The school has its good and bad. There are some very good teachers. The safety of the children is a problem with drop off, dismissal and especially the playground. It is not uncommon that the younger students are mixed with the older and this really adds to the drama at school.
Its a great school - good principal and good teachers. The other support staff - library/front office are also very helpful.
My son has attended Sam Houston Elem since kindergarten and we are pleased overall with his education. Like all schools in Texas, they are very focused on teaching to TAKS. As a parent and previous Denton ISD student, I really hate this. Teaching children to pass a test is important, but not the only important thng in life or in education. We have had hits and misses with his teachers...kindergarten and 2nd were huge disappointments. Lets just say, lots of problems. 1st grade teacher was FANTASTIC! She caught a learning disability within the first few weeks. 3rd grade was the start of team teaching..we love this. We don't like the AR program. The homework load is a bit much. The principal is great. She's kind but strict. She also expects parents discipline kids at home for what happened at school. Parental involvement and volunteers are numerous & fantastic here.
Leadership excellent. Some teachers need to be re-evaluated. Parent involvement and displine strong.
I have 2 children at Sam Houston and I couldn't be happier with their experience there. The teachers that we have had are excellent and the principal is superb. The PTA and parents are very involved at every level. We recently moved and the main criterion for our new home search was to stay in this school.
Houston has some excellent teachers. The principal is fair, she does her best to help the kids. My son had always struggled with reading and last year in 4th grade he excelled. His teachers all encouraged him and we[re] great with him and he improved so much, I could hardly believe it. He loves art class and PE, has never complained about the teachers or office staff. I only have 1 complaint. The times I have visited the campus, I was not stopped to be asked what my purpose there was. The security could use some work. But as far as the curriculum, teachers, and parent involvement, I am very pleased.
We spent K and 2nd at Houston, and I was very unhappy with my experience. I agree that love of learning is not instilled there. They also don't know how to deal effectively with children. The principal told me I needed to 'fix' my son myself when he got in trouble, no talk about what we could do together. PE was a problem for my son, so I went to check it out. I went 5 times and all I ever saw them do was run laps. Then they all sat on the floor for 20 min. while the teachers tallied up how many miles they had run. Heck, I would have been causing problems if they were trying to make me do that! High test scores just reflect the economic reality of the area the school is in, not the quality of the school. Too many worksheet too!
The biggest flaw is the negativity and absence of joy within the walls of the school. I would advise anyone considering purchasing a home in this school zone to visit several schools of interest in person during the school day. On paper this school looks very appealing. The PTA is active, the TAKs scores are high, however, it is important to remember that how your child is spoken to on a day to day basis and how material is presented is more important than an overall school rating. Visit during the school day, during lunch and recess, walk down the hallways and listen for positive words of encouragement. If instead you hear negative, threatening, scolding, words in the hallways and behind closed doors, I would suggest you keep looking....We are now at another school in the district and my child's fears and anxiety have virtually disappeared.
My daughter was in kindergarten last year and overall we had a very positive experience. This school was a major considertation when we purchased our home in the area 5 years ago. As a local realtor for the past 8 years in Denton I had the luxury of knowing what kind of feedback each elementary school was getting. Houston is known as one of the top elementary schools in the district. Tons of extracurricular events for the kids. The teachers and staff have always been friendly and responsive to our childs needs. When reading the postings on this site I suggest that no institution will ever be able to please all of the parents and too many times we parents expect the school to deliver what we as parents should be providing. The main areas for improvement seem to be reducing class size and security when the school day ends.
Parent involvement is very high. The PTA is strong. The Principal is tough but fair. The office staff is very friendly; they know everyone who walks through the front doors. Security is good. All school doors are locked, except for the main doors by the office. All visitors must check in, and to be a volunteer you have to complete a background check. Kindergarten through Second grade teachers are very good with rare exception. Then you get to Third grade. I actually had a teacher tell me that my child needed to increase his speed and decrease his accuracy. They truly teach to the TAKS test. If you survive Third grade, then Fourth and Fifth Grade are good years.
I personally feel that this school does not do everything it could do when it comes to helping parents with their children. I have a child that has issues and I don't feel as if the staff is very helpful when you need the help in dealing to solve things. They tell you oh they are in special ed so we are limited, well all kids, in order to learn need to have specific training, discipline, etc...They need to work more with the parents.
Overall, I have been pretty happy with my daughter attending Houston Elementary. I have only one concern, and it's a big one; security and safety. My daughter's previous school had a security system on the doors of the school (they were locked), the staff would have to see each guest then push a button to allow them into the school. Houston Elementary, however, allows the doors to remain unlocked during school hours. I've seen adults walk in and out of the school at their leisure, without even being questioned. With today's crime rates in the U.S., this concerns me a great deal. My daughter's previous school was located in an 'upper class' area, therefore, the surrounding neighborhood should not be a factor in whether or not our schools should protect our children to the best of their abilities.
I am a bit disapointed by the lack of engaging learning activities taking place within the classroom. The teachers rely heavily on worksheets and an Accelerated Reading program to teach. There are few interactive learning opportunities. Most of the student work is individually done paper/pencil activities with little small or large group work. The overall climate is not particularly friendly.
We recently moved to Denton (2004) and have a child in 5th grade at Sam Houston. We are pleased to find that the teachers and staff are very serious about discipline, and as a result the students are very well-behaved. We are also pleased with the Accelerated Reading program. We think the 5th grade teaching team is excellent and they are doing a good job of preparing our child for middle school. The teachers, as well as the principal, have been very responsive whenever we have had questions or concerns. The PTA is very strong. We are having a positive experience and highly recommend this school!
I was very disappointed as to how my second grader was treated last year (2003 - 2004) Her teacher didn't have time for the children and when I ask as to why her repley was that she had 22 other so how can I. I also had someone who was not the paperwork to pick her and they did, no one ever ask who they were or anything. That person went 20 minutes early so they could ask for the child, this person had never been inside the school, the office people never even ask who they was only who they was looking for. That scared me tells me anyone could take my child and they wouldn't even know who it was. So between the doesn't have time and the office workers. I have very high concerns and would not ever advise anyone to send there child there.
The children at Sam Houston are well-disciplined, have lots of Accelerated Reader Points, and do great on the TAKS test. But do they have a zest for learning and is the joy of discovery alive and well? Does the school nurture and find the best in every child. I would have to say no. After 2 years at Sam Houston, my child is convinced that it's more important to get all the blanks filled in on the worksheets than to understand what the worksheet was supposed to help her learn. The principal has an iron hand and a mind to match-she is locked up in her own vision of 'the good school' and there is no room for change or diversion from the status quo. This will be my child's last year at this school that values public opinion more than the spirit and mind of the child.
this is for my child who was in the 1st grade last year[2002-2003]. I was very disappointed in the teacher she had last year--very grumpy-not loving,very distant, always yelling--not able to keep control of the class room. One or two parents were there almost everyday to assure that their child and others were able to have some sort of praise and positive reinforcement. I also had a another child there approx. 12yrs ago and had nothing but positive things to say about Sam Houston[especially Mrs. Neblett].
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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