This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Forest Park Elementary School1
Posted July 24, 2011
- a community member
I was disappointed when I attended this school back when I was in 1st-3rd grade. Goting to three different elementary schools before and after this school, I realize now, going into my freshman year of high school, how much better those schools were. They don't have perfect 10 ratings, but academically they soared about what I experienced at this school. In first grade when learning to spell I was taught "guess and go" which has managed to impare my spelling and each year there I came home asking my mother for homework help because what we were taught that day didnt correspond with the homework. As for the student body, since it is located in a rich area it was pretty snobby. I came home in first grade asking my mother if our family was rich. For an elementary school it has a terrible problem with cliques and I was really never welcomed in that school. I wouldn not reccomend this school at all.
I have 2 kids who have gone to Forest Park. One from K to 5 and another who is in 2nd. For my son, K-3 were the best years and 4th and 5th grade have completely not prepared him for the change we have faced in a competitive school district in CA. For Oregon FP is one of the best public elementary schools, but that is coming from a state and continually is in the bottom 4 nationally. This year OR's public school system is 47th in the nation. When we moved to CA, we found we were 6 months behind in science, math, computer lab. For my daughter Kindergarten was the worst year. She could not read and spell and the teacher lumped it all on us. No testing for learning disabilities partly because the former principal did not like to have many academically challenged children. We paid for additional resources and that is what got her through 1st and 2nd grade.
This school is unfriendly to both gifted students and students with disabilities. Its high academic ranking is achieved by forcing out students with learning disabilities. School smeared my 5 years old using fabricated behavior data and pushed him towards self-contained special education classroom in remote and poor neighhoods. We went for a lawsuit and prevailed. Fortunately my son's successful story at Education Soaring and Southwest Charter proved to the school district that this school was lying.
Forest Park Elementary parents -know the value of a good education/kids come ready to learn -give generously of their money and time -support their kids and are active participants Forest Park Elementary staff -the best around/highly skilled professionals(teachers, principal, cafeteria, custodians,aids) -principal has turned staff into a collaborative, focused team -principal is unfazed by "squeeky wheels" and sticks to our purpose -some of our work is being used as models for other schools in the district Facts often overlooked -differentiation is often invisible to students/parents and that doesn't mean it isn't happening -TAG kids are not superior to others -teachers are contracted and paid for 37 1/2 hours a week(average PPS teacher volunteers almost 20 extra hours a week)
Any school, any community will have their negative voices. If only the vocal were the majority rather than the negative minority who so often dominate our society. There is no mistaking a great school when you see it and FPE is one of the best. The staff and principal are dealing with a highly active, educated community who are very involved. That is a gift and a curse. Some reviews here want you to believe the success of the children is in spite of the teachers or the principal. Obviously it is not. Very supportive staff. Highly dedicated teachers. A very approachable and active principal. All around this school consistently focus on children first. Not on parent voice...on children need and academic growth. I say this as a community member for 8 years and a parent in the school for 4!
My daughter had great kindergarten and 1st grade teachers but her 2nd and 3rd grade teachers have shown absolutely no interest in making sure that she is challenged. Requests for more challenging work were met with apathy and a staggering lack of creativity. My child gets her homework done for the whole week before she even sets foot in school on Monday morning...there is absolutely no challenge...yet she doesn't qualify for TAG....so they won't lift a finger to find her something more challenging...they have her read to fill her time...even though according to their testing criteria she exceeds grade level expectations in reading. I'm thinking about private school as an alternative since I've recently heard that the two best 4th grade teachers are retiring this year.
I disagree.....talk around the neighborhood has confirmed to me that there is frustration with the leadership at the school. I think the teachers do their best with what they have but it seems that the school is so concerned with attendance levels and test scores that real learning is compromised- especially for special needs kids at either end of the spectrum. Yes, it's a happy, warm environment but most parents can get that with a babysitter. I think more should be expected from a school. I don't see the comments to which you refer as negative so much as honest- and I happen to concur with those parents.
I've been at Forest Park for three years and could not be happier. The teacher routinely communicate with parents. The office is there to help with parent questions. Teachers consider the whole child and balance social with academic needs. They are concerned not just with my child's success but also with my child's happiness. As a former teacher in my past life, I have never seen a more dedicated and educated group of teachers on one staff. It is a great place to learn and grow. This is a community show here. Teachers, parents, and the principal are all very involved in the school. Talk around the neighborhood and you will find the negative comments of some of the remarks here, are isolated to say the least.
Average principal who is unaspiring and seems very reluctant to hold teachers accountable. several oustanding teachers, but numerous teachers who everyone tries to avoid. High testing marks reflect high parental involvement rather than superior academic programs. If you have a bright child don't expect any support other than lip service. There is no organized curriculum for TAG students other than teachers assigning 'extra' work This school does have a nice architectual feel to it though as its main selling point
We relocated from another state and as anyone who has experienced this will tell you... finding a good school can be one of the biggest challenges. We chose Forest Park based on the numbers but now that we are here I can tell you that it is more than the numbers can convey. It is a true community with caring parents, dedicated teachers and facilities that are clean and well maintained. We feel very lucky to have stumbled upon such a gem.