This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Onaway Elementary School5
Posted April 17, 2014
- a parent
I love this school since I moved here back in 2010 I always been a parent that is involved with my children and their education love the special ed teacher and the school teacher and principal I recommend this school it's not the school or teachers but if more parents were involved in their child education we wouldn't have as much problems.
We consider ourselves fortunate to have such a wonderful school and just am importantly school community so close to our home. Our experience with teachers had been positive. They are supportive of our son and foster his natural desire for knowledge. The school support staff is like family to the students and parent involvement is amazing. When faced with options for relocation, we hesitate because we hate the thought of leaving Onaway.
For a inner ring suburb with a mix of social classes, the school has a very small and close knit feel. The teachers and staff work well together and focus on the big picture. Because the the majority of the school's children walk to school, there is a lot of social interaction both before and after school - this allows both parents to socialize and plan, and kids to play with their "community". Most of the teachers (and principal) live in the city (and their children go to the city's schools), so they are seen around town and truly want all the schools to cooperate and do well.
We sent our daughter there for kindergarten and put her in a private school the next year. This was very disappointing since we can see Onaway from our driveway. However, she ended the year being able to read LESS than she could when she started. Also, we audited the class two times through the year and were shocked at the behavior of the children and the staff's inability to control them. We felt bad sending our child there every day.
I have a Kindergartner and a third grader at Onaway who are both receiving an excellent education. We moved here from out of state in the middle of last year, and our daughter's transition was made seamless. The principal, Dr. Cowan, is a very hands on and enthusiastic administrator. Not only are my children learning the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic, but they are learning art, music, Chinese, physical education as well as life lessons obtained in this ethnically and socioeconomically diverse environment. Onaway is currently in the process of integrating the Internationaly Baccalaureate program, the goal of which is to "help develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world." The atmosphere at the school is nurturing and fun and the children genuinely seem to enjoy their school and each other.
I guess, it's about time someone put in a word for Onaway again, since the last review comment was in 2007. We have nothing to say but good about Onaway school. Our daughter started in Kindergarten knowing her letters, but not how to read at all. She is half-way through kindergarten now and has not only learned to read easy books, but is being taught elements of social, environmental, political (unbiased), historical, and art studies as well. She is getting an education that will, if it stays this way, result in a well-rounded student of the world. And who can ask for more!
The teachers seem truly talented and interested in teaching, however there is something holding them back... it seems they are very limited by the administration's need to 'achieve' on the standardized tests. Creativity has disappeared and is NOT valued. We are considering private school for our children.
We love Onaway School. Our kindergartner had a fantastic year. Our 7th grader also had a great K-4 experience at Onaway. The teaching staff is talented and dedicated. The district is responsive to parents input. The PTO is involved and has great events & supplemental programs. The atmosphere is warm, supportive and enriching. This district has an economically diverse population and Onaway does a great job teaching children at the appropriate level of instruction. One child in my daughters kindergarten class began the year without knowing any shapes, colors, letters or numbers. At the end of the year he was writing sentences. Incredible!
Everyone says that they love this school it is wonderful but it just feels really strained. The teachers are great, well educated, and dedicated but they seem tired, stressed and overworked. The hallways and classrooms, music, art classes and gym are considered great programs but are very loud and unruly. Some parents are very involved, some not at all. More involvement is needed especially when the teachers can't do it all themselves. My child is learning but has a hard time concentrating. Too many kids, too loud.