This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Winchell Elementary School5
Posted October 22, 2013
- a parent
I am a parent of two academically talented Winchell students, a fourth grader and a second grader. I could not be happier with their educational experiences. Winchell has an amazing faculty, incredible parental involvement, and is wonderfully situated in a peaceful neighborhood. Each year I worry whether or not my children will be placed with a good teacher, and each year they are matched with a teacher that exceeds my expectations. I can only deduce that there are no bad teachers. The principal has always been very responsive to me when I call to speak to him about my concerns. I still marvel at his ability to call every student by name. I am entirely pleased with our choice to move to the Winchell neighborhood for the great elementary school.
I relocated to Kalamazoo for the Promise & after research decided to place my kids in Winchell, because it's the best elementary school. The school does not know how to differentiate instruction. My child set bored in class, because he was ahead of what the class was studying. You have to be a VERY INVOLVED parent and let the teachers know your expectations of your child and them up front. If not, your child will not be challenged and they can slip through the crack. I feel that their Academically Talent program is just a program created to appease parents because of the title. The program is nothing like an advanced placement for elementary kids. As a parent you are better off going to the bookstore and getting workbooks a grade ahead of your child's actual grade and challenging them that way. Additionally, the principal has NO persona! For someone to be in elementary and deal with young kids you would think that he is personable. I feel that if you are a parent and you have issues--especially with how he handles a situation, he will brush your concern off and all together ignore you. Be careful, because everything that's free (Kzoo Promise) is not always good!
We transferred from Parkwood School and we love Winchell due to all the Academic and health cognizant the staff are trying to get all the kids to stay fit. Plus a they have a jump start program that helps my daughter stay focus throughout the day since she has ADD. Her grade went from a "B" to and "A".The only down side is most parents aren't that friendly which I can live with.
Winchell is by far the best elementary in Kalamazoo! My daughter went here from K-4th until we moved out of state. There is a huge parent involvement, the teachers are experienced, fun, and caring. Teachers have high expectations, the AT program is great. The school culture is very inclusive and promotes a love of learning. Mr. Hughes, the principal knows ALL the students by name and holds school assemblies that promote a postive school environment. Teachers of note are Mrs. Ide, Mr. Rochester, and Mrs. Youngs.
DIfferentiated education is a really weak point here at WInchell. They have met my child's academic needs very well. No enrichment where needed (he is reading far above grade level) and no help where needed (writing is an area of need). Parent volunteers could be utilized better here. I have found this all severely disappointing. I do feel that the teachers are caring, and classroom management doesn't seem to be a problem. I am concerned that this staff needs more professional development on differentiation in order to meet the needs of all students. I would also like to see homework to be more consistent within each grade level, not varying so greatly from teacher to teacher. This suggests to me that there is not enough collaboration (and therefore, consistency) within grade levels.
I'm a parent of a third grader, and my son was in a different school last year, and it's like night and day literally! My family and I even moved into the school district just to get him in the school. Mike, our principal is awesome and we have such experienced teachers who care mix in our caring families and you got an A+ school! Winchell is the Way for my family!!
Outstanding school, outstanding staff, excellent AT program, Great environment for learning and fun. I would highly recommend this school to any parent. I have a 3rd grader and a 4th grader who absolutely love this school.