There used to be 3 school districts but now only one. They no longer use the grading system 1-5. It is back to letter grades. We have throughly enjoyed Alice Drive Elementary. My boys have done great! They have been challenged in areas where they needed to be. It helps to be a parent who voluntaries at the school.
I don't know who told the person who said there was only 1 school district for grades 3 and under but there are 3 districts; District 17, 80 and 2 in Sumter SC. What people need to remember is schooling is a give and take and should be 50% teacher/staff and 50% parental involvement. If you are uninvolved in your child's education you are going to get what you give. A lot of parents want to talk about how bad the schools are here, but those are likely the ones who ARE uninvolved in their child's education and expect the schools to raise their children and provide them with the morals and values that they should have been provided at home.
There's only one public school system in Sumter, SC. For grades 3 and under, students will taught a standards base curriculum and grades a number system of 5-1. Why did they have to change the grading system too? You can't grade students like a customer satisfaction survey. Students are crying because the Honor Roll for them is gone and the highest number isn't given to a student for each assessment, because it would indicate they have mastered everything for the year. The district has tried to justify and explain generic benefits, but the daily reality is that students and parents don't like nor understand it.
As a new military family moving to the area, do you research like we did... Alice Drive has a track record of success in the area, and the state. I toured the best public and private schools, and there appeared to be nepotism within the private system. All in all, children in the schools in the Sumter area need additional guidance and assistance from families. Plain and simple. The track record, coupled with the neighborhoods, make Alice and Millwood the best options...
I have to say this is the best school my children have ever attended. We recently left ADE and my children miss it dearly. The teachers are great and the staff as well they have after school care, Pre K and a 3 yr old program run by the some of the best teachers I know. I only gave 3 stars for principal because I have not worked with the new one that started at the beginning os this year. If you are moving to sumter this is a great school for your kids.
Before moving to Sumter I heard bad things about SC schools but we had to move and place our kids. I did tons of research before deciding on a home/neighborhood (school choice is rarely an option here). Placing our chidren in ADE has been a good thing, have had excellent teachers, great communication and I often walk the halls just to see if the other school staff recognize me as a parent. We love the fact that people know our children's names, the crossing guard says good morning to them by name and they are not just a number here as in so many larger school systems. The teachers have good communication with parents (though some parents could care less-so sad) and each time I need to speak to someone/teacher/admin...they are very kind and receptive. Preschool is available (half day) for free here if you sign up in time, they do semi-annual home visits and have a great program. Unfortunately, there is no actual gymnasium at this school. I can't say enough good about the teachers here and though the principal seemed out of reach at first, has been wonderful to our family. We Will miss them next year when we move on.
My daughter has attended ADE from 2nd -- 5th grades and has done very well. The parent involvement seems to be high with the PTA doing so much for the children & teachers. She has so many wonderful memories here. Her most important influence though was Mrs. Dave' in Chorus and Spring Fling. Through these programs, our daughter has realized her vocal talent and interest in drama which she LOVES! Mrs. Dave' was always SO supportive and loving! Can't say enough about the Mrs. Dave'! We will miss ADE next year.
If you have a child with special needs. Then I stongly advise you not to attend this school. the communcation is poor. The teamwork is unbearing. As a parent I have to spend a great deal of time working with my child everyday just to get the report card marks up.
This school is fine for students that do not require any special attention. If your child has any Learning Disabilities, I strongly recommend that you read all the IDEA Laws and IEP Procedural Guidelines before attending this school. My son attended this school for 6 years. Getting after school tutoring at this school is a battle.