I am a veteran parent at DKFIS (formerly Robert Goddard French Immersion School). The school climate has changed! The new administration is protective, which is a strength and a weakness. The sense of family at the school has deteriorated. Staff do not extend themselves to offer student help or after school enrichment programs like they did in the past. I do not fault staff as I detect a tense climate that has thrown the baby out with the bath water. The water did need to be tended to, but a healthy balance is needed.
There are still pillar staff members at the school so there is still hope, but right now I would rate the school average.
Veteran Parent, who has seen better days
This is my last year at Dora Kennedy French Immersion (previously known as Robert Goddard French Immersion) and I must say this is on of the best schools in the country. Not just because we are learning French and Russian, but because of the amazing environment we are in. From the second you walk into school on your first day of kindergarten, you feel like your apart of the DKFI family. Everybody is so nice,sweet,compassionate and helps you out. Dora Kennedy is a very small school, but everybody knows all of the teachers and students. At DKFI we are taught to treat others with respect, kindness and compassion. Education is a major part in your life when you go to DKFI. By the time your in middle school you're taking advanced math, fluent in French and taking college level Russian. Even though at DKFI we are super serious about education, we also love to have fun with our academics too. When you're in 4th grade you can take a trip to Montreal, Canada and when you're in 6th grade you can take a trip to Quebec, Canada. But, by 8th grade we take a big trip to France and Italy to test out french skills. DKFI is an amazing school that has changed the life of so many of us, last year all of our school's hard work finally paid off when we picked to be a National Blue Ribbon School and a Maryland Blue Ribbon School.
i have been in this school for nine years; yes it's my last year- sadly however this school is phenomenal! i have learned so much while shadowing high schools, it came to my intentions how advanced our school is not only academically but in every way! in response to the parent who complained about the cursive, yes i admit the only time we learned cursive was in 2nd and 3rd grade and a little in 5th but with practice, we can get better! this school's curriculum is not only based on learning french, but throughout your nine years of academic studies, they are preparing you for Eleanor Roosevelt High School and the science and tech program. This means that if you are focused on your studies, then this school has already built you a bridge to great success This school also offers your child a wide range of trips including Canada and France where we are able to practice our french in real life situations i am in love with our music program, i am in band and may i say, we are an exceptional group of musicians we have had many kids get excepted to the best bands in the state we are just a fine school and i am proud to tell whomever asks that i attended this school
i have been in this school for nine years; yes it's my last year- sadly however this school is phenomenal! while shadowing high schools, it came to my intentions how advanced our school is and not only academically in 6th grade he/she is introduced to Russian and if you are serious about learning this language, i guarantee that your child will be able to speak it fluently this school's curriculum is not only based on learning french, but throughout your nine years of academic studies, they are preparing you for the science and tech program like the one at ERHS. This means that if you are focused on your studies, then this school has already built you a bridge to great success This school also offers your child a wide range of trips including Canada and France where we are able to practice our french in real life situations i am in love with our music program, i am in band and may i say, we are an exceptional group of musicians we are just a fine school and i am proud to tell whomever that asks that i attended this school
As a teacher in the Prince Georges County system myself, I can attest to the exceptional quality of this school. My daughter was accepted in the kindergarten lottery and so far, this school as been all around wonderful. Great staff, rigor and most importantly, great parental involvement. My daughters' teacher stays in contact with me on a regular basis and I am extremely thankful for that. Two months into the program and my daughter is making great strides. I look forward to having my son who is now 4, attend next year. In the mean time, I say THANK YOU! to Robert Goddard Elementary Immersion for a great job!
This is without doubt the only elementary/middle school in the Prince George's County district worth sending your kid to. The challenge, of course, is everyone knows that, and so admission is through lottery only. You must apply prior to your child's first year of Kindergarten. Once in, your child's siblings are also eligible. But because the instruction is in French, your child must start at Kindergarten (unless he or she happens to already speak French). The majority of instructors who teach in French are native French speakers (from all over the world, including N. Africa, Belgium, etc); the exceptions are a few specialized teachers such as science. Most importantly, the parental involvement in this school is very high. There is an excellent working relationship between parents, faculty, and staff, and I believe this is what makes the most difference. Within the next year, this program will move to a different building, giving it a separate space from the Montessori program which it shares facilities with. While the building won't be much nicer (it is the old Greenbelt Middle School), it should alleviate some of the crowding and eliminate the need for the classroom trailers.
My child just promoted in 2012 and is presently in high school after finishing K-8 at Goddard. The academic preparation was appropriate and if my child had worked harder, the freshman year would have been an easier transition. The nagging concern is...surprisingly enough...cursive handwriting. My child can barely write in cursive therefore writes painfully slowly and the note taking suffers. Goddard is NOT unique in this growing lack of instruction. So, if you are a parent, bring this up; it can become increasingly problematic.
We are nearing the end of our second year at a member of the RGFI Family and have been pleased overall. While the facilities are somewhat lacking and the classrooms a bit crowed, I continue to be amazed at how well most of the children perform. Even as we manage multiple transitions (prior principal retired at the beginning of the school year and we are preparing to enter a different facility the upcoming school year), the leadership of the school (Acting Principal & Instructional Coordination), in conjunction with other dedicated and first-class teachers and staff, continue to cultivate a strong and culturally-enriched learning environment. The PTA is phenomenal and could do even more our community with greater support from our RGFI families. We visited MANY private schools in the County and outside the County as part of our 3+ years school search and believe that accepting the offers to attend Robert Goddard French Immersion was a solid investment in our children's future.