I attended Echo from 1st thru 12th. I was an honor student at Echo, at a community college and received a scholar award from a 4 year university. I have since seen two more generations of my family attend Echo Schools. I found that learning to learn is more important than taking lots of advanced classes. Echo taught me how to learn and to love learning. I was amazed at how well-rounded my education was compared to many fellow college students from large schools who got good grades, but were still ignorant in so many ways.
I am a former student of Echo Elementary, Junior High, and High School. This school system is absolutely terrible. I did not realize what a poor education I was receiving until I began attending college. At Echo I was at the top of my class taking "honors" courses. In college I realized very quickly that the advanced courses offered at Echo were not even up to par with the normal courses offered at other schools. I would NEVER punish my children's future by sending them to this terrible school.
It saddens me that a parent would feel that the Echo school district is insensitive to children with "special needs." My experiences have been very different. Perhaps, as the review is a few years old, this was a deficiency previously, but, I feel that awareness and empathy are strongly encouraged. Acceptance is stressed with a "different, yet equal" philosophy. The school houses students from kindergarten through high school,with older students given the responsibility of mentoring younger students. The importance of being responsible for the example set, gives the older student a sense of community. Knowing that they play a part in the development of the morals of another, seems to give them a sense of pride and purpose. The school maintains a zero tolerance policy on bullying, and inclusion and acceptance are the only acceptable modes. I feel very privileged that my children are a part of the Echo school district.
As a parent who raised children in a major metropolitan area before moving them to a rural setting in Echo Schools, I can honestly say the education my children receive rivals the private school I previously sent my children to. The class sizes are small and the children receive needed one on one attention. In fact, this school has instituted a ZAP (zeroes are not permitted) program to ensure all children complete assignments and keep the class on track with the curriculum. The involved teachers have been proactive in addressing my children's needs, whether it be extra assistance or by recognizing the need for higher placement. Echo has seen some declining test scores the past couple years however I believe Echo is being proactive in correcting this situation. As a parent, please do your part and make sure your child completes assigned tasks - especially when a signature is required.