This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Peeler Open Elementary1
Posted June 09, 2014
- a parent
I have been at Peeler for a year now. I have both a K-1 child and a 3rd grader. I was very proud of my k-1 teacher but not so much at my 3rd grade teacher. I am a parent who believes that children have to also be taught at home but with my 3rd grader, I felt as if I was the only one doing the teaching. Many times I went to the school and the teacher had no control of the class. My child was ill-prepared for the EOG's although we helped at home. I thought this school to be very helpful for my children but the only thing that I still like about the school is the wonderful performing arts program. Other than that the school really needs some help. The principal, like others have said in these reviews is inefficient at his job and should be replaced.
I think all of the school systems in the entire country are struggling with bullying. I do not feel that this problem is unique to Peeler; more of a symptom of families struggling in a tough economy. When I have expressed a concern to the principal, he has handled it immediately & with finesse. In the past several years we have seen legislation & practices adopted by the school board that have made it difficult to embrace a true "open school" philosophy. I think the principal & staff work very hard to live up to the school's OS philosophy while integrating an ever-changing curriculum. At Peeler we have teachers willing to participate in a variety of after-school clubs, a men's group that mentors struggling male students & does a lot of other work, a PTA that adds much to the richness of life for the entire Peeler community, an outstanding group of arts teachers, a garden and kitchen laboratory, a great librarian ... I think many of the problems referenced in other reviews are universal. I feel very fortunate to be a part of a school where it is possible to have a rich learning experience & encounter positive role models; something a lot of kids these days aren t finding at home.
I am a grandparent of two students at Peeler. I am very concerned for the safety of my family at this school. The administration is not addressing behavioral issues of students sent to the office by teachers and concerns of the bullying voiced by the students. During the day academics are hard to addresses due to the two hours of instructional time taken out of the day for specials and morning meeting. Although this school has spent thousands on training teachers the Responsive Classroom concepts, the administration does not follow the concept nor does he adhere to the student handbook that specifically addresses discipline consequences. When a student has been sent to the office multiple times in one day, for incidences of physical aggression, and sent to a different teachers' classroom after each incident without any consequences, how can I expect that my grandchildren can be safe in such a disruptive environment. We need new administration.
My children began at this school several years ago. When we began, we loved it. There was such a sense of community and pride in the school. However, much like the most recent post, in the past couple of years, with the new administration, the school has gone downhill fast. The behaviors at the school are rampant and go addressed. My own children have become the ones who are being essentially bullied by others. When our concerns have been shared, there have been no actions and the behaviors have continued. There are a lot of concerns from staff and parents regarding behaviors and academics which have been addressed at the district level and school level. Sadly, it is only getting worse. This school pride itself with being "open" and using "responsive classroom". Open went out in the 70s and responsive classroom is not working and is ineffective! My students will not return and may not stay for the remaining of this year!
Our family was very interested in getting into Peeler for the "Open School" environment & Performing Arts that Peeler offered. We were able to get in via the magnet lottery and have been at Peeler for 4 years now. The first couple of years were AMAZING in every way possible, great teachers, parent involvement, dedicated principle, wonderful performing arts teachers, etc. Once the current principle, Mr. Harris, came to Peeler things started to go down hill. The principle does not address parent concerns, a lot of bullying not being addressed, EC services are lacking and you have to really fight long and hard to get your child's needs addressed. Many concerns have been uplifted by both parents AND staff at the school. We have had town hall meetings with the executive director of the Southeastern Region to address parental concerns and staff concerns within Peeler that are not being addressed by the building administrator. We are now a year later and there has not been much improvement at the school level. Sadly due to this, we have lost several families/teachers at Peeler over the last 2 years. Our family does not plan to continue with Peeler after this school year.
There are ups and downs in any educational institution, but this one continues to draw the most hopeful of children and parents and teachers and staff. Peeler has long been a school that can be considered a community unto itself. From committed teachers to 'Parent Play Date' to multiple arts performances by student classes each year to an amazing parent-teacher organization and a men's group that undertakes infrastructural and mentoring support, you will be hard pressed to find a more vibrant elemetary school. Meeting each student's needs is still something that the school is working on with Responsive Classrom training for all teachers, but you can be assured that with such an active community this school cannot stray far from the goal of helping children become lovers of learning. My child loves learning. Her teachers did not give that to her, but they nurture it. Some children do not love learning. But most all the teachers at Peeler inspire them to become the most passionate learners they can be. If you want your kid to be a star, you give that to your child. If you want them to be a thoughtful, well-rounded, and caring community member, Peeler can give that to them.
I have been very disappointed with this school. The best interest of the individual child is not addressed, although the school claims to stand by this motto. Bullying is a big problem in this school, and the principal is unwilling to address the issues in an appropriate manner. One of the teachers is extremely rude and condescending to the children and has no business teaching young children. The specials and emphasis on music are great as are the underlying principles that supposedly drive the school. If the school were to get a more competent principal, then there could be a dramatic improvement.
Once a huge fan of this school, I am disappointed in my child's experience at Peeler. The school has not been experienced as it was described during the tour. The principle is a young, creative, and motivated visionary, who has big dreams for the school; but can at times be out of touch with the parents and the needs of all of his students. If your child has behavioral issues, Peeler will be a welcoming, safe haven for your child. But if your child is well behaved and well prepared for school, his/her needs may be placed on hold so that more demanding students can be addressed. Many of the teachers are fabulous, but several do not fit the "open school" theme and are more traditional than what the school advertises. With that said, I will highly recommend the arts program at this school; they do a wonderful job of encouraging and embracing the arts into the students' daily life.