I have the opportunity to witness first hand what is important to school environments that are successful. I am blessed to have found Alston Ridge Elementary. The administration is the most caring to teachers and students. Even with the number of students we have, the administration knows most the students by name. Students' achievements are announced and celebrations are held quite often to involve parents. Expectations for Teachers are high, but that is what any employer should expect if they want a well run, successful business. Schools' business is educating children for the future. This dedicated staff works hard to make our children enjoy learning. High expectations is what is needed to be a success and I am proud to be an ARES Gator and part of this family.
The school is pretty engaged. Reports of bullying(if any) are promptly taken care of. Parents are given good feedback on progress. In general, the students who attend this school are from a higher caliber. There is however some pressure from all the Asian kids for academics. Seems like almost everyone does go out and do external coaching like Kumon etc. So they come back more advanced and you are pressured into getting your kids into one of those places so they dont fall behind.
Although this school is dealing with overcrowding, it is evident that everyone from the administration on down care deeply about the students. The support staff have gone out of their way to help my kids with whatever issues come up and the their teachers are just fantastic! My only complaint is with the county in allow the schools to get so full and not expand it to additional tracks. Over all my kids have had a great experience at ARE.
I was a teacher previously- so this is from my teaching experience. I was expecting fantastic things as we held our child back (who had a late birthday) so he could start kindergarten when we moved here. Immediately the classes were overfull- we started with a temporary teacher and it took them a good while to hire another k-teacher. The communication from the school is very poor. They never send notes home about events, snow days, change of snow days, etc. The school does not offer opportunities for parents to come in and participate. They are not allowed to celebrate any holiday or seasonal activities at all- which I think is sad considering all of the diversity in this area. (And even more sad since they are kindergarteners). My child NEVER comes home with colored work, activities where they cut and glue, etc. Very little work materials sent home that show work completed and where the teacher reviewed it. Poor control of student behavior in the classroom. The cafeteria is extremely loud. Very poor management of the students who are sliding their lunch boxes on the floor, yelling, throwing spoons, etc.
i as a parent can tell, if you see pattern: after bad review, school quickly posts good review.I personally have dealth with this school. Definately arrogant staff. Spoke with front desk to request appointment with VP/Principal to discuss issues at class, she was extremely rude. It is NOT her job to give parenting advise telling me " It is NOT my right to even ask for change of teacher, infact It is my responsibility to teach my child to cope with issues at school". Well, let me remind her It is HER job to help a parent seeking help and just open her mouth on as much needed. I understand school has policy to speak with teacher and then to VP/Principal, then she should just close her mouth over there. I am having hard time in this school, dealing with this and current teacher. This school needs a better leadership that teaches staff to be polite + respectful and remind them parents are the one from whose tax money, they are getting paid. Very few teachers are good. Lucky if you get good teacher!. I am looking forward for transfer for next school year. Didn't work for us. That is my last resort!.
I agree that this is a great school. I think there was definitely a learning curve with it being new, but now its a well established school with amazing teachers. There have been several occasions when they have really showed how much they care about the children.
I just read the reviews about lack of communication and response. Our experience has been the exact opposite. We have had the opportunity to work with the guidance counselor, testing coordinator, speech therapists, and of course the teachers this year. All have been extremely responsive, caring, and open minded. We were even asked if we wanted our child to see the GC when we noted there was some trouble on the playground, unlick our last school in Morrisville where we had to beg to see one of the GCs since they were so swamped with problems. The principal runs a tight ship which seems like a good thing from what I can see so far.
I withdrew my child from this school. I was told in Nov that he was struggling even though report cards said he was "at or above average". I couldn't speak to any admin EVER. My child started exhibiting signs of anxiety and behavioral problems. He was labeled as ADHD. Only when I withdrew him did I speak to the VP because he physically stopped fuss from retrieving his things from the classroom even though we had arranged to do this with the teacher.. There was NO communication . We were told by the teacher that he had requested a speech therapist see our child. I called the school twice to be told by the receptionist (because I couldn't talk to anyone else) that he would be evaluated as soon as possible. After 9 months he still hadn't been seen. I was informed that this was my fault. Within days of withdrawing him he started acting like the child we once knew. I did have him professionally evaluated after he left this school and settled down. I am happy to report he is NOT ADHD and is performing at the top of his class in his new school. FYI they put phones on answer during carpool. If your child isn't in the bus you can't contact the school to find out where they are.
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