I think Oakridge teachers are slipping and it's not necessarily their fault. There has been an upheaval in teacher loss in recent years due to retirement, jobs taken elsewhere or teachers forced out. The replacements are new to teaching (not to say they won't be good with some experience) or tenured and the school doesn't have much say in those. This trend will continue for a few more years I fear as some of the best teachers at the school are aging and looking to retire soon. Also, class sizes are quite large, especially in the lower grades. This is in part due to the Music program which requires us to take on more students for funding. The national average and recommendation for Elementary class size is about 24, Oakridge has many classes of 28, 29. Some of that is set down by Granite District as they want their class sizes to be around 27 but we are even larger than that. This also puts a large strain on teaching quality when they have so many kids in the classroom and many distractions, especially in the lower grades. Thank heavens for parent classroom and reading volunteers, I think most teachers are very grateful to have such excellent parental support!
I think Oakridge is a good, not excellent or great but definitely solid. I think parent support is paramount in motivating their own students and volunteering in the classroom and schools. I would hope that better quality teachers can replace teachers who leave and that class sizes can normalize in the coming years. I love that it has Arts and Music but have been very disappointed with the lack of science in the classroom and as an extra. I have heard that Lego League is coming for the upper grades and hopefully that will fill a void for those kids really interested in technology. I think the Principal, though kind and thoughtful, could use a little more backbone when handling tough teacher and parent issues. That might come with experience but I do wonder if "passive and placating" is how Principals are trained these days. I can't speak to that but I hope to see a bit more "fight" administratively. I would like to see more neighborhood and community kids walking/biking to/from school. My children walk daily--rain or shine and it's important for their development, independence and in learning responsibility. Obviously I understand many live far or out of boundary but we walk past many houses where parents are pulling out of their driveways to drive to school. This is a safe neighborhood and if we see more kids out walking, the safer it will feel for those afraid (safety in numbers). It will also feel like less of a "drop off" school to those concerned and is better for the environment.
Oakridge is an amazing school. Our current principal is very inter-active with all students and parents. She has taken the time to get to know our community and supported us in a very positive way. Our teachers are nothing but top notch! If you have any concerns, I suggest that you talk with them, it has always worked for me. The only way that wouldn't work for you if is you have your own personal agenda. If so, take advantage of the open enrollment and find a better fit for your child. You would be doing all of us a favor!
Part I: Regarding the September 4th comment and those addressing it: I am a "drop-off" parent who selected Oakridge (thank goodness for open enrollment!) for my children starting at kindergarten because I was so impressed with the combination of strong academics and arts programs. I am distressed to see art, music, dance, drama and physical education programs disappearing from our schools and am thrilled that the Oakridge parents, teachers and administration still value these for our students. I was nervous about the change in principal and it's potential effect on these programs. I've been pleased to see that she is supporting the unique programs we value. I have also been very impressed with the warm relationship she's formed with students as well as her maturity and diplomacy with parents. She has my full support. She stepped into some awfully large shoes and I hope the community will continue to support her as she gains more experience. (continued in Part II...)
Part II: While involved parents would like all things to be to the advantage of their children, and I include myself in this, the reality is that they need to face challenges, including a less-than-perfect school teacher or peers with different challenges than their own, to become the independent, wise, resilient, kind adults we want them to be. I hope I can teach my children how to address challenges in constructive ways and help support the people with whom we share the school experience so it can be a positive, growing experience for everyone. If there are issues or areas that need to be improved how can we address them in a respectful, transparent way? The schools already have an overwhelming task requiring much sacrifice from those who choose education as their occupation. We should be asking how we can provide them with more support so that the exceptional ones will remain at Oakridge and those who have room for improvement will be motivated to become better.
Oakridge is an amazing school with dedicated and caring teachers, administration, parents and students. The arts and music programs are integrated into each classroom providing a balanced education between creativity and academics. We have lived in the school boundaries for 10+ years and are happy with the open enrollment. My children have made friends from all over the city and this diversity just strengthens the school. The new principal and the old principal both support the arts/music programs and the volunteers in the school, which contributes to the great learning environment at Oakridge. As a parent, if you are unhappy with a school, then volunteer in the classroom and make a positive change for your children, the school and yourself.
My post is in regards to the earlier post slamming Oakridge Elementary and its staff and principal...If you think pressing a button on a copy machine or stapling paper to a bulletin board earns you the right to judge the faculty or principal of a school, you are surely giving yourself much more credibility than you deserve! How dare you try to evaluate the merits of teachers when you are clearly not, nor ever have been an educator. You frankly sound like a scorned parent that hasn't gotten their way and so therefore needs to use a forum like this to sheepishly express your unfounded feelings. As you stated, this is an open enrollment school, so obviously you are aware that many other schools are also open enrollment. If you have such extreme complaints about Oakridge, one would qu3stion why then, would you ever subject yourself or your child(ren) to such a toxic environment? Please do everyone a favor, and take advantage of the open enrollment and take your complaints elsewhere, because as everyone can tell, you'll certainly be much happier somewhere else, and the Oakridge population will undoubtedly be much happier without such a negative influence on such an amazing school.
If you think pressing a button on a copy machine or stapling paper to a bulletin beard earns you the right to judge the faculty or principal of a school, you are surely giving yourself much more credibility than you deserve. How dare you try to evaluate the merits of teachers when you are clearly not nor ever have been an educator. You frankly sound like an entitled parent that hasn't gotten their way and so therefore needs to use a forum like this to sheepishly express your unfounded, ignorant feelings. As you stated, this is an open enrollment school, so obviously you are aware that many other schools are also open enrollment. If you have such extreme complaints about Oakridge, one would question why then, would you ever subject yourself or your child to such a toxic environment? Please, do everyone a favor, and take advantage of the open enrollment and take your complaints elsewhere. You'd certainly be much happier somewhere else and the Oakridge population will undoubtedly be much happier without such a negative influence on an amazing school! Good riddance to you!
Oakridge Elementary is a GREAT school!! I disagree with the parent's comment of September 4, 2014. My kids have been at Oakridge for 6 years and we have loved every teacher and both the new and old principal.