The feeling was comfortable from the staff and building. The building did look a little run down but it didn't feel abandoned or strange in any way. Could be a good thing because my house isn't always kept up perfectly because our attention goes to the kids mostly. I really feel this school is down to earth goodness for education!
Eberwhite has met all of our expectations and more. We have had three children attend over the years and have never been concerned about the quality of learning - it is top notch. The staff are highly organized, caring, and committed. The community of parents are welcoming and fun. Excellent transition to middle school which is just down the street. We love it.
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 (i.e 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.
For academically strong children, this school is pretty good, though a bit - as a previous poster put it - "tired". Alternately, they don't flinch when passing children with failing grades, and they lower expectations when a child and/or their parent(s) don't put in any effort. They are more concerned about looking good on paper, being politically correct, and keeping up the numbers than the actual academic experience of the child. Major disappointment for the kids who need the school's help the most.
Eberwhite has become a school more interested in productivity than individual students learning experiences. Bullying is a problem and is not only perpetrated by fellow students but by teachers and the principal as well. Of course, this outrageous behavior all takes place under the guise of what is best for the students! The school is so far from a nurturing educational environment it is terrifying. If you want your kids to be able to follow rules only and not to be able to think for themselves than this is the place for you. They are very busy making sure kids are productive and the school looks good on paper. I never expected such a unthoughtful, unsupportive educational experience would be what my child would experience in a well educated town.
Overall it's been an OK year for my kids. However it seems like things are really disorganized. The teachers seem more frazzled and are less patient. Even the building looks dirty and tired. Does anyone ever mow the grass, trim bushes or pull weeds?
We have been meaning to write this for quite some time, as we love Eberwhite School! The teachers work hard, the kids are happy, and both the current and past principal are and have been outstanding! This staff is receptive and works well with parents. The past principal worked hard at improving the site to make it welcoming to all families. Her dedication set the tone for the new principal, who is continuing on with a high level of service to the school. Eberwhite is a great place!
In our experience, Eberwhite is a mixed bag. The EDO kindergarten teacher is top-notch, really excellent. The wooden playground and the surrounding forest are great. However, the 2nd and 3rd grade teachers seem like they're just 'putting their time in.' The principal is not accountable to parents. Her decision-making is arbitrary. At school functions, her main focus is "inclusion/tolerance," especially since Eberwhite is a magnet school for developmentally disabled children across the district. This is appropriate, but academic excellence for the average, above average, or gifted student does not seem to be a priority for her. Overall, the curriculum does not seem very challenging. Many parents supplement with up to 1-2 hours of homeschooling/day so that their kids learn something. Several neighborhood families have recently sent their kids to private school. Eberwhite is not a bad school, but it is not a great school either.
There are many things to like about Eberwhite. One is that the kids can walk to school. There is a crossing guard that helps them across the main road if they need it. You meet a lot of parents and kids that way and there is a real sense of community. Also, there are "Eberwhite Woods" surrounding the school. The kids take "Woods Walks" and learn about nature "in their own backyard." And this year some parents started a garden on school property and distributed the harvest to the classrooms. Another thing to like is that after school many kids stay and play on the all wood playground, even in winter. This also adds to the community feeling. Finally, the hallways and bathrooms were refurbished this year, making the school more cheery and modern. The only things that could improve are probably the math curriculum (a little weak) and foreign language learning (none offered), but overall it is a very nice school in a great neighborhood.