We had 3 students in this school system and though the school is making marked improvements in teaching staff, and gradual improvements in curriculumn alignment, the process has been too slow to benefit most students. Four Blocks: The elementary school utilizes 4 Blocks which largely neglected teaching of phonetics, basic grammar, syntax, and spelling. EDM:The elementary school utilizes Everyday Math which neglected to teach students regular long division (where you end up with a decimal) or handle decimals without converting them to fractions. The EDM method did not teach how to divide a smaller number by a larger one, i.e. 37 divided by 99. Most EDM methods are so non-traditional that parents need the reference manual to teach themselves how to help their student. Our students did o.k. but only because we made sure the limited class choices at the high school level were supplimented with online VHS and/or VLACS classes. Limited extra-curricular activities other than basic sports and student government. There is no active band or chorus at the middle/high level.
I currently have 2 teenagers in the Pittsfield Middle High School. Both of them enjoy school and are both honor rolls students. My oldest is also on the National Honor Society. They both are involved in sports programs and one is also enjoying drama and band. The teachers take individuals interest in both children and the principal knows all the kids personnally by name. I have been very happy with Pittsfield schools.
I have graduated one child who entered a well acclaimed 4 yr nursing school and another currently in 12th grade doing very well and will enter college in the fall. I have been actively involved in my childrens education here in Pittsfield for 13 years. For a small town of under 4000 this town, school administration and school board have done remarkably well on a very tight budget, considering a faction in the community that acts irresponsible at the school meeting by cutting the budget upwards to $150-200,000 without knowing the consequences it takes on programs. A dedicated group of teachers , administrators, and coaches do what is best and right for all students providing them with a solid foundation to continue their education and become good citizens.
I feel that the school needs alot more parent involvement. We let everyone else run our childrens education, which to some extent is fine. I don't think the principal or the school super have the best interest of the children in mind at all. I have felt we needed more of a hands on approach from the principal as well as the parents. Yes I am a tax payer and yes I attend the meetings and I also follow my childrens school progress and activities.
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