This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Mckenzie Elementary School2
Posted March 19, 2015
- a parent
District 39 is a poorly run school district, many promises not much substance. We expected great things moving into District 39, we have been sadly disappointed with the program and response of the superintendent. The reading program is extremely poor and the math program even worse. I'm not surprised the board member who has written a review loves the district, board members get to hand pick their child's teacher, yes I did say they get to hand pick their child's teacher. District 39 lags behind the neighboring communities programs. If you are moving into the area look into Winnetka or Highland Park's programs, they are much stronger and more progressive than District 39.
McKenzie has been great for all three of our children -- each of whom have distinctly different personalities from one another. The teachers, staff and administrators have been very responsive to our requests and concerns when they arise. The resources at the school are top notch, and the academic learning well prepares the students for middle school, junior high and high school. My youngest is currently receiving differentiated instruction in reading and math, which appears to be taking place quite seamlessly. Finally (and sometimes most importantly), the community is fantastic.
We have never experienced such an inept staff in all our lives. The school teachers may be great but the administration is honestly one of the worst. Numerous phone calls that they never return simply asking for records then they flat out LIED to us that they don't keep them. It's law that they have to keep them until the child is 21yrs old! An issue that we wanted to discuss regarding switing classes and they kept telling us for over a month that they would get back to us and never did. A principal that is almost never there and when she is she doesn't return phone calls or have any time to deal with parents. Isn't that your JOB? We had to go in several times just to try and talk to her and she insists on you calling her "Doctor". How pretentious can you be?
Not what you'd expect when your hear the hype. Nothing exceptional is happening here. Do your research before choosing District 39! Certainly not worth the hefty tax burden.It's easy to maintain high test scores with this student population. The district and school are not serving students with nontraditional learning profiles, at least 20 percent of the population, instead expecting parents to pay for outside tutoring (thousands of dollars a ). The one plus is the community, it's wonderful!
I have had three children go through McKenzie and have sat on their Executive Board. This is a very special place, I have experienced schools in different states and consider this a prime example of what an elementary school should be. The teachers are strong, the environment loving and the administration outstanding. This school always has a parent run variety show that unites the school like no other. Someone in an earlier review used the term family and I think that is spot on. I should mention my child received an IEP that was proactively given form the school. They worked to make sure my child was given the resources they needed to succeed. I don't think I have ever heard a school where they try to give your child extra resources. You could only consider yourself blessed to attend McKenzie school.
I have a child at McKenzie and we are very pleased with the school. Our child has a wonderful attentive teacher who comes up with great creative ways to engage the kids. The McKenzie PTA is more active and involved in the school than any other PTA. They put on many great fundraisers that involve the kids including an amazing parent run variety show designed to entertain the kids. Money from fundraisers goes to school equipment--smartboards, playground equipment and so forth. Our child is excited to go to school and is learning new things daily and I hear the same from other parents. You and your child will have a great experience at McKenzie. Submitted by John, a parent
The school is average and, frankly, not on par with what we expected from the North Shore. Our child is an advanced learner and has been bored through three years there. The attitude is that since she's smart, well, she gets it already. No need to do anything more eventhough she's craving --and her parents are asking for for-- more work. Not impressed.
I was a classroom teacher at McKenzie for the past few years. I accepted the position, believing it was going to be the most progressive, resourceful, and dynamic district that I had ever taught in! Unfortunately, I was unaware of District 39's poor reputation in the North Shore, and I decided to leave. In the years that I taught at McKenzie, teacher/administrator turnover was extremely apparent. Teachers would resign, not because they were asked to, but because they believed the district was poorly run (materials were scarce, compared to where I am now, things were so unorganized, new teachers lacked proper mentorships)...The last year I was there, about 5 teachers, my principal, and my superintendent left District 39 in a matter of months. Please look into other North Shore districts, like Winnetka, before committing to this one. On a high note, the parents are sensational! I really miss them!
I have two children at McKenzie and I think the school is fabulous. The teachers are fantastic and there is a tremendous amount of parental involvement. One of my children has special needs in reading and the school has no lack of funding to help her. They offered her special services before any testing was completed. The school did a great job of testing her. My other child is extremely stimulated and challenged in the regular curriculum.
We are moving out of state and I can only hope that we find a school as great as McKenzie. The McKenzie 'family' is truly special in that it makes each family and child feel a vital part of the school community and community at large. At McKenzie, 'character counts' and it shows! There is a high level of parent involvement and the PTA is just amazing in what they give back to the school. I have not been highly involved in the PTA, but focused my time at the school on helping in my son's class for parties, field trips, art projects, etc... But I am very impressed with the events they put on, the money they raise, and the way they spend the money on the betterment of the school with everything from enrichment programs to computers to playground equipment. You will love McKenzie.