In every year my child has spent at Dondero, the teachers have promoted kindness, tolerance and understanding. I am always blown away by how the kids treat each other and the strong relationships they have with the teachers. Everyone is so supportive from the faculty to the students.
My child has been at Dondero for four years. I have had great communication with faculty. The teachers have been loving and supportive. The kids are kind, encouraging and celebrate each other's differences. I appreciate the diversity at Dondero and am proud my child has received reinforcement of the values we teach at home.
All three of my children have attended Dondero since moving to Portsmouth in 2011. First off, the location is fantastic, located in a secluded and quiet neighborhood, and the school has a ton of fun activities for kids and families in the area. However, the experience as a parent is a less than impressive, and from a students point of view can be just as difficult. I always felt like there was a wall between myself and the faculty, where communication is very difficult and theres almost no accountability, especially if you have a child or children who are being picked on regularly. It has become very clear that unless you volunteer your time regularly at the school you will not be paid any attention, even when a parent is begging them to help their child get out of a difficult situation. Two of my children have been bullied constantly and whenever I have reported the incidents and brought the issue to light it has been ignored, and in some cases my concerns were not even conveyed to the other childrens parents (who in most cases work at the school). My children were not given the help they needed when they needed it most and I have since moved out of the city of Portmouth in order to get away from that mess. There are some great faculty members at the school, including the guidance counselors who did the best they could to help them, but unfortunately the lack of accountability and fear of negative feedback from bullying reports they deserve every ounce of criticism. Do everything you can to put your children in Little Harbor or New Franklin elementary in Portsmouth instead!
Dondero has been a great school for my son who has attended kindergarten and first grade there. The teachers challenge the students but also allow them to have fun while learning. My son's teachers have always returned any emails I have sent promptly. I am so glad I bought a house in this district.
This School is awsome for my child because lots of fun activities and good play ground and really good principal and teachers. Math and reading is not good at this school because of few newly joined teachers.
I'm not sure how you can make a judgement about a principle who's been in her job for one year. Particularly when you're using standardized test scores to do it. I think test scores have suffered here for a number of reasons Two of the biggest reasons are demographics: Dondero enrolls far more transient students than the other two elementary schools. The second reason is that I notice a parental affectation with things fun and frivolous which were indulged by the last principle. I think the new principle has taken steps to refocus Dondero on academics and when you tie that to the wonderful things like neighborhood, facility, community, class size, parent volunteers, etc ..you end up with a very fine elementary school. When NCLB came floating out of Washington, we all knew that some schools would suffer based solely on socio-economics and the fact that rightly or wrongly, some parents just don't have the time and the resources (and yes, sometimes even the motivation) to back the schools up every night and Summer at home. Dondero shoulders that burden very well in my opinion. We are all in this together and I can tell you that what I've seen is a whole lot of hard work at Dondero.
I think the last reviewer had a personal issue with the principal, because this school is Fantastic. The principal is great, being young has nothing to do with competence- I have seen more seasoned principals do far less for their students. I interviewed the principals from all 3 elementary schools before we decided on which we would send our kids to- test scores alone definitely do not paint the whole picture. This school has great teachers, great facility/location, and is not overcrowded- which means each student gets the attention they need. You get the whole package at Dondero.
This school is in a nice, quiet location, and has a large field and a nice outdoor play area for the kids. Physically, it's great and about as all-American as you get. However, the staff are incompetent and the test scores highlight this incompetence. We moved into this district thinking it was a great school. What we've witnessed is a school run by a young and clueless principal, and teachers that are equally incompetent. We can't wait to move our child out of this school for next year.
i love all the staff here and jill is awesome, you all went out of your way to help my learning disabled daughters in every way possible and i even got home phone numbers incase i needed any questions answered at nite my girls love our new home but miss you all and wish they could have took you all with us,thanks for all you've done for my girls and miss your open arms and educated teachers,and your staff right down to the janitors are all excellent..