We are wrapping up our first year at Pratt school and cannot say enough great things about it. This k-5 school is small enough where the staff and teachers all know your child's name. Principle Vague greets children every morning at the door with smiles, pats on the head and a big good morning. Teachers in the higher grades know the lower grade students. Kids at Pratt are confident and feel safe and cared for. The teachers are talented and work hard with specialists to break classrooms up into small groups. Teacher to student ratio in small groups is 1:5 or 1:6. Kids all move at their own pace and assessments are regular so when your child progresses they are always challenged. Principle Vague is always around and has a great handle on what's going on in each classroom. To her credit she knows the parents and listens to suggestions and implements them! The PTO is strong and welcoming. They fund Artists In Residence and the school can easily say it has an arts focus. The kids get to work with community artists each month on top of their regular weekly art instruction. The building and classrooms are gorgeous. Big huge rooms, lots of space and tons of natural light.
My son attended Pratt from kindergarten through fifth grade. During those years, the school changed from a tiny, very affluent school to a still small, but larger, much more diverse school. This is the best thing that could have happened for my son and the other privileged students at Pratt. He gained so much understanding, compassion and poise from learning with kids from such different backgrounds, and being part of such a close-knit community. Academically, he was able to skip to advanced seventh grade math when he started middle school this year, and placed into the g&t reading and Arabic program as well. I always appreciated how much challenge his excellent teachers were able to provide for my son and the other students who were ahead of the curve. Homework was never an issue-he spent his time in school learning and his time after school playing, which is what is best for elementary age students. I teach AP history at a high school in the suburbs that was named one of the top schools in the nation by Newsweek. I KNOW that my son got a great education at Pratt. He will be well prepared for AP classes in high school. More importantly, he is happy, confident, & socially savvy.
Pratt School has been wonderful for our family. I have two kids in this school now and one who will start in a year. The teachers are top notch, the parents are active and strong, and the student body is richly diverse. Many neighborhood families choose this school and reap the benefits of living in a community lucky enough to have one of the smallest schools in the district. Others choose to drive their kids here to have a small school, diverse educational experience. One of the best schools in MPS!
We have one graduate of Pratt and one child still there. Both attended since kindergarten. The current principal is wonderful. She has attracted, and kept, a wonderful group of teachers. Test scores are very good, when measured against students of similar backgrounds. Our children have been afforded a great academic, cultural, and arts education. Our first child, who has moved on to middle school, tested a grade level ahead in math and into advanced writing in large part because of the instruction and confidence building at Pratt. Our second child is also doing very well. Pratt is a wonderful place where children of all backgrounds learn, play and nurture each other. Our children have received a wonderful multifaceted education.
Clearly the two recent reviews were not from very recent experiences. The school certainly has its share of FRL and ELL, but we love being part of a diverse school. And if we must judge a school on test results my kids are a testament to excellent instruction as they both (current 2nd and 4th) exceed the standards by a huge margin. Every teacher my kids have had has been extremely dedicated, and the principal is a fabulous leader. I can't say enough good things about this school. My kids are getting a high quality education in a school of only 200 students, and at the same time they are learning that not everyone in this world comes from the same culture as they do. Pratt school is a wonderful, nurturing environment in the center of a community that strongly supports it. The classes that have historically had trouble in this school have a direct correlation with the years that MPS has threatened to close it due to it's small size. Those threats resulted in some white flight. Luckily the strong dedicated parents and neighborhood community prevailed and we are well past that threat as the school continues to grow and kids thrive. I highly recommend this school to anyone!
REALLY enjoyed walking to school & connecting with very caring neighbors. Unfortunately, we transferred out in 4th with several neighbors which was gut wrenching & sad! Our 2nd/3rd math was never on level with our MPS peers. Those years are fundamental for math facts as foundation (& reading). Our homework was largely drawing "zinglots" - completing animals from partially provided line drawings. 1/2+ of our daughter's class was not at state standard in math or reading (WPM) and we saw virtually no quantitative measures mid year or specialist intervention. Behavior also needed much improvement! So much that we could identify a Pratt kid. Our daughter is again straight As as she was before and after Pratt. She's also gifted & talented. But it was a long and tough haul emotionally & financially with hard work & determination :) on her part (with SAP math specialist & Dad) to dig her out of partially proficient status The $ cost to us was real in terms of both summer tutors and eventually, alternative private school for middle school years to maintain her confidence. Every transfer should get an exit interview. We never considered Pratt for our 2nd who is highly gifted
Test scores aren't everything. But initially Pratt rivaled Lk Harriet & to date hasn't recovered in scores or GS rating. The 2011 MCAs are welcome sign reaching close to state ave. Unfortunately, Pratt was frought with a passive aggressive principal/vice for many years & thrown into a whirlwind of uncertainty/risk with only the well connected neighborhood to advocate for it. This is its strength & continues to be palpable with strong sense of community. For us the widely variable stats that started to manifest a few years after Pratt opened, as well as comparatively crippled resources,extracurricular and enrichment, had us go right outside the neighborhood to school. There was a very tough period with behavior that the school found itself due to past admin. To make ours sit through that without gauruntee of their education, was not acceptable & ultimately was unfair. Our Pratt experience in 2nd and 3rd put us way behind, & required several hard years getting up to speed as foundation for accelerating math concepts. Hopefully the community will continue pull it through as is its strength. Unfortunately, the cost of inconsistency to our family is much too high.