We moved from a different school in Loudoun County to Arcola Elementary and we could not be happier! The level of organization that this school has displayed has amazed us. The teachers are excellent and the principal and assistant principal are exceptional. The PTA is engaging and very active. This is a school that will rize to be one of the top elementary schools in Loudoun county.
We are so lucky to have our kids at this school! I hear the restrictions other schools put on parents and their involvement in the classroom, but Arcola is the opposite of this. They love to have parental involvement. The staff is warm and welcoming and we have loved all of the teachers for our 3 kids. Sad to leave this great school when our kids go onto middle school. Go Dragons!
We have been going to Arcola for the past 6 years and have not been happy. The front office staff can be rude and unwelcoming. There is too much politics and favoritism going on at the school, and this starts with the principal. A couple of years ago we had our child evaluated for Autism/HFA, Asperger's Syndrome, and we had to pull teeth to get anything done. Some of the teachers are young and inexperienced with Special Ed and could use a lot more training. It isn't always just a behavioral problem. Not many teachers and staff have been willing to take the time to understand our son and help him through his troubles. Except a few: Mrs. Hess, Mrs. Barbic, Ms. Bruley, Mrs. Parziale and Ms. Dailsey. They have been wonderful with us and our son. They claim NO BULLY zone, but when it happens over and over they don't do much about it. The counselor could use some work. There is too much emphasis on getting good grades and being perfect instead of letting the kids make mistakes and learning from them. A lot of pressure put on the kids from teachers and administrators. Kids should be kids. PTA parents are too intertwined with the teachers and admin staff which leads to favoritism.
Anyone who has been to this school during school hours, during events, or on fieldtrips is struck by how happy the kids are. The school has a great energy that can be traced directly to the teachers and staff. They clearly love working with the kids and the students respond to that.
Student to Teacher ratio is too high. I felt that some of the teaching staff was a little too inexperienced with special needs (ADHD). When they insist it's a behavioral problem, and three separate PHD's state it's a "textbook" case of ADHD, that's a problem. Office staff could use a little training in "people skills". Children did not like this school, we sold our home and moved because of their experience. Great neighborhood....School leaves something to be desired.
We love Arcola! Our experience there has been very positive. Dr. Bowers and the teaching team has exceeded our expectations. We find it to be a very caring environment. They make learning fun and they also teach and incorporate respect, kindness, honesty and compassion.
The faculty and staff is excellent...a very kind and nurturing environment. My daughter is in first grade and it has been a great experience so far. The school encourages parent participation and I always feel welcomed. The teachers engage students in fun and creative ways.
We have been at Arcola Elementary in one way or another for the past 6 years. My children have good to great teachers. Not every teacher is going to be right for you child but they have done a good job placing my kids with the right teacher for them. I like the administration, they are friendly, approachable and know the students. Overall I may not agree with every decision, but I do believe every decision is done with the students interest at heart. The teachers love working at Arcola and that creates positive teachers and a positive environment. Teachers want to teach at Arcola and that means something to me as a parent. The front office can seem 'hard' at first but actually are a very caring group. I find it no different than other front office staff I've interacted with at other schools in our area. Based on what I've heard from friends at other schools, I think Arcola is fantastic and would not move to attend the other schools in Dulles South.