This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Walnut Street School3
Posted August 27, 2014
- a parent
Only start school for few days and already hate the parking for pick up and drop off. They have hundreds of students and only 20 parking spot available for pickup/drop off, and no pickup/drop off drive way, how is that going to work out? no matter if we came early or later than school start time/end time we still struggling to find parking, unless you have 2 persons to drop off or pickup the kid, one to bring the kid in/out while the other driving around to find parking, you will be late for school/pickup time. The teacher and staff are nice and responsive though. Fix this issue then I'll change my rating for this school.
The school does a great job and has made many improvements in its short 10 year history. Academic achievement has been increasing each year, but gains are still needed and it seems like the effort by staff is targeted. Certainly there are things that can continue to improve, as with any school. Interestingly, some of the comments below are completely wrong and actually malicious. The current principal did not resign, he accepted a promotion. Why wouldn't that be a celebration versus a slam?! Also, he did withdraw one of his children from the school, but his other child still attends there. Why is that a problem, or even a point of public concern? Do we even know, or need to know, the reasoning? It seems like the parents venting on this site are forgetting that this is a school of choice. We all selected this school for various reasons and the vast majority of us parents are very happy. Those that are unhappy, should reconsider their choice and perhaps return to their neighborhood school. Posting negative comments is unfair to those of us who appreciate and support the school. Thanks WSS for all you are doing for our kids!
As another parent predicted (wow!), the principal resigned, after pulling his own child out earlier in the year. We have had kids at WSS for many years, it has gone down hill fast ever since IB endorsement was given. Don't get me wrong - we supported IB, we were thrilled with the idea and the lead up to it was great. The implementation has been poor. As soon as the endorsement was given and the school became IB, it was as if the entire staff stopped trying, mission accomplished. I think in addition to the other parent saying the principal is building his resume by moving to another school, he was building his resume by implementing IB, once he had it checked of his to do list that was it. Test scores are down, communication is non-existent, there are no afterschool activities anymore, teachers are out the door as soon as the kids are - unlike my middle schooler, where the teachers are active in running activities for the kids, staying to tutor, etc. The principal wants the teachers only available during their contract hours to the second and out the door-definitely no lighted school house here. I hope new leadership will bring new committment to kids, IB, families & education!
My child attends this school and it is OK. I've had issues with misplaced paperwork and rude staff (especially on the first floor to operate the elevators) who scoff at you for not knowing protocol in every situation. Parking is an issue, but everyone has to contend with the downtown parking situation. I'm worried by the low math/science scores reported on this site. Otherwise, it seems like a good and diverse school.
I am a former employee of the preschool program ( i spent 5.5 years with them) as well as a parent (my daughter attended the program as an infant). I truly loved working there& I feel that they have an exceptional group of staff members, although there were things that I found lacking. The support from management was inconsistent and "problem" employees were allowed to stay for years before being terminated. I felt that overall they thoughtfully hired& maintained a strong place for growth and learning, but when issues would arise, it would take a ridiculous amount of time & effort to get it solved. (even with large volumes of complaints). I found this to be an issue with more that one principal/director (i was present for the last 4, ending with Craig Leager). Looking from the inside out, I would tell parents that this is a great school, but in the end you always need to be vigilant. Visit during lunch hours, look at the food provided for your child& the rules& regulations regarding it. How long can they eat? Can they take uneaten food home?
We absolutely love Walnut Street School. The principal, teachers and staff are wonderful, caring individuals who are truly dedicated to your child's education. This really is the place to learn, thrive and love.
This is the hidden gem in the Des Moines Public Schools! It is an IB school, where students have just begun learning Mandarin! Excellent leadership among teachers and admin. Great diversity! Wonderful community among teachers, students, and families.