The new principal hired in July 2012 has changed the atmosphere tremendously! She has changed the morale for both teachers and parents. She continues to make students her first priority and encourages family involvement inside the school. Polo Ridge is an excellent public school. Do not let the size of the school scare you....teachers and staff do a great job..It does not feel like a large school. Now, the only complaint...every school has one or two teachers that do not "cut it"...Polo Ridge has a couple and they need to be replaced.
We are grateful for the new leadership and teachers at polo ridge. The school is doing what is best for the child, promoting learning, and meeting the needs of each student. Families and volunteers are welcome and encouraged on campus. Test scores say they are learning, but smiles on the kids faces say they like the way they are learning. Thanks to the Principal and Teachers, and staff. keep it up!
WE MOVED TO CHARLOTTE FROM EUROPE THIS PAST YEAR. BOTH OUR CHILDREN ARE IN POLO RIDGE. WE HAVE BEEN SO HAPPY WITH THE SCHOOL SO FAR THIS YEAR AND THE NEW PRINCIPLE HAS REALLY MET ALL THE IDEAS AND NEEDS OF THE PARENTS AND CHILDREN. THE SCHOOL SEEMS SO FRIENDLY AND FOCUSED ON EDUCATION MY 10 YR OLD IS THRIVING AND MY 7 YEAR OLD WANTS MORE MATHS TO CHALLENGE HIM!! SUCH AND IMPROVEMENT ON THE EUROPEAN SYSTEM. THANK YOU POLO RIDGE
Had to spend a year in Charlotte, and I sent my child to kindergarten at this school. Trouble started from day one, they assigned each class a different first day of school for some reason, and told us the wrong day. When I called to complain the office hung up on me. Then the teacher would constantly send notes home complaining about our child, and ignore my attempts at communication. It was quite an ordeal, and it was amazing when we went back to Florida we got a wonderful experience at our local school. My advice find a different school if at all possible if you are in the ballantyne area.
Well it seems like Ms Riska has left the building, which is a great relief. I hope now that the teachers and parents will breath a little better now that she is on "assignment". Having two children attending this school has been one big dissappointment since the school opened. I can only hope the playing field is now on a more equal playing field and these kids have a chance to be kids. Moreover, I hope the teachers continue their great work by focusing on the kids rather than ponying up to an administrater who is so absorbed in her own agenda. I would like to know what really was behind her dismissal 5-6 weeks before the glorified EOG's!!
This school would be much better off with a new administration, beginning with the Principal. Anyone who has come in contact with her, would understand! CMS and the Southwest Zone really need to open their eyes and make changes.
I have seen many poor decisions made by Polo Ridge administrators (remember last years fiasco to combine 50 first graders into one class!), but the real proof was a recent meeting we had with several teachers at the school about our child's struggles with a particular subject. After trying to work with our childs teacher over the course of the year, investment in tutoring and private sessions with her teacher, we finally demanded a meeting with the school. What shocked us was how ill prepared and confused all 5 of the teachers and administrators seemed to be. There was little to no planning on their behalf to address the problems and worse yet, they sounded utterly confused and lost on how to address and work through the problem. We are now working to remove our child from this school, as we have lost all confidence they know how to educate any student beyond the ones that could learn just as much on their own. A school that lacks leadership will never recruit quality teachers (Riska can now only hire teachers with 2 years experience on average)
This is the BEST SCHOOL any parent can ask for.Entire staff is so talented and caring.Principal has great leadership qualities.Safety of kids is always the top priority. Kids grows not just academically and get be to part of lot of clubs to help them personally.Teachers put their heart and soul to teach kids and always available for the parents to answer their concerns.Hope every school follow this school's model.
I am a teacher and have my own kids at Polo Ridge. i'm blown away by some of the mean-spirited whining and complaining by some of the commenters. Militaristic....dictatorial........please! I've taught at many schools throughout CMS and in other states, and this is hands down the best school I've ever taught at. Is it perfect.......no. No place is. But some of the complainers eyes would be opened if they went to some of the other schools which aren't in the Ballantyne area. You should be so grateful for the amazing staff, and the education your kids are getting at our school. And as for our principal, she's pretty easy to deal with when people approach her with respect and requests and not demands. If you want to be part of the solution don't be a trouble-maker, be a problem solver.
This is one of the most talented groups of educators any of my children have had. I have been at Polo Ridge since the beginning and have nothing but positive things to say about all my interactions within the school. Many other parents do not agree with the placement of Talent Development students. However, I have a children in both settings. Each teacher at this school pushes the students to the their maximum academic potential and encourages them to strive for excellence. Teachers have high expectations for all students. I feel so fortunate to be a part of such an incredible school.
