This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Westport Elementary School5
Posted September 17, 2014
- a parent
Our family has had an outstanding experience with the elementary school. We have two children in the school system and have been pleased with the education and especially the teaches. We have the means to send our children to a private school but decided to give the school system a chance. We are glad we did.
Poor test scores, closed culture. I was occasionally involved in my child's education in another town, but here in Westport, I have been discouraged from participating in any way. Administrators take an immediately defensive attitude towards any suggestion. Science fairs? Computer classes? Introduction to foreign language? How about having a bingo night or a Halloween party to encourage a sense of community? Field trips? Guest speakers at lunchtime? There are many programs and events that could be run by parent volunteers for little to no cost, and are in other municipalities. None of these programs are ever initiated in Westport. Instead, they put extreme emphasis on MCAS testing, and not much more. Why not take a look at successful school systems, and see how they do it? It's too bad, really, as the children are the ones who suffer the consequences.
As any school - this school is outstanding due to its fine staff and parent involvement. At least each grade has one exemplary teacher - but I wish there was more consistency in acceptable teaching styles; best practices; and support of parent involvement from classroom to classroom. I cannot say enough, though, about the exceptional support and specialized staff - including the School Psychologist; OT; adjustment counselor; music teacher; art teacher; and physical education teacher. Cudos to them for going the extra mile in working with their students and caseloads. Additionally - the Vice Principal did an excellent job transitioning the school during leadership changes this Summer. We look forward to a great year with a new principal who will support all aspects of child development - including with the fine arts including and music.
The elementary school is not as active as it should be for the well-rounded education of children. There is almost no parental involvement in school activities, and any suggestions are dismissed out of hand. The PTA seems to be inactive, as well. Where are the science fairs (this is the age for children to become interested in science), field trips and other enrichment activities. It appears the teachers do not want to make any additional work for themselves, but a science fair, for example, would involve only parents. Fund raisers could provide other benefits for the students. Does the school take advantage of state (or other) grants and gifts? I suggest taking a look at highly rated schools in Massachusetts and see what goes on in those places. Other towns are full of broadening activities for children. For example, many schools teach a second language from the lowest grades on. Technology tools are the best. (Does Westport have white boards in classrooms)? There is ample room for improvement in these schools.