I am very disapointed with this school. I have had problems off & on for the last 2 years but now it has gotten worse. It is really bad when they lose your child & not sure of where she is, by the time they found her it had taken the vice principal, a teacher & 2 office ladies to finally find out where she was.
This school needs serious help. The teachers are not able to communicate with the children effectively to help them learn. Many children are falling the state test because of this. The administrative staff are a flock of ostrich content to bury the heads in the sand rather than address the critical issues facing the school district. Parents are forbidden to be directly involved with their children's education, except for homework and folder signings.
This school would have received a full count star rating if it were not for the intrusive and self proclaimed exclusive PTO. Operated as a club, officers do not follow the established bylaws penned by the founding members. The current "elected" officers will be serving their third consecutive term starting this Fall as the bylaws state new officers must be elected into these positions after 2 consecutive terms. Their "exclusivity" also reaches beyond the basic school functions of festivals and fundraisers and into the livelihoods of the school's staff, namely the Art, Physical Ed., and Music teachers. The PTO officers attempted to get teachers dismissed (instead of suggesting the curriculum should be reviewed and freshened up), going as far to meet with the principal and vice principal and then beyond that to the district office. Fortunately, the power they believe they have is not enough and no one lost their job. If the PTO was revamped with a new set of people, then this school would be near perfection. The teachers my children have had are approachable and helpful. It is a very good school despite the rural location.
The administration has a 'better than you' attitude. The staff leave no doubt that THEY are the experts, you are the mere parent, drop your child off at the door if you must (riding the bus is preferred)and leave the rest to them; after all they know best how to educate your child. Dare to disagree with them on any matter, be it an academic subject, school bullying, or disipline issue, and you will instantly find yourself belittled, your concerns minimized, and even rejected as unfounded. The only reason I don't give Alkek 1 star, is because as far as I know there have been no reports of drugs, alcohol, or serious threats at this school. So, there are worse schools in America, I'm just not sure there are worse schools in RURAL America.
I have three children at Alkek. I am very pleased with the rigor of their education as well as the exceptional job that is being done to also enrich their character, respectfulness, and responsibility as a future functioning member of society. All of my children are challenged daily and are able to perform at their own level. I do not feel that they are being stifled because of the lower levels of other children in their classes as a parent of a kindergartener commented. Their PTO is doing a great job of supporting their teachers and filling in the gaps where the current budget crisis is falling short. My children are getting a great education, and I have no doubt they will be prepared for middle school, high school and beyond.
My oldest just finished the first year of school here (Kindergarten),and though we loved her teacher and felt that she was very attentive and caring, we were overall quite disappointed with her education throughout the entire school year. At only 5 years old, she was bored because she knew the entire curriculum already. The only time she came home having learned something "new to her", it was the last week of school and it was ONE lesson. I understand that they have to cater to the "lowest common denominator", but are 21 other children really that far below average that they have to teach "the A says AH" and "1+1=2" literally ALL year?? The school is not bad, as far as facilities go. The playground is a bit primitive but serves the purpose well enough. The cafeteria serves "mostly" wholesome foods. Staff is nice. Curriculum is severely lacking though.
My son just started at this Elm. New teachers, New principal, New PTO members... I think he is really enjoying school and i am very pleased with everything. Looking forward to a few great years more in Bandera.