Our experience at Fox Chapel has been very positive. My 4th grader improved significantly in writing, and has done many interesting reading assignments. Very happy with the teachers and administration as well.
I am a student in 5th grade this year and I think the non GT kids are horrible. The outdoor and cafeteria staff aren't good, but the center teachers are amazing.
I am a student and this is the second Elementary school I've been to. Many, I mean MANY students in the Highly Gifted Program are bullied (Hint*Hint* Me) and there were fights going on in the lunch room more than once. In recess we had to play in the parking lot due to construction. Many students use inappropriate language and the patrols STINK. In my year of 4th Grade, 5th Graders chose who they wanted to be patrols. The staff is very helpful though they aren't the best at resolving problems. Outdoor staff just yell, same with lunch staff. Though if you were in Highly Gifted, you get to create a play (script, choreography, music,etc) or an "Opera" and in 5th Grade you get to do a play. There are many fun and challenging projects that make us think a little more. The teacher are great. Though I would give this school below average.
This school has its pros and cons. The pros are that they have an excellent staff that is helpful, understanding and experienced. They allow a great deal of parent involvement which is also nice. My daughter was in Fox Chapel for a year and she has excelled in reading and math. Her teacher did a phenomenal job with her. The cons were that I wasn't too thrilled about the social environment. I didn't like the location of the school; it was very congested and finding parking during a school event is very difficult. Hopefully with the new construction going on there now, there will be more space inside and out.
great staff, great school, very focused on academics of children, teachers are always willing to speak to the parents, and discuss child's needs! Glad we are part of this community!
I think Fox Chapel is terrible. The students there always bully and discriminate the GT program kids. The students there also use inapropiate language and fight all the time. But with all of this, it seems the principal does not care, and the aids just scream, yell, and do nothing about it. Also it seems anyone can go in and nobody cares who the person is or what he/she is doing there. Also, many teachers seem to hate the GT and gossip. The playground is also undergoing construction and students have to play in the parking lot. The parking lot is also littered with alcohol bottle fragments and cigarette parts. Thee bathrooms smell terrible, and all the time, little kids clog up the toilets with paper towels and try to spy on you while you are doing your bussiness . Even if you tell the office of the toilet clogging, it takes them hours, just to send a janitor. Fox chapel is just terrible.
The construction zone behind the school where the playground should be is very daunting and not a good first impression for my kindergardener or me. Not impressed with the school thus far.
The principal-intern, Stephanie Brant is excellent. She is caring, involved, sensible. Already we see little touches that make the school better. We wish she could be the permanent principal for this school, then maybe we'll see more improvements. The teachers are mostly good, though their focus is more on the children who are getting left behind, thus the smart kids are the ones who get left behind. Highly gifted center is like a school within the school, which may be good or bad depending on which perspective you take.
The teachers could stand to have a refresher course in how to deal with parents.
The new principal Zabetakis, who came in in 2006, does not really take time out to speak to the parents. When you finally get a hold of her she will rush you 'because she has another meeting'. She does not even seem to know the students' names when she meets them in the hallways (and she's been here over a year now!).I hope that the school's standing and the students' performance do not suffer as a result of this principal's inability to inspire. The rest of the staff who have been there for years is wonderful.
My son has been in this school for only a 1 1/2 month and is very unhappy. He receives constant negative feedback from his teachers. Just recently he was sent home with a negative note safety pinned to his shirt. I was appalled by this unprofessionalism. My husband and I have decided to take him out immediately. I will never recommend this school to anyone.
My son just started at Fox Chapel this year and its only been a 1 1/2month and I already want him out. As for the principle she 'Acts' like she is there for you but can only sit down for about 15min and if you get that you are lucky. I have so far seen two fights that no one even lifted a finger to stop till I said something. Oh and the security I have walked around the school a number of times without even a question to who I was. I would and will never recomend this school to any one.
The staff and teacher's go the extra mile to help children learn. When you walk in you will see lot's of work that the student's have done on display. They learn hands on and small groups. In the small group's student learn to work and help other acheive their goals.
The staff at this school is wonderful. When you walk through the hallway you see the focus on academics. There is student work displayed for all to see. The students are cheerful, polite and quiet as they traverse the building to attend other classes. The administrative staff is proactive and helpful to all who come into the school. Fox Chapel is home to the GT (gifted and talented) program for the upcounty schools. This program also has marvelous teachers. The staff is very much focused on academics and preserving instructional time; Volunteers are welcome at this school; volunteer time is pre-arranged with teachers and staff. Parent involvement is rising, however, parents are needed to assist in many areas, including extracurricular activities.
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