MDES is a great school. My son has been there for two years. In order to get a better sense of the school, I volunteered there for most of the first year. Not only was I please by my interactions with the teaching staff, but I am very impressed by the current Principal, Kelly Paradis. She and her other leadership staff are very friendly while maintaining the highest level of professionalism. I had a concern about a learning difference in my youngest child and approached the school about it. They were on it immediately. Not only have they been open minded, but they are also very supportive. That said, I do think the NECAP requirements have held back the individual creativity of the teachers and decreased the intensity of homework requirments for higher achieving kids. But this is something I hear across the board from parents with children in other public and private schools. To that end, I think a lot of what kids learn is up to the parents. Even so, I do think this school provides the best of what's available in NH these days.
I had two children at Main Dunstable this year. One a typical learning child and one with special needs. Main Dunstable has been wonderful in meeting both of their needs. The special ed teachers are top notch and I wouldn't change one thing about my kids' time at MDES. My oldest child graduated fifth grade this year and I am sad to see him go. He has been there since kindergarten. I'm just glad my younger child is still there so I can return to visit. I encourage anyone to attend this school, you will be very pleased.
My daughter attends this school and the staff is amazing! She will finish kindergarten soon and her amazing teacher and helper deserve a big pat on the back. She has learned so much in such a short tim, the teachers are great and you can talk to any staff member and they will help in any way possible. The principal has also been very helpful and is caring to all the children. Main Dunstable is all about family involvement. Im greatful that my daughter can attend Main Dunstable and I couldn't see her at any other elementary. Thank you to all the dedication and hardwork the staff puts in everyday!
We have a child with special needs who attended MD for first and second grade. It was an absolute disaster.... they are woefully inept at dealing with anything outside their preconceived norm. When living there we met with Dr. Ross Greene at Harvard after the school effectively expelled our daughter for conditions (Sensory integration Dysfunction, Asperger's, etc) beyond her control. Dr Greene urged us to move out of the district to a more progressive school district. Our daughter is now in 8th grade and thriving academically, socially and emotionally. She is also in therapy to recover from the treatment she received while at Main Dunstable - from one teacher in particular... I welcome any responses as I would love to help other families from having to endure the same experience.
When our family was trying to decide about living in NH or MA we were considering Westford, MA and Nashua, NH. It was a really hard decision because we were told that the Westford public school system was better than the Nashua public school system. After considering the pros and cons and our family situation we decided to live in Nashua, NH. We have been here for two years now and both our children have been going to this school. My son is in 4th grade and my daughter is in 3rd grade. Although we thought like we were settling at that time, I think we actually made the best decision for our children. The teachers are easy to approach and communicate with. The children are challenged well and both my children actually enjoy going to school. Parents are wonderful too!
I love the school environment, and staff. I think that what you give in to your child's education, you will get back. If your child has special needs, its not going to be easy anywhere at anytime, there will always be bumps. I also have a child with special needs, and I have had a wonderful experience. Every teacher my child has had, has been quite understanding and responsive to our needs.
I also agree if you are a parent with a special needs child, there are other schools that can meet your needs. I am one of those parents looking elsewhere. I also strongly agree that the children who do have an attention issue never get used to the open concept. It is difficult on a daily basis for my child. I do look forward to middle school next year since I've heard so many positive comments on the help in the special needs department. Plus they have doors!!
I agree with many of the reviews where special needs/special considerations are concerned. If you're a parent of a child with special needs, look elsewhere, because there are better schools to meet your needs.Also, I find that parental involvement is heavily controlled and inflexible. The open plan is an issue, particularly for students who are easily distracted. We've experienced one wonderful teacher and one disastrous teacher, so I think there are good and not so good teachers. In general, the principal and the teachers are very difficult to contact for feedback.
Some teachers are very good. Others not so good. Many teachers need professional development in behavior management, especially the old school teachers. If the only standard of success is accademic ability, then those kids not yet accademic stars will fall from the sky. However, if teachers highlight each child's wonderful qualities, then all children will shine and are more inclined to accademic success. Mr. Gosselin is a great guy, but avoids conflict. Any principal has a difficult job mediating between the different interests. Mr. Gosselin should consider finding mentors who do it well. He'll be a wonderful principal when he chooses conflict solutions that best help the children, as opposed to ones that ruffle the least amount of feathers.