This is a border community where speaking proper Spanish is highly valued. The school forbids Spanish speaking beyond Spanish class. The message has been conveyed in such a manner that young children have interpreted this to mean that Spanish is bad and to conclude that all things associated with it are also bad. Again, the administration and board need to review their goals in this regard and develop an appropriate policy celebrating the students' heritage and the school's location and history. The justification given for the current policy is that faculty do not speak Spanish. Interestingly, all new hires and new board members are anglo.
Having just gone through the science fair, I cannot say that the school encourages honesty. Students as young as First Grade are required to participate. The projects are to be done at home with parent "supervision". The project includes a 5 page typed report but the students in the lower grades are not even learning how to type yet! 100% of the parents that I spoke to stated that they were the one having to do the project. Each one expressed resentment at this. The younger students who put their presentation boards together themselves were penalized while the polished looking boards put together by the parents were not. Obviously, parents who are put in the position of "supervising" a project that they know may garner their child a high grade and a trophy do not think they are cheating but are trying to give their child the competitive edge. Nevertheless, the wrong lessons are being taught--if you want to get ahead, don't rely on your own abilities, but look to your older sibling or your parent to get you through the task. In my child's case, we spent more time learning how to type than anything else. By the time we were supposed to practice the presentation, we were over the science fair and ready to move on. When kids are competing against adults with advanced degrees, there is a problem that should not be ignored. The administration and board need to ask themselves, what is the point of the science fair for the lower grades? I would think that it would be to encourage a learning of science foremost. (Possibly to encourage public speaking. But surely not how to type.) Unfortunately, the opposite is the result when a child decides that the science fair is unfair and there is no point in trying.
The food is terrible. Unhealthy-overly processed, refined starches and sugars. No fresh fruit or vegetables. Unless you include the bagged salads. Every year the principal praises the healthy and nutritious lunches. The nutrition information should be available for inspection, including brand of product and ingredients. I would love to see the Board eat lunch there everyday for a month. Even more objectionable, is that teachers are allowed to bring in their own lunches, students are not.
The front of the school is pretty and welcoming. The back entrance for lower school is a wasteland and unsafe (no administrator on hand, weeds and dog poop, untended landscaping ). The traffic at drop off and pick up at the lower school is extremely dangerous. Every attempt should be made to create the same experience at the lower school entrance as the front entrance.
Lower school students do not have recess, and the chance to socialize, resulting in lots of behaviour issues during class time.
There is way too much homework.
The reading specialist spends her time producing plays. The money spent on her salary would be better spent on developing an effective reading program with UTEP education students brought in to teach reading one on one to students throughout the week instead of the limited attention that she spends with a few students. She has scared off Radford families through her various pronouncements. The administration has no idea what she is up to and doesn't seem to want to. Apparently, she thinks herself qualified in assessing a child's neurological foundations. She also runs the Rainbow Group for students she perceives are in need of more of a challenge than the regular curriculum. It's just another opportunity for her to interfere with the teacher's management of the class.
The uniforms are boring and fail to accommodate changes in weather. Summer weight fabric skirts for girls and shorts for boys in 100 degree weather and corduroy's and sweater alternatives for winter would be great additions.
The Science Fair for Lower School needs a complete overhaul to promote learning instead of cheating. A five page typed report for students who've not yet learned to type is ridiculous. An illegible, poorly copied instruction packet written for older students is moreso.
In view of the reading specialist who undermines the teachers by issuing opinions about a student which are contrary to his or her class performance, I have no idea whether the teachers are effective or not.
I would like to be able to thank the Administration and Board for listening to my concerns. However, my own and those of other parents are ignored. I perceive that parent complaints to the Administration are never conveyed to the Board. You have to be in the know to get your voice heard.
I do thank my child's teachers, they are all wonderful professionals who love to teach.
Also, the housekeeping staff who do a great job of keeping the lower school clean and tidy.
The RPTO is amazing. They accomplish so much and take up the slack in the Boards' lack of funding of the library, computer lab, and class needs.
Kids run people over in the halls. Slam doors on people. Throw trash on ground. The foyer is a madhouse with little room to walk due to the placement of the furniture in a way to prevent students from putting their feet on the coffee tables. Instead of removing the tables and placing the couches closer together so that people can walk through the foyer without injury, they put the sofas in the way of traffic. Someone will likely be injured. I was pushed into the corner of one the wood couches, hurting my hip. I complained without any result.
What a great school! The staff are wonderful, the parents are involved and the academics are stellar. You can really get involved in your child's education at this school. My daughter just loves the trap and skeet team. What an experience. There are plenty of activities o keep the student engaged. Thanks Radford School!