My niece had to endure one, full, horrible month at this dump last fall when the family lived in Brookhaven. The kids ran wild, acted like uncivilized, crude barbarians. While a large part of this is due to the way they're being raised (or likely NOT being raised), the principal/alleged "leadership" of the school does nothing to stem the tide. The year started out positive with a new principal in place. But my encounters with this principal left me feeling that she was aloof, narrow-minded, intolerant of any culture but her own, and disinterested in actually carrying out appropriate administrative duties. If there is any actual education going on in that building, I certainly saw no evidence of it. I helped my brother and his wife find a house in a much better district. The track record of the Chester-Upland School District hasn't changed in years and there's no reason to think it will change for the better any time in the near future.
This school is nothing more then a glorified daycare center. The work my daughter comes home with is rarely challenging and she is in the "S.T.E.M. program which was created for those who are academically advanced. I beg to differ. My daughter is being bullied by a child that has bullied others as well. Complaints to the school only result in "meetings' that come to no real resolution. My daughter is just pulled aside or better yet, the bully is told that my daughter is complaining. Often parents are in the front area irate and complaining about the school. The vice principal brings up the low annual income as some mediocre excuse for the behavior they deem acceptable. The principal displays faux shock when you mention any problems. The school has a vermin infestation that is not addressed and they do not properly supervise the children. To date I have witness one child walk clear out of the building upset, I was the one that had to bring attention to the staff that he had left. Another child was held down and his sneakers physically removed. I mentioned it to a guard who looked at the boys feet and walked away to his car. The staff has given up, the parents and students follow.
My experience with Toby Farms was about 50/50 as far as Music Programs and academics I found it to be exeptional. Constantly providing programs of interest for the empowerment of my children. Security of the school however appeared to be lacks at one point. I feel the leadership of the school was very good. The principal and vice took special interest in all the children and their needs.
My experience with Toby Farms School was not a good one. My family moved to Brookhaven in March of 2005. I transferred my daughter to Toby Farms because it was the only school located in my district. My daughter was there for 2 days when she started having trouble with some kids in her class. Everyday she would come home telling me how these kids would harrass and threaten her and how kids would get into many fights and not be disciplined for it. Although I made trips to speak with the principal about this situation. Nothing was really done to stop it. I withdrew my daughter from that school after 3 weeks to home school her. On top of a that I found the academics to be non-challenging, no real sports or extracurricular programs were offered and there was a great deal of staff unprofessionalism.
My child attended Toby Farms Elementary School from kindergarten thru the fourth grade. My child engaged in a caring and focused environment with teachers and staff who stressed academics,and idividuality. After-school programs were available to students to enhance creativity, social skills and self improvement in reading, writing, and math. Building Administrators were approachable and aided in finding solutions to discomforts of a student's and parent's day. After relocating to another state, I found that my child was well equipped to compete and continues to excel on grade level with his peers. I have fond thoughts of Toby and my child's learning expereinces.