Right now, the communication is clear and concise. My daughter's teacher has outlined the next few weeks for us and explained his classroom methodology on behavior and some of the incentives he provides within the classroom to encourage collaborative good behavior. He has also outlined the homework for the next few weeks, although the actual homework doesn't start until next week.
The principal stated tonight at Back to School night that she invites parents to meet her personally so that we "can connect as a community". That shows the desire to intentionally reach out to establish a connection between school and family, which indicates to me an existing level of caring and the ability to be empathetic to its student body and their families.
It states these values on its website, in its hallways, in its common areas (such as the cafeteria and gymnasium), and in its classrooms. Any school that takes the time to post and repeat these messages is clearly dedicated to their delivery.
We just relocated from Weston, CT to Austin, TX about a month ago. Our 8 year-old daughter is entering 3rd grade at Casey Elementary, the school that is in "our district" based on the location of our new home in South Austin. Since this is day 4 of school, I don't have a solid "report" so far, but I can say a few things. One: the principal, Lina Villareal, is new - she joined this school July 15 of 2015. Two: Weston, CT schools are the #1 school district in CT (and very high on the national rank). My initial comparison between Weston and Casey Elementary so far is very positive. The staff is friendly, the office staff is helpful, the principal is very approachable - I've been in Casey Elementary about 8 times so far, and I've seen her in the halls every single time. She does not sit in her office or behind a desk - she is out there, greeting parents and students, and really working to connect with her community. The classrooms are well organized and well appointed. There is already artwork in the hallways that the children organized and placed themselves with their teachers. The library, while not huge, seems big enough to accommodate a school of this size. Three: they have a brand-new website that several of Casey Elementary teachers worked all summer to build - it is on par with our previous school's website, and it's not even fully functional yet. Whatever issues Casey may have had in the past, it seems to be addressing them head on. As far as "62 percent of the students falling into the economically challenged category" as I've read here and elsewhere, I don't know. The cars at drop off and pick up in the parking lot are all normal cars - no Ferraris, but no Gremlins, either. All of the parents and children I've met so far (albeit only in 4 days) have been really great - children who hold doors for people, who say thank you, parents who smile and say good morning - just generally well-mannered and pleasant folks. I will post another review before Christmas break as a comparison to this initial perception. Right now, I'm very pleased with Casey Elementary.
Okay yes, it's true that the principal is a piece of work. All she really cares about seems to be testing and avoiding litigation. But don't let that scare you away. She still manages to do a lot for the school. The students and the teachers are awesome, and the PTA does a pretty good job with events like the school dances and things like that. It's not Zilker, because Casey doesn't have that kind of money or well-connected parents who can donate $5000 to the school or have parent nights at their mansions or whatever. But they do have cool programs and it is what you make it. My kid has been there for two years and we're putting our other kid in next year. We have very few complaints. We are "members" of the PTA but stay away from the drama and it suits us just fine.
Mother of 2 who just moved her children from this school for too many reasons to post on here. Basically: great teachers, crooked, rude principal and vice principal. Clearly some of these reviews aren't truthful and were probably added by some sort of staff member for the school. Especially the ones that emphasize how great the principals are. . . what a crock!
My son loves this school and I've found both of his teachers to be great. They do activities to get parents involved and are over all run very well. The Principal and Vice Principal are both very accessible. If I wasn't moving out of the whole district I'd definitely keep him enrolled here.