Overall I feel that our school does an acceptable job. Unfortunately I find that many parents in the area feel that is enough and don't expect any more out of their school. Personally, I agree with the comments that children are not always challenged, class size is way too large (they now avg. 25/class), and the teachers are only teaching to the test. I also feel that we have a relatively inexperienced staff due to several recent retirements and our school district's policy of hiring recent graduates over seasoned professionals. On the bright side, we have a new principal who seems to have better people skills than our previous principal. He is too new to the job to change the 2 star rating on principal leadership and it should be noted that this is his first job as principal. Our fieldtrips and assemblies could be better.
I agree that class size is the biggest issue- and kids are having to be pushed for testing- the teachers do their very best with the class sizes and testing being pushed- however the stress of testing often over shadows other academic areas. It is unfortunate that kids must feel this pressure as do the teachers. It seems we are forcing kids to be 'bubble filler- iners' rather than cooperative real life learners- when do kids have the time to really be kids anymore?
Overall I think Blue Ball is a good school, though there are some glitches... class sizes get large in many instances, buses are way too full, and teaching is often test focused, not by teacher choice. However, there are many good teachers in the building who care about their students. A recent removal of Autistic support classrooms is, I believe, an unfortunate thing in the area of teaching kids acceptance of differences. There is also a lack of early identification of gifted students, and not a wide variety of choices to challenge them.
Having 2 children attending this school I feel that the teachers do a wonderful job. Both of my children are above class expectations. The teachers work everyday to challenge them and make school fun. The school has taken steps over the last year to improve their security measures. I feel safe with sending my children to school. There are many extracurricular activites for all ages.
At this time, I cannot offer much of a review on the quality of academic programs. However, I can say that I feel the class sizes are too large which leads me to believe that even if there are solid programs, I don't feel the students will get very much out of them. There are many extracurricular activities, but it seems to be only for older children. Security is very weak.
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