June 01, 2015
My daughter has spent the past two years in Grades 1 and 2 at Kirk Elementary. Our experience has generally been excellent, and her reading, math and knowledge and interest in science have progressed dramatically during that time, though I agree with a previous poster that homework could be more challenging and varied, especially in 2nd grade, and that the school teaches to the average student. I am sure this is inevitable in a public school, which is why a Gifted and Talented program is available to assist budding scholars. The interior environment, including classrooms, library, corridors and lunch hall are modern, light and spacious, and discipline appears to be very well managed. The exterior dropoff and pickup is also well managed, but the space available for car pool leaves something to be desired, with some parents ignoring guidelines, by taking far too long to pick up or drop off their kids, or taking needless risks by parking on, or turning left onto busy Tanner Road. I guess this is a problem common to many schools where lane space is restricted. The open plan classrooms were of some concern to me when I first toured the school, thinking that extraneous noise might be a major distraction, and security an issue, however I now think the light, airy and inclusive atmosphere they promote is generally a good thing at this education level. Our daughter's teachers have all been very nice, and she was quite tearful when she heard one of them would be leaving mid-term for another appointment. One concern is the seemingly poor administration of the absentee system, considering the potentially draconian consequences of excessive absenteeism in this state. Despite providing sick notes to the school, on occasion these are not recorded accurately in the system. A recent lengthy trip overseas during term time to extend our family's immigration status, resulted in a warning about potential court action, despite having delivered notice to the office weeks beforehand, explaining that it was not an option for us, and that immigration law trumps education law any day of the week. The error was eventually rectified, though the attendance officer proved difficult to contact, and an unwelcome letter could have been avoided by efficiency and timely recording of planned absences.
- submitted by a parent