High achieving students are no longer challenged in this school unless they have a gifted IEP. Teaching is geared to the bottom or middle. I think they are trying to pull up the students who are behind at the expense of the ones who were excelling. There are still some exceptional teachers.
My daughter has been attending Smithfield Elem. since Sept. 2011. Prior to attending this school she attended a private school with great educators and an extremely challenging and progressive curriculum. Needless to say we've noticed a considerable decline in her attitude towards learning, maintaining her above avearage grades in some subjects and dropping to average in others. My husband and I don't feel as if this school is geared toward challenging students as much as just getting them to "meet" their requirements. I find that we have to overcompensate her studies at home to keep her at/above her level. I'm not surprised by Smithfield Elem's Great School rating. We're seriously considering transferring her out of the school before her learning habits/scores are completely reverted. While the staff/teachers are kind, professional and have good intentions, the school is definitely behind in terms of teaching students to think and reason in more abstract ways and to become more innovative and technologically advanced so they can grow to compete in this age of information, technology and social media.
My child has been in kindergarten for less than two months, and this school is a nightmare! Every very minor infraction is treated as a capital crime by one vice-principal with a very condescending attitude. There is an enormous amount of pressure placed on very young children, and my child is constantly frustrated to the point of tears. In my opinion, this school has very little understanding of psychological and biological development in young children. This is written from the perspective of a kindergarten student. I hear positive things about the higher grades, but the completely illogical disciplinary system has ruined the entire school for me and I will be moving as soon as possible.
The teachers at this school are committed to providing the highest quality of education possible. However, the influx of students from nearby urban areas has created a great strain on the educational resources and is adversely affecting the the curriculum and academic expectations.