This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Wood Creek Elementary School5
Posted January 20, 2015
- a parent
My daughters and I have had a great experience with Woodcreek. The teachers are wonderful, the administrative staff is very friendly and accommodating, and the new principal is adored by my kids. I love the Leader in Me curriculum that they are using and the community feeling at the school. It's also nestled in a beautiful neighborhood and feels safe and welcoming.
Love Wood Creek Elementary. The PTA is great. Parents are involved. The Principal is outstanding. Very diverse adn inclusive environment. Very community focused. I feel like Im part of a family. My kids love coming to school.
I have four kids that have gone to school both on the east side and out of state. We moved back to MI and after reading the reviews, I was a little nervous about Wood Creek. However, I am really impressed with everything. As I understand, it was a little rough when they merged with nearby closing schools 3 or 4 years back, but they use a terrific program involving the seven habits of highly effective kids (which my kids apply to their home life as well!). They have a wonderfully active PTA, my kids have joined Math Pentathalon, run club, I am thrilled at the community vibe to the school. When we arrived they immediately had the counselor to help my son with the transition. I love hearing my 1st grade son randomly use the word viscous (correctly!) in a sentence. I am always amazed at what they share with me that they learned that day. The One School, One Book program was really fun-- I felt the school went out of its way to really get each child involved and to have fun with it. I think the teachers are great, the staff is great, the PTA is great, I couldn't be more happy.
In reading the postings, many of them are outdated and do not reflect the great environment that is now Wood Creek. My oldest child is in 2nd grade, and I know most of the teachers. We have been amazed by their dedication and commitment to the kids and to keeping in touch with parents. One of the best things about Wood Creek is that it is a Leader in Me school. If you don't know what that is, you should look it up because it's a great program that creates an environment of accountability and a skill set that will be valuable to the students all of their life. This program requires a commitment on the part of the staff and the principal, and that commitment is at Wood Creek! The principal, who recently left for a promotion within the district, was very involved and created a team environment with all the teachers. I couldn't be happier to have my children go to Wood Creek. I wish there was a little more parent involvement, but those who are involved are very committed.
We have been at Wood Creek since 2010 after transferring in mid-year from a school that we loved. Any transition is rough but ours went SO well. I was sorry to read that some families had a difficult time at this school and had to add my thoughts because that has not been our experience. Our interactions with the staff, from the principle to the custodians and everyone in between, have been nothing but positive. Currently, the staff is going through the Leader in Me training program that "emphasizes a culture of student empowerment and helps unleash each child s full potential (leaderinme.org). Wood Creek is the second school in the entire district to begin this process and now more have decided to follow suit. I find that, like in any school, the families that are involved tend to have the most engaging experiences. (NOTE: I am NOT to claiming that anyone with negative associations from this school was uninvolved). I would highly encourage ANY parent looking into ANY school to get involved at whatever level works for you. It really makes all the difference. I could not be more proud to send both of my kids to Wood Creek.
We have been at WC for 3 years (formerly at Eagle). We have watched the school improve consistently in those three years. It's difficult to judge a school by the first year after reconfiguration, since everything had changed overnight. We have had fantastic teachers every year, and this year the principal (who is an amazing administrator and always looking for best-practices and new research to help the school) fought the district to bring class sizes down well below any other schools around. She may not be as touchy-feely as other principals, but she supports the staff really well and is always involved in school events. WC has challenges that many other schools in the district do not (lower incomes, higher poverty, etc.) and yet maintains a thriving and supportive community for all kids. Parent involvement is so important for improving schools, so I urge the people with complaints to take action! Volunteer your time or abilities to help the school improve, not just to criticize and complain. A "we're all in this together" mindset will lift everyone up.
I thought the purpose of this forum was to submit unsolicited, honest feedback on one's experience at a school. Teacher reviews tend to be biased and I have yet to read one that provides substantive value; rather, they often seem to respond (defensively) to legitimate, less than positive reviews from parents. We are former parents of FPS and this school--the negative reviews are consistent with our experience. Minimizing parent concerns about visibility of leadership to desiring more smiles and waves is offensive. When parents have experienced highly visible, actively engaged leadership (like many parents who were re-districted to WC after the merger) they have every right to express that concern when they experience the opposite. We moved our children to a different district b/c WC is not a good fit for us, but it might be for others. Parents who submit reviews do so to help prospective parents gain knowledge they would not otherwise obtain and to express either praise or criticism where it is due. We certainly relied on parent reviews from Great Schools as part of our research and found a school that is an excellent fit for us. Perhaps that is worth some self-reflection.
To truly know a quality school, you need to be cognizant of behind the scenes realities, not just surface perceptions and judgements. Staff culture, knowledge of "best practices", willingness to self-reflect and grow professionally while collaborating to reach the needs of every child; this is true quality- community building and love for children with a balanced focus on academics, social and emotional needs of every child. Wood Creek truly characterizes all of this. The staff is committed to Wood Creek and display a synergy to do what is right for children. Wood Creek has true leadership, which is a behind the scenes focus on supporting and growing teachers, nurturing a culture of professional growth and striving to reach the needs of every child by working with staff and parents to enhance and stretch academics and social emotional needs of children. Leadership focused solely on waving and smiling at visible times is unfortunately the way some people judge schools, as well as judgement based solely on one standardized test. Understanding quality schools requires a much deeper look behind the scenes. Diligent work by staff and leadership since merging has had amazing results.
student/teacher ratio is too high (25/1 +) The principal is a poor leader who lacks creative problem solving skills and does not seem to appreciate parental input. Teachers were competent & caring but did not have the support/resources they needed to be effective. Curriculum was lacking and there is little support for a child whose skills do not match the norm. Budget cuts have effected the school but i see other neaeby schools (outside the FH school system) coming up with creative solutions to maintain quality education for all types of learners. WC has not done this. Parents are involved and the school welcomes that, but overall there is a negative atmosphere. We did not experience safety issues other reviewers cite but found the school had so many kids per class it was chaotic. We left WC to find a better school academically as well as a better environment for our children. The school has potential but needs direction and leadership to improve as it is currently on the decline.