I have a daughter at Arthur Circle. She was formerly in a magnet school, but left the state for one semester then came back and was ineligible for magnet because she left, so we had no alternative but this neighborhood school.
The principal and staff are friendly and truly care and are visible. The teachers try very hard and are dedicated, at least in my daughter's grade (4th). I think there are some behavior problems, but there is strong discipline and leadership with this principal.
I do not think the teachers challenge my daughter enough, probably because most of the students are "average" and they have to teach to the average. I've been very surprised by how little homework she gets compared to when she was in magnet school. She coasts by with little effort & is not working at her true potential.
The shock to me is the lack of parental involvement- awards ceremonies & the few academic events the school does (like a reading night), participation & attendance by parents was below average to poor, except for the free food breakfast with the kids (i. e. donuts for dads). This school will never climb out of the doldrums unless there is more parental involvement. It's not all shouldered on the teachers & administrators.
I think the mass exodus of the best students for local magnet schools (many gifted students successfully test into magnet & leave before 5th grade) has dragged down the school's standardized test scores over the last 10 years. There is no clear path for the school to overcome this, since most of the better student eventually leave for one of the magnets. Magnets have hurt this school's once very high rating. The school increasingly "teaches more to the test" to try to bring up the scores, but the recent scores suggest they continue to decline. This once "A" school has dropped to C then D & now has an "F". These problems are complex & hard to fix. School is in great neighborhood, but also pulls kids from poorer areas.
Get your child into one of the magnets- I've had my child in both magnet & now this school. The quality, the parental involvement, & the dedication to challenging the kids are all extraordinary at magnet. AC Steere, Riverside, University Elem. schools are good alternatives if your child does not get into magnet, but you must live in those districts (schools' boundaries are on-line).-- a parent
This school is making a comeback, no doubt about it. Teachers are dedicated, accessible, and friendly. My kids love the Secret Celebrations that occur every week for good behavior. Administration returns calls and seems very fair. Not a huge enrollment- but that's fine. I just wish there were smaller class sizes. But I know there is not much that can be done about that at the school level- that's more of a CPSB thing. My family supports Arthur Circle! GO COUGARS
My son has been in Arthur Circle from Pre-K to 1st grade and we have loved it! Ms. Crank in Pre-K is an Amazing Teacher, one of the Best. The Principle is always available, very supportive of the kids, and seen at every event. We have had no major issues, and I would not consider another school for my child. We are very happy there, and he is super excited to start school. When a child cant wait to go back to their school, you know you've picked the right one. :)
Okay, we have a principal. Administrators: Please consider some steps that will help our school: 1. Have some extracurricular activities! I know the focus on learning is important, but activities can improve morale and increase families' investment in and support of the the school. Not all kids can make straight A's; let them celebrate other accomplishments! I can't believe that there's no one in the entire school willing to help with some type of activity; maybe someone would, if he/she had support from administrators and parents. If we can't have extracurriculars, at the very least, promote the activities in the community so that the kids at our school could participate together- SPAR, CABOSA, YMCA, Querbes Tennis, Scouts- talk to folks at other neighborhood schools in our area for ideas,or get on their websites! 2. Update and USE the website. This is 2013; let's make it functional and informative! 3. Invite us in on an oingoing basis, beyond the intiial paper that comes home the first week of school asking for room mothers, etc. I don't have much in the way of time or talent, but I'd be glad to help do something, if I felt that my participation was needed and wanted.
The parents are eager to see who the next principal/leader will be. We are eager to get started working at Arthur Circle but there is no direction. The parents have not been contacted or asked about their input on the new leadership. We all are praying for a strong dedicated leader.
AC was once a high performing neighborhood school. The current leadership has been poor at best. The parents want a new entire administrative team. Parents are eager to work but we don't feel welcome now. It takes parents to move the school in a positive direction. I am pleading to the Caddo School Board to bring in new leadership since the former principal has retired. We want to claim our wonderful school back so we can fully support our teachers. Please post comments and may be Caddo will listen to our plea and cries for help.
We have been at Arthur Circle since the 2003-2004 school year. With one glaring exception (all schools have those), my children's teachers have been at least acceptable to good, and several have been outstanding. Positive trends that I have observed: 1. The current principal is more approachable and visible around the school compared to the former principal; 2. Improved technology thanks to the PTA's efforts. Negative trends: 1. Decline of extracurriculars. For example, running club is no more. After the former coordinators took a well-earned break, it appears that no other faculty/staff would take it on. 4H? gone. Cheerleading: Do-it-yourself. School "teams" through local sports organizations? Can't get them to even distribute information. 2. Standarized test scores are the very highest priority; I can't even name a close second. 3. Fewer hands-on learning activities overall, especially in science (probably related to #2). 4. Increase in pot-stirring, griping parents (does not apply to all you wonderful ones), or maybe I'm just getting older and less tolerant.
Not a good School. I have two kids that were "A" students befor they came to Auther Circle. The Teachers Do Not Care about their Students learnings and Progress! My kids are very detached from their teachers & school. Vey disappointed...
This school has lost too much since the creation of magnets which caused busing of too many out-of-neighborhood children. The test scores and scores on all levels have gone down considerably because of this action. Do not even know the legality of such a move that lowes a first class school to such a level no one would want to send their child there unless they had to. Also devaluates the surrounding homes in the neighborhood because of the quality of schooling.