As I've stated before, my son could not speak until after the age of 4. He is currently 7 years old and is speaking, reading above average and is thriving and happy. We couldn't have done it without the staff at Doss. They have went above and beyond for my family. We suffered a traumatic newborn loss as my son began kindergarten and Jana Griffin and the staff were there for my family. They moved mountains to help my special needs son, and I will be forever grateful. The special needs teachers are the most loving, caring and patient people I've met. I'm making every sacrifice financially to be able to live in this neighborhood, for my son to be able to attend Doss. Education is very important to me and this school has exceeded all expectations. Above and beyond is an understatement.
Doss has an excellent curriculum, that has kept my son on track and flourishing. My child could not speak until after 4. Currently, at age 7, he is caught up to his peers, reading above average and thriving. I could not have done it without Doss' s help.
I'm spending far more on my housing budget than I'd like to, haha, for the main reason that I would not want my kids in another school. I have found the teachers to be the finest I've ever had (and my kids went to Eanes and Leander ISD in the past...their education is my highest priority) but my heart swells when I think of how they treated my family and I with respect and humanity. They dealt with my kindergarten son's behavior issues the first week of school effectively and with heart and worked with me to find solutions that were in his best interest. Now he's in the top of his class and absolutely thriving. To call Jana Griffin "uppity" is ridiculous - she's absolutely amazing. Keeping class size low is one of the most important things an administrator can do, so for other parents reading - this school WILL do what needs to be done to give your kids the best education....even if it means telling an entitled parent that their kids can't join the Mandarin immersion program because it's filled. THANK THEM for that! They take such great care to give all kids the very best and I am grateful every day my boys wake up and can't wait to go to school! The parents here are involved, educated, and as relaxed and cool as can be. We've made so many friends here with the kiddos and parents alike and I can't sing Doss' praises enough. Can't wait for the upcoming school year!
The education quality is great up until the fifth grade, where I believe the teachers are utterly incapable, however the school, as far as dealing with child discipline, has no effective system and leaves children punished for poor behaviors with no clue why those behaviors are bad, leading to repeat scenarios and confusion.
I am searching for an appropriate school for my daughters and found this one that offers a 50/50 immersion program in Mandarin. My children are currently in full immersion and the Principle Jana Griffin was so uppity she would not even entertain the idea that my children would be good enough to test in. If they were good enough she said she would not increase the class size of the upper classes to 22. Even though 22 is the state limit. I'm not surprised by some of the comments on here, what happened to educating the child? Why would you deny children that are more than qualified to attend a program over the fact that you don't want to increase the size of the class?
Overcrowded, rude staff, and exhausted teachers. I have never been so put off by a school. There are many parents who try to be involved and just as many who could care less. The community in this school is broken and the education suffers because of it.
I love the school, they have great teachers and the staff is very nice, they work hard to do their best. The parents are very active and involved in the school activities, however the school has serious problems, caused by the overcrowding issues. It is almost 100% overcrowded. The school capacity is 500 students and the enrollment (on 4/10/2015) so far is around 940 students. (this websites show 840 students but that number has not been updated). The school is running out of space for portables. The only hope is a bond to build facilities which will not even be ready until next year, and who know if it will pass and even if it passes it would take a long time before the building project is ready. And to make thing worse there are many developments coming up to the area which will increase enrollment on an already extremely overcrowded school.
I moved to the nw hills neighborhood in part because I heard Doss was excellent and a good place for special needs kids. I wish more folks had been honest in their reviews and this wish is why I have to try to warn prospective parents with special needs kids to find a different school. There is neither the will nor the resources to help any child who cannot thrive in a very crowded, tense environment in which there are very few interventions to prevent bullying and very little attention to anything besides getting the kids through the day. My child was kept inside during recess because of a serious physical disability that kept her from writing quickly, and when I asked the school to stop punishing her in this way (p.s. it is illegal) the teacher freaked out and yelled at me instead of apologizing. I am sure that a lack of money and too many kids has doomed the school, but an honest parent will tell you that (especially for a kid at all outside the norm), this school is mediocre.
Doss is the number one overcrowded school in the Austin school district now. To accommodate for more students, they added new portables that covered up part of the track. Growth is not sustainable here and the school is bursting at the seams. Traffic at drop off and pick up is ridiculous and there is very little parking available. There is a very active community of parents. Some are very warm and welcoming, and others not so much. There is not much socio-economic diversity and it very much feels like a school of "haves" with very few "have-nots." There is not much racial diversity -- although there are some Asian families (perhaps drawn to the Chinese Immersion Program at Doss). If your child doesn't require special assistance, they should do okay at Doss. If your child requires attention, they don't seem to have the resources to provide adequate help (special needs or gifted students).