As with any school, there is a mix of fantastic teachers, mediocre teachers and a few duds. The administration is difficult (read: principal. The AP seems fine), but as a parent I can honestly say that the parents can be as well. I disagree strongly with the reviewer below who says everyone runs out and gets their kids tutors. We have never done that and no other families we know have, except when a child is struggling significantly. And my kids are both in GT and above grade level. GT math is HARD. The teachers are amazing. With two kids in the school we have had experiences with 8 "homeroom" teachers and numerous other math, GT, "specials," orchestra, etc. teachers. We are extremely happy with the education and care our children have received. When there is a problem, speak up! I have not experienced the issues noted below with no one listening to our concerns. In fact, every concern we have ever brought up has been dealt with very satisfactorily. In any school, you must be your child's advocate. That's no different here. But it's all about how you approach things, taking the proper channels, and seeing all points of view. Too many of my fellow parents forget that in the emotion of it all. I would also like to praise the wide range of subjects and classes that are offered -- with many optional supplemental choices. I would highly recommend this school as a place for education and as a community within itself. My kids are thriving and come home happy each day. The negative I want to point out is that it's very overcrowded. The entire 5th grade (5 classes) are out in portables. The BOA needs to address that issue.
The lower grades are horrific! My child became angry and despondent after spending 2nd grade learning absolutely nothing that s/he didn't already know in math. My child would cry,"Mommy, they must think I'm STUPID!" I met with my child's math teacher multiple times throughout the year. She swore to us up and down that all of the math classes were the same. That turned out to be a big, fat lie. From my experience, placements in the lower grades were highly subjective, and it takes an act of God to get your child moved to another class. You need to take your complaints to the administration at the very beginning of the school year. Even then, they'll drag their feet, and you'll have a fight on your hands. If the teachers are eventually forced by the administration to move your child, then your child will be forever targeted for retribution by the teachers. If you don't get your child moved, then they'll use it against your child the following year. They'll keep the placements the same, and, if you complain, they'll say that your child didn't learn the advanced material the previous year, so therefore, s/he can't be put in a more advanced class this year.
My son loves the school and has liked all his teachers. In contrast to his prior school, he is stimulated and challenged (he's in the GT program). My experience has been very different then some of the other reviewers who gave low scores for the school. My son uses online textbooks for homework and has several physical text books in the classroom, worksheets are used a lot but that was common in his old school and has never been an issue. Some kids with instruments do get private lessons, but I've only heard of one kid getting tutoring for any other subject. I have not had any problems with communication and the teachers have always been open to meeting with me for any issues. My son wants me to add that the specials (art, PE, music, and technology) are "amazingly fun". The education is excellent and I would highly recommend the school.
This is one of the best schools in Maryland. We moved our child from an excellent school and we still find CLES to have unbeatable standard. All our children go to this school and are excelling in all their classes without too much pressure. This is an elementary school and the students are children, and parents demanding more are harming their children with severe consequences in the long-run.
The only reason this school's test scores are so high is because the parents run and get their children tutors whenever the teachers fall short. In 5 years' worth of teachers, we have had 1 good teacher, a bunch of very mediocre teachers, and 1 teacher who should have been fired. Teachers resist parental requests for bored children who already know the material to be placed in higher level math classes lest it upset their precious class balances. Teachers seem far more concerned with discussing how a child talks in the lunch line than discussing academics. 1. Keep all of the papers that your child brings home so you have evidence when the comments and grades on your child's report card don't agree with what is shown by their schoolwork. 2. Ask to see any unit tests, etc. that were given to your child during the school year. You'll be lucky if anyone tells you about unit tests, etc. much less lets you know how your child did. If your child did well, that might lead you to question why your child was placed in a particular class to begin with. 3. Cross check anything that a teacher or administrator tells you with information from other parents so you can vet out any lies.
My child was extremely frustrated and complained that the math class was too easy.For 2 months, my 2nd grader's HW consisted of learning how to subtract 0 from a number which my child had learned in Kindergarten.Other math classes in the 2nd grade were doing a lot more.We had great difficulty getting the school to acknowledge how the math classes had been assigned.No assessment had been given at the beginning of the school year.Teachers relied on the opinion of the previous year's teacher.I visited my child's math class in person.2 adults were lecturing 2 different groups of children on the same material at the same time.What a din!My child and a couple others were told to stay at their desks and do a worksheet.The worksheet covered new material that they had never gotten HW on and which had been explained to them in class 2 days prior--like they were supposed to remember!Another child was impulsively darting about the room.Between the noise from the 2 adults and the running around, it was chaotic.I thought I was watching a 3-ring circus.I don't know how any child could think.I tried to get my child moved to another math class, but the school wouldn't budge.
This school doesn't believe in textbooks. Teachers instead use worksheets which fly around in a disorganized fashion and get lost. Without textbooks, the students have nothing to refer back to when learning new material, forcing reliance on parental assistance.
The Core curriculum for second grade math is extremely poor. The vast majority of second graders have been spending their year relearning the same addition facts that they learned in first grade. Some classes were eventually exposed to double digit addition which was taught in the most convoluted, confusing manner imaginable. The teachers can't seem to understand why so many students and parents have complained.
Communication between the teachers and parents is poor. Some of the teachers seem to intentionally withhold or provide misleading information. It's almost impossible to get a straight answer out of anybody. The principal is more inclined to do nothing than to provide assistance.
This school worst offenders of Special Education. My Son's Special Ed Teacher didn't send even one work sample. When asked about it she conveniently told he helps in class. To my astonishment she does 2 pull out lessons for my son. His general Education Teacher produced work sample from january for the meeting in April. Coincidentally I got 2 test samples from school, which my son definitely has difficulty but they were not shared for the meeting. Here teachers are big liars. By the way my son is in 3rd grade.