UPDATING MY REVIEW OF 10/1/14 FROM 3 TO 5 STARS: As anticipated, the new principal is an excellent addition to our school. Lakewood was rated the top elementary school in DISD as well as had 6 of the top 100 distinguished teachers under their Teacher Excellence Initiative. There is a positive energy in the school. You can feel good about sending your child to Lakewood and subsequent schools in DISD. Great things are happening here!
Just rated 37th out of over 4,100 elementary schools in Texas, beating one of the Highland Park elementaries. Extraordinarily close-knit community is like a small town in the big city (10 minutes from Downtown Dallas). Generations of the same families have attended this school (newcomers are welcome) and most make lifelong friends here, going all the way through Long and Woodrow (now IB schools).
We left Lakewood this year due to much of what other commenters have already mentioned. Lakewood is an adequate school, but not excellent. The neighborhood support is fantastic, yet teacher morale is marginal and the structure itself is a mess. To be fair, many of Lakewood's issues originate at DISD.
Funny, after reading the most recent reviews, I could not describe Lakewood any differently. I went there as a kid in the 1960s, and the comments fit perfectly. Yes, there are a lot of students, and the faculty vary from friendly to strict, perhaps a couple over the top in terms of knowing how to deal with students who have special needs, but all of the programs still seem in tact. Try attending schools that don't have those programs. Art, music, and the parental involvement still seem in tact. Money had nothing to do with the kind of students/families attended this school. I would think all parents research a school before choosing where to send their child. Poor, rich, hispanic, white were the matrix of our fun group then. It was the only school that really had an idea of friendship and interest in development. You won't get that by the teachers continually holding the students' hand to get them through, but if any school I attended from which I learned when I was a kid, it was, truly, Lakewood Elementary.
Can you imagine a 5th grade teacher not only bullying a student, but humiliating him in front of his classmates? This is what my grand child endured in a classroom at Lakewood. Beware if your child doesn't fit the mold they are in danger!!!!
We had an an abysmal experience at Lakewood. My son was a new student in 2nd grade with no behavior problems at all. We met privately with his teacher to explain that we felt he had a learning disorder and were in the process of having him tested. Despite this, she would berate him loudly in class for missing an instruction or not knowing something that she thought he should know. Then she got in the habit of saying to the class (in a sarcastic tone of voice), "Could somebody please help E---?" I wrote a tactful letter to her respectfully asking her not to say that to the class. So instead, the next time another student tried to help my son (even though he didn't ask for help), she said, "E---'s mom says he doesn't need any help." I tried to talk to her in person before school and she refused to speak to me--literally turned her back to me as I was talking and told me to go to the office. I pulled my son out of that school that day. When we went to collect his things from the classroom, she did not even acknowledge my son or say goodbye! FOR SHAME! Hardly the conduct of a professional educator! The principal wasn't much better. We lasted 4 weeks and they were 4 weeks of misery.
Lakewood is a good school in a great neighborhood. Lkd enjoys an excellent community and parent support visible and effective PTA, Dad s group, fundraisers and volunteering. The teaching could be stronger based on the schools population (in my experience 25% are excellent and 10% are terrible) as an educator myself (with realistic expectations ) that is good. Your child WILL be well socialized at Lakewood (once again this is neighborhood effect) they will learn here. The DISDs nationally recognized TAG schools (without caps) could be filled the top half of each Lakewood grade (that should tell you all you need to know). This school is NOT good at is making parents feel like their child is exceptional (this is not their bread and butter as it is in private schools) or a political expectation (as it is in highland park). If the school was 25% less crowed and had 50% more space it would the one of the best public schools in the country- but all in all good to great school buoyed by great neighborhood.
Lakewood is overcrowded and disorganized. The administration was incompetent in the way it handled the leveling this year. My sons teacher is nice but has way too many children. I wasn't told about significant things that happened to my son until weeks later at the parent teacher conference. This school is not equipped to identify and help children who are above or below the average. The only reason lakewood scores better than the rest of Dallas is they have a much lower amount of ESL and economically disadvantaged students. The school boundaries have been gerrymandered to keep test scores up so the property values stay up. My son received a much better education at another DISD school last year. The only reason you should send your child to Lakewood is if you want to display their bumper sticker on your Lexus
We are in our last year at Lakewood, thank heavens. The classes and the school are ridiculously over crowded with kids who live nowhere near the school. Because it is overcrowded, the lunches and recesses are very, very short. Everything at this school is about the test! Terrible arts program. The teachers never seem happy anymore. The new principal is overwhelmed. My children do very well, but they were doing well at their last school too. When we moved to the neighborhood we thought we were getting a warm and friendly school, but they just want your money. It's really nothing special compared to schools in surrounding districts.