This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted September 03, 2013
- a parent
My son really stuggled at Foothills. The school is very over-crowded. There is no play area left due to all the portable buildings. My son tested below grade level in 3rd grade reading, but he was not given any resources because there were children who were "worse" and the school didn't have any "slots" left for help. We ended up paying for the University of Utah Reading Clinic to help him and then moved him to a charter school, which gave him a specialized reading plan. Foothills teachers are great. The administration and resources are poor.
I have been very impressed with the quality of education my child is receiving at Foothills. She has had excellent teachers each year who have been great at communicating with parents. They have been caring and knowledgeable about all the areas they teach. Additionally, they have done a great job at individualizing for my daughter, supporting her in areas where she needs more help, while still challenging her in areas where she excels. The principal and office staff have made a point to get to know my child and have always been friendly and organized when I have had questions. I have been pleased with the amount of homework and the way it is managed. It has been enough for my child to practice the skills she is learning in class, while still allowing time for all of our after school classes, practices and activities. Due to the community it is located in (many families with multiple children) the student body size is large, but I feel that the school faculty and staff are managing that challenge incredibly well.
My daughter has been in the Chinese Immersion program for three years now and it has been a good experience for her. My oldest is finishing up 6th grade and has had some really great teachers along the way. My youngest has an absolutely fabulous kindergarten teacher. Overall, we have had a good experience. A couple of so-so teachers, but the rest above average to excellent. The Chinese Immersion teachers in particular have put forth a serious amount of effort to make the program shine. It is no easy feat to teach 55 kids one of the most difficult languages in the world! There are things they could do better, like greater emphasis on extra achievement programs. It is pretty disappointing when the principal doesn't even take the time to sign Science Fair certificates. The school is crowded, but that's the nature of Jordan District. A new elementary school is being built that will take some pressure off. It isn't as crowded as it was 7 years ago when we first began attending, but there are still a dozen portables parked out on the playground.
I find it hilarious that other parents here are the first to say, "The school is too crowded." However, they were most likely the same parents screaming at the tax meeting about the proposed increase on their property tax notices. Instead of complaining, why don't you help? I was on the PTA board for 3 years and had trouble finding volunteers to help. I work full-time and still found time to help at the school. The teachers at this school (for the most part) are awesome. They are very bound by the "complainers". Example: Our children have easily 45-60 mins. worth of homework per night. Homework is essential for learning. Parents complain their children have too much homework. You can't take an hour out of your TV- watching schedule to help your child? Another example: The children used to get stamps on their hands when their lunch account balance was low. Parents complained it was "singling" their children out". So what if they have an apple stamp on their hand? I think the problem lies in the parenting rather than the school. It is a teachers job to introduce the concept, it is the parents job to practice and reinforce the concept. It's not rocket science.
Our children were transferred from Foothills to the equally shameful Silvercrest and then (thankfully) to a charter school, but when we were there we observed classes that are stuffed and a school that is asking way too much of the teachers. It is hard to understand how bad this school is without comparing it with a personal visit to a private school or charter school, or visiting a school in another country. Your children will be at a severe disadvantage as adults if this school represents their entire education; even the kids lucky enough to have good parents will never reach their potential wasting their time walking to class, walking to the cafeteria, walking back to class, lining up for recess... there is very little actual education happening in these walls. The real learning happens at night when the children return with backpacks stuffed with hours of homework, ie. material the school failed to teach so they have little free time or time for other activities. Kids from broken homes: You're screwed. As a symbol of the quality of education, the food that is served is an ultra-processed-diabetes-buffet that makes healthy, homemade lunches persecuted and unwelcome visitors.
My son has been involved in the Chinese program for 2 years now. The teachers have been great and parent involvement has been great. Even in traditional subjects like math, I find them learning things I do not recall learning until 2 or more grades after. The school tries to keep parents updated often. My son loves going to school everyday which says alot about the school.
My student has involved in the Chinese immersion program. This is the first year for the program and I have been impressed with how well it has gone and what my child has learned. Both teachers have communicated well with the parents with emails, blogs, and even parent meetings. I feel like my child is being challenged.
The school is overcrowded. The staff and teachers have an attitude of apathy (except for a handful of great teachers). There is not enough supervision, and bullying is a concern. This school is not what I want for my children.
The teachers my kids have had seem to have an almost negative attitude about teaching, like they are going through the motions just to get through the day and are not excited about teaching. We feel bad that our kids are getting a mediocre school experience.