Overall, we have been very happy with Ainsworth's curriculum, principal, and the teachers. The principal and faculty focus on academics and social emotional growth in a caring welcoming environment. Students want to learn and play and the parents are involved and supportive. Every quarter there's a new project that integrates research, reading, writing, speaking and art skills. Kids have access to PE, Library, language, art, music, theatre, field trips, guest speakers, and counseling supports. Ainsworth is a nurturing neighborhood school.
The parents are cliquish and elitist snobs don t bother socializing unless you can bring your trust fund. The school is filled with instructors and administrators who also act elitist and entitled. The school psychologist admitted to "letting down" our child and allowed him to be bullied. My child's teacher once told his class that he (who has a learning disability) had a "different brain" and from that moment forward no one would socialize with him even though he is extremely social and sweet. Disgusting lack of empathy and confidentiality. *RUN* don't walk away from this school unless your sweetie is perfect in every single way (and I when I say "perfect" I mean a drone of the system who is already well learned and non-unique). Scary, institutionalized education with closed-minded educators and administrators.
This school has allowed us as parents, to be harassed for being disabled, parking in a space that was " allegedly" purchased. I find this interesting, as all of the spaces are owned by the City of Portland. Not only were we berated in front of the school, there were children present. Then our complaint was presented to the parents, whom are continually harassing us. This school is great if your're one of the elite, which we are not.
Meh. Very mixed bag with teachers... some are good, some are really awful. Lots of worksheets. Rigid old-school, top-down desks-in-a-row style and rules. The culture is friendly enough, but there is a distinct divide between neighborhood and non-neighborhood families. No sense that this is intentional, just reality. If you aren't a member of the MAC nor have the ability to hire tutors to supplement what your kids aren't getting in class, then this may not be the place for you. Despite our child going there for a couple of years, we never felt this was "our" school. If we could do a do-over, we would have never enrolled our kid here. Spanish program is a plus, but unfortunately over-rated too.
Ainsworth has provided my child with a phenomenal education. The teachers have provided projects can be modified for children of different aptitudes so that everyone is challenged. The amount of tailored teaching has been impressive, although it does depend on the teacher and we have been very lucky. The kids adore their teachers, including the "specials" teachers in art, music, PE, and the school counselor who works on responsibility and relationship skills with the lower grades. A highly involved parent community makes many wonderful extras possible, like the science fair, the art fair, the talent show, the 3rd grade musical, etc. This is a community with high expectations and a love for learning, just the atmosphere you would want your child to be in.
How many public schools will prepare their students for the globalizing world by offering bilingual education. I graduated from Ainsworth's Spanish Immersion program and have not yet heard of anything similar. My friends and graduated with a truly unique, invaluable experience. I remember parent involvement being great and the unusually diverse spanish speaking and international staff of teachers cannot be overlooked.
Ainsworth did what any Elementary school should do, it made our kids love learning and love going to school. Art, music and PE are valued to create a well rounded curriculum and the Spanish Immersion program is wonderful if you can get in. It is a K-12 program that really challenges the students.
My child, Alix, learned more than she would've in any other school in Portland at Ainsworth. Parents are involved, teachers go with what's best for the students, and the students' behavior is excellent. Things that Ainsworth is notable for include its Spanish Immersion Program, the fifth grade Samba band, the spectacular writing curriculum, and the responsibility of all students.
Ainsworth is one of the wealthiest schools in Portland. The parents can be 'clique-ish', but they are very involved. The Buckaroo Carnival is a great event each year. The Spanish Immersion program is awesome, but it is by lottery. The school is located in an old historic school house with added 'portables' - we've been very happy with this school.