This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Atkinson Elementary School5
Posted August 17, 2014
- a parent
We've been at Atkinson for 5 years and it's been a great experience for our son. It's a diverse community and the teacher's are very committed. PPS needs to give all schools better funding and more modern facilities, but I think Atkinson makes the most of what they have to work with. I would highly recommend this school for your child.
Both of our children attend Atkinson Elementary school. I was skeptical at first but after a short time have come to love this school. The teachers are amazing and work so hard to empower every single child. The support services such as speech, ESL are amazing. Our children have PE, and music twice a week plus library once a week. In addition our kids get to work in the vegetable garden which is a fantastic experience. Parent involvement is absolutely amazing - we love our school
Our son is in 4th grade and our daughter is in 1st - both are in the Spanish dual immersion program. Their teachers are excellent - both are getting lots of science in addition to the reading, writing and math. Our 4th grader has learned a ton about Lewis & Clark this year. They both love the music program and PE. We are so lucky to have full time Music and PE teachers. The new interim principal is providing great leadership and is very responsive and accessible.
A great community with wonderful opportunities for kids to participate in several language, garden and after school programs. Great support from parents and the community at large in a diverse and caring setting.
A lovely school made even better by Principal Debbie. We were so sad to see her go! Congrats to her on her promotion. I hope the next principal continues with Debbie's great vision for the school. This school has excellent teachers, a great garden, and an awesome PTA.
This school has gone through many changes in the last three years, and is stronger than ever. Whole programs have been implemented (in years when funding allows) and a laser focus placed on early and successful interventions with struggling learners. It's paying off! The new core curriculum standards are being well integrated and the children are thriving. Test scores are up, though that is only one measure of success. Overall a nurturing environment with great diversity. The parent community is awesome, too. Tremendous volunteerism, and a PTA that really delivers.
We like Atkinson. The newer teachers and some of the older ones are energized by the new principal and her ways and my kid has been really benefiting from some new teaching approaches. Some grades at Atkinson are overcrowded and I think we are now around the size we're supposed to be. Weird personal reviews aren't going to make the enrolment go up. I don't think test scores are everything and saw one teacher work pretty hard on test taking, but I've been to a coffee where testing was covered and scores are up. Anyway you can check scoring on the PPS site for yourself.
Numbers don't lie. Since 2010 enrollment is DOWN 10% compared to other area schools that are UP 10% on average. Parents and students are leaving in droves. PPS may intervene to stop the bleeding but it is going to take years before the damage is repaired fully.
We've been at Atkinson for a few years now and think its a great school. But change is hard, and I do understand how some parents want to blame the fairly new principal. Our school previously had things in place that were ducking around district policies and they had to be changed, but they felt like big losses to our community. Some changes have required more of the teachers, but there seems to be more support for them, and the school seems to be moving in a very positive direction that helps all the students. I've questioned some decisions, but there is (almost!) always good answers with research and information behind them. Really, most of the pain we've felt has come from district cuts, so we should really blame the weak tax structure that pays for our public schools. Atkinson is doing so many great things with less, but I feel like we need to invest in all our public schools.