My daughter has been at Oakridge for 3 years now. The staff is wonderful and I have found the parents to be great as well. Book reports started in 2nd grade. I volunteer as much as possible and have not heard of or seen any bullying. The teachers do a great job motivating the kids and the children seem very eager to learn. The PTA is very active and the school has many family activities throughout the year.
I am very, very happy with Oak Ridge Elementary. Although the building isn't great and the class sizes are larger than I'd like, my children have flourished there. The teachers are wonderful and go out of their way to meet each child's individual needs. Further, the teachers are very professional and really care about the kids. The children adore the new principal and he seems to have gained respect quickly. The PTA is very active, as are parent volunteers, and there are lots of special programs, like the Polar Bear Dance and school picnic, that are fun and inexpensive. The recycling program, school garden, running club, and noonwalkers are ways parents have made a difference there. I am very impressed with this school.
There has been good and bad. My son started there mid 3rd grade and it was an awful switch. Since then that teacher has retired and there is a new principal who I think is great. Now in 5th my son struggles to keep up and the staff has been very helpful with extra tutoring and parent teacher communication. His teacher is great! My son does have monthly book reports and weekly homework. They are doing a heart dissection in science and have had exciting and educational field trips. I could see how a child falling behind or a child that needs more challenge could fall through the cracks but that's were, as a parent, we have to do our part too in order for our kids to succeed. Yes, there is bulling, but I don't think it's as bad as when he first started. Unfortunately kids are mean. They always have been, and kids get in fights sometimes. I think the school has improved in dealing with these issues. I will say the biggest negative to Royal Oak is there is no bus system. Huge disadvantage compared to Troy or Rochester who also have great schools. My daughter starts kindergarten next year and my son will be going to ROM. We are excited (and a little nervous).
I have also been very dissapointed with Oak Ridge. We have had excellent teachers, and extremely dismissive teachers. Having to teach yourself cursive is not something a child should have to do. My biggest problem is the curriculum. State mandated or not, I know the school less than 2 miles from there has a 5 star rating while ours stands at 3. When my child was a 5'th grader, the lack of what they included didn't in ANY way prepare them for middle school. There are NO book reports, NO essays, and only 2 pieces of homework that came home every week!! As far as I am concerned, they are in need of a MAJOR overhaul! Speaking with parents whose children attend other elementaries, Oak Ridge is FAR behind what those children are coming to ROMS with. Pitiful, pitiful. How are our children supposed to catch up from the HUGE lacking in teaching coming from Oak Ridge? No homework, no book reports, current events, etc. What ARE these kids learning here. The state's curriculum is not the only one to blame here. This elementary really needs to STEP IT UP.
I am very disappointed with Oakridge Elementary School. My grandchild started school and was very excited to be there. His spirit and his enthusiasum for school has been squelched. There have been several incidences that started from the first week of school and have continued throughout the year that I feel have been handled non-professionally. We have never had a problem with my grandchild anywhere else, everyone loves his zest for life and his personality. He has not been encouraged to expand his knowledge. There have been many inconsistencies as far as the rules from one child to another or from one day to the next. I have other grandchildren in the Troy school district and the difference is like night and day. I would not recommend Oakridge if your intention is for your child to excell in academics. They are definitely behind the times.
My oldest came from Mark Twain and my youngest started Oak Ridge this year. The first year there was a lot of, 'You're one of the Twain families.' as if it was some kind of blacksheep or scarlet letter taboo. But after that first year, everything calmed down and the odd comments ceased. We've had issues with a few teachers and with my spouse being a teacher, she can agree with me that many of the staff is long overdue for retirement. Many lack the energy or the ability to apply new manidated teaching methods. The secretary should be fired. Our first problem was we asked the secretary tell our eldest to go to latchkey, but she forgot and my child spent an hour crying on the front porch. Second time we were called that our eldest was pale and passed out only to find out she was out of breath.
