Dicken is a wonderful community that gets better every year. Our 5th year at Dicken and this learning community has great leadership of the Principal and PTO. Students are challenged to excel. The staff spends a lot of time assessing and meeting the needs of the individual child. The PTO benefits from parent and volunteer involvement that allows educational, healthy activities throughout the year (ie Dicken Dash, Dicken Garden, Community of Cultures, Super Science Day,,,the list goes on). In addition, Dicken is tucked away in a quiet neighborhood with tree lined streets and sidewalks that make walking and biking to school a snap.
I have had 3 kids at Dicken over the past 7 years. I couldn't be happier. The teachers go above and beyond to make sure that every student's needs are met. Teachers are welcoming to parents and grandparents when they come into the classrooms. I volunteer weekly in one classroom and the library and have been very impressed with the way the staff interacts with the students. There are so many parents who volunteer on a regular basis. My three kids have all enjoyed Dicken and learned so much. My oldest has made a smooth transition to Slauson Middle School. There are lunch time enrichment activities like singing, gardening, and recycling. The annual Dicken Woods Walk which takes place in February is a time for the whole Dicken neighborhood and Dicken students to interact by walking through Dicken woods lit up with hundreds of decorated vases. The art teacher at Dicken is phenomenal!
We just moved to the area, and were excited to have our kids in Ann Arbor schools. It is nice to be in a better school system than where we were previously. However, we are a bit disappointed with Dicken because the environment is not a friendly one. My kids complain every day that all they hear is teachers yelling at kids. My son's teacher has been wonderful...keeps parents informed on learning and happenings through weekly newsletters. My daughter, who is in 4th grade, used to LOVE school, but now she hates it because it is not a happy place of learning/lacks nurturing (she came home from school on her first day and cried for an hour). I am now worried that she is losing her love of learning :( I like how this is really a neighborhood school and lots of involvement from parents. The Dicken Dash was a fantastic fundraiser. I also love that the kids get to bring home fresh veggies from the school garden!
After being at Dicken for 6 years, we decided to move to another school within the Slauson cluster. Others have commented here that other schools are academically superior to Dicken- this is absolutely the case. Dicken is mediocre at best. Ask any parent who transferred from Dicken to another AAPS school - they all say the same thing. If you are in the Slauson cluster, you can do much better than Dicken.
We moved our children because they were unhappy here . There are many schools in Ann arbor that have much better learning environments .
We have been at Dicken for 6 years and the thing that I appreciate most is the diversity of the community both ethnically and socio-economically. I also appreciate the high participation rate of parent volunteers from the full range of that diversity. At our impressive Community of Cultures celebration this year, the principal shared that there are over 70 languages spoken at our school. I feel that this teaches lessons that cannot be taught from a book. The sense of community at this school is wonderful.
This is a very average school. There are a lot of folks writing positive reviews right now because they would like to raise the status of their local school and their community and housing value. But having moved out of this neighborhood and moved my children to another location, i am stunned at how different and better the education is in other schools in ann arbor. Sorry to burst everyone's bubble, but you should know the truth. Good luck .
Our daughter loves Dicken Elementary. The teachers, principal and PTO work very well together to create a great learning environment for the students. Dicken is a great school and we feel so fortunate to that our daughter is getting such a high quality education.
We have been at Dicken Elementary for six years and we couldn't be happier. It provides a diverse environment of caring teachers, staff and parents working toward the common goal of providing the best possible education for our children. It is more than a school, it is a community that helps one another both inside and outside the classroom. I would recommend it without hesitation.
Dicken has been a fabulous school for our children. We deeply appreciate the hard work and dedication shown every day by the teachers and staff. The community is diverse and vibrant, with an active PTO that facilitates numerous enriching field trips and activities for all students. Our children are very happy at Dicken where they are well taught and well nurtured. We feel very lucky to be part of this community.
Exceptional, inclusive and responsive learning environment. When my oldest son transferred (from a private school in Detroit) to Dicken in 4th grade, his transition was absolutely seamless. I was truly amazed by the altruism and warmth his teacher and fellow classmates displayed. These characteristics are demonstrated throughout Dicken s entire learning community each and every day: from the principal and staff, to the parents and volunteers.
I believe that where we choose to spend our time is a clear reflection of that place's importance to us. There are a great number of very-involved and creative parent volunteers at Dicken who have made it a priority to provide amazing (free) noon-time enrichment programs for all students. Our PTO has gone to great lengths to ensure teacher priorities and educator support is at the forefront of investment for our hard-earned funds, and has created a truly wonderful literacy and Fine-Arts focused assembly curriculum for students as well. I am so proud to send my kids to Dicken, and am constantly amazed by the generosity and kindness of our community.
Dicken has wonderful teachers who are warm, caring and make everyone feel welcome. They consistently go above and beyond the call of duty. Dicken also has a Principal who is always around in the hallways and always available. Every day I pick up my children I see him there making sure every child is safely on the bus. It is a school that is safe, clean and beautiful inside and out. The families of the community really bring something special to the school. There is a tremendous amount of involvement from parents in and around the school. That includes an outstanding PTO that is incredibly successful with fundraising. There are also great parents who volunteer their time providing extracurricular activities during school, coaching the Rec and Ed programs for the school s teams, and supporting the many special events held at the school. I feel very fortunate to have my kids attending Dicken Elementary.
Our family loves this school. The principal, staff and teachers are committed to each child achieving their academic potential. Parents are always welcome at the school and do a tremendous amount of volunteering, including enrichment activities. The participation in the Washtenaw Elementary Science Olympiad is amazing. We have always had excellent interactions with the principal and teachers. We also appreciate the tremendous diversity at the school and the respect shown toward different cultural, racial and ethnic backgrounds.
I have two children attending Dicken and couldn t be more pleased with the quality of teachers and the school. We switched from South Arbor to Dicken, and find the community of support is amazing. Dicken parents live close by and can drop in to help. It is amazing how much help parents provide during class room activities, and it is true they helkp the students in the lower level grades by providing one on one tutoring that you don t find everywhere. The "ROAR" reading program was created by Dicken parents and makes a difference. Principal Madison is passionate about his work, and his enthusiasm for helping students is contagious. The principal is at almost every evening event, which averages several per week. The PTO is the most active around, with all kinds of activities enhancing the children s education such as a choir that practices at recess, a Thanksgiving potluck, icecream social, a high percentage of participation in the year end science competition, and local community support that helps with huge donations of goods and shared revenue. The best thing is the kids enjoy going to school.
Our family didn't have a good experience at this school. My son went to first grade and his teacher was terrible. I visited the class several times throughout the year and it was always the room mom teaching the kids. Not to mention the scandal with the principal that made national headlines. I enrolled my children in a school outside of the Ann Arbor school district this year and we won't be back. The Ann Arbor school board is a joke. Just do a little research online about the Dicken Elementary principal and you'll see what I'm talking about. I can't go into detail here because of the website's rules on commenting.
This is an excellent school, and the leadership is fantastic. Parent involvement is phenomenal, and one reason is that the principal is very open to parental involvement, new ideas and new programs. He is an excellent leader.
I have had kids at the school for the last six years and I could be happier with everything about Dicken! I am at the school often and see the teachers, principal, and parental support in action. They are a well oiled machine! Excellent all around!
Most of the staff and students at this school are excellent. But i am disappointed with the Principal , another reviewer said he is 'All business' and that is completely accurate. Let someone who cares about the staff and kids run the elementary school.
My kids love their teachers and we are very happy with the parent involvment. We consistantly here negative things about the Principal - he is not very in tune with the students - but the community setting is great.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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