Prairie is an exceptional school. The teachers are caring professionals, the PTA is active and involved in supplementing where the district has made cuts, the administrative staff is professional and helpful to parents. The school really focuses on well rounded children. Preparation for mandatory testing is there but it is not excessive and doesn't get in the way of arts, music and science education. Supplementary after school programs like Chess Club, Junior Master Gardeners, Mad Science, Girls on the Run, etc are available at little or no charge and are run by parents or community members who are interested in sharing with the kids. If you are looking for a community centered school that welcomes your whole family then Prairie is for you. The only slight drawback is the endless "junk" fundraisers. I wish the PTA, class level fundraising, etc would focus on one or two "big" fundraisers a year like the Auction instead of all the small junk ones like Entertainment Books, Cookie Dough, etc. Fundraising should not involve taking kids out of class for infomercials that entise them into anxiety for not selling enough gift wrap to win a dollar store prize.
Prairie has been a great school for my child. Princple Tom Tracy is very involved and there is great parent support. The downside is that this school is tied to Shawnee Mission School District which has instilled a curiculum focused on testing. My daughter has been focused for weeks on craming for standardized tests. I thought the point of the standardized tests was to actually guage where the student's academic level is, not whether they've properly prepared for the tests. When I was in school we took one test: the ITBS. Now, in addition to the ITBS, students have to take several others. The other issue I have had is that I specifically purchased a property within the Prairie Elementary boundaries and paid a premium for it. The school district has allowed many transfers so the class sizes are much larger than they should be if they honored the boundaries.
This school is great in every area,from Principal and teachers to parents. We bought a new home that put us in another elementary school and the change was shocking. We had a very unhappy child whose grades and mental health suffered until we worked out a way we could get back into the Prairie area. I hope all paernts realize how blessed we all are to have these wonderful professionals working with our kids!
When most of the country is looking at depreciating home values people are knocking on doors to buy homes in need of repair that get them into this elementary school. It is comperable to many private schools in other areas of the country. We are blessed.
My daughter transferred to Prairie from Rushton this year. She absolutley loves it and I couldn't be more pleased with this school. The teacher is engaging and makes learning fun, the principle is very involved, the kids are friendly and the academic standards are top notch. They have a wonderful garden with a water pond that each grade takes care of as well as a garden club, art club, math club, band, choir etc. They take the individual needs of the kids very much into consideration. LOVE IT!!