My children had the same test scores coming into the beginning of the school a year ago as they did at the end of the year. The good news is that coming in, they tested above grade level. The bad news is that the scores stayed the same. I agree with previous posts that it depends on the teacher. Some are great, some are not. The class sizes are also too big for one teacher, particularly in the lower grades. It is impossible for a kindergarten teacher to be expected to manage so many children. Also, supplies are shared so kids are picking their noses, chewing on crayons and markers and putting them back in their disgusting bins. Be prepared for your child to be in the nurses office...often. The front office, support staff and special educators are wonderful. Helpful and caring. Diversity of student body is a plus.
PES is a wonderful school! As with every institution, there are pros and cons, of course, but overall, the students love their school; the teachers love the students; the staff is dedicated, and the parents are warm and supportive of the students and one another. This is one of the most uncompetitive parent groups we've ever encountered. Our children have been in a number of private schools over the years, and this school has all of them beat hollow. Not only are our children receiving an excellent academic education, but they are learning strong give-and-take lessons, cooperation, self control, the importance of group courtesy, team building (partly from the teachers and partly from the guidance counselor), and as a special bonus, Chinese, via the visiting Chinese teachers. The multicultural student population is a wonderful added feature of the school. The PTA plans and delivers outstanding events for the school community, and in general the turn-out for each event is strong. It seems to be a highly dedicated group that works hard on behalf of the school. If we were re-locating to Maryland, this is by far the best choice for an elementary school, public or private!
Two out of the five comments below stress how inaccessible the principal is. That is very true. Parents seem like a bother to her. She came back from retirement, and in my opinion, should have stayed there. She does not seem interested in what parents have to say, dismiss parental concerns, and is very, very defensive. Teachers are hit and miss. Some are great, some are mediocre at best - overwhelmed, unable to control their classes, and unwilling to take parental help. 29 students with one teacher are the norm, although you will also have 14 students in a class. Most instruction is dry and bland, mostly print-outs of repetitive problems - very turn of the 20th Century instructional technique. The Promethean Smart Boards are pretty cool, but are of little use if they simply are used to trot out the same old tired educational techniques. Where there is any imagination put into the core subject instruction, or attempts to make it more interesting, it is heavily slanted towards a very liberal, anti-industrial environmental agenda. Strongly considering moving my kid back to private school.
The teachers and MSA scores are very high. The children learn alot, and arts programs are above standards. The building itself is old and rundown, and I have noticed the PTA needs a lot more money than it should. The principal is not kind or caring, and the vice principal does not show up to many events. While the frequent performances are fun, they are stressed and too much time is taken out of instruction for them.
I must disagree. This is one of the best schools in Montgomery County. I subbed in the county so I have seen most of the other elementary schools. Parents in this area think they can 'run the show' and the principal does a fantastic job of running the school without letting the parents step in too often. The kids are very bright here! I'm not sure where you would find much better!
Integrated arts reigns -- whether it's good for the students or not. 3rd grade 'opera' takes 100 instructional hours and children have fun, though get nothing academic out of it. Even the kids noticed how little math they were doing, that they never did social studies, etc. The school is also ruled by Chinese Immersion -- fun for the kids in it, doesn't actually work, judging by placement in high school in Chinese 2, 3 or maybe 4 after 8 years of immersion. Physical plant is a dump, very old, 8 portables, 1/3 of the bathroom facilities required by current code. Test scores very mediocre, should be tops given demographics. Instructional funding from county among the lowest, less than 1/2 what the top gets. Principal highly resistant to parental pressure to improve academics, refuses to meet with groups, will only meet with individuals.