I am seeing a serious decline in leadership at Harvard Elementary ever since former principal Kevin Beringer retired.
Our new school principal Mrs. Alaniz has failed (in my opinion) to uphold his strong communication skills with staff and parents alike. In addition, the buzz around the school is that she completely fails in being present and attentive to her teachers. They are the last of the bunch to find out what is happening in their school and on their grade level, which is completely disheartening. This negligence has brought over a dozen teachers to move to other schools, resign, or forced into early retirement.
With so many great teachers gone and the entire leadership staff gone I am sad for our once great school and our loving students who deserve a principal who will AT LEAST pronounce their last name correctly during awards day. She does not know our last names because she is not PRESENT. She does not interact with our students. Ms. Alaniz would rather scold a custodian in front of parents then go into a classroom and read a picture book to the kids to get to know them.
I also fear who she will replace Mrs. Moore and Ms. Cole with. We clearly do not need anymore individuals with qualities like Ms. Alaniz running our school.
Harvard is an excellent elementary school with teachers who care about the development of their students and get to know their students, not just focusing on high test scores. IB curriculum is a plus. Since it is a STEM magnet, technology, PE, music, math and science are the auxiliary classes. First rate teachers. Many excellent after school clubs are offered including choir, student council, honor society, track, engineering, robotics, coding, name that book, multimedia and early birds (running) in the mornings. Warm and nice environment for kids of elementary age.
My daughter is 4 years old. She is in the pre-k pals program. She has been going to this school since she was 3. She is speech delayed. Since she has been here it has been a blessing. The teachers she have are very patient and always looking how to make learning easier for them. I am very happy we are attending this school and grateful for the teachers in the pals program for doing an awesome job.
Harvard elementary is a good school but it could be better if principal and teachers kept their educator hats on instead of trying to meet the numbers. I have 2 kids going to this school. As another reviewer pointed out, caters to mainstream students - if you are above or below, you will not receive the support you need. No art, music or sports/physical education. No GT instruction. Also agree that teachers do not like to help resolve student conflicts and discipline tends to be administered without objectivity - probably because there are no job accountabilities or guidelines for this.
Harvard is a very good school for mainstream students who don't need much extra attention. In my experience, children with special abilities or special needs tend to be overlooked and fall through the cracks. In addition, I found the IB program and the Vanguard instruction to be rather underwhelming. The language instruction in particular is a joke. After several years of instruction my child doesn't know the most basic Spanish vocabulary words. If your neighborhood middle school is your school of choice, Harvard will be a perfectly adequate elementary school for you. If you'd like to send your child to Lanier or TH Rogers, you will want to choose ROE or Travis instead. Harvard doesn't really prepare students for the rigors of a Vanguard middle school.
I'm a fifth grade student and LOVE this school. They have kind teachers who help you with anything needed and have many after school programs that you can attend for fun!! This school is an IB school with students who care and get good grades. If help is ever needed you can talk to the teacher about it and he/ she will handle it. If your child ever deals with bullying the teacher and principal will handle it giving the bully a punishment. The principal here is always on top of his game making sure everything is in order. This school is amazing!!!!! All of the teachers here are highly educated and so are we (the students) we have many projects, but they are always fun and the teachers give you a reasonable amount of time to do them. We don't get too much homework and go over everything in class. Everything is very organized as well. We have a tech lad, a P.E room, a music room, a library,an art room, a math room,and a science room. We are always learning new things and get help if we don't understand. I highly recommend this school for all those parents out there. You won't regret it !!!!!
Harvard Elementary is a gem of a school! The teachers are all very caring, progressive thinkers, who are encouraged by Mr. Beringer, the schools Principal, to seek out and learn new innovative and technological ways to teach in the classroom and keep the students engaged. A well rounded internationally broad educational experience is foremost at this little school. Thank you for a wonderful experience watching my child grow and learn.
Mr. Beringer, Harvard Elementary's school Principal, runs a tight ship at this school, which is why it has succeeded in its effort to become an IB World School, with major improvements in test scores over the past five years. Our child enjoys learning and is eager to come to school with children who are just as enthusiastic about learning. I would encourage all parents who work or have worked internationally to give your child an IB World School Harvard Elementary education.