This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Findley Elementary School3
Posted December 15, 2014
- a parent
Findley is a good school and teachers are really good. In my experience, the reason the school excels academically and students are up to 3 grades above grade level is because most parents make their children put in lots of extra efforts beyond what is taught at school. Outside tutoring (Kumon, Brainchild, Mathnesium etc.) is a norm. Many have been tutored from pre-school onward and come in the school above grade level. So if your child isn't a prodigy or does not get lots of outside help, it is like any other good school. (See other reviews) Pressure to be above-grade level is felt by all kids, and bright children who don't get the extra tutoring and are at grade level can feel inferior. It is a great school as long as you are aware of this and can keep your child feeling secure no matter whether of not your child gets extra tutoring.
What an awesome school! First, I love how diverse the school is, many nationalities are represented. It's like a mini "world" representation within the school and all the kids mingle and get along. Lots of expats' kids attend- which is great, everyone is welcome and all cultures are embraced. What great life lessons the kids learn just to all be in the same classroom together and learn to respect each others' cultures. Second, this school is ready to challenge kids- with challenge math classes for each grade level, and "walk-to-read" levels, each kid is developed at his or her own pace. The teachers make it academic and ...fun! The parent support is FANTASTIC! All the following programs are parent led: Passport Club- teaches geography (my second grader knows where Algeria is located); Findley Flyers is the running club (my 1st grader ran a marathon last year throughout all the lunch-recesses); Art Literacy -teaches the kids about 6 famous artists throughout the year (my kinder-kid knew the term "abstract art'). Plus, Findley is in the process of becoming an International Baccalaureate School - PYP, so kids learn Spanish and the PYP attributes.
My kids go to Findley, and I sub in other schools in the district. For the most part the Findley kids are doing work 1-2 grade levels ahead. The environment can be a bit high pressured, especially in the higher grades, but I still love the school. The families really care about the kids and the staff work hard. The new PYP curriculum is wonderful and my kids like it.
Findley is overrated. The test scores are high because of the demographics and socio-economic status of the parents. The class sizes are way too big and there is little personal attention unless you are in the top or bottom few in your class. We continually asked our kids' teachers for more challenging work but never got any. There are some good teachers but I think they are overwhelmed. The rules of the school are strange as well and don't allow kids to be kids and develop interpersonal skills - no running at recess (because someone might get hurt), no winners at playground games (someone's feelings might get hurt!), etc. We moved to a nearby district and we, and our kids, are much, much happier.
We moved last summer to be at Findley Elementary specifically and have not been disappointed at all. The teachers are phenomenal- they communicate with us regularly and professionally, challenge my kids to do their best, and seem to enjoy being there every day. The PTO and administration are organized and approachable as well as effective. We enjoy that the kids have opportunities to interact with kids of all grades and abilities; the expectations for students seem to be in line with what we have for our children so we feel like it's a fantastic fit for our family. Both kids have gotten personalized attention despite larger classes. The only thing we would like to see more of is technology in each classroom and in the curriculum but that's a state budget issue, not necessarily a problem specific to Findley.
The teachers' dedication is phenomenal. My seven year old daughter gets personalized (!) homework. Parent participation is plentiful and awesome. My son gets extra challenge math because he has a math talent and he also gets extra reading classes because he is at grade level and ... wait for it ... therefore he is at the bottom of his class. But the greatest advantage Findley offers is excellent peer example. My kids simply want to be in line with or exceed other kids. With peers performing well, their motivation gets boosted beyond my expectation.
This is a great school with great community. Very high academic standards and huge pool of exceptionally bright students. Teachers and Principal has been great and community around it really brought to the highest possible results. Beyond academics the school supports huge social, cultural and sports activities enriching the environment. This is more like "private school" due to huge parental + staff involvement.
Our son is attending his third year at Findley and my daughter her second. We joined Findley after much research. Findley has not disappointed us and has done great things for our family. Our son has opened up quite a bit and the school and the teachers have given him a well rounded development. Teachers take personal care and stay in touch. There are advanced classes in areas where the kids are talented and gifted. The parent network is tight and the school has an excellent community to support it. We have a great Scout, Soccer, robotics, music network for outside the school development. As a perent you have ample opportunity to participate in class and learn about your child and his/her class. Some of the teachers are truly outstanding, but ALL are reasonably good. The principal is smart and has some undisclosed approach to decide which student goes to which class. So far, we are thrilled with 4 of 5 The downside to Findley is its own popularity. The Beaverton school district did not handle the budget situation well and schools are getting hit. With the recent layoffs of teachers, the class sizes are getting bigger - kids may lose the personal attention if not fixed.
Children perform at higher than grade level. Fabulous teachers who have total control of their classroom and make effecient use of the school day to rapidly transition from one lesson to another. My daughter loves the school and the huge variety of learning "activities" that take place. She never wants to miss a school day because she knows of something new and exciting taking place on that day. Their is a clear reason the school has outstanding ratings - outstanding school leadership, outstanding teachers, and outstanding parents make for outstanding students.