This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Buckman Elementary School1
Posted August 28, 2014
- a parent
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.