I transferred my kids to this school. My daughter has attended K-4th and my other just started kindergarten. The biggest positives: 1. Communication. On many occasions I've emailed the principal directly. I always hear back from her the same day, usually very quickly. She is a strong leader and it shows. Teachers communicate via newsletter weekly and I have email and cell phone numbers. I wish the school secretary were in charge of the government! She is efficient, friendly and takes pride in the kids as well as her job. 2. The teachers at this school really care about the kids. They just did a talent show at the school and every single teacher (except one who was ill) participated with enthusiasm. 3. The community The other families who attend this school are outstanding! I feel good about the friendships my daughter has made at this school. In fact, I've made friends with several of their parents! When there is an event the turnout is fantastic. These are great families which is really important as kids will influence one another and you want that influence to be positive.
We have been at Harrison since it opened 3 years ago. I have experienced another elementary school in our district with my oldest child and am so impresssed with the way this principal leads her school. It takes a special individual to lead children, parents and staff to inspire to be the best they can be. She leads this school with enthusiasm, a positive environment and excellent communication with the parents. She is always available and has earned high respect from her staff and parents alike. I'm impressed that when you walk into the school, you automatically feel as if you belong. We are a transfer and I feel if we had to go back to our home school, my child would definitely miss out on an amazing educational experience. THis principal makes the difference!
My children have been at David Harrison since 2007. Since then, I have experienced all 5 grade levels through them. I find the teachers to be creative in their approach, using technology everyday, along with hands on materials, combining techniques and sharing knowledge with other teachers to arrive at a curriculum that is engaging and exciting for the students. The speciality teachers and other staff also clearly have the goal of providing a nurturing, positive environment that helps children develop high self esteems. The principal guides this whole process, holding the teachers to a high standard. She is actually present in each classroom regularly, so is aware of teaching techniques happening in the building on a daily basis. She provides the example of an educator who cares about kids and puts them first as a priority, and has clear expectations for their behavior and performance. She provides email updates to all parents 1 to 2 times weekly (and teachers also provide this high level of communication). She meets with a parent committee quarterly to "brainstorm" ideas to improve the school. Her open door policy is available to students and parents alike. A+++
This is a unique, technology based and highly successful school in Missouri's largest, remaining (accredited) school district. We have the means to send our children to private schools but chose not too due to the quality of the education at this school and in Springfield, in general. Our children are challenged here, because of the programs and curriculum set up by the principal. The english as second language program also provides diversity and enriches our children's lives. The principal demands much from her teachers; based on my experience (3 children attend this school), her work and organizational framework has paid off! I was surprised to read the previous comments because, after more than 8 total years of experience attending David Harrison, we have had NO problems/concerns over safety at the school. Their policies are strict and promote consistency in regards to car line, walking children, etc... The principal is outside, EVERY DAY, personally releasing each child; if a parent is late, all children are brought to her office to wait for pick up. Last, the transfer list speaks for itself, many out of district parents are waiting to get their children into this school!
I have had several inappropriate responses from this principal. There is a most pronounced lack of appropriate communication and understanding. Maybe this principal is going through some personal and professional trials but she is exuding an overall belief that many parents are slack in the rearing of their children. We look to her to set the standard of acceptable interpersonal communication and behavior for her teachers who in turn model it for their students (our children). Overall, that is not happening at this school.
Have encountered several mishaps since our daughter has began going there. First, our 5 year old daughter was released from school to walk home all by herself - we pick her up every day. Second, a family member needed to pick up our daughter from school, she went to request her to leave with her and the lady asked how to spell her name, family member wasn't sure. They never asked for identification or anything to make sure she was authorized. We received a call/e-mail yesterday from the school wanting to know why our daughter wasn't there... She was?!? She even attended the book fair. When the principle was confronted about allowing our five year old daughter to walk home, her response was "...our daughter needs to be more responsible...". Maybe this is unique to us, or not. But our experience with this school has not been satisfactory at all.