This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
University Park Elementary School5
Posted January 20, 2015
- a parent
I currently have two children at UPES. We absolutely love this school. This is a true gem of an elementary school. It is the heart of the neighborhood and the community greatly supports the school. The teachers are incredibly dedicated to the students and the PTA is very supportive and active. In addition to the standard curriculum followed by all public schools, UPES offers an great amount of enrichment - both in daily teaching and in the after-school courses offered, such as Lego-robotics, Science&Learning, ceramics, improv, language courses (Spanish and Mandarin), painting, rainbow loom, debate club, chess club, yoga to name a few. The classrooms are being renovated, including new floors, walls, updated electric systems, new bathrooms, furniture etc. - they are going to be fantastic. The staff are top-notch and the classrooms offer an incredible amount of learning opportunities. It has been a very positive learning experience for my kids. Highly recommended!
School is great. Teachers are fantastic with 2 or 3 exceptions. Some are very snob and nasty. Overall this school is just the most amazing place to educate a kid. So much parent involvement I love it!!! It is like a little family. New principal... I am not in love with. She is not what I expected. I tried several times to talk to her and she never paid attention. Other than that it is wonderful!!
Culturally-enriching, academically-engaging and strong community support. This is our 3rd year at UPES and we have 2 children attending the school. Knowledgeable & caring teachers & staff along with a diverse selection of extracurricular activities & classes to supplement what has been squeezed out due to current trending educational models and philosophies, has kept us happy with our children's educational experience. Examples of this are the school's annual Azalea Classic (AC), after-school enrichment classes (AEC), book log events, Dr. Seuss celebration, FallFest, Hispanic Heritage Night, Family Game Night and more. For the AC, the teachers incorporate into their math and physical education curriculum with charts, graphs, goal tracking and a weekly recess running club complete with pedometers. AEC supplements the public school system offering a diverse class selection on topics ranging from foreign language-ceramics-drama-chess & more. The add'l activities help foster a strong community which is proven to be a strong predictor of producing successful students. A school is what you make it and, like anything, at a minimum, you'll get out of it what you put into it.
What a welcome change in the selection of a new principal for a once great school in a still very nice neighborhood. The teachers here are excellent and the "supportive" parents are basically an extension of community cliques, which I am ashamed to say that I too am a part of. The former principal dismantled all true cultural activities in favor of her American ideal which was definitely not Prince George's County or the world, and ended up with a slew of mediocre, white-washed, hoe-down styled activities that was not all representative of the beautiful diversity found in our community. She had trouble relating to minority faculty, parents and students in Prince George's County. Glad to see her go and looking forward to a new school year led by seasoned professionals who have experience with all types of students.
I do not feel this school can meet the needs of children with specials needs, especially those with an IEP. From my experience, students who start at UPES with an IEP seem to transfer or families move to a different county before reaching the fifth grade. Very unfortunate and hopefully the school's (and the county's) culture will become more open to inclusion.
We love this school because the teachers are outstanding and the community is very involved there. The in-school music program is also wonderful. The vast majority of teachers at the school are able to effectively challenge all the kids in the class, no matter what their level by differentiating their lessons on the classroom. They are able to juggle the county, state and federal requirements while also integrating creative ideas and interesting projects into the school day. There is a great Science Bowl team that competes at the county level, and there are numerous other afterschool activities, including PTA-organized language and art classes. It is an incredibly diverse school, both socioeconomically and ethnically, which offers children a terrific introduction to many different cultures and worldviews. Though the building is aging, the education and administration are top-notch.
University Park Elementary School offers an excellent education which is enhanced by the strong sense of community. The children feel part of the warm environment. They are welcomed warmly by the Principal, Asst Principal, Teachers, and staff from the moment they walk in the door each day. The Principal is excellent - a true leader who demonstrates a positive, can do attitude. This is an excellent school. We feel our children are getting an excellent education at UPES.
A bit of light in a historically troubled school system. Bolstered by support from the community and the PTA, and anchored by good teachers, this school has much to offer its diverse student body. If anything, it may be a victim of its success, and everybody has perhaps unrealistically high expectations of the teachers and curriculum. In sum, many good teachers, a supportive administration, and very involved parents help keep this a high performing school.