We've lived in four different states and been at 4 different elementary schools so I feel like we have a pretty good idea of what makes a great school. This is not it. The principal is terrible - this school strives for mediocrity. Kids are not allowed to excel or do anything above and beyond what is outlined in the curriculum. That's great if you have an at or below average kid, but if your child is above average academically, you will be very displeased. I've never been at a school where all the teachers we've had over the years care so little about education. They do exactly what is required, nothing more. Forget about a parent meeting - they have been versed on what to say when you ask why they aren't challenging the kids. They'll tell you that students should not have homework because it takes away from "precious family time". They'll tell you that although your 3rd grader is reading at (and tested at) a 10th grade reading level, they are required to only read books that are assigned a 3rd grade level per the AR standards. When you ask why they can't form groups to challenge the kids who are exceeding expectations, they'll tell you that their curriculum is very rigid and difficult and extra work is not needed. Without a doubt, this is the worst school we've had the displeasure of having to endure. It is immeasurably worse. For the first year and a half in this district our kids didn't learn a single thing - their curriculum is that far behind. It's mind-blowing. Our kids excelled at all their schools and were properly challenged at all - except this one.
The other aspect of this school that we are very disappointed in is the no-fun policy they seem to have in place. There are no class parties of any kind (field day at the end of the year does not count in my opinion). They have absolutely no field trips. Kindergarteners are not allowed to run at recess! The kids are not allowed to play with balls at recess despite the fact that there are basketball hoops on the playground. Their response to the "no running and no balls policies" was that the kids could get hurt. Have you ever heard such ridiculousness? If you value education, and want your child to enjoy school, you'll do well to stay away from here.
There is no homework. Every child would benefit from practicing math facts and reading at home. When I asked why they never got homework, I was told it was because the kids understood the lessons and they didn't feel it was necessary to have them doing the same thing at home that they did in school. Really? Whatever happened to practice makes perfect? They expect kids to see something once and master it with no practicing at all. Even when I challenged that idea by saying that it wasn't possible that all the kids understood everything, I was told that homework eats into very valuable family time so they weren't giving it out.
I have never met a bunch of teachers who cared so little about student success! Don't expect any comments on your childrens work - or even notes on their report cards (in the teacher comments section). You'll get none of that. Don't expect them to do anything above and beyond to make the school year better/more challenging for your child. Won't happen. The children are shuttled along like cattle, everyone doing the same thing and having the same goals.
Fairness - nothing in life is fair. Why are we trying so hard to make everything "fair" for the children? It's a lesson in life they need to become accustomed to, and the sooner the better. We go out of our way to make sure there are no hurt feelings from losing in sports to performing poorly in school. This can be seen in this district by their incredibly inane grading system. We cater to the below-average student and the underachiever. I get it that not all kids are born smart, but that's not a reason to hold back the smarter or highly driven kids.
I love this school! I love the entire staff. There are so many children that move through that school, year after year, and yet the staff still knows the names of all the kids. This school is definitely a safe environment for me to leave my children in. My children love this school and have always loved each of their teachers. Awesome School!!!