I have substituted at many schools in Michigan City and other areas. Unlike the non-magnet elementary schools, two of the elementary magnet schools (Pine and Lake Hills), lacked features that are necessities for every public school: efficient & effective administrative procedures for communication and student behavior. Also, these schools lack the organized Special Ed resources that I found at non-magnet schools. There were no noticeable behavioral plans for students with serious emotional difficulties. While carrying out sophisticated projects that met the school's specialty, many students with special needs were bouncing off the walls and it was unclear what referral procedures the administration expected. Magnet or not, the administration can't "reinvent the wheel" in terms of basic procedures for student needs. Are funds that should be used toward special-needs are being channeled into the magnet specialty? I observed excellent dedication among Pine's teachers, who regularly have to meet ridiculous expectations in a disorganized environment. No teacher can meet all mandated expectations in most Title I environments. They have to learn the ropes and pick their battles.
There is a group that thinks they run the school. Two particular women have somehow gotten into their heads that they call the shots. Boy, what a crazy, mixed up place. I was a parent of a preschooler, but I also served on the leadership team and these two were responsible for lots of drama.
Pine School is becoming a much better school. Dicipline has improved and the teachers are doing a good job of helping each and every child. The arts program is evolving and growing. The art , music and theatre is tremendous. Come visit!
Pine calls itself an arts school, however I don't see much evidence of that. The music teacher bullies the kids and they sing with taped music. She doesn't even play the piano when they have concerts. My son was in after-school drama this year, and the lady who teaches the class was often rude to me. It seems to me she doesn't really know much about theater. I don't think she has even trained in it. The dance teacher's choreography is not very inspired. I could do better, and I'm not a dancer. Art projects are nice, but nothing special. The computer projects are not as good as the ones my daughter did at her other school and it wasn't an art school. All in all, I'm very disappointed. The principal is not approachable and the secretary is not very helpful.
Pine Elementary School is lacking in many areas, mainly those that involve communication with parents or other adults. Their curricular methods with math instruction are questionable. Our children have been attending there for two years. Last year, SY 2011-12, our daughter had MAJOR problems with head lice, at least 4 if not 5 infestations. When the nurse knew she had lice, she was not sent home and other children in the classroom were not checked. The web site is not up-to-date much of the time. We've tried to be involved in the P/T organization and called the leaders whose names are listed on the web site, but never received a call back. It seems very clique-ish to us. I'm sure that all the teachers work very hard as most teachers do, but there is a real lack of something - not sure what - at this school.
I am a teacher and parent at Pine School. I trust this school with the care of my child all day. I work with an amazing group of teachers and staff that works harder than any other group I have worked with. Many positive changes have happened in the past year with our school leadership. Next year we will have a new principal who will bring other great changes!
Love this school since it has become a magnet school for the fine arts. Principal is extremely accommodating and supportive and my child loves her first grade teacher. She has really taken off with her reading. The after school classes are wonderful. She attends two classes on two days. Thank you for being great!
The major problem with this school is their hygienic outlook with the students. We have 2 girls that attend this school and have had 2 lice infestations in 5 months. We have spent over $400.00 in ''RID'' and laundry expenses. AND NOTHING HAS CHANGED WITH THEIR PROCEDURES! If your looking for a good school this one really does not qualify. BELIEVE IT!!!!
Pine has a beautiful building and some great Teachers, my son attended yet I pulled him this year more because of the students , lack of parent support and morals of the families that attend, being low income is no excuse for being lazy.