This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
St. Albans City Elementary School2
Posted June 06, 2014
- a parent
My children and I moved here from a bigger city where my daughter was getting history along with other subjects. I was shocked to learn history is very rarely taught. I took it upon myself to teach my girls. I'm pleased that writing and being able to write well is enforced. Learning citizenship is also important and am glad my girls have learned this; however, social studies is also important.
Terrible principal (Principal of the year? I guess Fields was right, you can fool some of the people, all of the time) and OK teachers. The biggest problem (besides the principal) is curriculum. As already mentioned, no science and very little social studies; students are ill prepared for science in High School, and in most cases, ill-prepared for math as well. And then there are the behavior issues. Bullying is rampant. Additionally, there is a great deal of infighting between the students on teams in seventh and eighth grade as one team considers themselves to be above the others. My oldest couldn't wait to leave, my youngest will leave soon.
We have three students attending. We have found the teachers to be commited, talented, caring, and very willing to accomodate the needs of our kiddos? The skilled leadership and vision of Principal Joan Cavallo, who received Principle of the Year Award for k-8 in 2012, is a great asset. Continuing investment in the facilitiy and the staff At SACS is paying off.
Being a student, who is on his last week of being as St. Albans City School, I do know quite a bit more than all of the parents who rate this school poorly. This school benefits from the new way it organizes classrooms. The "Teams/Communities" that City School has allows a student to have more social interaction during there time at the school. These Teams also allow the student to have much more freedom in how they learn. my Team has always focused on Project Based learning, making us lead and organize the projects and lessons instead of blindly following the teacher's every whim. Through my last two years at City School, I have learned how to talk well in front of an audience, lead a small to large group proficiently, and my time here has just increased my and the other students social skills overall. My Team at City School allowed us such freedom, to the point where we were allowed to challenge a teacher giving an assignment, and do so intelligently and politely. Any parent who rates this school poorly is just afraid that students, their children, are learning any other way besides the inefficient way they did.
The nick name my 7th grader came home with for his school: St. Alban's S*it*y School. The name fits. Middle school classes are huge as the whole "learning community" is in one space at one time and whoever wrote that it is chaos was right. This is hard for students who have difficulty focusing.
I am a student. This school may be ok for little kids, but it is not ok for middle schoolers. Instead of teaching science and social studies, they have 21st Century: Hours of chaos in a room with 60 students learning about Obama and Liberal politics, very little real social studies, no science. There is no way we will be prepared for High School. Thanks for posting the NECAP scores. That is one more way we have been lied to - the scores may be up a little in some areas, but overall we are clearly in worse shape than we were before they put us on (imagine a negative adjective) teams.
Interesting, "parent", you say test scores are up but the most recent test scores are well below what they were before the new "award winning" principal arrived. I am glad, "parent," that your students are having a good experience. I wish mine were. NECAP Scores Grade 3 Reading 58% (2012) 57% (2011) 62% (2010) 62% (2009) The state average for Reading was 71% in 2012. Math 49% (2012) 56% (2011) 54% (2010) 60% (2009) The state average for Math was 65% in 2012. Grade 4 Reading 55% (2012) 57% (2011) 57% (2010) 65% (2009) The state average for Reading was 71% in 2012. Science 28% (2012) 31% (2011) 30% (2010) 47% (2009) The state average for Science was 52% in 2012. Math 56% (2012) 48% (2011) 56% (2010) 65% (2009) Grade 5 Reading 59% (2012) 67% (2011) 71% (2010) 55% (2009) The state average for Reading was 68% in 2012. Writing 35% (2012) 50% (2011) Data not available for this school (2010) The state average for Writing was 45% in 2012. Math 47% (2012) 57% (2011) 62% (2010) 55% (2009) The state average for Math was 65% in 2012.
This year the principle received Principle of the Year Award for k-8. Students have made dramatic improvements on their scoring and the community models they have put the children in leadership roles not only amongst their peers, but within the school and the municipality. My child came from another school 2 years ago and absolutely loves it here. Both 8th grade graduation and the kindergarten graduation had full houses. Band concerts are standing room only and the variety of instruments is mind boggling. There have been numerous upgrades the last few years including new heating, lighting and ventilation. The children were able to name the new fire truck the city purchased and gave presentation to the City Council on a Skate Park and how to save money by turning off certain lights. I'm very pleased with the school. My only reason for not giving this 5 stars is there should be emphasis put on growing the PTO. there seems to be bickering between Admin and some members.
Another year of Saint Albans City School -- Thankfully my children will both be in High School in just a few more years. If there was any alternative, they would have been out of this school by now. Some of the teachers are excellent. Some are not. The administration rewards those who are not, and does everything possible to undermine those who are, as well as to undermine parental involvement and support of the students. Discipline issues continue to be grave.