This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted October 29, 2014
- a parent
We moved to Cornelius from overseas, both of my children settled easily here and as a family we have been made to feel very welcome at Cornelius Elementary. Even though there are over 600 children in the school the teachers know most of them and there is a real sense of community. It's a really great school!
Cornelius Elementary is a wonderful, highly academic school with exceptional teachers, strong student-centered leadership, and various extracurricular art and academic programs. We moved here from Ohio and had reservations about the quality of the public schools but find CMS and N.C. are farther ahead than most districts and states in integrating the rigor of common core standards. Cornelius students test very high on state achievement tests, comparable or higher than most of the private or charter schools, with impressive statistics that include ALL subgroups, including ESL and low SES children. Private and charter schools do not have the diversity that Cornelius offers or a talent development program (gifted service). The only negative aspect is that the school focuses too much on testing instead of differentiating assessment practices with more open-ended, creative, critical thinking tasks. If the latter were to happen, it would be even better.
I am sorry to say that my daughter is very disturbed by the bullying in the classroom. The most horrible part of it is that she is in kindergarten and the bullying is being done by the teacher. I have never seen anything like this. I have had my older children attend schools in other states and never seen anything like this anywhere else. If this teacher acted this way in any of the other states we have lived in she would no longer be allowed to work in elementary education.
I am an adolescent therapist who works with children daily and visit many schools in the CMS district. My son was placed at Cornelius Elementary due to its positive reputation. My son attended for first through third grade and I took him out and moved him to another school in the beginning of third grade. The bullying was horrendous, to the point I wouldn't consider it mere bullying. I was fearful for the safety of my child. The Principal, Mr. Garvin, and assistant Principal refused a meeting. I eventually had to call the zone intendant. I filed several complaints and never received even a call back. The way CMS handles bullying, is to punish the victim by moving their class and putting them in vulnerable situations. My son was called to a meeting with the counselor and the bully and I was not even informed. The bully went beyond teasing and made violent threats to many children at the school. The "meeting" only made my son more fearful and feel more intimidated. The saddest part is when my child came to me and said, "I did the right thing and told and no one did anything". I am thankful I was able to move my child!
We have had a very positive experience at this school. We have been very impressed with Principal Garvin and are also impressed with the school's test performance, especially given the income diversity present in the school. The diversity of the school is an added bonus in our mind, as children are present from all income levels and there are even many children from different countries around the world. We are concerned about the impact recent NC budget decisions will have on public schools in general, but the principal, teachers and staff receive 5 stars in my opinion for working so hard for our children.
This school is so overly worried about getting high academic reviews that the create a miserable environment for kids. The social, enjoyable aspect of school (that creates a positive learning environment and high test scores) is 100% forgotten and neglected. Kids are unfriendly, teachers make zero effort to integrate kids so that they enjoy themselves, find frends etc. there are no holiday parties or arts and crafts. Teachers have no clue how to explain difficult concepts and dont create interest in tacking challenging subjects-they just throw test after quiz and test to assess who will/will not meet the tests scores they need so that they wont be lumped in with all the other Charlotte schools, as far below national average. They need to take lessons from great schools in other parts of the country that do this by creating a balance of learning and achievement and positive social interaction. There is a reason why so many kids in Cornelius go to private school, the public schools are just unacceptable.
I have a grandson who attends this elementary school. My son and grandson's mother did their research and made great sacrifices to send their son to CES. The parents, staff, teachers, and programming have always been outstanding. Unfortunately, the administration's understanding of the NC Anti-bullying Law has much to be desired. For at least 4 victims, the school had become a hostile environment where the children feared not only for their lives, but for the lives of their families. Since there was no physical contact, there were no consequences for the bully. The victims were removed from classes, and when that was no longer an option, the victim had to be pulled out of the school by the parent and at their expense. Soon, my grandson will be leaving as well. Great school if you can avoid the bullying and actually get a good education. Very sad situation, not only for the victims, but for the bully who has learned that bullying has no consequences at CES.