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John A Sippel Elementary School5
Posted October 15, 2014
- a parent
I was blown away by the negative reviews on here. The staff at the front desk has never been anything but kind and helpful to me. The few times I have had to communicate with the principal or counselors, I received a response within the hour and every issue was addressed. Both of my kids are at math and reading levels 3-4 beyond their grade level and I believe that is due to the dedication of the amazing teachers at this school. The communication between teachers and parents is VERY GOOD. Agendas are sent home daily which detail your child's behavior, assignments, tests, etc. and if there is any concern, you can e-mail the teacher and they always get back with you that same day. Parent/Teacher conferences are student led but that simply means the student gets to show off all their hard work and tell their parents all that they have learned. Standard things like grades, behavior, etc. are addressed and discussed by the teacher, not the student as some reviewer stated. As for the checkbook system, I think it is genius. This system teaches responsibility and math skills at the same time. I love a system that doesn't just highlight misbehaviors, but REWARDS the POSITIVE.
We LOVE Sippel! The staff is super friendly. The front desk is always ready to answer questions. They've always been friendly and quick to help. The teachers we have encountered have been great. Are there a couple who aren't? Yes. But show me one school that doesn't have a teacher or two who needs a new career. You can't base the whole school on one teacher. My daughter's teacher is AMAZING! We could not have found a more perfect teacher. What I love is the way the faculty has fun with the kids. Just go listen to the morning announcements or ask them about teachers turning in attendance - the kids have a little routine they do to remind the teachers. It's hilarious! Academically, we are very pleased. Our daughter is being challenged, even in subject in which she excels. Again, a lot of this is due to her teacher. If your kid isn't being challenged, take it up with the teacher, don't blame the entire school. I would totally recommend Sippel. It's a happy environment. :)
The facility is lovely, and the location is great, but I have been less than impressed with the staff. For example, it is the general consensus amongst parents I know that the front desk staff are apathetic and inpatient. Many of the teachers that I have interacted with are the same. My children have had some great teachers there too though. Everything considered, it is an average school.
We are a military family and have moved our children many times. My daughter is a 3rd grader with Mrs. Walsh. She is WONDERFUL! This is my daughter's 3rd school in 4 years, and is by far the best school we have been in (of both DODDS and public school). We also use the checkbook method for behavior in class, and it has been a very rewarding experience. Not only can my 3rd grader balance a checkbook, but she is held accountable for her behavior. And when I sign it, I know EXACTLY how she is behaving in school. Love the agenda, which I sign daily. It's great for communication and accountability. My daughter is performing math at a 5th grade level and reading is at a 6th grade level. Mrs. Walsh continually challenges my daughter, and the kids just love her! We had a sub at the beginning of the year for a bit while Mrs. Walsh was out on maternity leave, and it did not seem to impact the teaching at all. The sub was a certified teacher, which in the past (at other schools) we have had subs with little to no experience covering for long periods, and they were not certified teachers. I am overall very impressed with this school! I'm sorry we have to leave for another move.
I currently have a 4th grader & a 1st grader. This school has been such a blessing to my kids. My son has been to 2 previous schools & has never fully enjoyed school as he does now. He actually loves his teachers & to me, that's just wonderful because it hasn't been that way for him always. The teachers are so great. They actually care & seem so excited themselves to teach. My 1st grader also has nothing but positivity in her days at Sippel. They're already striving to get to college. I thought that was such a great thing. ...already having ambitions so early. Thank you Sippel!
My daughter attends Sippel and she loves it! It is her first year there and she is in kindergarten. Most of the teachers and staff know her by name and are really great with her. I constantly see high fives and smiles :). I have volunteered there in the classroom and have gotten to know some of the staff and I love it too. Anytime there is an issue, I write a note, email or call and they respond within 24 hours. There is a child in her classroom that has a habit of taking things from the kids and being a bit aggressive. I had a meeting with the teacher and it was immediately handled. I love that they let you come and eat with the kids during their lunch time :) If you're kiddo is heading into kindergarten Mrs. Mendez is great!
This was our first year at this school. My daughter was in 2 nd grade and will now be in 3rd grade when school starts up again. We love the school and haven't had no problems. I'm kind of confused by some of the other posts as I have never heard of a checkbook account ( maybe it was just for your sons class) or student led parent /teacher conferences. As for you going to visit some friends and not having your kid go to school for that day does not mean he will be excused for the day. Every school we've been to you have to be ill or have an emergency to be excused. You need to set an example and follow the rules, because you are teaching your son that rules don't apply to him by letting him miss school to see friends and thinking he can get out of homework. Your setting your son up for failure in the real world if you keep on this path.
* Sippel was built for 750 students and they are currently at almost 1000 students. That is why the early lunches. They can't fit all students into the cafeteria at a reasonable lunch time. *7:45am to 2:45pm is the hours of instruction (same as others in the district) *A child that is labeled special ed cannot be suspended (talk to you government if you have issues with this) *Parting at a friends house is not an excuse for being out of school
We're a military family and have moved around a lot. This is the 5th school my son has been to, and he's 9. This is the worst school he's ever attended! Where do I start? His teacher constantly tells him he's going to fail the 4th grade. He has hours of homework every night, and when I wrote a note to excuse him from it as we'd gone out for ONE day to visit friends and got back late, the teacher gave him a fine. Don't get me started on the fines. They have the most confusing "reward" system ever. They have "money" in a checkbook account and get fines for a hundred different things. Rarely is there the chance to earn money for good behavior. As for the parent teacher communication, it's a joke. They have some "system" where you have to sign in a different part of their folders at different times. I can't keep up with it, so God knows how kids can. They have student led parent/teacher conferences, the teacher just sits there and says nothing while your child attempts to explain what they're doing in school. My son entered the spelling bee, and afterwards tried to show his teacher his certificate. The teacher just told him to sit down and get on with his work!
If I could do it all again, I would take my son and run far from Sippel. Their lunch times are ridiculous!! My son eats at 10:45am!!! He gets 20 mins of recess a DAY!! They start very early in the morning compared to other schools but then let out at the same time and yet the kids get 20 mins a day?! My son has been bounced around from classroom to classroom. He has a learning disability & the school has taken almost a full calendar year without providing him any assistance. The blame is always placed on my son, never on the staff. Realizing my son isn't an angel, I still believe the adults should take responsibility for their actions, failures, & job duties. My family & I moved from a school less fortunate than Sippel & yet the students loved their teachers. The teachers were full of heart & creativity. Most Sippel staff are not the same unless you get Mrs. Tidwell (absolutely AMAZING!!) My son comes home in tears often and begs me to home-school him!!! Requesting parent-teacher conferences, isn't getting me anywhere. We're moving soon to get away from here for our son's happiness. to somewhere that can embrace his disability. Don't be fooled, if you can, avoid Sippel!!!