My children and I came to this school in the middle of the year, from west MI. I felt so welcomed by the staff, but especially Mrs. Kaczkowski the secretary. She is the heart of the school and will support anyone with any need, in or out of school (like glasses for my daughter). My daughter has Mrs. Kazdan for 4th and she has been a really FUN and supportive teacher. We needed extra help with math and she came up with all kinds of fun ways to practice at home. I like that my children have access to Spanish and other extras, I think at this age they need the well rounded exposure, the school scores speak for themselves, effective teaching doesn't require repeated drilling. However, my kids tend to be very advanced in language arts and I'd like to see some ap options beyond reading. H. Hall
My daughter attended private school until she entered the 5th grade at Oak Ridge. The students and staff made her feel welcome. Her teachers did a fine job keeping me aware of her academic progress. They also did a great job in preparing her for the responsibilities of middle school.
Oak Ridge is a wonderful school with superb teachers who truly care for our kids. I wouldn't dream of placing my kids anywhere else! Ms. Mick
To the folks who came from Twain 2 years ago with the attitude that no one cares about you or your kids... We all felt that way for a while but guess what? The people in charge of our kids at Oak Ridge have in our opinion been top notch. They are , without exception, excellent educationally and emotionally for my children. Get to know them better and I believe you will see things differently. All the best, LE Just for fun, why don't you all who have bad things to say about the people educating our kids identify yourselves instead of being 'submitted by a parent' and perhaps the teachers can address you personally in order to address your feelings instead of having to guess who you are?
I was disturbed to read the review about the staff at our school. I have been involved in several schools in Royal Oak as both a parent and staff member and the staff at Oak Ridge are dedicated, hard working professional people who advocate for children each and every day. Parents in this school are encouraged to partner with the school every step of the way. Their concerns are addressed by the principal and the staff promptly in order to give the students every opportunity to be successful in school. The fifth grade teachers are working together to ensure that the students are prepared to meet the challenges of the middle school. Curriculum night gives parents an overview of the school year and explains the curriculum. It is not an opportunity for parents to conference with the teacher. I invite this parent to come to school and discuss her concerns. S.Kaczkowski
My child is a fifth grader at this school. Previously she attended Twain which was shut down and its students were absorbed by Oak Ridge. We have never felt welcomed to this school. The teachers are lazy and uncaring. Fifth grade curriculum night consisted of all 3 5th grade teachers doing a cheap Power Point presentation together in the cafeteria. These teachers couldn't be bothered to meet and greet the parents. If you can put your child in a different school, do so.
My son is in kindergarten at Oak Ridge, and I have been very impressed with all of the professional and support staff he comes into contact with every day. Not only has his classroom teacher gone above and beyond in her role as teacher, but so have his speech teacher, PT, OT, gym, libary, music, latch-key teachers, as well as the principal and school secretary. Each staff person knows my son, by name. It makes both of us feel good when we walk down the halls and staff are friendly and willing to stop and talk. I feel that the Oak Ridge staff really demonstrates what a good school is, professionals working together for the benefit of our children! Also, I feel that the extracurricular activites are appropriate, giving children a well-balanced education. The content of these classes does blend in with what is taught in the homeroom. Great job!
My son has attended Oak Ridge since 12/03. I think that the staff presents a lot of things to get the kids involved. However, I feel that the real reason for school is learning. I feel that Oak Ridge is really laid back when it comes to math, science, social studies, reading and writing. I think there are far too many electives (music, art, computer lab, spanish, physical education and library time) each day. Between two recesses, lunch and electives (2 per day), there isn't a lot of learning time left over. My son recently missed a whole week of school and I picked up his homework. He completed it within an hour and never brought home anything else that was missed. Five days of school should of been worth at least a afternoons worth of work. I think they are on the right track - just keep working on it.
Oak Ridge is a pretty good school. The teachers are committed to their jobs. The population is very mixed with children from middle class families to very blue collar families.
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