We love everything about Rockland including the teachers, other parents, and principal. It's a wonderful, caring place that will go above and beyond to help children.
Math program weak. Most of the kids who are good at math have parents who supplement the sucky Every Day Math program. The ISAT scores are impressive but misleading and can be attributed in large part to parents/ demographics, quite a few Science and Engineering types. I am also guessing that some of the very low ISAT scores by some students are not counted in the mean because these students are classified as special ed.
My two children had an excellent education here. Families get to know each other well as there are many great opportunities to get involved. The new (2012) principal is fantastic - he creates an optimistic environment for teaching and learning.
My children's teachers at Rockland have been exceptionally qualified, dedicated and caring. Many of the parents are down to earth and really value education. I was surprised, however, in the polarity of reading levels in my daughter's first grade class at the end of the school year. A good quarter of the class read below grade level, but then another quarter read way above grade level. Perhaps this reflects the demographics at the school? In addition, I believe there is too much funding and attention directed toward special education and special needs programs. This is not to say that these programs are not important, but if you look at the Rockland school staff, there are 4 special education/ paraeducators, 1 resource teacher, 1 OT specialist and 3 speech teachers serving a student body of 320 kids. No wonder our property taxes are outrageous! In contrast, the gifted program relies heavily on parent volunteers.
The staff really cares about the students. The parents work to help make it a better place to learn. There is a family atmosphere at Rockland.
Throughout the years, D70 schools, including Rockland, have scored FAR ABOVE state standards in the ISATs. The schools hit in the 90-98 percent range of meet or exceed state standards. Teachers and administrators aim for 100 percent, a near impossibility, but it shows how the district competes against itself, not state scores. Since EveryDay math was introduced, the district has continued to see increasing scores in ISATs for math, at all the schools. It is one of the strongest areas for Rockland and the district. Check the State School Report Card. It tells the story.
Although students compare well against state some of that has to be attributed to demographic / parents. Math Curriculum is weak and the kids don't get any homework - good for parents :) Unfortunately are kids will not be competing against Illinois students to get into UI...they will be well prepared students from around the world. Our schools need to stop with the high five's when they perform well against the states low standards. Love the School but can't rate any of the above average unless they set higher standards.
Last child is graduating this year - excellent school and teachers for all of years here.
Rockland School is a nice neighborhood school in a close-knit community. The teachers and administration really care about the students and work to help them achieve academically. My biggest complaint is the use of Everyday Math (which is district-wide.) At times the 'spiraled' format presents concepts before some children are developmentally able to comprend them. Parents are assured not to worry, since the concepts will reappear at some future point. This results in a disjuncted approach to math, and can be very frustrating to students and parents alike.
It is a nice school in a together type community, although some of the Administration does not coordinate well with the parents and teachers on general day to day activities. If you call them in the main office for info they seem to push responsibility on teachers who seem to have no answers. For this county and state having some of the largest outrageous property taxes in the country I think residents are getting short changed. Academically the students are learning more reading comprehension and much less math.
I think Rockland is a wonderful, neighborhood school for a child to grow not only academically, but also socially and emotionally. The teachers care deeply about the students and always go the extra mile to make my child feel success. Although the staff is young, they are focused and committed to their job and do a great job keeping up with the latest trends in teaching. They are readily available, and are willing to go out of their way for each child. The reading program is top notch and my child's teacher was able to engage and develop my daughter as a reader. The math program, Everyday Math, has had many critics, but overall, it appears from the math ISATS that it is working to improve our children's math ability! I do wish that the school had a better computer curriculum and a designated computer teacher!
I have had three children moving through this school. Overall, the teachers seem to effectively teach their reading curriculums, but are not so effective in teaching math and science. Many of the teachers are young and new to the profession, which I think has limited academic achievement. Our school tends to have the lowest test scores in the district, but these scores are still well above the state average. We have a new principal this year, which has had little impact either good or bad. She seems very nice, but is sometimes absent at school events which I don't like. Libertyville is a nice town and the schools are all great, so I'm glad to have my children here. I just wish that the teachers would improve their teaching strategies in math and science.
While we liked the overall curriculum, we also felt some teachers are not as well prepared as others to use the math spiraled curriculum; some topics are touched on briefly, often before the child has had time to internalize- but returning to them later. The parental guide sheets provided to supplement class instruction were innadecuate. Extracurricular opportunities are exceptional, specially the band and orchestra programs. These instructors are world class. Overall, a good school with a lot of opportunities, but the math curriculum is too choppy, which does not work for all type of learners, and relies too much in alternative guimmicks and 'tricks' (i.e. the lattice method) that have left my child often getting the right answers without really understanding the concepts. Finally, the Character Counts program seems to be a big joke among the children. Schools should re-valuate its effectiveness. Nutrition of the hot lunches: grade F-.
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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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