Students enrolled 1039
School leader Ms Denise Benson Byrd

Resources:The North Carolina education landscape explained. Learn More »


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Josephine Road
Garner, NC 27529

School website
(919) 989-6039
(919) 989-6272
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Map of Polenta Elementary address.

3 stars
Based on 26 ratings

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think about this school

September 25, 2014
We let my son's teacher know early on that we are going through a separation that is affecting my son's behavior. He has had a few incidents where he has put his hands on other kids, but nothing serious. However, the assistant principal called yesterday and told my wife that if he has one more incident, they're just going to kick him out for the entire year. This seems to be an incredibly extreme reaction to his behavior. He loves school, and they don't seem to care at all about what's going on with him. In fact, when my wife spoke to the assistant principal and tried to explain why he may be acting out, she told her that it was not the school's problem that we were going through a divorce and that would have no effect on the way they treated this situation. How uncompassionate can you be? And these are the people who we are leaving our children with everyday?

- submitted by a parent
September 02, 2014
It is VERY unacceptable that our kids were at school today with no A/C with a heat index of over 100. Several kids were throwing up. I witnessed this myself. When I walked in to get my son early dismissal once I found out (from another parent), it was VERY hot inside the school. My son and neice came to the office soaking wet and their cheeks were red as apples. A message this evening AFTER the fact seems ridiculous. I would hope all parents will address this issue with Johnston County Schools. The kids did not learn today as the teachers could not teach in these conditions, why not send them home? * Note: It is now 8:45pm and I have not received a call from the school to explain. (The admin on Facebook said we would receive a call this evening to explain)

- submitted by a parent
August 22, 2014
We are having our first experience with the school as our daughter will attend this year. I will come back and post as needed to give my updated feedback. I hope to see other parents post this year.

- submitted by a parent
August 21, 2014
This school has not provided their students with competent teachers. My children will only receive adequate education when they move on to Cleveland Middle School. As a parent, I have tried to communicate with both the teacher and Principal on being dissatisfied with the teachers enthusiasm towards the students or the lack thereof...This school has a new Principal however, she appears to be just like the previous one, she will not hold her staff accountable for basically not caring if the children succeed. One of the reasons we chose this area was for the school district. However, the only school that contentiously remains prosperous is Cleveland Middle. Johnston county school district as a whole, needs a complete transformation to become as exceptional.

- submitted by a parent
May 20, 2014
I love Polenta. My oldest child is in her second year here. I have not had any issues with communication between myself and my daughter's teacher, she always answers any questions or concerns I have. I am pretty happy my youngest will be attending in August and couldn't image them going elsewhere.

- submitted by a parent
February 08, 2014
This is my daughters third year at Polenta. The first year she was there we couldn't have been happier. Last year we started to notice a difference in communication to parents, and now this year communication is very minimum. My daughter has been struggling since the beginning of the year, and as much as I have called and emailed trying to get her help, it was not until I threatened to call the school board that I was able to get a conference. I was promised certain forms of help, only to have that not fulfilled at all. I have requested that the processes be done to get her into an IEP program, only to be given excuses of why she doesn't qualify even though we were receiving warning letters that our daughter may be retained in the same grade next year. It was not until we hired a tutor that is a teacher at another school, that could press the issues better than we could, to get the help we needed. She even let us know that we should not have been given the run around that we were given. I have saved every email so as to document as much conversations as possible. When you try to get help for your child the school goes into defense mode instead of help mode.

- submitted by a parent
February 27, 2013
Polenta is sub par school at best. The principal is very unreasonable and insensible and will always choose the side of the teacher even when the teacher is in the wrong. This is not leadership; a principal should always be impartial not biased. One of the teachers that my child had at Polenta was very uncaring and not the least bit nurturing. This school can afford fancy apparatuses however cannot afford a crossing guard to direct the unbearable traffic. The school helpers in the morning/afternoon who open up the car doors will avoid you if you re not white. Plenty of times my car has been bypassed and they opened the door for mainly the white children. This is definitely not a school for minorities. Being a parent you will not find out that your child is not performing at his/her best unless you see the progress report. I am truly dissatisfied with the principal and her always calling for money for the school but can t even listen to a parent in distress over their child unfair treatment and will disregard your feelings but is always willing to take your money for the good of the school.

- submitted by a parent
November 04, 2012
Most of the staff and teachers are very nice. Unfortunately, my sons have not gotten nice teachers to teach them throughout their time at Polenta. When teachers are rude to me about my son, the principal tells me that I probably overreacted and took it the wrong way. My youngest son is in 5th grade and at the parent teacher conference, I was told by the teacher in front of my child that it'd be a miracle if he made it to highschool. I explained we're having him tested for a possible learning disability, she replied with, "No, he's fine. He's just lazy!" Everyone at this school loves my son, and talks him up whenever we see them in Wal-Mart. Except his current teacher and the principal, Ms. Johnson. And here I thought the previous principal, Mrs. Nettles, was bad. There is no comparison!

