I have had two children go through Orenda. The new principal is fantastic, and the teachers have been wonderful. They are quick to get through issues and have been great with communication. I hope that the rest of our school experiences will be as great as they have been with Orenda.
I'm very happy with the teachers' and principal's commitment to helping our children at every level. I've also found the PTA to be probably one of the most committed group of parents I've ever encountered and the proof is in the programs they sponsor and support.
The school has a strong community support system with a great staff!
If you child is lucky enough to get a great teacher, you will have an awesome experience here. My second grader did so well; I can honestly say the teacher (who was voted teacher of the year, by the way) changed my child's life and perception of school. It is true that some of the teachers are young and very inexperienced. They would benefit from a pep talk and additional training. Oh, and if your child has any special needs, be prepared to fight fight fight as their advocate. The administration really needs to work on how the psychologists and teachers handle special needs kids. Other than that, the school is the greatest ever!!!! It's really like a family here!
The older teachers are now retiring and the newer teachers are creative, warm, and actually care about teaching the students. The principal has created a warm and caring atmosphere. We were recently redistricted to a new school in the district and MANY parents and students miss Orenda deeply!
Many experienced teachers have left recently, with new inexperienced ones taking their place. Large differences in educational quality between grade levels and classes within a grade.
The academic standards are very good, but there is little flexibility for children who need extra help. I have noticed a greater interest in standardized tests scores than in the individual child's learning.
I think the positive atomosphere and nurturing staff of this school add to the overall education my child receives here. It is a great start for her academic success, as well as a springboard for her self esteem.
For the most part the teachers are great with the kids. However, there are a few that should retire due to their inability to TEACH and tolerate kids! Most classes are overcrowded and getting help means labeling and that takes nearly 1 year. The building is stuffed beyond capacity and you'll find music lessons on the stage behind a curtain while the kids eat and carry on in the cafetorium...all in the same place. The principal is in no way 'hands on' or accessable to the students or parents. State Rules at this school differ from those of the other elementary schools on the campus and parental involvement in your child's class are now discouraged.
Orenda is a wonderful school. While it is not a small school (over 500 students) it has a small school atmosphere. The principal and teachers seem to know the kids by name. The atmosphere is very caring and nurturing, and the teachers are all good. Many of them are exellent! The PTA is active and provides a lot of 'extras' for the kids from field trips to evening activities. There are 'pull out' programs for kids who need a little more challenge, and lots of aids who work with kids who need a little more help. The staff (office, aids, teachers, cafeteria, custodial) are outstanding. They really care about the kids and it's very evident.
School is much too large. There is no help for children who need a smaller class setting without labeling them as 'special' or having them enrolled in special education since the school cannot help the kids without state aid and this is the only way they can do that. Horrible for the poor kids that must go through the embarrasment of this labeling process just to get the help they need and all because of the school being so large. Yet, they continue to make the school larger!
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