I have two children who attend Dowell and they absolutely love it. The teachers are great and the extracurricular activities they offer are superb. They kids seem to be really well-behaved in the halls. I had one issue with an employee there, but that just has to do with her personality. I have spoken to the principal over the phone and I was impressed with her concern over my situation. Dowell Elementary is great!!
I have had great experiences with my childrens teachers and worship them however the principal leadership leaves much to be desired. A principal should be concerned about what is best for her school and her students however the Dowell principal seems more concerned about what is best for herself at any cost to others. I voice these opinions as a very dedicated parent volunteer who is there for the sake of the students and teachers.
Our experiences with Dowell have been very positive. My children absolutely love their teachers and they have felt the same way every year. The staff are very caring and knowledgeable. My two children love going to school everyday, it is such a positive environment. I am amazed that the principal knows each child's name and is very accessible to the parents and the children on a daily basis.
I moved into the Dowell district so that my child could continue to attend this school. She attended kindergarten there because that is where her day care was, and after such a fantastic kindergarten experience we decided to move into the Dowell district so she could finish her elementary years at Dowell. She is now going into 2nd grade at Dowell, and each year we have been so impressed. I send her to school each day knowing she is well loved and well educated.
A clarification.... Someone mentioned to me that Dowell teachers were miserable and that I should look at GreatSchools.org. As a teacher at Dowell since its opening in 1999, I can confidently say that this is not the case. I love working at Dowell. As a 15 year veteran teacher, I have never worked with such a dedicated staff of professionals. We have fun learning and teaching and I truly believe that the students feel the same way. If you want to know how the teachers feel about the principal- ask us. We will tell you that we enjoy the enthusiasm that she brings to running our school and support her in her quest to do what's best for all children. At Dowell we are a community of learners and I am proud to be an active member of that community.
My children are lucky to have their elementary experiences at Dowell. The teachers and staff are caring, highly qualified, and dedicated to educating each child who enters their building. The change in principal assignments a few years ago brought a wonderful breath of fresh air to the school. Change is always difficult, but the staff has really worked together under the guidance of the new principal, to make sure that no children are left behind! I look forward to another wonderful year for my children at Dowell.
I am a very proud parent of Dowell Elementary School. I have a child entering 3rd grade and a child entering kindergarten, both with special needs. The school and staff; especially the principal have taken them both in with a strong dedication and desire to help both boys achieve their best. I have never seen a principal so truly driven for the best interests of the children in her school. I believe that each decision made by the principal is derived by this desire. As to any staffing issues, any change in command can be difficult for the teachers, especially when the incoming principal has such high expectations with regards to teaching ability and professional disposition. I can not find any fault in those qualities. I love Dowell Elementary and the staff! I just wish more parents would concentrate on helping the school more with specific projects that produce real outcomes.
My experiences with Dowell have been nothing short of exceptional. From the Principal to the teachers, I have always been impressed. My kids love the school, their teachers, and the principal.
The principal has created a hostile environment at this school between parents and her staff. We love the teachers, but they put up with too much from this principal and most are requesting transfers to other schools. I wish it was as easy for parent to request transfers to other schools. We aren't involved parents any longer just to avoid contact with this principal.
I have to agree with the last poster. Every teacher I have come across in this school is dedicated to the students best interests, as is the Vice Principal. Unfortunately, the Principal doesn't seem to care about her teachers. We are considering moving or homeschooling our children as a result of this. This is very sad.
I am a very involved parent of this school. It breaks my heart to see the quality of education that my child is receiving this year. My children started in this school 4 years ago. At the time it was the best education they had received while in any elementary school. This year the teaching process has changed, and the quality of our children's education has taken a step backwards. The children aren't being prepared for the future. They are being dummied down in order for the school to make it's numbers with the board of education.
My three children went through DES beginning the year it opened until 2006. I have very mixed feelings about the school. On one hand, the school community is wonderful. Parent involvement was very enthusiastic until the new principal came in 2004. Her lack of support for teachers and volunteers has changed the climate in the building drastically. Most of the teachers in the building are wonderful. There are some great leaders and risk takers on staff.
I have two children at DES and am pleased to say they are both doing extremely well and most importantly, they both LOVE school! As a former elementary teacher, I know without a doubt that my children are right where they should be academically and that their teachers are well-trained professionals who love children! The only negative aspect of this school are some of the unsupportive parents who 'volunteer' in the school. It's a great school and you won't be disappointed.
I have had three childern attend DES. The change of principal, in my opinion was a disasterous move. Granted there were issues with the previous principal but the new one is worse. The moral among the teachers/staff has gone down over the past year. There are good things about DES - The teachers really care about the students. They deal with the admin and do what is needed for the childern. All the teachers we have had at DES are awesome. The before/after school programs are great - there need to be more of them.
It seems that emotionally charged people are typically ones to post a review so I'll post an objective one. My oldest son attended as a kindergardener the year the shool opened to 5th grade and my youngest is in 3rd grade. There have been no problems at all. Sure there are the politics present in any organization but my wife voluteers there and knows many parents of students there and unless their child is a problem child none have any serious complaints. Its a fine school with competent teachers.
My son is currently in second grade at Dowell after moving from St. Mary's County, MD this past year. We have been extremely pleased with every aspect of his educational experience. He went from a struggling student who was told he was doing just fine at his old school to a great reader and mathematician. He was placed in the Title 1 program and the extra help has pushed him leaps and bounds beyond where he started. He enjoys going to school now and I have been continually impressed with the level of care and respect found at this school. I look forward to sending my next child to Dowell next year.
I've only seen the school in action once but I can tell you that back to school night consisted of teachers on strike and an overhead projector showing a high school level power point presentation explaining why Dowell has low test scores and why they need to do better. There were maybe 25 parents in the entire room and the janitor had to let us into the classroom so we could see what my step-son does in K-5. I personally was disgusted.
We have a child in second grade at Dowell. He was previously at Patuxent for 1/2 day K. The staff, teachers, office staff, counselors- all have been great! They all truly care and take time to listen to concerns and questions about individual kids. The physical building and its surroundings are also in very good shape, new and clean. Our child has separate art, music and PE classes, and looks forward to visits to the learning lab and other 'stations' around the school. There are many school sponsored-family activities and events; book fairs, spaghetti night, spring carnival and a monthly title 9 night (for academics and a liaison for parents with staff/teachers.) 'Kids do well at Dowell' is a school motto we find to be most accurate. Our child as well as our family has had a postitive experience in the two years we have been associated with Dowell Elementary School.
My child started school in Calvert Co. and due to a move was transfered to Dowell, the experience he has had at dowell is extremely disappointing, from the Prinipal to the teachers, their lack of concern for the saftey,by putting the children outside of the trailers to stand alone, to the humiliation they incurr in the classroom infront of other children,my child was a very good reader when he was transfered but in order to keep their title 1, they put children in it whom aren't in need. In comparison to the previous Calvert Co. school this is a very dissapointing experience for him. I hope this helps someone because if you want your child to academicaly and socialy this is not the school.
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