Our son attended first and second grade at Whitaker. His teachers were simply wonderful. They developed a great connection with the students and showed a clear commitment to providing the best educational experience possible. Our son found the school atmosphere to be fun, warm and supportive -- and academically challenging. The school as a whole is also run extremely well. Interactions with teachers and the school's administration were always positive and professional.
I am a previous student of this school and my advice to you is do not send you child here if they have learning disabilities. 98% of the teachers do not care about your child only test scores. Also they do not understand learning disabilities I have ADHD and dyslexia, they said that I would never be above a C student and would never learn a language or play an instrument. After they told my mom this they gave up on me. I switched to one of the top private schools in NC and am proud to say that my GPA is a 3.9 and I play the violin and take Latin. If your child is a "normal" learner than it is good school for them
I had two children go through this school. I am also a teacher so I know both sides of the coin so to speak. The state sets the curriculum and the teachers/schools are required to follow it. I think it is interesting that the one parent mentioned teaching to the test. In actuality, the test is on the material that is taught. It is also important to remember that when you are looking for a "good" school most of the time you look at the state report card's evaluation of the school in question. A major part of the state evaluation is the test results that a school earns. I haven't met many parents who want to enroll their children in a school with low test scores. This school is a good one and the teachers do care. Every child won't love every teacher that they have in this school or any school that they attend-- nor will the parents. It is important to remember that that is life too. Part of the school experience is learning to adjust to all different situations as well as acquiring "book" knowledge. It's important we help our children learn this lesson as well as the standard course of study or core curriculum material.
Our experience at Whitaker school was a disaster!!!! The teachers only care about teaching to the test and are under a lot of pressure from the principal. There were many discipline problems in our class which were never handled. The teacher we had didn't want any parent involvement because she didn't want us to see "how the children really acted in class". The "card system" diminished self-esteem in the whole class. The so called "rigorous curriculum" that another poster mentioned is a joke. It is really mountains of busy work. I would certainly look elsewhere for a loving environment.
Having three kids go through Whitaker, I wouldn't choose another school. Some of the concerns were no naps in kindergarten and teaching to the test. What the public needs to know is that all elementary schools that have a rigorous curriculum have rigorous standards that are mandated from the state government. I found that the teachers there tried their best to be as creative and enthusiastic as possible. I have never seen a child unhappy or unloved at whitaker. My children were very well prepared to attend an academically challenging middle and high school because of the foundations made at Whitaker.
We'Ve been at Whitaker for 10 years and love it. No it's not perfect, no school is. The teachers make this school great. The PE and Music areas are exceptional. We feel so lucky and our kids have felt loved at Whitaker.
We have had 3 kids attend Whitaker since 2000. It is a strong school for K-3 but Grades 4-5 are less good. Kids got 'gimme' A's in the 4-5 AG (gifted-school term-not mine) program with very little work (or homework) We met with teachers/admin several times expressing concern at the lack of 'challenge' these supposedly capable (all 92+ percintile) kids were getting. Staff insisted that they must teach to learning ability of the slower children. We never understood why slower learners would be coddled in these classes (never get a good answer). Kids were supposed to be Grade 6 in math & language by the end of 5th (but it was never tested (took the same EOG as all kids). Our other child moved from Whitaker (great K-2 experience) to Brunson HAG program in 3rd. He worked his tail off and had a terrific learning experience (rigorous & funl).
My son is in 4th grade at Whitaker and although he did not attend there his Kindergarten year, since transferring there in 1st grade his experience has been wonderful. The teachers do tend to teach to the test a lot of the time, but his teachers have been able to do this creatively. He is in AG classes there and is getting straight A's which says a lot. He looks forward to going to school every day. Whitaker is lucky to also have a very strong PTA and there are always parents all around the school helping in classrooms, in the office, and on committees. After my son's Kindergarten year at another local school with very little PTA membership, I see how important it is for parents to be involved. My 5 year old will be starting Kindergarten there next fall and I am excited he will be attending Whitaker.
My mom is a first grade teacher at Whitaker. I am also a teacher, at an Atlanta area school. You would be lucky if your child got to go to Whitaker. All of the teachers are nice and caring. All of the kids in my mom's classroom are always happy and always learning and doing creative things. The school is very nice. Kindergarteners don't take naps! Unless you go to some private school, I don't think you will find that anywhere.