Please keep the principal's secretary from answering phones or speaking to parents! If you greet her with a smile you can count on a grumble and a scowl! This is known by everyone and she seems to not care or have any social awareness. Come on Walnut Grove, we can do better!
The Principal and her secretary both are absolutely horrific. They offer no support to their teachers and staff, and don't work well with parents or the students. The principal spends too much time working on her ego rather than taking care of the kids.
I agree with the previous reviews. Principal is so egoistic. You will not see any improvement academically, if your kid needs extra support. Kids are constantly bullied, Principal does nothing but fill space. Really someone has to watch these public school systems. Poor kids are suffering everyday.
This school definitely does not deserve the good rating it has. My experience with them was awful, they are very un-professional, during my son's a.r.d or i.e.p the principal was talking on a walkie-talkie, texting and walking in and out of the room while the therapists were talking to me about their observations, the ot and speech pathologist were wispering and giggling while the teacher was talking about her observations. The diagnostician was very heartless while talking to me about my son not being independent when I die (he has autism). They are also very dishonest, they do not know how to work with a child in an individual way, my youngest son has adhd but he is very smart, always been 1 year ahead at reading. Well, not at this school, he finished the year at the exact same reading level he started with (he was there for 3 1/2 months). Also saw the counselor wiping her hand on her pants after shaking my hand. Academically did not see an improvement, they came out the same as they went in. My youngest son was constantly bullied and the teacher was in complete denial, she did nothing about it and even stuck up for a girl that threw a bean pillow at my son's face.
My child has attended Walnut Grove for two years and it is a superior school. The teachers are caring and willing to assist the children with any difficulties they have. The principal and administration really listen to the parents and try to support any needs. The families are involved and supportive. Walnut Grove is a wonderful elementary experience for any child!
My son is in his fourth year here and my daughter started Kindergarten. I'm surprised by some of the negative posts on here. Apparently, people like to post negative more often so I wanted to post about what an amazing school this is and how much parent/teacher involvement there is at this school. I have heard from TONS of people looking to move to this area that they have heard this is the elementary school to get into. Our home sales have gone up and it's hard to get a house in this area because of this school. Don't look at these negative posts. Also, the music teacher is no longer there (he retired last year) and that was where some of the negativity was coming from. We have two more kids going to this school in the future and look forward to all four of our kids being here one day.
This is my son's first year at WGES, and I have to say that I absolutely love this school and the teachers! The curriculum is advanced and coming from a Montessori background I feared that my son might regress. However, he actually loves learning even more and enjoys going to school each day. He is challenged academically but also is learning important social skills that is helping him be well-rounded. His teacher is wonderful and there is so much parent involvement as far as volunteering is concerned. Glad and blessed to be a part of this wonderful school district!
My son is in his second year here and he enjoys school. Reading some other reviews concerns me a bit because I am wondering if I am missing something. My son tends to be rather quiet so it would be easy for things to happen and for me to never find out. That being said, he does love his teacher and so do I. She is great about answering emails promptly and even on weekends. She seems very invested in him and I appreciate that. His teacher last year was also good, but it was harder to get her to respond to emails as quickly and I couldn't convince her to differentiate math instruction for my son who is amazingly adept at everything mathematical. I felt she didn't believe me and when I showed work from home, she just said she couldn't do it. That has really been my only frustration. Mostly I am happy that my son is happy and feels cared for there. Academically he is way ahead on everything so I haven't really had to deal with academic concerns.
Well, I agree with the previous poster. We had been up to the school multiple times and while at the window in plain sight, the principal's secretary was bad mouthing parents . Seemed to happen a lot, so it must be a regular thing. How completely unprofessional! Same goes for the principal, who seems genuinely uninterested in parent input and will go out of her way to make that clear, even when it pertains to student safety. Expected more out of this school and did not have a positive experience. My child also said the art teacher was mean and got mad a lot. So sad! Some teachers are probably very good, but unfortunately the administration has a lot to do with the tone of the school.
