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).
I agree with the review that states the staff does not address the concerns of parents. My 8 year old son has been physically bullied for the last 6 months, bloody lips, torn backpacks and clothing, and nobody took it seriously until he retaliated yesterday. Now they want him to write apology letters to the kids who have been terrorizing him! REALLY!? I won't send him back to this den of terror. A child should not be scared to go to school.
When we moved here to Austin. We heard Great things about this school, But once we spent 6 months in the school , we found that Teachers never respond to parents queries , they hardly have time to respond to parent e-mails. They maintain websites but feedback or communication is useless, My Kid is loosing interest in school . We see more biased opinion.
The faculty at this school is wonderful. However, the school is bursting at the seams and is at 170% capacity. Teachers are at their wits end. I never thought I would consider moving my child out of this vertical team, but the school (thanks to AISD) does not have the resources to support the massive overpopulation.
Doss elementary is such a wonderful school! This is our second year there and the staff and teachers have been so accommodating with my son who has just been identified as Dyslexic. There is so much parent involvement that there are not even always enough volunteer opportunities to go around. Now that is extraordinary school!
We moved to Doss mid-year and the staff was wonderful about getting him set-up and acclimated. He had a very smooth transition.The staff and students are friendly, smart, and diverse. My son had lost interest in science and math at our old school. He has the spark back about learning and says he LOVES math and science again. I don't think I would've realized it was due to the school until we moved. The teachers here make learning fun and care about their students. He has special needs and made accomodations quickly and have been very supportive.