This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Chapel Hill Elementary School5
Posted April 23, 2015
- a parent
I must respond to some of the most recent "reviews" posted here. I am a parent with 2 children in Chapel Hill Elementary and both of my children, my wife, and I are having a great experience. We have only had excellent, experienced teachers and have NEVER had an email go unanswered by a teacher. The PTA is very involved and a great resource for the school and students. The only slight negative is that the school is overcapacity. However there are new schools being planned and the district lines have been changed recently, but these changes take some time to shrink enrollment. It is difficult to cut current enrollment by re-redistricting as virtually NO ONE wants their kids moved away from this excellent school. While the overcapacity is less than ideal, the school leaders have handled it well with plenty of staff and some temporary additional classrooms added. It only seems to make the normal business of lunchtime and after-school functions a little more difficult. Finally, I have to wonder who the random people who rate it low and leave no comment are? Very suspect and without much use for anyone other than then person who may have a grudge who posted it.
When my children entered this school three years ago, it was an excellent experience. Today, my experience is much different. The teachers are marginal and they infrequently respond to emails. In addition, I find the new teachers take a lackluster approach to teaching and ensuring grades are recorded. This is unfortunate because the school was very nice, I fear it will continue to decline, especially with the increased enrollment and hiring of young inexperienced teachers.
The PTA and parents rule this school. Leadership is weak and not visible. Teachers are okay, but parents with the loudest voice get their kids into the classes and programs they want. Not much emphasis on art or music. There appears to be no set policy for teachers responding to emails sent by parents,- some respond and some don t.
Previous comments on the emphasis on MSAs should take into account that this is a reflection of our national education policy rather than CHE alone. Every public school in every state requires standardized testing and the schools feel the pressure to produce results. I also believe that overcrowding was not a problem until thousands of McMansions were built in this area over the last decade. However, I do admit that a lower student/teacher ratio would be nice. Regarding individualized attention: Your child is not going to have it in college or the workplace-- now might be a good time to socialize them into this reality. The only people who truly thinks that our daughter is special is me, my husband, and her grandparents. The same holds true for the child of anyone reading this. My daughter has performed well in K-1. Both teachers had very different teaching styles, yet both were effective. I also volunteer for my daughter's class when time permits. I'm very satisfied, however, the school needs air conditioning.
This school is average at best. The faculty is only concerned with MSA test scores and nothing else. A school rating system that has many flaws. The state of Maryland agree to lower the standard to score higher test scores. An overhaul of the current system is desperately needed to save this school and others like this one. All of the best qualified teachers moved on or retired in the last few years. We do what we can to help our kids go beyond what is being taught at this school. I hope to move out to a better school district. Perhaps to Howard County if I could afford to live there.
This school and administration rides on the laurels of MSA test scores. I agree that not enough attention is paid to the individual students; as long as those MSA scores stay high, that seems to be all that matters. But if the school teaches to the test ("prepare the children") and the children already come from affluent homes where parents spend time working with their children and providing supplemental education services, then it's really more the parents preparing their children than the school. The parental involvement and PTA is great, but can only work in the constraints of what the administration will allow them to do.
This school is pretty nice, although, the teachers (when it doesn't have anything to do with academics) will just go with the flow and not pay any attention to the kids behavior. But everything else is very good.