My son went to this school for 3 years and now since we have moved we had leave the school... it is the best.
My daughter has been attending RPES since the 2nd grade and it's been a wonderful experience thus far. As a former teacher, I am very impressed by RP's leadership, diversity and curriculum. As a parent, I enjoy the immediate responses I receive from my child's teachers.
My son attended the school from k-3rd Grade and had a fantastic time. I am glad was able to send him there till we moved. Thank you to the staff of Ritchie park.
Great atmosphere. Wonderful kids and parents are very engaged. The negative comments below seem very outdated. There has been a new principal here for 3 years and she is very responsive. After 2 kids and 4 years we haven't had a bad teacher yet. There are tons of extracurricular activities.
I've been disappointed with Ritchie Park. I think the school has been going downhill for the last few years. The learning is not student centered. The staff and administration seems more concerned with the systems and policies they've established than meeting the needs of each child where they are. There is very little in the way of enrichment offered. There is also a lot of "mean kid" and unacceptable student behaviors that go unchecked
Our kids loved Ritchie Park and I always thought of it being the best school in the area. The teachers were great and really helped my daughter that had a special need succeed in regular ed class. We moved to SC about a 2 years ago and the kids went into a 5 star school down here. In comparison, Ritchie Park does not seem to be as progressive as the SC school but was still a great expericence overall. Not sure about the new leadership because we no longer live there.
We have been at this school for three years and have been very impressed with the quality of teachers, community spirit and atmosphere. We have a new principal this year and it has been a very positive transition. I am looking forward to my second child starting school here next year. The only negative I would mention is that the school is over-capacity but what school in Montgomery County is not?
Some parents are most definitely in la la land judging by some previous comments. This school is stuck in an educational rut and has been for years. No educational creativity, not a challenging academic environment at all. My second kid is doing the same stale projects that my other kid did four years prior. If your eyes are open and your being honest you will admit this school lags behind. Now if your kid is two, three or four grades ahead well everythings just pixi dust wonderful. However if your kid is on grade level don't expect him/her to be challenged much to meet their full potential. The key words here are "they are on grade level" so everything is just fine. Was hoping things would change with the new leadership, but it's business as usual IMO.
Ritchie Park is a wonderful school with caring teachers and a dedicated staff. Even with the recent changes in leadership over the past couple years, the school has remained an enriching environment for the students. There is a strong community of families with the same goals- the safety and success of our children. Wouldn't want to be anywhere else
The teachers are very responsive to parent concerns and have high expectations of the students. The school offers such a stimulating environment for learning - not only are my kids doing great in terms of grades but they really enjoy being there. There are a lot of fun activities for the students and many over-and-above the usual school program learning opportunities. I am always amazed at the student projects at the annual science fair! I feel like the staff are truly devoted to helping each student reach their potential, and have been extremely happy with my interactions with teachers. Parents are generally very involved and it shows in many ways. I am quite happy with the school.
This school has been such a disappointment. Poor leadership from a cold and uncaring principal who is driven by nothing more than test scores make it a lackluster learning environment. The curriculum is taught straight from the book, so to speak and the opportunities for creativity and exploration are limited. While the facilities are beautiful, don't let them mislead you. The quality of education there is subpar at best. It's unfortunate that the principal creates such a stiff and unwelcoming atmosphere.
We've been in this school for a little more than two years and I cannot think of one bad thing to say. We moved into the area because we'd heard so many great things about the school. The staff is welcoming and really nice. The principal is very pleasant and very much involved in the school's happenings. The teachers are really good at communicating with the parents whether it be via phone or email. I have never seen so many parents volunteer at a school! You will always find parents helping out at lunch or recess, in the classroom & at school events. The PTA hosts great events & activities and their monthly meetings have great turnouts. You really can't go wrong with this school. It's a great environment for our children!
Ritchie Park is hit or miss for my family. Most of the teachers are wonderful, friendly and warm with the students/parents. The office staff is pleasant but I have to agree with others about the principal. Not mean but she is very stiff. The school lacks any type of fun 'outside the box' atmosphere. The curriculum is so test focused, the homework is unoriginal, field trips are practically non-existant and overall just a severe lack of activities for these children during or after school to spark any creativity or excitement. It just feels like the school and PTA board are run like a strict business and opinions are not welcome and new ideas get pushed aside. It just feels stagnant and parents seem frustrated. The school needs a serious jolt in a different direction. Make learning fun and involve the parents!
Know your facts before writing a review. Many RPES classes have fewer than 27 kids. As far as one conference a year, all MCPS schools offer one conference per year. At RPES, teachers are encouraged to have additional conferences as needed. A person who came to RPES during the day would find volunteers everwhere from their own children's classrooms to the cafeteria and beyond. As for the principal only hiring young white female teachers, one might want to become familiarized with her hiring practices. Interviews are conducted with a team of staff members. Decisions about which candidates to hire are also made as a team. Only seeing math worksheets and reading assignments? This is a flasehood. The teaching and learning at RPES is strong. High turnover rate? Not in about four years. Is RPES a perfect school? No. Is it a school to be proud of? Absolutely!
My son went to this school for only one year before we moved. I didn't realize how bad this school was until he started his new school - also in Montgomery County. Ritchie Park overall is a clean large school but the staff does not seem willing to work with or have interactions with parents and the students do not have much time for creativity. It seemed like they did enough to just get by. I thought this was county wide but realized it isn't. He gets much better assignments, more activities and science. All he received at Ritchie Park was math worksheets and reading assignments. I didn't have much interaction with the principal. She never seem to be available or around much. She certainly didn't seem friendly either. I am just glad we didn't have to stay there for 3 more grades.
This school has the potential but I agree with the reveiew that the principal is cold and distant. She not only gives zero attention to the students but also seems to have a high turnover rate of teachers. Most teachers she does hire are young white female teachers she can mold into her way. She is very much like a dictator then a warm elementary school principal. There is a severe lack of parent involvement. Only 1 conference a year, the principal shuns teachers emailing parents, no use of volunteers during the school day and a PTA that is a complete joke. I went to two meetings and there was no more then 10 people there in a school of 400 kids. Ratios are high. All grades but K have 27 kids a class. I will be sending my kids to private school next year unless the principal is changed.
Concur with Nov '04 posting. Students without special needs will get an education here, but there is consistently a high staff turnover and lots of rookie teachers. If your child has special needs, be prepared to work hard to have them addressed, only to fail. If you suspect your child is LD, in spite of what you're told, don't wait to act. Spend the $ and have your child tested as soon possible. Also, don't be surprised when it's implied there are problems at home rather than a learning disablilty or if questionable tactics are used to avoid providing services. (Unfortunately, based on other parents experiences, aversion to providing services may be a district rather than school specific issue.) Parents of GT students also need to stay on top of things. Otherwise your child may end up with nothing educationally constructive to do when s/he consistently completes work ahead of peers.
Principal is cold and distant to the parents. Although this school has a community based special ed program, students with educational/learning disabilities such as dsylexia, dsygraphia, ADHD are tested only at the parents urging and then the results always come back - denied. It takes great fortitude on the parents part to get the principal/school to do what is required by law. PTA is actively involved with teacher/principal appreciations but not involved with issues of greater concern regarding educational quality or content.
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