This is a strong school with an active administration and good teachers. There are lots of possibilities for parental involvement (at home, special events, etc). Test scores, especially the 2015 PARCC ones, are not reflective of student achievement as Pot Spring students were given that test online and other schools were not. The County has assessed the online version and pencil version were not equivalent. Please do more research other than see this grade.
This Great School score is based solely on test scores from the PARCC test – a new test that was introduced in 2015 replacing the MSA. In 2015, Pot Spring students took the test via computer, while neighboring schools took the test with paper and pencils. When the results were tabulated, the differences were striking. BCPS admitted that, “What we found when we analyzed our results was that the online and paper PARCC assessments were not equated, meaning they did not have the same level of difficulty.” The Pot Spring test was more difficult than the test given to neighboring schools. It should be noted that results for both pencil and online tests were well below that which were realized under the former testing regime. The 2016 scores have yet to be updated in this system, but are available online, and Pot Spring students are showing measured improvement. But if you are looking solely at standardized test scores to evaluate a school (this is the only metric used by Great Schools website), you are doing your child a great disservice.
Arthur Costa, emeritus professor at California State University, states: “What was educationally significant and hard to measure has been replaced by what is educationally insignificant and easy to measure. So now we measure how well we taught what isn’t worth learning.”
As a parent of two children attending Pot Spring, I can attest that the school is committed, compassionate and innovative - attributes that are hard to measure but are educationally significant nonetheless.
An attribute not used in “ranking” schools is diversity. The research is clear – diverse schools make every student smarter, and Pot Spring is nothing if not diverse. It is diverse culturally, ethnically, as well as socio-economically. In a Teachers College Columbia report, “researchers have documented that students’ exposure to other students who are different from themselves and the novel ideas and challenges that such exposure brings leads to improved cognitive skills, including critical thinking and problem solving.” In addition, 96% of major employers, say it is “important” that employees be “comfortable working with colleagues, customers, and/or clients from diverse cultural backgrounds.” (https://tcf.org/content/report/how-racially-diverse-schools-and-classrooms-can-benefit-all-students/)
Don’t bet your child’s future on a single number.
The school is staffed with energetic teachers. The administration has been at the school for a long time and knows each child's name. Students are given hands on opportunity with innovative programs such as the edible school yard. An outdoor learning center was recently built as well.
Great school! Principle and Vice Principle shakes every kid's hand as they walk into school. Music in the lobby for morning arrival has kids bee-bopping down the hall. Staff are warm and they really make everyone feel welcome. The teachers are very experienced and capable. My child has had a great experience at the school so far.
My daughter loves it at Pot Spring Elementary. She feels supported both educationally and emotionally. The staff is helpful and the administration is awesome... everyone is very personable and they really care about the students. We are very pleased this school.
From an educational stand point, PSE is a very good school, with very good teachers. Unfortunately, they do not see the child as an individual, just a potential MSA score, and it shows. If your child needs anything more than basic instruction, they will not get it here. Parents who are not able to volunteer in class are treated like subhumans by the other parents and faculty.
This school has functioned for educational purposes at an above average level for a child who needs no assistance or a lot of assistance. The school is not well equiped to assist those in the middle. The teachers in KG and 1st grade are excellent. The other grades have some strong teachers, but also some weaker teachers. There are many classes per grade (3-5) and with the younger teachers and administration (which is also young and inexperienced) consistency and appropriate enforcement of communication has seemed to be a struggle for many of the parents and families over the last 2 years. After having 2 bad years in a row, we will move our children elsewhere to try to prevent further damage.
Pot Spring is simply the best school in the community. A very good learning environment with excellent and very friendly staff, always ready to help out in any way they can. This all put together is an excellent package.