This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Kiker Elementary School2
Posted August 28, 2014
- a parent
Perspective from Dad. As with plenty of parents, we wanted our children to go to one of the best elementary schools in Austin! Expectations were high from both my wife and I, as well as our children. I must say that we're not impressed with the quality of leadership, behavior of the children and parents, but most importantly the quality of education for the amount of money we pay to live in Circle C. The complete chaos and noise in the cafeteria at lunchtime is abhorrent. When was the decision made to take away the control of the caf' monitors to maintain order and a level of ear comfortability, and instead give them mustard and ketchup bottles to "serve" the kids of Circle C. What are the kids learning by this practice? The GT program is not pushing our kids to think decisively or with multiple perspectives of the world we live in, but is actually giving the kids an extra Bonus Problem at the end of a worksheet! Test scores show Kiker to be exemplary, but so is St Elmo Elementary. There seems to be an issue with kids with major behavioral problems (I believe stemming from the parents), and leaving our kids to have a "par" education. We can not recommend this school.
My daughter just completed the 3rd grade at Kiker and my youngest will start Kinder in the fall. I continue to be impressed with the high caliber of teaching and genuine compassion displayed each year by my daughter s teachers. Whenever I comment about the family feel of Kiker and how incredible our experience has been at the school, her teachers give credit to the principal for her leadership, vision for the school, and love for the students. We are extremely grateful to be at a school that cares just as much about our children s academic success (by teaching our kids to love learning and knowledge, instead of just teaching to the test), as well as their character development through kindness, dignity & respect!
We moved the Circle C to attend Kiker and have not been disappointed. Our two children have thrived. They have been loved, educated and cared for. The Principal and the Admin staff are very professional, set a great tone for the school and know each and every child individually. The school itself has a great feel to it, the facilities are great and parental involvement is highly encouraged. I feel that Kiker is a great stepping stone into preparing my children to excel in Middle School, High School and life. I thank my lucky stars every day that my children are going to such an outstanding school and get to spend their day with such devoted and dedicated educators.
This school can either be great or horrible for you. If you want your child to be a drone, with no personality, never using their creativity or reasoning skills then by all means send them here. If you are more concerned with test scores than your child developing into a well rounded little person than this is the school for you. If you think the definition of a good school is hours of homework every night, complete silence in the classroom at all times, drill sergeant like teachers, and adult like 6 year old - then you have found your perfect school. If this does not sound like what you are looking for then send your child to Patton Elementary near the soccer fields by the YMCA in Oak Hill. It's a short drive and your child can be more of a kid, yet still be challenged academically. To me this is was a more caring, creative, and nurturing environment. And guess what? They still test great!
We have had nothing but positive experiences at Kiker for the past 3 years. I am impressed with the leadership of the principal and her over arching message of treating others with kindness, dignity and respect. We have had wonderful teachers and have been impressed with the level of involvement of parents.
My children both switched to our neighborhood public school, Kiker Elementary, after many years in a Waldorf school. I was concerned about their transition into a large public after all their years at Waldorf. I was immediately impressed with Kiker, from the minute I enrolled my children for school. First, the principal and the counselor took the time to sit down and have a meeting with us, to address our concerns. Every spring, the teachers and administration sit down together and hand pick each student's teacher for the next year. They did this for my children as well, placing them both with amazing teachers. Academically, they're first rate, but it's the sense of community that i appreciate the most. Children are greeted by name, parents are made to feel welcome and encouraged to volunteer at the school. The principal begins each and every morning with an assembly to discuss with the children issues such as treating others with "dignity, kindness, and respect", and always encouraging and expecting the students to do their best. Teachers are smiling, children are laughing, my children thrived and continue to do so at Kiker. I am forever grateful for the amazing staff!
Kiker has been a wonderful school for my daughter for 5 years and my son for 2. We have been lucky enough to have teachers that have gone the extra mile to make a difference in helping my kids learn. Programs like Take Flight for children with dyslexia, is just one extra I wouldn't expect at a public school. The teachers are really dedicated to making sure that all children of all levels have a chance to learn. Parent involvement is amazing as well. If you don't jump on an opportunity to volunteer for something, the spot will be taken in no time! Both my kids love it!
Wow - I can't believe all of the conflicting reviews on this site. In my experience as the mom of a 3rd grader who started at Kiker in kindergarten, I have nothing but positive things to say about the school. I LOVE the morning assemblies which teach the children about strong character, personal accountability, and healthy living and leaning habits. All of my son's teachers have been fabulous. Homework has been manageable. We supplement with Mathnasium and Sylvan just b/c it can't hurt. My son isn't special needs or gifted - just an average kid, so I can't comment on those areas or how responsive Dr. Schneider is. My impression, though, is that she really cares about the students and teachers, and I believe that most people have a high opinion of her.
I am writing this review so to bring some balance to the conflicting reviews I've been reading. We moved to Austin a few years ago. We have one special needs child and one in Kiker. This a public school, and therefore is dependent on test scores and attendance measurements for funding. As a public school it does its job really well. It is diverse. Your child will come in contact with other kids from a variety of nationalities. It is safe, well run, with a good staff. Of all the schools, public and private we have visited or have had a child attend, its been the best so far. It isn't a silver bullet school for every child. The teachers do their best to accomodate learning and emotional disabilities, but the have their limits as all public schools do. So look into private schools if your child has learning or emotional needs. Within every good school their is a bad teacher or staff member. Although we have yet to run into one, i am sure Kiker has there share. The car line needs to be improved as well as their second language courses. Those are our only compliants.
As a former elementary school teacher and a mom to 3 precious kids I had very high expectations for the school they would be attending. I have been on the teaching side of what i would consider an average school and also an extremely poor performing school. So I was well aware of the red flags to look for when entrusting my first child to the teachers, staff and administrators at Kiker. Well three years later and all kids now enrolled at Kiker, this momma couldn't be any happier. This school is full of amazingly talented teachers, a wonderful support staff, dedicated assistant principals and an exemplary principal. Kiker has been a blessing to my family. A safe and caring place for our daughter with special behavior needs. A safe and caring place for our sweet adopted son after a very tough transition out of foster care. A safe and caring place for a mom who had questions and concerns about how my child was doing in school... Just to name a few examples. I am not saying everything about kiker is perfect but it has been my experience that at Kiker the best interest of my children are put first. So Kiker is close enough to perfect for me (and more importantly my 3 kiddos)!