This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Austin Elementary School5
Posted November 17, 2014
- a parent
My son is in the fifth grade and has attended Austin since kindergarten. The teachers, administration, and support staff are all awesome and encouraging to our students. The students love the Austin staff, parents love Austin staff! Great, great school!
We just moved to Coppell from Dallas and we are blown away by the schools here. Lots of communication from the teachers and administration. The teachers attend the school events outside of school hours. The academics are top notch and they also weave in hands on learning on Fridays with different subjects and themes. Appropriate recess time is given for kids to exercise and get release some energy and very few behavior issues. A great sense of community with the parents and PTO. We love the Coppell area as well, small town feel and still very close to Dallas.
Second year at Austin, during first grade, my son began coming home with consistently sub par marks for behavior. He was written up for talking, walking and touching. Relying on his teachers skills, my son was punished accordingly and things got increasingly worse. Finally, I approached both his teacher and the ISD about gifted testing my child because he is always bored. I have been supplementing his learning during school because he is not learning up to his potential. Both the ISD and the school suggested that I take my son to the doctor, because he doesn't meet the test criteria for gifted testing. Needless to say I did not go request that a doctor drug my son. Shortly after, the teacher attended a seminar, and suddenly all of the bad marks magically stopped. My son's self-esteem was immediately repaired. This week he came home from school with food poisoning, which the school denies any responsibility for. And because I admitted he threw up, they wouldn't allow him to attend the next day. I had to stay home with my son who was fine while I received two notices that my son was getting an unexcused absence. I don't even have space to cover the incessant solicitation of money.
As an educator I was very nervous about my daughter's transition into public school. I thought nothing could compare to our previous experience with a small private school. I quickly fell in love with this little school. The transition for my daughter was quite easy. Mrs O'Neill and Mr. Hilton are fabulous administrators. They are the type of administrators that know each students name and cares about each student. Recently they have become involved in Renzulli learning. A program that promotes each child having a gift. In fact the past two years they have sent teams of teachers and administration to the Univ of Conneticut for training. This is a world class school and I am so happy that my daughter has another year at Austin. This is an exceptional school!
We used to love this school, however since the new Principal took over two years ago, things have really gone south. In our experiences and from speaking with some of the PTO parents, the new Principal has little to no personal or communication skills. This has alienated many of the parents. Her "my way or the highway" approach is not working. I would strongly recommend she take some training in "People Management", "Teamwork" and "Communications" if she wants to be successful in this role. I believe the new Principal can improve, and I hope, for the sake of our kids, she succeeds in her role. On a positive note, the teachers are still doing a great job. Thank you Austin Elem teachers. PS: It was always nice to see the old Principal (Ms Locklear) meet and greet parents during the morning dropoff and afternoon pick-up, and she was always engaged with the kids. We miss you Ms Locklear.
We went to Pre-K at another elementary school in the Coppell School District and had a great experience. Compared to that, our experience at Austin has been so-so. I mean, it's not terrible, but it's not great either. One of my biggest complaints is that they seem to use the students as advertisers. They come home every 2-3 days with advertisements from various places either stuck to their clothing or stuck in their folders, and someone has taken the time to coach them that they NEED to bring their parents to that place. I find that SUPER annoying. My son's teacher is nice, but she's not an exemplary teacher, and I haven't found any other administrator who seems to be extremely caring and concerned. Not terrible. But not great either.
Cheryl Locklear and her team made my son's transition to Austin Elementary warm and inviting. He was nervous about his first day (we transferred in March) but Mrs. Cook met him in the office, talked to him and showed him the classroom and his seat and made him feel at home in his new class. The communication has been wonderful! Lydia made it easy for ME to integrate into the school from an enrollment standpoint. She's highly organized and very caring. My son is working with Robbie Monteleagre. Robbie has been so encouraging and supportive. Her techniques have raised my son's confidence and I know that will only continue in the future. We are thrilled to be at Austin Elementary with such a loving, caring, experienced team of teachers and administrators.
Austin Elementary is a wonderful school!! What I love about the school is the dedication to the students from the top down. The teachers care about their students and the students can feel it. Learning starts with feeling safe and loved and Austin students feel that way! The love and care are felt from the administration, counselor, and all in the building. Cheryl has led Austin through some great transitions through the years and because of that dedication and leadership Austin continues to shine. Administrators and Teachers are never appreciated enough but our family loves and appreciates all the hard work everyone at Austin exhibits year after year!! We wouldn't choose to go anywhere else in Coppell.
Austin has a very nice community of parents. As well as several excellent teachers. Our children attended Austin Elementary for 5 years. We eventually moved our kids out of the district due to our experience at Austin. While the principal (Cheryl Lockyear) is a pleasant person to meet and converse with, she lacks leadership and genuine concern for all kids. I did not realize the magnitude of this until we relocated to another neighboring district. Austin is an OK school certainly not the best Coppell has to offer and definately not the best in the area when compared to neighboring districts.
Austin Elementary School is an amazing school with an even more amazing staff. From the custodians to the cafeteria ladies, to the teachers and administrators, this school offers much more than a basic education to every student that enters their doors. The principal (Mrs. Locklear) has been with the school for more than 10 years. The new assistant principal (Mrs. Beckman) has brought great energy and enthusiasm to the school. The teachers are kind, fair, and very well educated. They work together to provide a well-rounded education and the entire faculty focuses a lot of energy on teaching students good manners and citizenship. The school encourages parent and community involvement and has a very active PTO. I am so glad that my children have attended Austin and I highly recommend this school to anyone who wants their children to receive a great education in a loving and respectful environment!