I am pleased that my oldest student does not attend Whitaker any longer. I have one student left in this school and it takes me 23 minutes to reach the front of the line to pick her up after school ( frustrating). My student was given extemporary state test scores that she did not earn, year after year. It was heartbreaking for her to learn that her test scores had been altered. Now that she is in another school (where we are welcome) we can begin to work at those skill that she requires assistance in. We are livid what Whitaker choose to do on the state exams. We are distressed that Whitaker Elementary School had their hand in the cookie jar. When parents started to notice and question the activities inside of this school the school implemented the" no parents allowed" ruling. I was not surprised when I read about Whitakers troubles in the El Paso Times newspaper. I really felt sorry for all the good teachers that worked there. I will be pleased when I can take an active role inside and outside the school in regards to their education.
My son started school here this year, and I can see why I fought tooth and nail to get him in there. The staff are friendly and helpful; it's nice to hear a genuine human being on the other end of the phone when I have a question/concern and need to call the office. The morning drop off is in order since the new principal came in and it seems to be that everything is flowing well. I like the safety measures taken that do not permit parents past a certain point; it's a good thing. Every morning while dropping off my son to school, the principal is helping assist with the morning drop offs and always says 'good morning'. My son was nervous about this being his first year in school, however, he loves his teacher and he says he enjoys learning because his class and teacher are fun...This is what it is about - making sure our children are taken care of properly and also getting the 'above and beyond' education they deserve. Great school! Wouldn't have it any other way!
Okay, so the school does not want parents to go past a certain point, when dropping and picking up students. This is for their SAFETY...I do not mind this at all, I know that my child is safe and that some other parent can't just walk out the doors with her. For the parents that want to go in furher, they can get a pass from the office. This does not take but a minute. The staff and teachers here are very nice and lets face it, they have high test scores and provide a great education to the students. If you are looking for a great school that is going to educate and keep your child safe, then this is the one you want.
Just a quick response to the previous posting.... at the beginning of this year, when I first saw the sign that read: "No parents or visitor's" (spell check by the way, previous poster), I was taken back as well. But if you think of the children and their safety in the long run, I can appreciate their concern for safety. I have visited the school on a number of occasions, both to visit my children's classes and to complete observation hours for my own education degree. I have heard some yelling coming out of the 1st grade hall, but it was nothing like a drill sergeant type of yelling. If you had 15-20 7-8 yr old's yelling or acting up, you would have to yell too. If the teacher has control of her classroom, the school should not need guards during class. In the classes I have been, I have never heard a teacher deny a child the right to the restroom. I do agree that it is a great school, my younger brother went, and now my children go as well. They have people from the army come in and participate with the children, which is awesome! The principal may be lacking a little in certain areas, but we should not be quick to judge, she may be trying on improving herself and the school. :)
Whitaker has locked out the parents. The sign reads" NO PARENTS OR VISITERS PERMITTED PAST THIS POINT." The parents are now the outsiders. They give the children ten minutes for recess and the remainder of the time to eat lunch quietly and quickly. They post guards in the hallways to usher the students to classes. There are no guards posted in between classes. The students are discouraged from taking restroom breaks and using the water fountain. The children do not wash their hands prior to eating lunch. There are no checks and balances in place at this school. You can hear them yelling at the children. It feels like a juvenile detention center. Whitaker was a great school. Many of the teachers excel and really care about the students. However, the principle should be able to make decisions and not be lead by the nose. I hope it will become a great school again.
This school has been a blessing for our family both for the wonderful teachers and the extraordinary beautiful school. The one of a kind architecture of this school lends itself to the overall positive atmosphere and sets the stage for a very creative experience for the children. This may be the most beautiful school in El Paso.
Academically this school is great. The teachers are excellent at educating. However, I recently had to put my child in daycare and rely on them to drop my kid off at school and I have found that between the time that my child is dropped off and the time the school assumes responsibility at 7:30 there was no supervision. This is only a 30 minute time period but even after talking to both my daycare and the school they could not come to an agreement to close the gap. The principle refuses to accept responsibility for child safety until after 7:30 (even though she does not arrive until after 8 am) but leaves the school open so my daycare continues to drop off my child before the school assumes responsibility. I am looking for other options for both school and daycare. Safety not academics has to a parents first priority.
I have had three kids in this school. The teachers are great and the office staff is very caring. My kids enjoy their school. The school has a great standing as a recongnized school and my daughter did so well that she was commended on her TAKS. (100%!!!!) The staff is friendly and understanding. They have even allowed me to hand-pick the teachers for my kids
Over the past two years (especially this past year), this school's administration, teaching staff, and coaching staff have all shown a dramatic decrease in the quality of education being given to my children. The coaches have been lazy, and have only done enough to 'get by.' The teaching staff has no passion or creativity for their classes, and the principal has no leadership skills to inspire or encourage her staff. I will be transferring my children to another school in the fall.