So glad we're getting a new principal this year - let's hope it makes a difference. We'd heard so much about what a "great arts focus school" Buckman was, how they taught to so many different learning styles, how involved and lovely the staff was -- maybe back in the day but not in 2013-2014. This was the most lackluster staff I've ever seen. Everybody seems to have the "that's not my job" or "I'm off work now" mentality. If you don't fit neatly in their box, then you get left behind. Fundraising seems to be all they can talk about -- and they bring in tons each year, plus lots of involved parents and yet they still complain and use it as an excuse (lack of funding) for when they fail to do their job adequately. I know schools in Portland that have less and that do more and they have better scores. We're hoping for a better year this year with the principal change. Just don't let OLD reviews fool you.
It has been the greatest honor to serve at Buckman for the past five years. The students, parents, and staff are simply amazing! I have never worked at a school that supported student and families more. The arts have never been more alive and you will not find this level of creativity at any other school. Every day is an adventure and despite what some may say, this school is as close to perfection as possible. Being critical is fine but I challenge anyone to find a more involved and nurturing staff. I love it here and so will you! Great parents, happy students, and loving staff...now that is what makes a GREAT SCHOOL! Yes, I am the principal (possibly a bit biased) but I am also the dad of two PPS grads and I would have loved for them to experience what I do every single day.
This school has been disappointing. I didn't want to say it. The first 2 years were great! 2nd grade was good. Now, my child is about ready to "graduate" and can't wait to be away from the least energetic teacher yet! Teacher started every occasional parent e-mail with "Sorry it's been a while"... then, a series of excuses for why the class hadn't progressed in academic areas. No explanations ever made sense. Based on all written communication, it appeared that only kids whose parents had the luxury of volunteering in the classroom were given attention. Other families are left behind. This dynamic is exemplified by the principal. No more "arts focus" programs for us--- what a pretense!
This school was a nightmare. The principal doesn't seem to have experience in running a school while rolling his eyes in every meeting. The teacher refused to acknowledge or deal with a bully issue. Every answer to my concern was budget, not enough staff, not enough control, or they are just spread to soon.... oh yeah and they said it's only going to get worse next year with the planned budget cuts. Where's the professionalism and empathy? NOT HERE, go somewhere else.
I love it ! I no longer worry about my son's education. His passion for learning has come back and blossomed since starting 2nd grade here. They focus on the arts which is perfect for my son but academically they are right up there with the best of them. He loves going to school and every time I go visit I am impressed by what they are learning and the way they are learning it.
A fantastic school focused on deep and meaningful arts integration with all aspects of the curricula. Many of the reviews below are from a time when our school was experiencing a great deal of change in Principal/school leadership (yet most reviews are still positive - a tribute to the strong teacher leadership that continues to exist). The current principal presents a clear vision for the direction of the school that includes teacher and parent perspectives. Academic success for all is a top priority... along with advocating for the arts-infused program. He is open and approachable with a leadership style that promotes teacher and parent leadership in the school. Best of all - The Kids are Happy and Having FUN while learning!!
My oldest son graduated from Buckman 3 years ago and his younger brother is in 4th grade there now. I have nothing but high praise for the staff, the parent community and the arts program. Some focus schools do not have the well-rounded education that Buckman provides. My oldest goes to SES right now and his education is limited to environmental sciences only. Buckman parents are hard-working and proud, the kids are positive, the staff is amazing! I highly recommend Buckman. And I will be very sad the day my youngest leaves that school.
I believe it offers my grandchildren the best possible learning experience in the Portland metropolitan area.
We had a great kindergarten year. And I can't imagine there's a kid at Buckman who doesn't love school. What more can a parent want? This is a sweet school. There are things that could be improved & hopefully will over time: better organization with parent volunteering, increased math & science achievement, and just more funding on the whole (which is a PPS, if not a nationwide problem).
