This school seems to have very mixed reviews. We did not even make it through the front door to give it a try. We moved to the district a little over a year ago and decided to drop in for a visit at the end of the school day to check out our new neighborhood school. We received a very chilly welcome. We were asked by the person in the office if we were sure we lived in the district. When I replied yes, she wanted me to know that they had a very large special ed population. Ok... - I asked if maybe we could talk to the principal - no she is busy. It was a strange encounter to say the least. We came from a small friendly APS school, and this school seemed so big, busy, and unfriendly.
We opted not to place our child in this school, and applied for a transfer to the next closest school, which was very welcoming, but we were placed on a waiting list. After about a year of waiting for the transfer that never came through and schooling our child at home, we recently enrolled her at a private school in the area, and have been very happy with our decision.
I understand that schools are overcrowded and stressed, but I think more of an effort could be made by the front office to welcome newcomers, even if it is mid-year.
Dennis Chavez is a wonderful school. My son is a happy 4th grader. I love the community and the parents I have met. The front office staff is friendly. I have seen great changes this year with the new Principal Mrs. Kettler. She goes out of her way to create a positive work place for the staff which trickles down to the students. If I were to criticize anything it would be APS. It is far too large and imposes ridiculous rules on schools and their teachers. Dennis Chavez is, I believe, doing the best it can with the rules imposed and the small amount of money allotted to run a school. I encourage parents to get involved! It truly is the only way to know what goes on at your child's school.
My Daughter has been going to DCES for two years now and the first year her teacher was great. She went above and beyond to help the children learn more. This year it is a different story. My daughter was struggling with her math and reading. I could not understand how she was going from great to really bad in a summer. After looking at her homework and classwork, I noticed the way I was teacher her to do math was different then the teacher. She told the teacher she did not understand the way she taught it. I tried time and time again to get ahold of the teacher and she was always out that day or too busy to call me back. I am hoping for the best this coming year, but it is a wait and see.
We have been at this school for a little over a year now and my son does like it here. Yes they do only get 15 mins to eat but they can stay longer and miss out on some of their recess. My only complaint is that the teachers seem so busy and as soon as the bell rings they walk the students out and then are gone. If you want to talk with one of them you pretty much need an appointment . I realize they too have a life and family however if you have a question or comment they just seem to be rushed. Also we had curriculum night a week or so ago and in my son's classroom there was a 30min powerpoint with no time for questions or comments afterwards as the principle announced they had 5 mins to get to the office.
DCES is evolving. It is changing. Sometimes change is hard and slow, but it happens. In many ways the school is getting better. I don't think this is the forum for posting something that pertains to just you or your child unless it is widespread. If so, it is best to address your issue with the school first, and then the district. The lunch room situation is being addressed. Many of the teachers are caring and wonderful. A handful should probably be in another line of work. I would imagine this is true at all schools. I continue to believe that DCES is a fine school, and my child is entering the upper grades, where I only have great expectations for the last 2 years.
This school is amazing and always has been because of the great teachers we have. Parents who come in and want to nit pick at everything obviously has never worked in a school. Lunches are not taken away, and the kids have only 15 minutes to eat so this time needs to be used to eat and not talk. This is not HAPPY HOUR or social hour, recess can be used to socialize. The upper grades have excellent teachers who work hard to give these children and excellent education. But unfortunately with ignorant parents who don't want their children disciplined for any reason, how can a teacher get their job done with these parents always butting in!!!! I would hate to have to work at this school with parents who always complain. They fail to realize that that teaching is a hard job. Overworked and underpaid, could they do it?
Parents- beware of the ratings and look at the dates on the comments! This was a good school up until about 2 years ago, but it has seriously gone done hill since then. Children screamed at nonstop rhoughout their 15 minute lunch, classrooms punished by having part of their lunch taken aware, student teachers crying because they cannot control the class while the real teacher leaves to go pick up food and catch a smoke break (not on off period), waiting six months for testing by a diagnostician. The school is still decent in the lower grades, but is severely lacking past second grade.
Hate this school. My daughter hates this school as well. The teachers for the most part are incompetent and the principal does not seem to exist. There is no parent involvement in the school and if your child has any special needs like ADHD then don't expect any understanding from the school. Rather they expect you to put your child on drugs or else you get threatened with them being placed in special ed. Even though my daughter is extremely smart and even ahead of where her class is, because she has ADHD they pretty much demanded that I have her placed on drugs to control it or else she couldn't stay in the normal classes. I hate this school and can not wait to move out of this location. This school is far from deserving of a '10' rating!
My daughter is in 5th grade at DCES this year and has been there since Kindergarten. I have had nothing but positive experiences with the school and her teachers. As for not offering computer instruction, each classroom has computers in it and the students are provided with computer training so I don't understand that complaint. The principal is new and I don't know him well, but the previous principal was there for a very long time and helped the school one of the best, so it is understandable that Mr. Zuniga is receiving criticism for just being different. The school has always solicited and welcomed parental involvement, the school is well kept and I know my kids are safe there.