This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Mill Creek Elementary School3
Posted March 10, 2014
- a parent
PART 2 HOMEWORK: This school has an absolutely INSANE amount of homework with 3rd graders having 1-2 hours and upper grades having 3-4 hours each night with the exception of weekends. One reason for this is to achieve the designation of Excellence In Education according to state and federal benchmarks in both reading and math. Special assistance is given to children who cannot achieve at an excelled level, as a negative other students, teachers and staff unofficially categorizes these children as subpar students. Promoting an unhealthy definition of what is an "acceptable student" and what is not. PTA/PARENTS: There is a great sense of community with PTA and parent involvement within the school, which always benefits all children. The added bonuses that the children receive due to events and fundraisers are exceptional. POLITICS: As with all schools, Mill Creek Elementary has its own opportunities of politics, therefore, navigating the diplomacy when advocating for your child or class can be quite tricky at times.
PART 1 BULLYING: Bullying is an absolute problem at this school, just as it is at every other school in America. However, I have seen a positive change from last year to this year from teacher, staff and principal. This is singularly due to a change in principals. In addition, the school defers the lead to parents as to how to solve any bullying issue that may arise and is on a case by case basis. EDUCATION: This school is one of the best, if not the best, elementary school in the Shawnee Mission School District. However, it is important to know that this school only has approximately 432 students, whereas most other Shawnee Mission Elementary Schools have 2 to 3 times that amount. One reason for this is the reorganization of boundaries during the 2011-12 school year.
We have been in Mill Creek for 7 years now with one child finishing 6th grade and one just starting, I have read the reviews of obviously some angry parents, but does not show the truth about our school at all, parent involvment is amazing and children are great, we have a few teachers that could retire even though they are still good and some incredible new teachers. If this school is as bad as some of the reviewers said before, I'd like to know why is it that we have so many transfers, everybody want to come to Mill Creek, I can only immagine that the reviews were done to stop the transfers? All the issues were always taken care of immediately and teachers really care. A bit less of homework would be great though. And for all schools I'd like to see letting small children learn at their own pace rather than pushing 5 years old kids to know as much as a 7 years old just because they were hold back and are in the same grade.
Two of my children have attended K-6 here and we have been very happy with Mill Creek. In my experience, the teachers and administration have been on top of problems. The sense of community at the school is outstanding - there are lots of excellent activities so that the whole family feels a part of the school. We have had excellent young teachers, as well as "seasoned" teachers. I hope statewide budget cutting doesn't affect the quality of teachers too much.
There IS a lot of bullying and not always by the other students. It wasn't always like that. There has been quite a lot of staff and teacher turnover in the past few years. Whether because of budget cuts and the economy or for the fact that there has been so much change in the past few years at the school, the teachers seem disgruntled, discouraged and downright angry at times. Our lives revolve around the school and working hard to help our kids make it work. My kids are very intelligent and test well, so it shouldn't be this hard for them. Homework is excessive. After being at school for seven hours, young children need to play and have family time. Our evenings are spent helping our kids calm down, do their homework, eat, bathe and go to bed. We are stressed out by this school.
Bullying is indeed an ignored problem at Mill Creek. I went so far as to talk with an Assistant Superintendent, who told me a transfer for my child was a good idea. The principal was no help and did not follow through with the corrective action that he mandated for the guilty students. For a school with high academic standards, standards for social skills of the students and staff are far below what I would consider normal.
Some of the worst bullying happens here and the teachers do absolutely nothing when they see it, or else they're completely oblivious. Kids are afraid to tell on their peers, so it's the teachers' job to notice this nonsense and put an end to it. It is true that they focus on the exceptional kids and rather ignore the average ones. That's true with most Shawnee Mission schools, though. Teachers are there for the paychecks. That said, the curriculum is better than most.
It's absolutely untrue that the focus at Mill Creek is on exceptional students, while average students are overlooked - as stated by another reviewer. In this age of No Child Left Behind, there is probably a bit too much emphasis on test-taking, but the staff work very hard to make sure all students meet the school's high standards. Also, the school has dozens of library and classroom computers, plus portable laptops and all sorts of other technology. Do kindergarteners and 1st graders really need their own laptops? 'New' does not equal excellent. Mill Creek staff are dedicated and top-notch. My average kids get lots of personal attention and are thriving at this school. Rock on, Mustangs! ....
I have 2 kids at Mill Creek and another who will be there soon. I wish I could say that I have seen the 'WOW' factor that so many parents talk about regarding this school but frankly, I have not. At Mill Creek the focus lies on exceptional students and those that are average, get overlooked. Parent participation at this school is excellent and I believe that this is why Mill Creek has such an excellent reputation. I think many of the staff members are not in education for the sheer love of it but rather for the paycheck. The school itself is outdated. While many schools around the country now offer laptop computers to each and every student, Mill Creek is still asking parents to provide the absolute basics such as tissues and computer wipes. Sad.