I really like the school but if you have any sort of problem or a child who needs help in any area other than the norm, good luck getting assistance from the principal. The teachers are doing a fantastic job, it's just too bad the principal is so artificial. We love Buckman just not the response you get when you really need someone who can be a strong leader in the right way. I've found that the 'image' is quite different than the reality when you get past the 'smile.' Schools deserve great leaders, especially with fantastic teachers and staff on board.
After being at Buckman Elementary in various capacities for more than 10 years, I beleive Buckman teachers are fantastic. They combine both the arts and academics that benefits the WHOLE child. Team planning and art productions give the children a well balanced curriculum. On the other hand, professionalism and leadership are greatly lacking in Buckman's administrator and the staff has picked up the responsibilities causing an undue workload on the building teachers. The administrator has poor communication with the community and staff which has caused confusion and misunderstandings. This is unfortunate as I am thankful for the commitment the teachers have to the children and each other and for my children's smiles each day while there.
I agree with the parent who posted on Monday, September 29. Being an elementary school principal is a tough job, and our principal makes student learning, creative expression, safety, and self-esteem her highest priority. She is also doing an amazing job of working in collaboration with our diverse group of highly committed and active parents. Her main focus is on the students, and I'm thankful for that.
I read the last review and I would have to disagree. I have been at Buckman for many years and the current principal is great! I know she puts some preassure on the teachers and that might cause some issues, but that is her job and she does it for the good of our children. She is out and around in the school and she is very available for kids and parents. To us it is more important that the principal is humane, friendly, loving and there for the kids and she is. Her priority are the kids and that is how it should be.
The teachers are great but the thing bringing this school down is the principal. She's one of the most unprofessional people I've ever encountered. It's really a shame because it's the teachers and kids who suffer. I wish I had known how much this would throw a wrench into our year there.
My daughter is entering the 1st grade at Buckman and so far we have been thrilled with our experience. She has been supported and encouraged in ways that we thought were no longer existent in public schools. We loved the art focus, and were literally amazed at the academic growth she accomplished in a single year. As a child of mixed ethnicity, she was not at all under-represented. There is a diverse community at Buckman, however these differences are not emphasized. At Buckman we are all truly a family.
It is a great school with lots of potential. In terms of diversity, racial discrimination, acceptance, and integration of students it has a long way to go. It is my child's neighborhood school, but for my African- American child it falls short.
Our older daughter is a kindergartner at Buckman, and we love the school, the curriculum, the faculty, the SUN classes, the vibe, everything! Our neighborhood school is one of the best in Oregon, but we lotteried into Buckman because we wanted our children (we have two younger kids) to have the arts-enriched learning environment. Our daughter is so fired up about learning because of the arts aspect of the curriculum. And the diversity of the student body enriches our experience as well. We love Buckman!
I have been at Buckman for 9 years. The teachers and staff have always been very supportive of me as a parent. My children have thrived in a very carring community. The intergrated arts gives our children the opportunty to express themselves in many ways. My son is in boys dance. Through dance he has created a self confidence that has shown up in all areas of his life. Buckman is a community of carring adults and children. This furthers the childs education in such wonderful ways. Sincerely, Pamela
Buckman is a safe, fun environment that embraces all types of kids. It is a place where they can learn feeling safe and empowered by their abilities. The families are equally as welcoming. It is really a wonderful school, with art and music and drama and dance. The kids are busy and happy. The staff is experienced in arts integrated education. The combination of arts focus and core subject education is powerful. They do an amazing job all year long. Check it out!
Buckman is a remarkable treasure of a elementary school. Even in an era of educational cutbacks, Buckman stands out as an superb example of what a community can do when it rallies around a school with a tradition of caring about its kids, how they learn and who they become in the world. Buckman is wonderfully intimate and caring. Teachers are exceptionally experienced, creative and imaginative with their coursework. Students learn history, math, social studies, writing and reading in elaborate packages that always include art, performance, field trips, community involvement and tremendous support from parents.
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