This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Patsy Sommer Elementary School1
Posted October 28, 2014
- a parent
Folks, this is NOT a great school. Nancy Varljen is no longer new yet is still terrible. She seems more interested in her pet projects, pushing her own agenda, than insuring learning is taking place. As a result, enrichment programs offered at most schools are no longer offered at PS. Poor, last minute hires are still resulting in some unimpressive new teachers. And the fact that miserably poor teachers , like Julie Davis, are being retained is frankly disturbing. For example, despite countless parent complaints, Julie Davis continues to be highly disorganized, has great difficulty communicating effectively with parents, she exhibits no classroom control which is needed to foster an effective learning environment, & her children are consistently the last ones to learn their sight words - if they even do at all! I personally know multiple parents who've complained about her & even asked to have their children removed from her classroom, and yet both the previous & current prinical's have allowed this lousy teacher to remain employed. For years!! As long as RRISD continues to employ sub-standard teachers & administrators, Sommer remains over-rated, highly disappointing hype.
I have loved every teacher that my children have had at Patsy Sommer, and Mr. Pratz did a great job. Since he left and Ms Varljen took over it has gone down hill. We have lost several teachers each year because they are not fond of her either. She always has an excuse, and nothing is ever her "fault" . The ratings will go down soon, because all she cares about are the students who are way ahead. I have both kind of students, and she has been a nightmare for the one who struggles a bit. People are talking about petitioning to get rid of her, and I will be the first to sign.
Have been very disappointed with this school and its principal. She says she has an open door, but does not listen to any of our concerns about our child. She doesn't care about any requests that are made and will do things her way regardless what is best for the child.
I personally do not agree with any of these comments. Great staff quite caring and attentive from the moment you walk in to volunteering in class plenty. I had a kinder in Mrs. Kuhn's class and a fifth grader in Mrs. Ruiz class. This school has amazing teachers who have taught my kids a tough curriculum with patience and understanding. The principal addressed an issue with a temporary substitute teacher with great attention and urgency of the matter at hand. She showed exemplary leadership and open communication. As parents, we want someone who cares about the children as much as we do as parents and Sommer has reflected that academically in 2013-2014. Great work! We did not find that in schools in Fairfax County that had reputation for being great schools but lacked in curriculum, teachers being enthusiastic and staff who seemed not to care about kids who got sick or parents who took time from their jobs to volunteer when they could.
The school is great, the principal however....... I hope some things change and they bring back the community ed after school programs, my sons really missed them. My daughter will be going in to kinder and there are not any after school activities for kinder without the community ed.
This school is awesome. My daughter is in Ms. Shreiner's class and it has been such a blessing. I was worried about her slow eating habits, but she thrived in her class academically and eating too. Ms. Shreiner stretched herself and put in a lunch award scheme that worked out really well. There is a lot of positive reinforcement and I see it is a very strong academic and extra-activity oriented school. Extremely impressed.
Coming from a Montessori we knew our kindergartner was ahead of her peers in academics but maybe slacking in her social skills. This school offered us a perfect balance of academics as well as social fun for our daughter. So much so that within one month of joining this school we got admission in another very renowned academically driven school but we stayed with Patsy Sommer. Ms Dyer is very caring, fun and methodical - she has different levels of teaching within the same class. We love her!! The other teachers and staff are also very helpful and both the principal and Vice principal are very approachable and helpful too