We have always loved living in the city and explored many options when it came to choosing a school for our daughter. We enrolled our daughter at FSK for kindergarten and haven't looked back. She now is in the 3rd grade and is thriving in all ways imaginable. She looks forward to going to school and has developed a great sense of pride through all of her academic accomplishments. The parent involvement is second-to-none and the teachers, administration and staff are fully engaged in making FSK the best that it can be. We couldn't be happier with our choice to enroll at FSK!
Kindergarten has optional homework but it's strongly advised you have your child do the assignments. I believe the teachers make them relevant to the month they're working in, age appropriate and fun. I don't have to push my daughter any of the work most months.
We made the choice to send our daughter out of zone for kindergarten and I couldn't be happier that we ended up at FSK.
The school grounds are great, I was impressed with the technology in the classrooms, the diversity and programs available. I love the location of the school - during the Blue Angels arrival in Baltimore the early elementary classes got to walk to parks and Under Armour to watch. For school trips they have the ability to ride the free circulator bus, which stops in front of the school.
Immediately after we began my daughter had transitioning issues and her teacher and several staff members went above and beyond to help both of us make it easier for her. That meant a lot and showed the character of the school.
Prior to enrolling, I went to a PTO meeting to see what that was like and was super impressed with the amount of active parents that showed up. Since becoming a parent and attending meetings I continue to be impressed with the parental involvement at FSK. A strong PTO was something I looked for in a school and FSK did not disappoint.
The middle school and elementary students are in separate wings, however I do know that at times my daughter gets to interact with middle schoolers (when she dressed as The Lorax for American Education Week "Dress as your Favorite Book Character" she came home and told me at least 5 of the "big kids" told her how much they liked her outfit). I've also seen middle schoolers coming out and helping on weekends or evenings to elementary events and have enjoyed seeing how gentle they are with the younger kids.
Not to be naive, it is still a city school and when I walk my daughter in the building in the morning we pass some older kids sometimes using colorful language, but it's nothing worse than what they hear at the playground (or from my own mouth). My daughter has never mentioned it or been phased by it.
I originally saw the low score on Great Schools and didn't know what to think but it was recommended to check out FSK. The score does not match the school.
My advice as a new parent to a perspective parent is to be as involved as you can. To make a great school you need great kids but also need their parents.
Transferring in from another school where things were not what they should've been - the administration (teachers too though it wasn't all of their faults) couldn't handle the kids my daughter has found her "home". Her teachers as well as the staff are amazing taking the time to assure her and me that what she went though at her other school would not happen at this one. Nor have they. Her grades have improved -she's actually getting an education now! and her zest for life has returned She's befriended a diverse group of individuals who not only share her interests but have her back when she needs them most. Her father and I could not be happier. Only wish I'd moved her over sooner.