This is the third DD2 school my child has gone to, and by miles the worst. The school is constantly pushing for test scores over actual learning. If a child is struggling in a subject they give you two options " get a diagnosis" or "find help elsewhere".
I absolutely love FDES! I have 2 children that attend here and they love going to school. We moved from out of state and Fort Dorchester is so much more organized than their previous school. They recognize and celebrate the childrens achievements all the time. The teachers are wonderful and I have not had a problem with communication. You can see the difference it makes to have such dedicated parents, staff, and volunteers. The school is much larger than our previous school, but the class sizes are smaller. I volunteer weekly and the principals are always stopping in a class or are visible within the schools. My only complaint would be the receptionist, you can tell she doesn't belong around children. Not very pleasant or friendly. Keep up the great work FDES!
Get your children off those broken down buses, put them back in your car and go to another school. The kids are great at this school and some of the teachers are too. Though finding well-trained, devoted staff here is like an Easter egg hunt. I agree 150% with the other parents; there is enormous pressure to pass standardized tests and to put on a good show so the school could finally win a Palmetto award. But for what?! The kids don't get field trips, sports, iPads or anything else they claim the students should receive. They issue students passing grades and parents are fooled into what learning they think took place. There is a reason that SC has the highest rate of high school drop outs year after year. There is a huge turnover of staff here. There is a large problem with bullying and the staff overlook it. There is very inconsistent communication from the school. Try reaching your teacher and you may wait a while, if you get a reply at all. This school has great difficulty following their own district's policies and make excuses for not doing so. And you want these people modeling leadership for our children??! Do yourself and your children a favor and run!!
Someone stated below that this school is better than the Washington state school their child previously attended. Not sure how, as we just moved from there and thought this school would be on par. Not even close! This school is way over crowded and keeps getting more crowded every year. The kids just get lost in the system here and there are so many disciplinary issues that education takes a back seat. I was so happy when we moved away from SC and got our child into a better school. It's sad that this school is considered one of the best SC has to offer.
My son went to this school for K-4th grade. The teachers were great but bullying is definitely a problem that is not addressed or taken care of at this school! We recently moved to another area and my son is a completely different child at his new school! Kids are much nicer and bullying is not tolerated!
I have lived in this community for 10 years and both of my children went to this school. The teachers work very hard and that is the ONLY reason that this school is successful. There is a very high teacher turn over due to working under great stress and constant pressure. The administration is so focused on winning awards such as Palmetto's Finest which they tried SO hard for the last five years to FINALLY win and begged for money and free labor to improve the looks of the school all for the prestige of winning the award. My children are outstanding students and were well prepared by the teachers that they both had. They continue to succeed at Oakbrook Middle School and for that I am grateful. Kudos to all of the great teachers... you all deserve all of the credit.
This school is clean and decorated nicely but the inner workings of the school are a very different story.There are many very nice teachers there. And ones that actually want to teach. However this school is weighted down by tunnel vision of winning awards and receiving recognition at any cost. The staff will show you how great the kids are doing but when you take a closer look you will find a generous grading system that has little to do with actual work or achievement. And if your child is failing they won't tell you. They just pass these kids to get them through the system and win awards. Bullying has been a problem at times but the staff makes it worse by not addressing the issues. And there is no communication.Teachers rarely respond to parent contact.I have had several children at this school and this has happened with all of them. There were no field trips for kids these last few years which is a disappointment.There has been a high turn over of staff over the years too.I'm disappointed at how little my children were prepared for middle and high school compared to some of their friends from other districts.People need to look into things deeply before coming here.
Fort Dorchester Elementary School is AMAZING!!! We are military and chose where to live based on the score this school received and I am so very glad we did. We couldn't have asked for a better school. Awesome teachers, staff and volunteers.
Fantastic school! Anyone who doesn't think so will never be happy anywhere. Teachers have all been very organized. Great family activities. Many opportunities for parental involvement.
My son has attended FDES for 4 years. I can't say enough good things about this school. The teachers truly care about the kids and go the extra mile to help them learn. The office staff is friendly and helpful. It is obvious that parents in this school support it and their kids. It is a positive learning environment with teachers able to work with kids at multiple levels.
My daughter attended K with Mrs. Trevino and Mrs. Thomas and I can not say enough about how absolutely INCREDIBLE they are! After our experience with them it will be difficult for any other teacher to live up to them. We loved Ft. Dorchester and feel our daughter had an amazing educational base to build on. Now we live in WA state and compared to Ft. Dorchester, her education does not even come close. I wish they used the programs here that they use in Dorchester II to teach reading and spelling. We moved to Dorchester II district specifically for their schools and looking back now we know why! They ARE the best.
My son started Kindergarten at this school in 2010. I have nothing but great things to say. You would never know that the school was so large wen you walk in the front door. Always personalized attention for the kids and parents. He was in KB and his teachers were out of this world. His teacher came to my sons Tball game and to watch how she works with the kids would bring tears to my eyes. I am excited for him to continue his elementary schooling there. We are a military family, so when moving here, finding the right school was our top priority. We found it!
We have lived in four states. I have to admit that FDES is a pretty well organized school. Very strict. Principal always greeted us with a smile. Teachers have been wonderful. K5 teachers are all awesome. Carpool line is the most organized that I have seen! I was scared to move to SC because of the # of kids that do not graduate. I feel the FDES will completely prepare them for the next level of schooling. I hope the Middle school will do the same.
A warning for prospective parents. This schools is like a military prison. Kids are not allowed to talk in hallways, not even a hi without getting sent to the back of the line. Kids are not allowed to talk during lunch except the last 5 minutes. How many adults are not allowed to talk during their lunch break? This school is very religious. All lesson plans are christian based the last 2 weeks of December leading up to break. Also a new principal started and no one was ever told about it. Ths kids don't even know who the principle is.
We have two children in FDES and we love it!! The teachers are wonderful and very enthusiastic! We moved from MI and the difference in the level of education is amazing! My second grader actually has to work for his grades now and it is challenging him in ways our old school never did! He loves it here. Wonderful school, very helpful staff and just a great environment!
I think this is a great school! The principal is wonderful, but retired this summer. I like how the school is clean and the staff is friendly. I agree with the way my son was taught. His kindergarden teacher was not so great, she has classroom control issues and was not pleased with how she handles mainly the boys in the class. However my son did learn a lot from her, and from what I heard all the other K teachers are great. I'm looking forward to a new teacher next year, I hear the 1'st grade teachers are excellent!
I have 3 kids in FDES. This is the second year they have attended. All of them love the school and are doing great.
I heard this was a good school before but now that my child goes to this school I do not think this is a good school. The courses are not challenging enough and the teachers and principal do not properly handle the problems of bad behavior or bullying. The school is also to large and my childs teacher used profanity before.
I also think this is a wonderful school. We moved from Long Island, NY and have found this school to be great. Teachers are wonderful and so is the rest of the staff. Carol Farris is always smiling and making it a wonderful environment for children and parents.
I couldn't disagree more with the previous reveiewer. FDES has been the exact opposite for me. Teachers have been involved and loving and caring. I was on a first name basis with every one of my child's teachers and had a great relationship with them. The office staff is ready to help and open and warm. Carol Farris is always available even if I just pop my head in to say 'Hello!' I hate we moved away from FDES but I am confident our new school, Oakbrook Elementary, will be a great school as well. District 2 is the best.
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