Lake Harriet Lower is an excellent K-3 school in the Minneapolis Public Schools. The academics are well taught and the teachers are very good. However, because it has a very low poverty level, it gets no "extra" resources from the district. Your taxes pay for all the MPS public schools, they don't go directly to Lake Harriet.
Had my daughters there for a year, one in KG and one in 2nd grade. Have nothing but praise for the school. Great teachers, Mrs Matson, Mrs Osland and Mrs Sisler.
Part two: the classes are large, and the resources are ever-dwindling. I received an email that they had no money to staff the library and need parents of volunteer. At one point they threatened to make a choice between the social worker and the school nurse. The school is located in a community of $500k+ homes, so it is certainly not due to a deficit in tax revenue.
Our daughter is in the 1st grade at the lower campus and loves her fellow students and her teacher Mrs. Chhun. Mrs. Chhun has gotten our daughter to enjoy sounding out words and learning to spell larger words; that says a lot for only being in school a few months this year. There are definitely some areas that are less than desired - main office communication, but at the teacher/student level we have enjoyed it very much. We do not have time to volunteer at the school at this time but usually they have to randomly choose because of the large amount of parents who take part.
I am continually impressed by this school, it's efficient use of resources under a starving public school budget, it's instructors, and the parent community that it serves. My son has been thrilled to be here, and he is immersed in an enriching environment. Parents work hard to give this school an extra 'edge' through their volunteerism, this makes for an active and involved parent base and I think it makes all the difference. We love it!
I am sorry but we have a two income household and I can not be a hyper involved parent. Some of these teachers make more than $70,000 a year plus an excellent benefit package but they still expect parents to do their job. They even call for parents to run their classrooms. My neighbor had a teacher over for dinner after volunteering in the classroom twice a week all year. No, she doesn't have a job other than making sure her only child gets the most privileges in the classroom. Parent volunteers use their position to gain favoritism for their child at Lake Harriet. This school has become a rat race where parents run the race.
We are thrilled to be part of both this school and the school community. My son loves going to school every day and I have been impressed with the level of involvement and responsiveness the school has provided. They have had a rough time with class size lately but are expanding the school nex tear to address the issue. Parent involvement is crucial, and this school still has by far the best involvement in the district.
My daughter is a 2nd grader at Lake Harriet and although it has great test scores and most of the students are above average students be careful if your child has a learning disability. The school has made it very difficult for me to get the services that my child need. I was simply told that the faculty was not used to dealing with 'families like mine'.
Lake Harriet Lower Campus is a fabulous school which serves only K-2nd grade. Our 2nd grade son has loved both of his teachers, the media center/library, and after class activities like chess club. Debi Mattson works magic with her students!
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