This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Edison Elementary School5
Posted August 24, 2014
- a parent
This school is fantastic. Administration is great and the teachers are AMAZING. My children have all attended Edison before we moved to Junction City and all three of my kids loved it. I am not a fan of Scholl District 4-J but this is one school I am glad my kids attended. The teachers and staff are very much interested in parental involvement and are very responsive to concerns by parents.
We moved into the area recently, and have loved a lot of things at Edison, and struggled with other things. As other parents have mentioned, it has been tough for our child to find friends here. It seems like most of the children here have known each other since preschool, and don't feel a big need to make friends with the new kid. Plus, all the children seem to have very busy schedules with lots of after-school lessons, activities, etc. It's hard to schedule playdates. The current principal is fantastic. He seems to want to stay here for a long time, and I hope he does because the kids love him. He has many excellent ideas about fostering community and getting children and parents involved in school initiatives. I think he can do great things here, with enough time. The three teachers we have had experience with have all been wonderful. My children have liked them all, and I feel that they have sincerely cared about the kids and have tried hard to teach well. The curriculum moves a bit slower than I had expected, although I do think that the teachers do a good job of arranging creative and interesting science projects.
We moved here thinking this would be a great opportunity to send our kids to quality public schools. We couldn't have been more wrong. There has been a new principal 4 out of the last 5 years. The socioeconomic status is high so it looks like the school does well, but the reality is that the parents make up the difference. There is no identifiable curriculum. Each teacher does what he or she wants with no congruity or building of knowledge/skills over the years. There is a considerable anti-knowledge bias, so anything resembling a traditional education has been completely expunged. The well-off kids will make up for the dearth of learning going on at Edison later in life; what is sad is that the lower socioeconomic families who transfer in to this school thinking they are helping their kids are actually hurting them. Lower socioeconomic districts in the area like Bethel do a much better job. The have considerably greater challenges and fewer resources, but they have a cumulative and sequential curriculum. All the South Eugene Schools are built around around a social justice philosophy, which ironically ends up as only justice for the privileged.
We are relative newcomers to the area and chose this neighborhood primarily based on greatschools.org ratings. We love the school and the neighborhood and think it's doing the best with the economic challenges it is facing. I do agree with other commentaries that Edison does have higher test scores than other schools primarily because the socioeconomic base and education of the parents in this neighborhood is higher. I do find I need to supplement my child's education. Sadly art, music and physical education are very much lacking, so we spend quite a bit of time in extracurricular activities, but I believe that is the case in all Oregon schools right now. What I do think is that the teachers are dedicated and the volunteer involvement of parents is phenomenal, which greatly benefits the students at the school. I found no issues at all with my daughter quickly making friends or with parent cliques, although we jumped in with both feet in the community and have gotten involved. Not sure where those comments even come from as people have been very welcoming. I suppose the culture changes as different groups of parents go through the system, but our experience thus far has been great.
Looks great on paper because it moves children that can't pass the tests. It is NOT one of the best schools unless you have a median student, if you have a very advanced student or a child with learning difficulties be prepared to supplement a lot! It is getting it's 3rd principal in 2 years for the 2011/12 school year. 4J is downing in its self pity about class sizes, instead of stepping up all you will hear is complaining from admin and teachers. Your child will not be an individual in this school:Oregon hires and lays off its teachers based only on seniority (only 5 states still do this) this means it is not the best that stay, but the most complacent-they don't HAVE to try hard. Watch out for the junior high like clicks especially if you are of color.
I am rating this school as average for Eugene, however, it would rating below average in other parts of the country. From what I understand it used to be a better school, but we had to pull our child out due to the lack of communication between parents and teachers (teachers here are extremely defensive -likely due to crowded class sizes and lack of time to prepare). Kids do not receive good individual attention and those who excel are left to fend for themselves. Homework is rarely given because the teachers have no time to review it. Over crowing leads to common school yard bullying problems here. The Kindergarten program suffers from being cut to 4 short mornings that include very little academic content-- so first grade is essential Kindergarten. Children who manage to do well here must supplement their education with Kumon or other work at home with parents or a tudor. Extreme cuts in the PE and music programs take the joy out of a day at school.
As far as schools in Eugene go, Edison is certainly among the very best. My daughter has had smart, committed and caring teachers, with one exception in second grade. The principal is a strong leader and the PE and music programs are great. My only frustration has been all the fundraising we have to do, but I guess that's everywhere. In terms of cliquey parents mentioned in other reviews, have found that that more I got involved, the less that was an issue - so not a problem really for our family.
We had a bad experience at this school and left after one year. This school seems to target teaching to the child that needs to reach the state benchmark, but not to other students. The principal was weak (but now is moving schools). There were numerous parent cliques.
We loved this school! There is a huge sense of community and ample opportunies for parental involvement. However, do not be fooled by high-test scores and students' performances because those are obviously attributed to higher socioeconomic children and thus, Edison's high-test scores are a direct result of clientele. The teachers and principal have cushioned jobs with few students who are academic and behavior challenges. I volunteered, and always walked into a quiet office with the principal on his computer. Honestly, it seemed like all he did was think of random things to do for appearances. He also had numerous volunteers (women) doing his job. Anyone could lead and/or work at that school, and it would continue to run its course. The principal and most of the staff are friendly. We only did not like one of our child's teachers who taught kindergarten then second grade. All other experiences were great.
This is a terrific elementary school. Great teachers, committed principal, core values (compassion, respect, integrity, etc.) woven into the curriculum and the culture. I agree about parents being a little clique-y -- it is not the easiest school to join as a newcomer, but my daughter joined sports teams and activities and it got a lot better.