This school is AMAZING! My daughter is in the middle of her Kindergarten year and I was a bit concerned at first because she was an advanced Kindergartener (she started the year reading and adding in her head). I was quickly put to ease though when I learned that the students are broken into 5 groups for reading and math based on their knowledge so that all of the students are challenged- those just learning their letters and those who are reading books. Communication is great between the teachers, principle and parents and there is an excellent community feeling. Can't say enough about Longfellow=)
There are amazing teachers here. From the PKP on up. We have been fortunate to have many of them. Sure it's a dice roll, but it's like that at all schools and the odds are definitely in your favor here. The principal does listen but I do think the district itself is to blame for any "sweeping under the rug" issues. Disabilities, allergies are all taken seriously. Academics are amazing and the PTO does an incredible job at enrichment programs as well as creating some stellar events throughout the year to engage students and teachers. There are many opportunities for parental involvement. They love volunteers to come in and read to children, help with art class, stay in the lunch room, and help out in general. We've been there for over 5 years and I love the teachers. Any bullying is taken seriously in the school and although the aids could have been more attentive on the playground, they were all new last year. I'm not sure how much instruction they received but if an issue was brought to their attention, there was action. I love the diversity of our school & while that could be a disadvantage in some minds, it has only become a strength for the school and the community
There are some good teachers there but I took my daughters out of Longfellow and put them into private school. The aides did not enforce discipline in the school yard at lunchtime. When my daughter complained she was being hit in the yard every day the aides just said they didn't have eyes in the back of their heads. I was very disappointed that I had moved to Oak Park for the "good schools."
Academically, Longfellow is a great school. However, the current principal, Ms. Doezel, avoids conflict. If you have an issue, such as your child be bullied, or an issue with a teacher yelling at your child, she'll smile and tell you she'll look into it, but does nothing. Also, the school severely limits parental involvement. I have tried many times to be more involved, and have been given a multitude of excuses. There are some great schools in Oak Park, unless academics is your only concern, I would not choose Longfellow.
We had a wonderful experience with stellar teachers. Mrs. Ivey and Mrs. Arguello were incredibly warm, smart, talented and patient. But after 1st grade, we were out of luck. Burnt out teachers, unruly classrooms, ineffective PBIS, worksheets and videos in the classroom, and little to no challenge academically (even with the gifted and talented program). The worst part however, was the lack of discipline and intervention in schoolyard bullying. Lots of aggression on the playground with aides who told the kids "If I didn't see it, there is nothing I can do." One of my children was in a 1st grade class (different than above) with a very unhappy teacher. 13 out of 25 first graders had received detention by October. When I spoke with the principal during a scheduled appointment about the apathy in the classroom, the negative energy, and the lack of academic stimulation, she looked me straight in the eye and said, "We are aware of the problem." She offered nothing else. We purposefully moved from OP because we were so disgusted with the schools. This community has a great reputation-- but it's just that-- reputation alone doesn't educate kids in the way they need.
Very good school , I'm happy with it and my kid is very happy in it.
Longfellow is great! We are one of only two (out of 8) Oak Park Schools that has made Academic Honor Roll for making AYP - adequate yearly progress - on state tests every year since 2003. Longfellow has great families and a very dedicated, hard working staff. It is a super school!
so far the school is great,my kid is thriving ,Im so happy with it,Miss Hepding/1st G teacher is the best, parents are always at class helping and the atmospher is warm and welcoming.
Longfellow provides an excellent well rounded education for all students. The climate of the school is happy and friendly with importance placed on learning. There is a great sense of community and spirit in the school. Longfellow produces a large number of students that excel academically.
We have been in the Longfellow Community for almost seven years and cannot say enough about this wonderful school. We have had a great experience with two children and next year will enroll a third-we are thrilled!
My sons have been attending Longfellow for 3 years now and I have been so consistently impressed by the quality of ALL of the teachers and the curriculum. We've worked on several things with the Principal, Angela Dolezal, and she has always made herself available and is extremely personable. I see her at the school yard during lunch recess every day and she always knows all of the kids' names, even the parents' names. My oldest son is in second grade now and there was a great program where local restaurants donated different ethnic foods and a wonderful teacher came in for about 8 weeks to teach kids about different cultures via different foods. I hear that in 3rd grade there is a section of the curriculum that teaches kids how to carry on conversations and respond easily to questions like 'how are you?' etc. Keep up the great work, Longfellow!
My daughter has gone to Longfellow for 2 years. We moved from Seattle and I was very concerned about the quality, as our school in Washington was amazing. I am overall very impressed with the teachers that she has had, and very impressed with the education. This is a great school that really tries to serve the students. However, I do agree with other posts that that bullying from other students seems to be higher than average at this school. I don t know what the school can do to control these bad seeds, but there are some students that cause problems and it doesn t seem like the school does anything about it.
It is probably the most racially and economically diverse school in the district, yet it is consistently in the top 2-3 in terms of academic success as measured on standardized tests. This school does more with less than any other school I know.
We moved from Massachusetts into Oak Park's Longfellow school when our son was entering 2nd grade. He is now entering 5th grade. We have had such a wonderful experience at the school. Great teachers and community. The children are held to high standards across the board. We've had two situations in which we sought out the principal, Ms. Dolezal. She was great in both cases and I feel she is doing an excellent job. I love the 'extras' that are offered to the students from Hubbard Street Dance program to the FLIP program, and all the additional enrichment activities. We lived in Newton, MA which has a reputation for wonderful schools, but our experience at Longfellow has topped Newton Public schools on all aspects. I can't say enough wonderful things abut Longfellow!
There are some outstanding teachers at this school. The principal is not outstanding and seems to be risk-averse, but is very accessible to parents and open to hearing from them. Getting her to take action is a little harder. She likes baby steps. The Longfellow community is great, wonderful families. I'm happy to have my child here, going into first grade in the fall.
The teachers at this school are very professional (especially special needs) and they provide excellent feedback on progress as well as suggestions. I have a child at Longfellow for the first year. I was at first nervous and concerned sending her into a new school and out of her self-contained environment. The staff have really been accommodating and helpful to make sure services are provided and class time is not lost. I am thankful that my child is in a caring and safe environment.
Principal's general approach to problems at Longfellow is to sweep them under the rug. There are several great teachers there such as Ms. Mulsoff, Mr. Pod, Ms. Vietzen, Mrs. Creticos and Ms. Martin. Unfortunately, ensuring your child pairs up with a good teacher is a 50/50 gamble.
This school is quick to label active children as ADHD. Discipline and control is not a priority. They try to appear to be concerned, but they are truly not interested in working with parents. Once your child is labeled 'special needs' they do not 'truly' provide assistance in that area. Parents are called constantly and no control over a child is enforced.
Longfellow is a great school. There are a lot of academic activities the students are exposed to, such as language (French and Spanish, sign language). The academic program is a bit advanced so you might want to check out the curriculum according to your child's grade, before transferring your child to that school. The principal, Thea Perkins, is quite approachable and ready to help.
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