I drop my child every morning and have been to her class a couple times and I have never seen the principal. Also a good sign of a school that takes education seriously is the quality and frequency of homework which I do not see. Expectations of our children should definitely be raised. The lunch situation is definitely an issue for me for security reasons. They need to get that under control. The school is beautiful but this is not a great school, the principal does not have a strong presence and quality of the education to me is mediocre.
When we first moved to Baldwin we were told that Steele was one of the better schools in the area. This was very far from the truth. I cannot speak for all of the grades, but I can say that my child was in one of the second grade classes and the teacher was very unorganized. Ms. Presti, who is the principal of the school, is by far the most unprofessional administrator that I have ever met. On at least one occasion she has used profane language at a parent. I would not advise any parent to send their child to this school. Very childish and unprofessional staff. The poor leadership at this school is clearly reflected in much of the staff.
My daughter's first year of public school was an amazing one. She had a wonderful year of kindergarten who encouraged her every step of the way. She reads really well and loved waking up each day to go to school. Her teacher put on several classroom plays that brought in a standing room only crowd and to top it off, when she moved up from kindergarten each child in the class received a personalized year book.
I am new to Steele school, so am a bit naive about how things work there. As I am a working mother my contact with the staff is limited. At the beginning of the school year, a note came home with an enrollment form stating that my child had 'behavioral issues' (new school, new people, new environment perhaps?) and it was suggested that I enroll her in a special class run by the social worker. I wish I would've received more feedback from the school social worker as to how my daughter progressed in her class. It should be required that written correspondence about this class be included when the report cards are sent home. I do not have a clue as to what went on in this class and my child did not discuss it too much with me. I just hope she benefited by being part of this class!
I have one child in his 5th yearand one in kindergarten. To date my experience with Steele School has been positive. The feeling of the school is one of community. The principal knows the name of every student. The teachers are caring. The music program is superior to anything I've seen or heard about in other districts. I do wish there was more in the way of extra curriculars and extra help. However, I don't think we're alone. Budgets are tight in these times.