McAlpine is the BEST school I have even had my children enrolled in! The teachers are supportive, informative and fun. My Children are on fire for learning! I have one child who completed school there and is in the 8th grade, he loves going back to see his old teachers (my 4th and 2nd grade children still attend) The office staff is helpful and friendly. The environment at McAlpine is one of family and friendship. The children are happy and they thrive. This year a new Principal has come on board and I can't say I like or dislike her as I haven't gotten to know her. She has introduced herself every time she has seen me though and I find that very inviting. She also ended the AR tests (thank goodness! If you have an avid reader you will understand this) Parent involvement could be better but it is not horrible. We are moving at the end of this school year and I am sad to leave! I have recently considered homeschooling the children as we haven't found a school in the entire CMS system that has half the atmosphere. I have a step child who went to a 10 rated school in CMS and I would NEVER send my children to that "stuffy" school. McAlpine is a gem hidden away and kept secret!
McAlpine Elementary might be the best kept secret in Ballantyne, I had three children at this school. Last year was our first year and we fell in love. The level of engagement by the entire staff at this school and the caring about the children that attend has amazed us. We left an IB international school when we moved here, I was very worried about the adjustment, but it was without cause. The teachers here not only made the adjustment achievable, my oldest in 5th went from struggling student with a possible ADD diagnosis to the McAlpine Honor Roll. They had a 504 accommodation in place within 3 months to provide what he need for success. HIs confidence soared and so did his excitement about school work. This year I have a 4th and 2nd grader, and they have blossomed even more. I am continually amazed by the activities in learning that are presented and when I pick up my nine year old and he talks about all he has learned in the day I am speechless. Engaged doesn t begin to cover what is happening with these 4th graders. We have moved enough to know these numbers in the rating are just that, numbers. They do not reflect the experience your child will have. Thank You McA!
This school is fantastic and deserves a higher rating than 7 for sure! The teachers are great and the new principal has brought some wonderful new energy that will surely enable McAlpine go from Very Good to Great. Excited for the year ahead.
We enrolled our son from Dec 2012 and I must say that it is an excellent school that provides good training to students in a manner they enjoy. They have a balance of learning, field trips and fun. My son loves going to school everyday. The teachers are very dedicated and students love Mr Ashley
Two years in McAlpine so far an it's been a great experience. The teachers are dedicated and really care. Principle Saxton is a very involved, energetic leader who is able to connect with the children. Communication with parents is good and parents are greatly encouraged to get involved in a variety of ways.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: I am a grandfather of a child entering kindergarten at McAlpine. Based on a very well organized and comprehensive "Beginner's Day" presentation by teachers, staff and PTA, I am impressed and confident that the next 6 years of schooling for my granddaughter will be and enjoyable and productive experience for her. I am particularly impressed by the competency and caring of the principal, Ernest Saxton, the three kindergarten teachers who are returning this coming school-year, and the active involvement of the PTA. I'll check-in at the end of the year to give you feedback on how the kindergarten experience turned out...
Five years at McAlpine Elementary has been very good. the principal had good ideas of renovating the 1984 building, and the teacher history there is very good.. Some of Americas best teachers were there. Nice staff, and very good technology. 5 stars!
I just finished my first year as a McAlpine parent and it has been wonderful. I think sometimes the negative reviews come from a bad experience or a parent being either too demanding or taking something personally. Our child's teacher has been amazing and the leadership including Principal Saxton has been phenomenal. Interestingly, it's the parents that complain that also are least involved in the school. If you don't like something, get involved and don't hide behind online posts. This is a terrific school and a great sign that public education is alive and well.
We are thrilled with our experience at this school. A new principal two years ago brought many new ideas and a new energy to the school. While many people don't like change, the fact is that the new principal has implemented many wonderful programs: from character education to launching a first-of-its-kind Journalism Club run by students to creating a hands-on outdoor science garden. The principal gives teachers the flexibility they need to teach students any way they see fit in order to get the job done, and is focused on making sure that ALL students learn.