If considering this school for your child's education, run away!! The teacher turnover rate is the highest. Parents ban/click together in hopes to ensure thier child get the highly rated teachers which they tell you they do not do. The principal sits in her office daily with closed doors. Never returns phone calls or emails. The music department is run by Mr. Platt who is quite rigid, unkind and demonstrates criticism frequently to his young class. My daughter came home crying several time crying over Mr. Platt as well as content mastery teacher Ms. Gillette. In addition, my friends daughter who is severely autistic was frequently physically man handled. Her mother often volunteered in hopes to catch the teachers aide that would frequently drag her up and down hall ways because she did not walk fast enough. Educated individuals should never get physical with a child many more horrific stories & do not consider if you have any sort of 504 plan. They do not abide by the rules, or not try to get caught when they break them. Demand for a school transfer. That is what other Southlake parents are doing!!
This school neither has "excellent teachers" or an "awesome music program". I volunteered a lot and herd on many occasions teachers and administrators speaking negatively about parents and students which I find to be revolting and completely inappropriate. The music teacher Mr. Platt yells at students and shows no patience for teaching them. The principal is someone you can't talk to. She will ignore anything you say, its like talking to a brick wall. All things considered this school serves its purpose of keeping all of the Special Education students in one campus segregated and watched over by a very rigid individual who will not allow parents of Special Ed kids to be involved in the school at all. I happen to not have this issue but I know many other parents that do. We all need to band together somehow and make a difference. Seeing the way that some of the Special Ed kids are treated just makes my sick. Some parents appear to be wearing rose colored lenses and can't bring themselves to admit that this school has some very serious issues starting with the principal. I hope someone takes what is going on in this school seriously and launches an investigation ASAP.
The kids from Durham Elementary transferred to a newly built school last year (2011) -- the new school is called Walnut Grove Elementary. My kid absolutely loved her last year (the first year that it was open), primarily because of the excellent teachers. Parents are very involved in this school and I was impressed by the computer labs, physical education, and of course the awesome music programs.
I've got two kids in this school and have loved the experience here. What a great school.
I can't begin to express the vast differences in Durham and the previous school in another county our child attended. Dr. McIlvain runs a tight ship yes. but for the purpose of education, emotional stability, safety and acceptance of divercity. Our special needs child is no longer caught up in a principal only interested in her own ego and petty gossip. Our child is excelling with the wonderful teacher and staff in the Life Skills class. The openess to provide true Inclusion/not token false Inclusion is amazing. We had our first ARD without losing sleep and left wondering if it had truly been real because we did not have to fight for any of our child's rights for a good education. Our child is reading signs and has never been happier since enrolling in Durham Elementary School. I pity the parents that are still fighting other school systems.
The teachers here are really terrific and the attitudes and atmosphere are really positive. Fund raising and volunteering is a big deal here though and you are consistantly being asked to pay into the pot or volunteer for something or other. But the bottom line - My children are flourishing here!
Durham Elementary teachers are great. Unfortunately, I found the administration to be a disappointment. I have 4 kids that attend 3 CISD schools. I wish Durham administration was the class act that CES administrators are.
Excellent School! The teachers and staff are wonderful. My children are challenged and nurtured each day that they walk through the doors. The parents are very involved and have many opportunities to volunteer their time to make this school outstanding!
Excellent school - great teachers. I have two children that attend Durham and they have both learned at a significantly faster pace than our last school system (which was a pretty decent school system). Dr. McIlvain does leave a bit to be desired when it comes to receiving parent input but she genuinely cares about the kids. It was somewhat disappointing to see that Durham has not received some of the accolades/designations that the other Carroll ISD elementary schools have received.
I was not impressed with the principal. She is not truly interested in parent input, but is excellent at lipservice. Teacher quality was good. Parents are not allowed to volunteer in the classrooms. Not impressed with the safety either.
Durham has a very strong principal, Dr. McIlvain which is key (we had a crummy principal before). She runs a tight ship and the teachers are awesome.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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