I am a proponent of public education, and because of this, my spouse and I moved to NEISD so that my child could attend Encino Park Elementary. But I've realized this year that much of the school's success is driven by the community's social class, as much as the former principal's personality.
Encino Park is a school where children are taught to specialize at a young age, and if not good enough, they are rejected. For example, the school holds auditions for a play every year. You either make the play or you aren't good enough. Don't get me wrong: failure is good. It teaches valuable lessons, but unlike high school where Junior varsity sports or Pre-AP prepares and develops students, Encino Park simply rejects. There is no attempt to develop, train, or even nurture skills, passions, etc. It's a harsh lesson for a kindergartener and flies in the face of what elementary schools should probably be about, especially at the lower grades. You'd think, at a minimum, that children would get meaningful feedback so that they could improve, etc.
The teachers are awesome: talented and passionate. But the Gifted and Talented program is a mess. The teacher apparently hasn't read the GT Program's policies and when asked to provide that information couldn't even point to it. The district's GT Director doesn't even know the district appeal process, and when pushed for a link or copy of the actual policy, simply provided incorrect information. It makes me question if there is even a policy or, at worst, that the individual in charge of the program is woefully incompetent. It is troubling that a district like NEISD might not have a written policy on cutoff scores and the selection process; or, just as troubling, the GT program is run by people who don't even know where to find the information.
Lastly, the principal is a nice enough guy with best intentions. But instead of being an advocate for the children or, at least, attempting to solve problems, he passively leads. It's frustrating to realize that the one person who should represent your child's--and all of the children's--best interests would rather do...nothing. Ugh.
I am a proponent of public education, but if NEISD can't seem to get it right, I might become a bigger proponent of private or charter schools.
Like most public schools, they have to teach to the lowest denominator. There are some really great teachers and a few bad ones. The administration and the PTA are very active in collecting funds for their pet projects, all events are money driven. Be prepared for Robocalls from the administration concerning PTA meetings or events. The school, in general, seems more focus on liberal arts. The KINS program is awesome, they offer additional programs (clubs) that help subsidize what the school is lacking by challenging the kids. The ratings for the school are great, but that is due to in large part of the demographics of the school; it’s the parents that make the rating great, not the school. Excellent teachers help and there are a few there; although the administration seems to take credit. It’s an average school. Actively looking elsewhere.
Fantastic school! Our oldest is now in his third year there, our middle is in kinder. Very caring and supportive staff, well-qualified teachers, and excellent communication from the school district level all the way down.
Encino Elementary is an exceptional school! We're a military family and this is absolutely the best school my son has attended. The principal, teachers and staff members are amazing individuals with welcoming hearts. We're happy to say our son attends Encino Park Elementary.
Encino Park Elementary School is an OUTSTANDING school. Being a military family, we have moved several times and our children have experienced several schools and this is the best yet. A caring, attentive administration and office staff,professional, caring, highly educated teachers and VERY active parent community all make this the perfect package. Scores- Encino Park scored the HIGHEST on state tests in all of NEISD this year. Could not ask for a better school, or a set of schools in this area to be a part of. This is the place to put your child to set him/her up for an excellent public education... on to Tejeda Middle School and Johnson High School...
We moved from upstate NY and specifically bought a house in Encino Park for this school. So far the school has been great. My children came from a VERY small private school and it was a big change. the counselors were excellent, my son's teacher was the buck-up-and-get-over-it type and wasn't very sensitive to his struggles transitioning. however, she responded quickly when we asked to meet to discuss the situation. Most other teachers appear to truly care about the students and make learning fun. For our first public school experience, it has been good. The office staff, Mr. Hinds, and Mrs. Garcia are wonderful people and very helpful.