December 2016 - Farmland School was honored by the Maryland State Dept. of Education by receiving a "BLUE Ribbon School" designation. Our daughter has been attending Farmland since Kgarten and is now in 3rd grade. In our 4 yr. experience we've been pleased with most the teachers, especially the recent hiring of young, energetic teachers who graduated with teaching degrees. Although they may not have in-depth classroom experience; they are eager and have taken a 'keen' interest in the children. I have witnessed their patience and kindness on many occasions. We are also very happy with the additional support provided by the School Counselor who has group lunches for the kids to discuss social topics so those subject don't interfere w/the learning environment. The international aspect does have a drawback as we have experienced the heartache of losing very good friends when the parents work-visa status is expiring and the family has to return to their home country. Tough life lessons of loss at tender ages which we were grateful to have the school counselor assist us in helping address.
Out of the 6 Teachers our 3rd grader has had 3 out of the 5 truly cared for our child's educational & emotional well-being. They were very engaged in helping determine her strengths and weaknesses and working with her/us to develop those skills. The other 3 teachers I would rate as Neutral because they were all involved in a part-time situation; came in 1/2 way in the school year due to teacher transitions; etc. That could be the reason they did not display (to us or our daughter) a true "investment" in her learning.
In previous years, homework was a weekly package. Now in 3rd grade there is nightly (almost every night) homework that takes about 20 mins. We think the consistent approach is helping our daughter develop good daily study habits.
My daughter attends Farmland ES and she loves it. This school has an international feel, with a large proportion of families coming from NIH scientists or highly skilled professionals. So far all the teachers have been dedicated and wonderful to my kid. At the third grade level instruction is individualized to fit every kid's level in the class. The PTA organizes a lot of wonderful events, with a very special mention to the annual Science Fair that manages to gather half the school body together with parents in a single event. Our principal is very engaged in all these activities and she makes an effort to connect with children are many levels. For instance, this Summer my daughter finished a reading assignment that included sending a postcard to the principal. She made sure to replay to every single student with a very detailed response. I was very impressed by her dedication. We can be happier with the school.
To answer a previous comment about safety in the school, all doors at Farmland are locked and the only way in for people during school hours is through the front office.
I lived in Tilden Woods and attended Farmland Elementary over 3 decades ago. FANTASTIC school nestled in such a great neighborhood. The teachers and my memories were some of the best and couldn't have been more happier having attended. If I had children of my own, I'd move back just so that they could attend.
Farmland is blessed with excellenta and dedicated teachers. School leadership however is mostly concerned with image however. For example, Farmland's leaders claim security a main priority, but my own observations indicate otherwise. Exterior door left open, front door locked opened for everyone without identifying themselves first, etc. Same goes for school bullying policy- leaders more concerned with advertising the policy rather than actual proper enforcement of policy. I observed fights on the playground where no one was sent to principals office- and ineffective adult supervision/control of lunch room and playground area. Another critical area that needs improvement (as with most public schools) is the school lunch program. Montgomery County really needs to get away from supporting big aggribussiness no matter what the Feds want to encourage, and support a healthier menu. We as a nation need to feed and teach proper nutrition and Montgomery County being a rather well off area of the country should be a leader in this endeavor and stop feeding kids pizza and mac and cheese. Farmland management officials must empower staff to practice and enforce the policies they preech.