will be undergoing a much needed renovation in 2013-2015. I had 3 children go to this school and it was great. It has the Spanish immersion and a regular English education component. I would not hestiate to send my children here. The school is what the parent make it also. This school has very involved parents and staff.
I had children here for 4 years and served as PTA Vice-President for 3 -- and I will say unequivocably NOT to send your children here if they have any special needs. (Ask around -- there's a wide consensus about this.) I'd be cautious about sending other children as well -- I pulled my "normal" child out as well and only regret that I waited as long as I did. Behavior management is very poor, and quiet children like mine often get ignored. For this reason, I am not surprised that they failed to make AYP in 2010-2011.
I have had two kids go through the English Academy (the neighborhood school) and have been really impressed with the level of teaching and dedication of the staff. My son hit a rough patch in 4th grade and the staff and teachers really rallied around him to make sure he was supported. Going WAY above and beyond. The principal has committed to ensuring that both program (the English Academy, or regular school, as I like to call it, and teh immersion program) have rigorous standards. Since one child is already in middle school, I can tell you, she was really well prepared.
I have three children in RCF's English Academy (EA) and I couldn't be happier with the quality of their education. My children have been taught by 80% of the current EA staff at one time or another, and they are all top notch. Many teachers have attained or are currently pursing advanced degrees and this commitment to further education is evident in their classrooms. Additionally, due to the small catchment area of the school's community or EA program, most EA classes are smaller than the county average. The small catchment area also means that most EA students live very close to the school - which facilitates a strong school-community feeling. (I love that I see so many of my neighbors at drop off and pick up!) RCF is known for its (entrance by lottery) Spanish Immersion program - but its English Academy (or community program) is one of MCPS's hidden gems!
I agree with the parent who posted the message regarding RCF curriculum. My son has been attending RCF since kindergarten and everything was excellent until he finished 2nd grade. He is in the Spanish Immersion program. Around that year the school got a new principal, who has done many changes to the curriculum. My understanding was that starting 2nd grade the students in the Spanish Immersion will start learning English. My son brought a weekly packet and he was enthusiastic to be able to read and write in both languages. Then, in 3rd grade he didn't bring any more English homework. Now he is in 4th grade and hardly brings homework, even in Spanish. I am not too happy about this so I am looking to transfer him to another school.
My son has been attending RCF since the 3rd grade and I must say that teacher involvement with the children is outstanding BUT as far as their curriculum, I think it should be more competitive. My son hardly ever brings homework and I feel that he may not be prepared for Middle School when its time for him to attend. He is now in the 5th grade and I will be transferring him due to lack of having him prepared for the next level. Overall the school environment is GREAT but the curriculum should be more competitive.
Rock Creek Forest has a very active PTA and strong parent support, especially in the immersion program. The principal has been there many years and adds a sense of continuity and stability to the school. The atmosphere, in general, is friendly and welcoming and the teachers are excellent.
Please note, this school services children from the local community as well as being a magnet school for 'total' Spanish Immersion. Children are admitted into the Immersion program by lottery. For additional information go to: http://www.mcps.k12.md.us/curriculum/lang/FLinMCPS/immersion.htm
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