Great school and great teachers. The school has a nice playground too and my 6 yr old loves it there. But there is one problem, which has nothing to do with the school, but with the district. The school district is seriously in need of more after school programs. We did book our afterschool program well ahead of the school year and got into one of the 4 centers (surprising but true, only 4 centers where the school bus will drop you off). But a few months into the program, we realised that the particular afterschool center was realy really bad, and we tried changing. WE COULD NOT. I am now stuck picking up my child and dropping him off at a day car in amherst (outisde smallwood district). But there was not problem getting into after school programs in the middle of the year in EAST amherst or williamsville school districts (I checked). THe transportion dept. refuses to transport our son to any other daycare outside their regular routes (of couse which means, wee are stuck with these 4 centers). Beware of this.
As a parent of two children at Smallwood, I would say that the academics are outstanding, the teachers professional and well prepared, and the administration solid. I would say however that there could be more physical fitness for the children. The school is barely meeting state requirements if at all and recess and outside activities are cut regularly for academics. I think that my children are getting a great academic experience, but the school needs to find some balance in physical fitness and wellness of the children as a whole.
Having grown up with a negative view of public schools, having my kids attend Smallwood Drive School changed that. Smallwood is a model that all schools should follow. All the cliches about commitment to excellence, etc., aren't really cliches, because they are true. There really isn't anything bad to say about the school. The teachers are excellent, and they truly are devoted to their students.
Smallwood Drive School is the #1 rated elementary school for test scores in the Greater Buffalo area and enjoys having one of the best management teams and academic instructors and administration staff. Everything is geared toward the students learning, achieving and growing. The availability of various programs for music, art and wellness programs far exceed the other elementary schools in the area. Additionally, the school has an excellent program for students with learning and other disabilities that includes 4:1:1, 1:1 and other inclusion programs with the gradual movement to inclusion for those able to do so. The program has had great success for our son and was a Godsend ! Level of involvement by parents is great but always can be better. Many parents volunteer their time for various activities provided by the PTA and fundraisers are very limited. I would highly recommend this school to anyone who has a child of elementary age.
I have 2 children attending Smallwood and they have done exceptionally well. Both children were reading fluently by the end of Kindergarten and knew their addition and subtraction math facts. The teachers are very approachable and have the children's best interest at heart. We had a tragedy in our family and the support from the social worker and both of their teachers was fantastic. They helped both of them through a very difficult time. It really is a great school and we are very lucky our children attend.
My son initially had some difficulties behavior wise adjusting to a new school system. This school was very patient with our family and accepted our son without any discrimination. I love this school and all of their staff. I cannot thank them enough. My son is in 2nd grade, has been there for one year. Unfortunately we will be relocating to another state in another year, I hope I'm able to find a school such as this one. Thank you Smallwood.