- submitted by a parent
August 27, 2012
I was uneasy about my son attending school being that he has special needs. When the teachers and staff saw how nervous I was. They were very helpful with calming me down and assuring me that my son was fine. I love the school, the teachers and the staff. I give Polenta Elelementary 5 stars becaue of my son. He runs to the bus (no problem here), He loves his classroom (improves through the year) and he comes home smiling!! When he is sad or not himself, we all work as a team to get him back on track. I love that students and staff are aware of my sons special needs and I did not notice this at school, I noticed it at the local Wal-Mart when he is greeted by staff (janitors and lunchroon personel) and students from other classes. They speak and htey know his name. I could imagine him being anywhere else except Polenta Elementary!!

- submitted by a parent
February 09, 2012
After my son has been here for 6 years including kindergarten, we are finally having true colors come from this school. The lack of communication from teachers, the vague expectations of the teachers and the lack of resources for children to learn are unheard of. I have been trying to have a teacher conference with my son's teacher and it seems like the hours are on their terms and there is no exceptions for people like myself that work night shift. A problem with a child seems to be brought to the parent's attention too late when they have dropped a grade or end of marking period before trying to figure out the problem. The principal seems to be more concerned with her EOG scores instead of fixing why the EOG scores are low. When approaching the principal she has no regard to parent concern. I am currently trying to sell my house to get out of this school district!

- submitted by a parent
May 25, 2011
I was new to the area this year PLUS my oldest was going to to Kindergarden and her teacher as made the whole experience wonderful. She is there anytime i need her evne if the questions are very silly. She answers her email within 12 hour. I LOVE THIS SCHOOL

- submitted by a parent
April 05, 2010
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
no rating April 09, 2009
Disrespectful administration. Inappropriate bus environment. Unchallenging curriculum.

- submitted by a parent
February 14, 2009
i love this school they are super nice and helpful

- submitted by a student
December 17, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
September 25, 2008
I love this school because this is the first year they been there and i love the classes they been taken.

- submitted by a parent
September 15, 2008
I am new to this school district. I have two sons who are in theri fourth week of school at polenta. I am enjoying the teachers, and my children seem to really enjoy their classroom time. However they are also in the after school program at the school, and I see it as lacking enthusiasm from the supervising teachers. They would rather sit together and socialize and not have to deal with the kids unless one comes to complain. I called the Vice Principle, Mrs. Hanahue and received a very defensive and argumentatvie reaction from her, when it was completely uncalled for. She was threatening to me, hostile towards me, and I worry how she deals with the children when she has to speak with them if she is so disrespectiful to a parent.

- submitted by a parent
July 15, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
no rating June 06, 2008
I love polenta school. I moved from PA and my kids have loved this school. The teachers and principal are great. I Volunteer there and I feel so welcomed. Cant find a better school around

- submitted by a parent
November 01, 2007
I really like Polenta Elementary..The teachers are nice and they are always there to help..They do the best they can to get any extra help that the students may need,. even if it means going the extra mile..The principal is very nice and is always at the doors in the morning time to greet you..This is a wonderful school

- submitted by a parent
June 15, 2007
My children and I absolutely love Polenta. The teachers and staff are great motivators! They have great programs that keep the kids wanting to learn. We have had nothing but positive experiences with Polenta!

- submitted by a parent
May 30, 2007
Polenta is an excellent school. The teachers are very helpful. Everyone is very respectful. They have excellent clubs and activities for the children. Parents are always welcomed. My children have loved it!

- submitted by a parent
April 16, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
March 28, 2006
Polenta has been an amazing place for my 4 children to learn and grow. The administrative staff is warm and welcoming and the PTA is absolutley amazing. Thank you Polenta!

- submitted by a parent
November 15, 2005
Very unhappy with Polenta, unable to speak with principal on the phone.

- submitted by a parent
November 29, 2004
I think Polenta is a great school. The principal and assistant principal clearly have high expectations of the children, but I think it's great compared to how children act today. The administration is very capable of handling many diverse situations. I have had nothing but pleasant ,helpful, meaningful conversations with all of them. A highly recommended school!!!!

- submitted by a parent
November 10, 2004
The rules are too strict for elementary children... The administrative staff are always indignant & unhelpful. The teachers that I have met are always stressed and overworked. The principal is rude and unresponsive.

- submitted by a parent
October 14, 2004
The rules at Polenta are very inconsistent. They have a very rude and unpleasant Assistant principal. The children are not allowed to talk durning their lunch break.

- submitted by a parent
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Polenta Elementary
Josephine Road, Garner, NC  27529
(919) 989-6039
Last modified Polenta Elementary is a Public school that serves grades PK-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 5 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Polenta Elementary Rating: 3 out of 5 based on 28 reviews. Top