My son has only started kindergarten this fall, but overall feel that he is making good progress, his teacher is very nice and nurturing (the teacher aide in his class seems very good as well), and I have a good impression of the principal, and feel she is well liked and respected by staff and parents. The VP is new this fall, but very friendly and works to engage parents. It is not uncommon to see one or both of their cars at school at 7:30 am...or at 5 pm. In my experience, teachers return emails very quickly--I have sent emails at 10 or 11 pm, and received a response within minutes. I am also impressed with the sheer number of parent volunteers at the school every day. The county as a whole also places a high emphasis on modelling good behavior in the schools, my impression is that AES seems to take that very seriously.
The Principal is nice but her administrative skills are lacking. She attempts to placate parents in conferences, says the right words but that is where it ends. No follow through. She clearly has an agenda which isn't necessarily in the best interest of the main population of the school. The VP is abrasive but responsive. In her first year at this school, she has managed to alienate the parents making it almost impossible for the PTA to recruit volunteers. GT classes are hit or miss. Discipline is inconsistant at best. Having heard what a wonderful school AES was, I'm hoping for administrative changes to bring that atmosphere and learning environment back.
The school was once an excellent institution of learning, but weak leadership has taken its toll. The schools decreasing standardized test scores and increasing parent discontent should be noted and addressed by the Board of Education. The school neglects the basics of elementary education in order to push forward an experimental agenda. Though some of the teachers are excellent, overall I cannot and will not recommend this school.
Due to having to relocate, we had to leave atholton. Not only do I miss the school, but my 5 year old son does as well. Wonderful pta, dedicated and professional staff, and absolutely marvelous kindergarten teachers. The teacher is able to sit down individually with the child and see what level the child is at. Group and individual activities done in class, art, and field trips too. Kindergarten goes to library and music. The wonderful balance esp for a public school! I highly recommend this school! We would even pay out of county tuition for our son to go back! principal and vice principal are super taking the time to get to know students and parents. The staff truly cares about their students, and have a desire for everyone to suceed. Parental involvement is outstanding with pta functions, volunteering etc. You wont be let down by attending this school!
My child has had a wonderful experience at this school with dedicated teachers with a variety of teaching styles who have provided her with a top notch education. The principal is a great administrator who has a 'children first' attitude! I will be forever grateful to all of the staff at Atholton Elementary School.