This school is already extraordinary given the heart-breakingly thin funding, and the teachers are nothing if not devoted. The new principal, however, seems to be struggling to shoulder the legacy of the visionary that left for a swankier job :( and needs to be better informed on how to advocate for and improve on the innovative programs the school is offering. Otherwise they will wither on the vine. Need standards and performance monitoring for the Chinese immersion program, as well as the standard ed component within it! Finally, not enough resources exist to offer individualized assistance to students who excel (or struggle) in any particular academic, athletic or social endeavor. If there is only enough money for one part-time teacher to teach several classfuls of kids, advancing individual talent won't happen no matter how dedicated the teacher is. Yes, that means taxes might need to be a little higher than than the current $3 per year or so. Most families in this district are far north of the poverty line.
Overall I have enjoyed having my children (3) attend this school. I think it has the potential to be a fantastic school but needs to control the turnover, which the school has had a tremendous amount of. The parent involvement is great and the general feel is very positive. Having new teachers and shifting teachers each year is beginning to pose a challenge. We are beginning to feel the brunt of the lack of experience, structure and knowledge a seasoned teacher provides to a classroom/school. I sincerely hope the school establishes stability among it's teachers, consistency from year to year and an established way of measuring and producing results (we have seen how widely it can vary depending on the teacher).
The parent involvement is extremely high, the principal and the teachers are all very good. My daughter enjoys learning and has advanced very quickly in her math and reading capabilities. Unfortunately there was high turnover at the 1st grade level going into 2008, which was indicative of higher pay in Mecklenburg County. A teacher's dream to work at this school will keep the good teachers who are truly teachers versus young teachers chasing higher pay.
I couldn't be happier. My son is flourishing & actually loves school since he started going to Marvin Elementary. His teacher is amazing... spends so much time one-on-one with her students as she has a full-time TA. J has improved so much in his reading, writing, math, etc., in just the few months he's been there. We hope he can stay in this school for the remainder of his elementary school years.
The school has been through some changes in the last couple of years, but has come out even better and stronger. The new administration is highly dedicated and involved with the teachers, students and parents regularly. We are looking forward to another great year!