welcoming.
I must say that we moved here 4 years ago and I came from a big city. I think that Dwight has an excellent teaching program, the teachers we've had thus far that have been excellent. My daughter has done nothing but excelled in her class work. I came from a big inner city area where I moved because of the school systems. So, to all of those complaining about the school system need to realize how good they have it.
This school strives for what they perceive to be academic excellence. Their grading system in my opinion is too hard. They offer a lot of sports and other extracurricular activities. The administration and many of the teachers unfortunately are rigid in their thinking. They are big on control and b/c of that children suffer b/c control and following the rules are more important than the individual. There is overuse of detention to the point it doesn't mean a thing. I would suggest looking into neighboring school systems before sending my children to this school system.
Over the past 3 years, I have seen improvement in the school's focus on academic/curriculum, social issues and safety concerns. Our children have grown academically & been challenged while at the school. We have seen tremendous growth in their writing & reading skills. Love the new librarian and media center/learning lab changes, as well as the research/projects. The school is addressing bullying by building awareness, providing education/programs, instituting guidelines and consequences. Students/parents/community are all a part of solving this...not just the school. Respect starts in the home. Teaching kids to have self confidence, care/respect others and speak up for others are keys to stopping bullying. The school alone can't solve this. New parking/bus plan, cameras on schoolbuses, hallway/bathroom guidelines, elimination of some recess/PE games are some of the recent safety changes. Class sizes increased slightly due to budget constraints...still below other area schools. $$$ is an issue, write your Governor/State Representatives.
I think this schools administration is really bad. My daughter has been having problems and they want to hold her back but i don't want her to. She has learning problems and people have to fight to get there kids helpl. They push these little kids to know to much to soon. They want them to be like good little robots!there answear to everything is your kid has add or adhd. The teachers think they can tell you what to do with your kid. The extra activites are the only thing that is good about this school. They tell you one thing and do another and change everything around all the time.
There are always two sides to every story and there is only one side being told thus far. We moved here 3 years ago and have been delighted with the school and teaching staff. Our child feels extremely safe in the school environment and has many great friends. I think the administration is addressing bullying issues in the only manner it can- by educating the staff, the students and the community with programs and assemblies. All ages can benefit by learning how to neutralize bullying behavior, not more supervision or 'bullying guards'. To address some of the other issues mentioned: In most cases it would take going to a private school to get a class size of 23. I have been to the school often during the lunch hour and have never seen students sitting on the floor. DGS is a very, very good school and Dwight is lovely, safe, and small.
We have had a problem with this school as well as many others. The bullying, threating and fighting is bad. I have been to the Principal, Superintendent and talked to the head person over them all and been to a meeting about this. They admit to having a problem but they won't have the children supervised better. The teachers are not reporting the fights or reports them days after. The Principal's main saying it that it is a 'He said, she said situation.' When my son tried and did stop 2 fights he was punished for it. Thier idea of solving the problem is with assemblies and prgrams not taking postive action to stop the actual fighting and bullying. The Principal over the junior high says they have to get the teachers interested in the programs to make them work.
We have had trouble with bullies at this school also and ineffective leadership to take charge of the problem ,there are huge discipline problems within the school also behavior problems which the school does not have the ability to handle. Over burdened teachers lack of space, poor programs, and a financial deficit that appears to be getting worse. The town itself is very clannish, the parents are unfriendly and this spills over unto the children that learn there narrow minded behaviors from them. I am VERY unhappy and sorry we moved here.
I think this school does not teach what needs to be. The saftey of this school is very poor my son life was threatend by a jr high kid and nothing happened to him. The princeapal talked to him that was it. The next day the kid snuck up behind him in the bathroom. He was very frighted. My husband and I talked to the priceapal again and nothing was done. I finally had to get the local police involed. Come to find out the kid was on probation for pulling a knife on another student last year. The lunchroom doesn't have enough room the kids sometimes have to sit on the floor. School is so in debt that next year has cut teachers jobs and classes will be alot bigger. Going from 18 to 20 to 23-25 per class for 1-3 grade. The school doesnt use money wisely.
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