This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
W Verne Mckinney Elementary School3
Posted May 24, 2014
- a parent
With two children who have attended this school for many years, I have seen it go through many changes, especially in leadership. We used to love this school in the beginning, but sadly, the overall quality of the school has experienced a decline in the last few years. We do not have the financial means to pursue private school options, so we are "stuck" so to speak. Our kids do not struggle the way many second-language learners do, so they tend to fall between the cracks in terms of priority. Communication is very poor and the emphasis on test scores is disheartening. The most recent principal just left for unspecified reasons before the school year even ended. No explanation from the district either. It is frustrating to say the least. Also, thriving in an environment that focuses so much standardized test scores is a challenge for students that need more creative and cognitive challenges. None of this bodes well for student or community morale. Thankfully, my kids have been fortunate enough to have some amazingly caring and dedicated teachers over the years and that has been McKinney's saving grace.
During my daughter's preschool years, I heard a lot of negative comments about this school from my neighbors and so it was with some misgivings that I enrolled my daughter for Kindergarten. Sometimes communication is not as good as it could be, but otherwise, I've been surprisingly impressed by the administration (new since 2012-2013), the behavior of the kids, and every teacher I have interacted with, especially my child's teacher. Parent involvement is not as widespread as I would like to see, and the PTO is sorely understaffed, but it's a good school and I think it's getting better.
I thought I would address some of the issues past reviews have mentioned. Since 2012-2013 school year McKinney has had a new principal who has worked really hard to unify the school, set high expectations for students and teachers, and who has been very involved in behavior expectations for the children. Since he has been there test scores have significantly increased, behavioral referrals have dropped dramatically, the school is equipped with new computers, and student learning can be tracked by reading and math programs that work. The PTO works hard for the school and is inviting and welcoming to all. The office staff is nice and helpful. The school website and PTO facebook page are updated often and is easy to use and find information on. Overall I think Mckinney is a wonderful school and has made some really good improvements over the past years.
I would have to agree with the first 2 reviewers that this school is facing a lot of problems. The current principal has only been there for 3 years and in that time the school has gone downhill fast. Huge lack of disciplinary action, no accountability, very little communication and there is no "community" in or around the school. The teachers care and are overall pretty good but they are strapped for time and if your child is English speaking and an average or above average student they will be pushed aside and forgotten because all of the attention goes to the kids that can't pass the benchmarks.
My child has attended this school for one year. I must say they haven't a clue. You call the office to inquire of up coming activities and no one knows whats going on. They don't know who to contacted and won't call back. The website is a joke with no real information. I am all for diversity, my first language was not English nor are my parents from the U.S. But the fact that their were only 12 out of 29 kids that spoke fluent English is shocking and scary. My child felt very left out from his piers/cliks. Since Spanish was the main language on the play ground he could'nt understand what was being said. When I expressed my concerns with admin they brushed me off and said they don't allow that. Need less to say nothing ever changed. I would not recommend this school to anyone, they are just way out of touch!!!
This school has some major challenges and based upon my son attending both Kindergarten and 1st grade here I would say that the school does not have the leadership at the top level to address them. My son was bullied and was told by another student that his siblings were going to be killed (by running over them with his motorcylce). The principal assured us that she would be visiting the classroom to address this, however after following up with our son everyday for the next two weeks and after noticing how surprised she was when we asked how the visit went it was clear that she did not. She also told us "I know that kid and he doesn't even have a motorcyle (not exaclty the response we were looking for). After working with the school for a few months, raising concerns and putting a plan in place at home, we grew tired of him crying every night begging not to go back to that school. We made the difficult decision to pull him mid year and he now goes to bed everyday excited to go to school.
I am glad that my daughter was transferred to this school. Whenever I have contacted any staff member at this school (always via email) I get a response within 24 hours! Her teacher is 100% on board with the teacher-parent relationship and is always willing to listen to any suggestions that I may have regarding my daughter's lessons. The staff is very caring and this shows in every interaction that I've had. I've also had experience with the personalized teaching as my daughter often attends lessons outside of her own classroom (reading and writing-TAG, math-below grade level). Overall, I am glad that she is at this school
This is by far the best school we have ever attended. Each subject is broken up to groups and is taught at the student's level. My daughter had an IEP (Educational Assistance) applied to her in 3rd Grade for every subject including math. Today she is in Fifth grade doing algebra and reading above her grade level. This is an awesome school.