This school is fantastic!!! The staff is engaging, well-mannered, respectful, and extremely hard-working. The administration has very high expectations for the school. This can come off as harsh at first, but they have the student's best interest at heart in the long run. They are raising money for SMARTboards because of the importance of technology in the classroom. It is much harder to get grants for technology when you are in a school with such a fantastic PTA and a higher economic status that some schools in CMS. Your children will succeed at this school and will be pushed to become responsible, interactive learners to prepare them for the real world!
Comments about an uncaring office staff and bullying principle are all very true..a mix of good and bad teachers but that happens everywhere. Communcation is not very good unless it is about donations. And, you do need to stay on top of your kids as they move along very quickly with lessons to get everything covered for the year end test. Endless begging for smart boards money. I'd rather have the money spent on teacher and staff training. It would be nice to have a parent friendly, user friendly neighborhood school, less divisiveness. It often feels like, just give us your money, and do not come in the building and why are you asking questions?!
If it wasn't for the teachers, I would rate this school as low as possible. My child has been at the school since the beginning and what started out as a lively, inspired group of teachers I now see as an overburdened, unsupported group of burn outs. It is sad. The teachers are great but they have to put up with so much junk from the administration, and from what I heard just plain awful management, that it would seem it's only a matter of time before we see a mass exodus of qualified, professional and much needed educators from Polo Ridge. These kids do great every year and it's because of the teachers, so maybe a bit more emphasis from the administration on a healthy work environment and less on comparing our EOG scores with Providence Springs will help all of us give these kids the support they need to succeed.
I have two children at Polo Ridge. Both are doing well academically and love to go to school everyday. There are a lot of rules, but my kids need those boundaries. Their prior school was more lax, and disruptive kids often brought down everyone's learning experience. The curriculum is also more advanced than their prior school. The teachers and administrators have been great. If you want your child to be well prepared for the competitive world in which we live, this school will give them a great start.
This school was so bad I had to take my child out before completing the first year here. Nothing needs to be added to the negative reviews concerning the prinicipaI. What a BULLY! There needs to be a change, good teachers have been dismissed or quit. Its my neighborhood school and I must drive by it everyday to take my child to private school. What a waste of my taxes!!
The office staff is rude and the principle has no leadership qualities whatsoever-only creates a stressful environment for teachers, parents and kids. The teachers are mostly young, happy to have a job types who are putting up with abuse and should flourish once this principle is replaced. EOG prep starts day one--some teachers can teach without mentioning EOGs daily and get their job done, others stress out their young pupils -warning of impending EOG and that they cannot fail. The "ribbon ceremony" is hard to listen to-especially inappropriate comments from principal... Donations are waning as are volunteers. This place needs a change soon!
On the surface this looks like a great school and I admit my daughter is doing very well here but she is a "high flier" as the principle likes to label those children who are not part of the gifted program but are still very smart kids. And that's part of the problem. If your child is academically gifted this is a great school. If not, he or she will be left behind. Unlike other elementary schools in the area, the principal separates the gifted children from the rest of the student population and labels the children by academic ability. She is also not welcoming, condescending to parents and runs the school like a military academy. These are kids not West Point cadets. There is too much of a focus on EOG's with pep rallies before the tests and teachers scaring students about failing. I have very mixed feelings about this school. I don't think it deserves a 10 rating because of the leadership issues. On the other hand it does have a challenging academic program, great parent involvement, good teachers and a great group of kids. Just be cautious if your child has challenges academically.
Polo Ridge is like two different elementary schools - one for the gifted students and one for the rest of the kids. Be aware that Polo Ridge is one of the few elementary schools that separates the gifted students from the general population from 3rd grade on up - based on a test given in 2nd grade. My gifted child had a great teacher and an amazing year at Polo Ridge. My above-average-but-not-gifted child had a 1st year teacher for 2nd grade, then a horrible teacher (disorganized, bad communicator, low standards, etc.) for 3rd grade, and now has a good teacher for 4th grade. So it's basically hit or miss for the non-gifted kids. The principal wants no input from parents, and runs the school like a dictator. She is a poor communicator, and shares as little information as possible with parents.
This school is obsessed with EOG's & just ranked #4 in Charlotte so I'm guessing everyone is patting this principal on the back saying she is doing great. But let me tell you who is working their butts off to get these great scores - our kids who are doing 2-3 hours of homework a night & the parents who spend their evenings & weekends overseeing this. The teachers are mostly good but I'm seeing the really caring ones get discouraged by the bullying of the principal. She runs the school like a prison - no parents are "allowed" to be in the halls, don't try to contact her because she will NOT return your call. Heaven forbid your kid gets sick at school - they won't even call you to come & get them. The principal & office staff are the most uncaring group of women I have ever met!
Polo Ridge has been an interesting experience.The teachers have all been great! The principle however is TERRIBLE! She is completely militaristic in the way she runs the school. She is very hard to actually get a hold of. She seems very cold and almost combative when dealing with the parents. Even the office staff is rude and not parent friendly. Thank goodness for the teachers! My fear is that with such a rigid and legalistic environment, the good teachers will leave. The school could be great without this principle.
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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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