Every teacher that each of my children have had at McAlpine have been excellent. We love McAlpine not only for its quality education but its hometown feel.
School going downhill, good teachers leaving and a very poor principal is not a good combination. I had the exact experience as previous reviewer where I felt my child should be held back and the principal will not allow him to. Even the teachers, specialist and doctors agreed he should not advance. This principal could care less about the best interest of the students. He is disconnected and is just trying to advance his career. He doesn't even know most kids names. IMO a big phony...Pathetic!
I gave a 3 star rating for a few reasons. The school itself is nice, McAlpine really does have amazing teachers. I have only come across one teacher that was so BAD, but she has since left on her own. No one is going to love what every teacher does and that's fine. However the leadership/Principal is most times very arrogant and rude. He feels only his opinion is the correct one and puts a good front. Wait until you need to speak with him about ANY issues. You'll see true colors. I really dislike the way McAlpine has changed over the recent years...It's sad. The teachers work hard but it doesnt seem to be good enough for the principal
So angry at Principal Ernest Saxton right now. I have been a parent of 2 children to go here over the past 7 years. My daughter excelled and so we had no issues. My son has struggled for 4 years and now when we would like to hold him back, he said it wasn't up to his parents, but up to the principal and he said no. He doesn't even know who my son is!! My son is dyslexic and always the smallest kid in the class. He wouldn't even allow me a retention meeting that I requested. NOT HAPPY!!
We had ups and downs with this school. The first year we loved it with a teacher that challenged the kids and kept them ALL learning. Then we had a horrendous year with a teacher that shouldn't be teaching young kids. Then we had another wonderful year. This year they did away with the TD catalyst program and the kids aren't being challenged. I am very disappointed in that since our magnet option is Barringer. With 3 kids in this school, I am only hoping that my kids will be prepared to enter junior high. I had to homeschool a bit just to ensure that myself since they are now so negative about challenging kids and having the TD catalyst class. They are only concerned with bringing up the kids that are struggling to keep up their overall score.
This school changed principals 3 times while my children attended. Each prinipal was more apathetic and non-responsive than the last. I had chosen this school during the short time when CMS allowed school choice. I switched back to my homeschool Smithfield when my younger son was entering 3rd grade (2009-2010). What a difference! Wish I had sent them both to Smithfield from the beginning. If your child is average you will do fine at McAlpine. If they are more advanced and need to be challenged, forget McAlpine. Also, leadership is unresponsive, uncaring and often rude. Hopefully things have changed in the last year but I can tell you that from K-2, my son was absolutely NOT challenged.
McAlpine is a great school. This is my first year there as a parent and I can't say enough positive things about the school. My child loves school and it makes me happy knowing that she jumps out of bed every day and can't wait to get to class to see her friends and her teacher. The school is made for kids. I love it.
I thought McAlpine's curriculum night was very informative. It was different than in the pass and I think the teachers were well prepared. The teachers really care about the students.
This school is the kind you want your elementary child to walk into every day !! The leadership is strong, the Principal is organized, open, friendly and listens and most of all puts the children's needs first. The atmosphere is warm and friendly like a little family, and the teacher's are excellent, many are board certified or working toward it. The teacher's really get to know the child as a whole and help with indiviudal personal success. Very strong parental involvement and PTA. Teacher's had a comprehensive and enriching CE course teaching them how to challenge the students by thinking critically, giving them more skills & tools. Academically challanging, celebrates personal and school successes when one achieves we all achieve ! I know my children are at the right school and wholeheartedly agree with the previous review. McAlpine is special and your child will be nurtured, challanged, prepared and motivated !!
I cannot sing the praises of this school loudly enough! the teachers and administrators genuinely care about all children here. As a former elementary school teacher, I have to admit that I was looking for something...Anything to be amiss. Would my child be challenged? Would his intellect and creativity be fostered? Yes! I am beyond impressed at every turn. Mcalpine is a special place where your child will be nurtured, challenged, prepared, and motivated.
McAlpine is a wonderful school. The new staff has brought great things to the school and it is stronger than it has ever been. We love it here.
Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.
The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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