SCES has The Positive Behavior Intervention and Support team which utilizes the CHOMP acronym for behavioral expectations. All students are expected to comply with the program. They are rewarded accordingly. Detailed information about the program is on the school's website.
The faculty is professional, engaged, enthusiastic about their jobs, and display genuine fondness for their students. They are also highly invested in their own continuing education which the school/administration supports.
For second grade, homework is 20 minutes of reading per evening. There is an additional assignment of either reading comprehension/language arts or math which takes approximately 20 minutes to 30 minutes to complete. Students are responsible for maintaining a daily planner in which they record their assignments and parents sign upon completion. This fosters independence and organization for the student. It ensures the parent is aware of homework, as well.
This is our first year at SCES after transferring from a private school. Our son is currently in the second grade. Thus far, the experience has far exceeded our expectations.
Administratively, the school could not be managed any better than it is. The communication from leadership down is prompt, thorough and professional. As parents, you will not be lacking in information regarding anything - regardless of degree of importance. If you have questions, they are answered in a timely fashion with follow-up, if necessary.
The education, itself, is far superior to what our son received at his previous school (for gifted children). The curriculum is engaging and challenging. His teacher is thoughtful and makes the lessons enjoyable. Beyond the basics, a lot of thought is put into the learning environment itself via accommodations such as flexible seating - a blessing for fidgety children.
Parental engagement is not only sought but highly encouraged via PTA activities and requests for volunteers within the classroom.
In comparison to what we experienced in our son's prior school, we feel so fortunate to have such a phenomenal resource within walking distance from our home. If you find yourself concerned about class size, it doesn't appear to be an issue. The organizational skills of the administration and faculty are so finely tuned, they surpass what we observed at my son's previous school where class sizes ranged from five to ten students per class. Attention is given to all students accordingly. Questions do not go unanswered. Issues do not go unresolved (fortunately, we haven't experienced many to date).
If you find yourself considering private school as an option to Sycamore Creek, our experience has lead us to believe it's far better to save the tuition money for college. Sycamore Creek has greater resources than most of the private schools in the area. The education is stellar. We cannot say enough good things about the entire program.
The school has a strong focus on Crocs CHOMP, and my son is always talking about it... "cooperate, honest, on-task, mindful, and prepared",
Classes are awarded "chompliments" and can earn prizes and special privileges.
We are in our second year here, and very happy with our experience! We considered private, but took a chance since this was our base school and so highly rated. The teachers have been very kind and my son's face is smiling and happy every time that I pick him up. It is a big school, so I sign up to volunteer a lot...I learn something new each time; a new enrichment program, event, opportunity, etc.
I strongly disagree that the school doesn't send out adequate communication. We receive emails, weekly phone calls, numerous opportunities to contribution time, experience, or funds from the PTA. You could literally volunteer every single day if you were so inclined.
I haven't found that the school teaches to the tests any more than any other school in Wake County. In fact, I've been surprised on several occasions when my son mentioned attending special classes to keep him challenged. At first it caught me off guard, but after thinking about it, I love that the teachers can be flexible enough to set up small groups for extra challenges in a subtle way that doesn't encourage competition or hurt feelings (from students and parents, ha!).
I'm blown away by how much he has learned in two short years. The children always seem happy in the hallways, the teachers are fun and participate in dress up days and student-spirit activities. Class size has been great for our first two years, and I'm hopeful it stays the same in the future.
Great community feel since the base region for the school is so small. We can't go anywhere without running into someone from school, and the kids always seem so excited to see everyone!
I can see that this school may not be the best for students with special needs; it doesn't seem to have as comprehensive programs as say, Brier Creek Elementary. That is always a tricky balance; ideally each school would have wonderful resources for all needs to maximum inclusivity; but I can see that there are economies of scale in place, with increasingly limited public education budgets in NC.
Our son has high functioning ASD. Since he started, he has had tremendous difficulty in transitioning to SCES, despite attending an academically focused preschool and doing very well. We get daily Class Dojo reports from his teacher (thumbs up/thumbs down), but never get any useful feedback as to what incidents occurred where he acted out of line. He is starting to hate school. Despite having an IEP, his push-in assistance is sketchy at best. Ten minutes, three times a week, by teaching assistants who are not special education trained do not come close to what he was getting at his preschool. His teacher frequently rolls her eyes when talking about his quirks and implies that he drives her crazy. If you have a special needs child, I strongly recommend looking into other schools.
Our son's teacher is sending home the following each week. Keep in mind, our son is in Kindergarten:
1. Nightly reading
2. Math worksheets
3. Rainbow words to learn/write
4. Raz Kids app for nightly reading
Our son's homework, at 5 years old, takes upwards of an hour each night.
Our son has high functioning ASD. Since he started, he has had tremendous difficulty in transitioning to SCES, despite attending an academically focused preschool and doing very well. We get daily Class Dojo reports from his teacher (thumbs up/thumbs down), but never get any useful feedback as to what incidents occurred where he acted out of line. He is starting to hate school. Despite having an IEP, his push-in assistance is sketchy at best. Ten minutes, three times a week, by teaching assistants who are not special education trained do not come close to what he was getting at his preschool. His teacher frequently rolls her eyes when talking about his quirks and implies that he drives her crazy.
If you have a special needs child, I strongly recommend looking into other schools.
The after care program(club croc) on site is insufficient to meet the needs of the children that attend this school. Many children are denied this service and its difficult to find after school options for working parents. This is a gap at the school that needs to be addressed but hasn't been currently.