2 kids at this school. We could lamely consider test scores and put them anywhere else, including private. But they would miss out on the committed teachers who are teaching a population mixed with a lot of impoverished families, about 50% English as a second language families, and a very small portion of middle and upper middle class families (who typically offer the most support in time and monetary). Those teachers have the toughest job in town, and they love it. They don't leave. They care about every student at that school. Also, in my experience, the attention and care taken to make adjustments when your child isnt performing the way he should or isnt keeping up with the level he should (or is far exceeding expectations) far surpasses the experiences my friends have had at two 9 rated schools in the area. Just remember the schools rated high are the schools with a higher proportion of middle and upper class families, where it's easier for parents to spend time helping their children. Also, they don't have a large English as second language population, so starting out with low scores in 3rd grade due to language barrier isnt normal at those schools but it is at SSE. Choosing a school should never be as cut and dry as a grade based on test scores, which are essentially the performance of the school on one single day. Think hard, choose wisely, ask what your kid learns from attending a school with a culturally rich demographic as opposed to going to a school where all the kids are just like him. Ask what kind of teachers stick around at a school that has the hardest kids to teach year after year. I am a very picky mother, and I love this school and every single one of its' staff.
South Smithfield Elementary School is wonderful! I am a parent of a 1st grader & I have been extremely impressed with the quality of the teachers, administrators, & the overall educational experience. Students are grouped according to ability so that the advanced students are challenged instead of being slowed down, while other sutdents are given the appropriate instruction. Tutors abound in the classrooms so that the teachers have support. Parents are encouraged to volunteer, are welcome in the school, & are active on a daily basis. The school has a strong sense of community & is a source of pride for this beautifuI small town of Smithfiedl. I can't think of any reason why the school only rates a "4" at this time -- I am an extremely happy parent of an extremely happy 1st grader.