Most of the teachers are good. We had a bad 2nd grade experience but the teacher was supposed to be good but not a good match for my daughter who has some learning differences. She didn't want to be bothered.Not impressed with services for kids who learn differently-had to hire outside counsel to get much action but that could partly be the county. Third grade teacher, Michael LeFlore, is excellent. Do what ever you have to do to get him!
Principal Carl Bencal was fabulous but moved to a school in Clarksville. New principal is ineffective and disengaged. Shows no emotion and little concern for student well being and progress, does not act on problems including severe bullying, and is "phoning it in and going through the motions until he can retire!" Would love to see smaller class sizes but, again, this is probably mandated by MCPS.
PTA is very active and most parents are very nice. I work full time and never felt guilted by the stay at home moms. See lots of dads at activities, including ones that happen during the school day. Since most of the families are doing ok financially the PTA has money to purchase Chromebooks for all of the students, provide additional field trips and playground equipment, and free childcare during back to school night.
One advantage is the school is small so most of the kids know each other, at least by sight.
The after program, Kids Co, is great! this the fourth year my child has been there and loves it. Very organized and lots of sports activities and clubs. Have dance parties open to the entire school.
Mostly a good school, just appalling lack of leadership and concern my new principal, and mediocre fore kids with different needs.
Seven Locks student to teacher ratio is too large. Placing a teacher 's aid in the classroom to support the teachers would make a significant difference. While it is important to address all student skill levels, the kindergarten curriculum does not consider children who may already be reading and whose mathematical skills are above the kindergarten level. I believe that all students deserve to be challenged, cultivated academically and not waste an entire school year. I am starting to see why American schools are rated 17th in the world for education on some reports, because we do not allow our children to reach their full potential.
I rated Seven Locks as average. On the one hand, the academic expectations are high, and progress is steady. From K-5, students are expected to perform. On the other hand, like many schools, Seven Locks can not wiggle out of the "one size fits all" mentality. Learning styles and differences are not addressed. Sure, there is differentiation, but not true differentiation where the teachers can teach to all the learning styles/differences. If your child learns differently, be prepared to make him/her like the others. If you don't, then they pull the child out of class for extra help. Likely, this leads to SPED discussions. At the same time, parents are heavily involved in this school. If you are a working parent, the stay at home moms will make you feel neglectful. In addition, there are great enrichment and after school activities for students.
If not for the parents, students would get the short end of the stick. The teachers are effective, but there could be more of an aggressive approach rather than waiting until there is a problem to address it too late. I suppose this is true at any/all schools.
Again, as a whole, respect is valued at Seven Locks. However, for kids of color, there needs to be a lot more attention to those kids who look/feel different. Likewise, families of color are routinely ignored.
The outgoing principal, Carl Bencal, did a good job of maintaining order and a culture of fairness with routine practices. However, when loftier issues were discussed, he was not as strong. At the same time, he was very kind, polite, and demanding (i.e. of character and grit) with all the students. This is not the type of school where fights, arguments, and disruption occurred.
Seven Locks is an outstanding elementary school. The principal is fantastic and most of the teachers are excellent. The parent community is diverse and welcoming to anyone who is interested in getting involved. There are a few subpar teachers but overall the school is a great place for kids to learn.