If you are African American and middle class or below, and your child is male, you may may not be accepted at this school. They a very snobby. The rich are brudded over. The African Americans are trouble makers. Also, the Ms. Morris, the principle is rude. She's not a good listener and if your not in absolute agreement with her, she will cut you off in the middle of your sentences and dismiss you. My son excelled academically but felt isolated and alone for 2 years. He had one good friend but he never got invited to any play dates. The school has a NAACP. Now I understand why. My son was isolated on several incidents were the white boys who were ruff playing didn't get in trouble and he did.
Camp Summerset, led by Somerset teachers. Wonderful neighborhood camp that is everything a camp should be.
Wonders, the on-site after care, is super convenient, affordable and very well managed (though the newer counselors are not quite as friendly, warm, and caring as those they replaced). Wonderful place for children to play, be creative, and socialize in a caring, supportive environment. Complemented by a wide array of third party after school programs; children can attend Mad Science and then go to Wonders until 6:30pm pick up.
Active PTA offers many socializing opportunities.
The school building is lovely and classrooms are well-equipped. The library is well-stocked.
Far too much time on boring worksheets. Not much is done to encourage creativity. Somerset doesn't do the National PTA Reflections program like other MCPS schools.
The teacher quality is inconsistent. We had one fabulous teacher who cared about the students, conveyed that she actually liked them, and got our child excited about learning. She has since retired. The art teacher and the PE teacher were excellent. We also had a third grade teacher who was very good. We had a kindergarten teacher who often seemed to have no clear lesson plan and typically took days to respond to emails. She seemed to have her attention focused on something else besides teaching. Lastly, we had one teacher who clearly favored girls over boys; she even made fun of a boy's lack of imagination during a lesson observed by parents during open house. Fortunately, her snub appeared to go over the child's head. She also showed questionable judgment regarding food allergies and engaged in behaviors that made the kids with allergies feel excluded.
The principal is very pretty, friendly, and upbeat. She brings a positive energy to the school and is relatively easy to meet with in person. She listens and is empathetic, but did not exhibit follow up actions that we were aware of, so we cannot comment on her efficacy.
If you have an active child with respiratory issues (e.g., asthma), the dust bowl of a playing field may be a concern. Parents have tried for over a decade to install artificial turf because natural grass simply won't thrive with the amount of use that the small field gets, but nothing has been done. See Google maps in satellite mode.
We were concerned about the appropriateness of this school and therefore sent an educational consultant to observe. She felt that while the school presented a pleasant environment and the classrooms were managed well, there was an inappropriate amount of desk work. Her words were that by the time these kids reach 5th grade there will be no sign of creativity or personality left. She ultimately felt that it wouldn't be a good fit for our child. Unfortunately we found ourselves in the position of having to send our child there for a brief time. Sadly -- the children our child stayed in contact with have become surly and flat. I thought the parental influence would outweigh that but the school environment reigns supreme. Grateful we didn't remain. I have found the parents of the children who are from other countries to be highly critical of the school while the property owners can't stop singing it's praises, though some have complained about the learning to test mentality and the gossipy principal. There are many beautiful neighborhoods in this city. Buying in this neighborhood for the elementary school seems a bit naive. MCPS has the same curriculum throughout.
I have been a parent at this school for 10 years. It's a great school and all of the teachers and specialists have always been superb (despite the old principal who was awful but since she left in 2011 the school has been on the right track with the current principal) ... There are lots of wonderful school activities throughout the year (my children especially adore the P.E. and art teacher, field day, and the daily outdoor recess/line-up). I wish that the school system would have specials (art, P.E. and music) more than once a week: two areas of improvement could be 1- the friendliness of the office staff, and 2- the lunch and recess aides- my children and their friends have consistently expressed concern that some just don't seem to care about some of the playground stuff -so rather than taking the time to get to the bottom of an issue they end up punishing the whole group rather than the few culprits who end up ruining it for the majority - perhaps they are just not as well-equipped as the teachers are to deal with children... like I said teachers are great and my three children have/are receiving a great education. We are very happy there ...
Incredible school! The teachers are beyond compare! I couldn't be happier with my child attending this school. Furthermore, Somerset Elementary School hosts a great summer camp -- Camp Summerset! Everyone should check it out - my children have been going there for the past 3 years!!
Exceptional school. The new principal is awesome. The PTA is very active and there are a lot of family events organized by/at the school (doughnuts with dads, reading night, ice- skating, dance party, musical production,...). The level is excellent with lots of opportunities for students to learn more and thrive. We love it!
I want to give this school a 5 star but I can,t. The teacher who I won,t mention is nothing but structured and a professional at the very least. The principal I don,t really know but I do know she is always walking around with a walkie talkie at the end of the day. She is a young professional. Also she has just started as principal not to long ago. Now the staff hmmm very cold and not up to date on things and don,t care to be. A simple question as to what are the procedures to afterschool care and you will get an answer that is I don,t know call this number. We came out of state and our child was kept out of class for almost a week because of misinformation and they stood by it not trying to fix it. I can go on and on but the staff needs to have a little tlc. If your wrong and you know your wrong just fix it. Our situations could have been answered easily with a phone call or two. Love the school just stay out of the office : )