I have had four children attend Essex Elementary. It used to be a creative, well rounded school, but in the past couple of years under the most recent principal, it has become a cookie cutter, teaching to the test type school. Frankly, I am glad we are finished with Essex Elementary this year. The principal doesn't listen, is temperamental and needs anger management counseling. He really needs to leave so that the teachers can do their jobs the way they used to be able to do, when it was a high quality school. If I sound unhappy it's because I am. If we had another child, that child would go to a private school or we would move to another school district. Essex Elementary has become that bad under this principal. Nobody smiles there, not a great atmosphere for kids. All due to poor leadership.
The teachers and staff are very friendly and kind. My son loves going to school everyday and all the adults know him by name. His teacher is also terrific!
Essex schools (Essex Elem & Founders) pretty much poo-poos a bully as "oh, yeah, he/she's a bully..." and nothing else. Maybe elsewhere is like this but that's just twisted... A normally good kid gets sent to the principal's office or off to a counselor or behavioral specialist for a minor 'infraction' while the bully pretty much gets nothing and never has to write an "I'm sorry" note. I've met people that have brought up the same type of situation(s); one was of a child who was bullied and even injured (stomped on the head at recess) and nothing was done. I've met another family who MOVED to South Burlington to get out of the entire Essex school system... The teacher's are a hit or miss; I've had decent ones and I've had ones that made it sound like the children had the issues and that maybe ADHD meds were needed & when asked to switch teachers in January (not even 1/2 way through the school year) I was told it was 'too late' in the school year - not right at all! Like one reviewer wrote. "The rules and how they handled situations were not great" this is because they make them up as they go and they are not consistent and don't want to be questioned by a parent...
When my child was in kindergarten I was asked to talk to him because he would usually be the first one done with his classwork (and PROUD he was learning!) and when he'd finish he's be like, "Yeah" or "I'm all done!" and they told me it 'Hurt the other kids' feelings'. Now, you tell me HOW do you talk to a kid without squashing their wanting to learn??!! Ridiculous! I didn't tell him anything except to say, "Good job" and give him lots of hugs and kisses!!!
This school is fine if your child is bright but is very frustrating to deal with if your child has any kind of special needs. Get ready for a run-around!
They dealt with the tragedy of a school shooting 3 years ago. It's a great school with great teachers and they deserve it
EES has many wonderful teachers who lack support and guidance from the administration. It is unfortunate, but too much classroom time is spent dealing with 'high energy students' leaving little time for real classroom learning. With no clear discipline policy in place and no real consequences, the administrative staff comes up weak in handling issues that arise.
Wonderful teachers at this school where parent involvement in encouraged and appreciated. We've always had a close relationship with our children's teachers and have never heard of a bad teacher at EES... There is a bit of a 'PR' problem at this school (no holiday concerts, principal likely to ignore emails, no staff present at drop-off, mediocre website). Where's the enthusiasm? At EES, it's A+ teachers with C- administration.
My son currently attends kindergarten at EES. I couldn't be happier. I was fearful of full day kindergarten, but my son is adjusting very well. The new principal is friendly to all, is getting parents involved and has changed the energy of the school. This along with the warm and energetic vice principal, the caring and hard working teachers and the welcoming environment for students and parents make this a top school in my opinion.
My 3 children have gone thru EES and we have been pleased with our experience. We have found the teachers creative and energetic. They have met our children where they are at and challenged them to grow. My kids have left EES enjoying school and looking forward to life at Founders.
New principal brings new energy to a school that is in desperate need of a recharge. Best advice is to have your child starting off strong academically before he/she enters kindergarten...otherwise, they will be left in the dust. Class sizes are too large and 'high energy' kids take up most of the teacher's time/energy. Plan on doing a lot of supplementing at home.
It seems to me that the 'middle-of-the-road' child is the most accepted at this school, if they have problems listening or throwing trantrums at home, best to nip that before your child goes here or you'll be receiving 'infraction' calls every day. Some children in this school are bullies and they get away with it...........
My teenage kids went to EES years ago. The atmosphere was open and friendly and I loved the school. Now the administration is behind closed doors and my youngest had a horrible time with her Kindergaretn teacher.
Leardership at the administrative level is suffering at this school. We have found scare tactics are a standard form of discipline to keep parents and students in line. Advocating for your child is difficult at the administrative level. There is little support for special needs students. Principal wants to do as little as possible in setting up 504 plans and would in fact prefer not to do it at all. Teachers do the best they can with the lack of support offered from administration. Research this school carefully before enrollment if you have a child with any needs above standard accommodation. Overall, pretty disappointing for such a strong community reputation.
Full day kindergarten experience was great. Program includes, literacy time, math time, explore (science)time daily, recess, lunch, music (2/wk), art(1/wk), gym (2/wk), learning center (1/wk), computer lab (1/wk). Parents are encouraged to volunteer. Take home reading bag program takes place (M-TH), field trips. Great hot lunch/cafeteria experience. Good playground, nature trails & library. Principal, Vice Principal and guidance counselors readily available whenever I had questions. Was skeptical about full day program for my child but it far exceeded my expectations. Alternative schedules available for children not quite ready for full day program. Good quality teachers. One of best school districts in Chittenden County, VT.
My son goes to this school. Happy, clean school. Parents can be involved at any level. Great food. Great for the 'average' to above average student. Harder for special needs. Political undertones if your kid is on an IEP. There are games and roles to be played to get your kid what they need. Make too much demand and you are labeled 'one of those parents'. 'Bad' teachers are not followed and corrected - turn your head and ignore it. The faculty and administration stick by each other - at the expense of certain students. A big fake smile is put on and they sing-song to you 'Hellloo, how are yooou todaay?' Happy and Jolly - what is that parent's problem? So, if your kid has special needs that the classroom has to adapt to- be prepared to advocate and then be avoided for doing so.
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