As a parent of three children that have all attended Somerset, I have personally experienced the three principals that the other reviewers have talked about. Yes, Mary Bowman was great, however, she retired. A replacement principal was chosen and I agree, she did not work out. However, she had big shoes to fill with the amount of very demanding parents at this school that all want the best for their children. The district made a decision to move Joni Hagebock from Friendly Hills (our older daughters' school) to Somerset. Joni is the only principal to this day to to stand outside EVERY morning directing children at the cross walk. She figured out a way to make the parking lot MUCH safer. She has always responded to my emails and when she was principal at FH, she sat down with me personally when I had questions. Somerset is still a wonderful school and we are very happy. Our daughter has learned so much and she is very happy as well. Still the best school in the area!
Our experience at the school was extremely negative, especially with the school principal. We regret trusting the school's old good reputation without talking to more parents. There are a few good teachers at Somerset, but we found the principal to be unreliable, unprofessional, and unresponsive to parents' concerns. When we talked to other parents, we learned that this is the principal's usual pattern of behavior. In addition, the third grade teacher we had this year rarely communicated with parents and had low standards for teaching language and math. We feel that they both don't care much about kids as human beings, which is utterly unacceptable! We chose to leave the school.
I agree with the 2 star rating the parent on 5/15/15 gave. The teaching staff at Somerset is absolutely amazing. I cannot praise them enough. Our kids have had great teachers every single year. In addition, the art, music, Spanish, gym and other teachers are also fantastic.
The reason for this 2 star rating is similar to the previous parent's review I noted above. The principal is dishonest and not in touch with parents. She indeed does not return phone calls or emails. The students do not like her, and having met and interacted with her, I can understand their feelings. This principal is arrogant, unkind, unapproachable, and childish. This is incredibly unfortunate, because the teachers at this school are absolutely fantastic. Three years ago, I would've and did recommend this school to the parents of prospective students. However, I would recommend that parents of prospective students visit Garlough Environmental Magnet School, Moreland Arts and Health Sciences Magnet School, and Mendota Elementary School in addition to Somerset. This school has greatly declined in the last 2 years. It was a top school and I considered myself very lucky to enroll my kids at Somerset. If you can overlook the principal's ineptitude in favor of the amazing teaching staff, you should consider Somerset Elementary School.
Amazing teachers! Out of all of district 197 elementary schools we visited, Somerset stands out! It is harder to get into, if you are not already in the zone, but it is definitely worth looking into. The school has a very quaint feel, the students are cheerful, teachers are friendly, and we've been loving the Spanish and reading program quality.
It is a shame to see how this school has declined in a short time. This used to be a top school. There have been three principals in three years. The current one does not return phone calls and ignores important emails from parents. The school has become unorganized and unfriendly. The woman at the front desk is mean. There are still some great teachers at Somerset, but there is no longer an emphasis on quality academics. Sad to see the complacency.
We have great teachers, and support staff. Annual readathon is a great fundraiser that gets all the kids involved in raising money for the school and we get the best reward for it our kids read like crazy. We include the great outdoors in our education which I love. The gym teacher helps the kids understand that we move our body for fun and health. The music teacher and her after school choir are wonderful. I couldn't be happier with my school. New principal this year as our retired. We will miss our beloved Mrs. Bowman greatly she knew each and every student by name even the first day of school.
We have two daughters at Somerset. Somerset is a wonderful school with wonderful teachers and a wonderful principal. Every time I see Mrs. Bowman she is happy and cheerful and such a positive person. It is easy to see that she truly loves her job and the children. The test scores just prove how great the staff is doing. It is also nice to see so many parents volunteering and caring.
I've been an elementary school teacher for 19 years and have had many opportunities to work in schools both here and abroad. We are so grateful that our daughter is able to attend Somerset Elementary. We are constantly in awe of the attention, care, and high expectations of all the teachers and staff. The students, in turn, achieve highly in this kind of nurturing and supportive environment. Thank you, Somerset!
I will have 3 kids at Somerset in the 2011-2012 school year. We are so pleased with the close community feeling, the fantastic teachers, the awesome principal, the many opportunities for academic, musical, and physical fitness growth for our children, and the personal care each member of the staff gives to our children. Thank you Somerset!