Pros: Safe environment; strong sense of belonging and community; small enough for staff to pay close attention to individual students and their needs; availability of 'specials' like PE, art, computers, and music beginning in preschool; separation of younger and older elementary students in two wings of the building promotes an overall tranquility, with interaction between the age groups for activities like "reading buddies"; dedicated and involved principal who knows the students, families, and teachers well, is open and responsive to feedback, and works tirelessly to serve the school and its students; active PTA with a generally involved parent body; affordable and convenient before/after & summer childcare that includes some of the daytime staff with which young students are already familiar. Cons: Although the property includes a prairie and wooded area, free play is restricted to artificial structures with gravel and concrete which seems like a missed opportunity to me; school utilizes multiple reward systems per grade (often including candy and food treats); teacher quality can vary, but performance is monitored closely with guidance where needed.
My 3 kids have attended United since Preschool. It is the best school in this area. They offer so much that other local schools dont: They have awesome grounds with an outdoor classroom and praire.The have daycare options including before, after, and summer care. They have small class sizes, great staff, awesome lunches cooked on sight. A very active PTO that supports many fun things for the kids. We love our school and open enroll to get to it. I highly recommend anyone in the Boone/Ames area look into it.
This school is awesome. The principal/superintendent is very committed to the kids and involved with them on a daily basis. We had our kids (twins) in the Ames School District and moved the kids out to United for first grade. We feel it is more friendly and personal. The school lunches are better quality as they are made from scratch by a cook, rather than shipped in from a supplier. We get P.E. and art twice a week, rather than once as in the Ames School District. Very happy.
I cannot say enough about United Community School in Boone, IA. My son, whom excels in Math and Science has had some difficulty with reading. He did not slip through the cracks, but instead has been given the opportunity to receive special attention. I feel if he were attending a larger school he would not have had this opportunity since he is on the border line, and may have gotten 'lost' and fallen behind his classmates. The school is small enough that all of the adult staff know each child, and the children know other children not in their classrooms. After the first month of school they feel and act like a small family. The teaching staff is wonderful! The students also have daily opportunities to learn in computer lab, physical education, guidance, art, music, and the outdoor prairie can be used for multiple learning opps!