We're new to this school this year and we couldn't be happier. It's a great mix of academics, creativity and community support. We've been to three different schools and this school is definitely the best of the best. I would highly recommend it!
Meh. Not bad and not good. I am a graduate, and I was there from kindergarten through fifth grade. It was often to easy, and academics were to focused. Although there is a band and art, the programs are not good. Although the principal I had from kindergarten through fourth grade was out of touch, the one I had for fifth grade seemed to mess the school up. Not many kids or parents loved that principal.
Overall Duniway is a good school. Both my kids seem to like Duniway a lot and are happy going to school there. Strengths: solid community support and involvement, spacious school learning environment (doesn't feel overcrowded), great parent led art program, environmental awareness and green principles being put into action (especially in the cafeteria). Weaknesses: Out of touch principal (due to retire this year), a few burned out teachers (who really should consider retiring), too much focus put on academics and test scores, slightly entitled parents (with means) who seem power hungry and at times overly opinionated (a small minority). All and all a good school who has not yet come into it's own. With strong, supportive management Duniway just may have the right ingredients to make it great.
Duniway has many things going for it - chiefly among them are the parental involvement, excellent teachers, and highly cohesive community. The weak link at Duniway is the principal who does not advocate for teachers or parents and does not even seem to understand their concerns, quite honestly.
A major reason we moved to the Eastmoreland neighborhood was so our kids could attend Duniway, and we have no regrets. Our kids have a positive impression of school as a place where they will learn, be creative, have fun, be challenged, be respected, and be recognized and cared for by the school community. I have spent time in numerous schools throughout PPS and the neighboring David Douglas District as a part of my job, and although Duniway may have some equals among them, I can think of none that supercede it. The teachers we have had welcome parent participation, are interested in knowing about my child and family beyond the walls of the classroom, and have approached me procatively when they noticed learning issues in my child that needed evaluation and accomodation. The parent community is amazingly involved, and really makes the school exceptional.
We've found the teachers and parent involvement to be great. Overall we've been very happy with Duniway. However, in my experience the principal isn't very interested in listening to comments and suggestions from parents.
I have a first grader at Duniway and have been pleasantly surprised by the attention/nurturing he has received. The communication from his teacher has been stellar and I feel that he is developing a real love of learning. While there have been a lot of asks for fundraisers that we have been unable to participate in, I have never felt pressured to do more than we are able. Overall, I am very happy with the school.
We have had 2 kids at Duniway, one still there. We've had highs and lows during those 8 years, but on the whole the school has offered our kids an excellent and often inspired experience. Many of the teachers would stand out in any school, public or private. It is a welcoming and accessible parent community. The school foundation funds some teaching positions, which is a parent-funded luxury in a public school. But it is fundamental academic achievement and parent involvement that drives the school's reputation.
If your child is special needs...this is not the right school...we toughed it out for 4 years. In my opinion, the principal lacks the knowledge and strength to deal with these kids in a way that does not damage their self esteem. Most of the teachers were great, but the poor leadership is taking it's toll. The playground lacks enough supervision. The parents are great, and I will miss them. I was at the school several times a day and taught in the art program...my opinion is not based on only my kids.
We moved into the Eastmoreland Neighborhood so our child could attend Duniway. Huge mistake we are paying dearly for. We transfered to another school. Duniway Elem has an active wealthy foundation that drives it reputation, but bullying, crass behavior and cussing on the playground are the norm. In the classroom, it's the same rote learning and uninspired teachers you'll find at any PPS.
Was the very best school that I found in Portland. I wish my Children still went here. It changed their lives.
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