We almost did not send our son to Franconia based on this 5 rating on greatschools.com. Our family is so glad that we decided not to move. Franconia is an excellent school with amazing teachers, wonderful community and state of the art facilities. The school was recently renovated. As other posters have stated, the 5 rating represents a diverse student population. A motivated child will be challenged. I am so impressed with how much my child is learning and thriving at this school.
The school is great. The atmosphere is safe and encouraging. To be honest, I didn't think this way last year, because my daughter had not the best teacher comparing to others we have in kindergarten and 1st grade. Transition to the 3rd grade made a world of difference! We couldn't dream of a better teacher. She is also one of the coaches at Girls on the Run and is very organized, engaged, respectful. We can't be happier. Absolutely love the and recommend both the school and especially our teacher.
When my daughter first started at Franconia, it was an excellent school. That was before the "new" principal had an opportunity to destroy it. She had an excellent kindergarten teacher, but by the time she was in fourth grade, the school was a nightmare. My daughter, who is twice exceptional, was a basket case. She was bullied for two years and the principal and administration did nothing to stop it. It got to the point where we had to take our 9 y/o to therapy because she was talking about suicide. Academically speaking, we were sort of lucky. Her kindergarten, second and third grade teachers. were excellent. Her first grade teacher falsified her reading scores and cheated her out of a year of services. Her fourth grade teacher joined in the bullying. Academically, that the teachers' hands are tied as they are required to teach to the SOLs, and they really don't stray too far off from that. Also, after the SOLs, learning came to a screeching halt. The kids watched movies and played games for the last month of school last year. Also, if you have a child who learns differently, they aren't equipped to handle it. Kinesthetic learners be damned! It's just unfortunate.
My Middle School child, who spent 6 years at Franconia Elementary School, is quoted as saying that it was/is a "Fun Learning Environment". She continues to thrive academically, socially and emotionally, taking both Honors & Advanced Academic Classes. Franconia ES is a supportive, community /neighborhood elementary school complete w/movie nights, family restaurant nights, Talent Shows & more. There are extra-curricular morning sports programs offered periodically throughout each year, along with Orchestra and Band events, Basket Bingo Nights & afterschool STEM programs. Annual Field Trips to places such as Jamestown(4th grade), the Portrait Gallery(6th grade), National Symphony Orchestra(4th grade), Hemlock (team building, outdoor activities)/6th grade, Smithsonian Museum Children's Programs Performances (primary grades) are just some of the ways this school connects with the community at large. New construction/remodelling, completed in 2012 have resulted in a beautiful and appealing environment. 99% of parents, and students we've talked to agree that Franconia Elementary School, it's teachers and staff are a highly valued and appreciated part of our community.
Franconia Elementary is great! The teachers there are wonderful. There are some lower test scores for some students based on the fact it's a diverse student body, but a smart kid will flourish here. Recent renovations - very nice.
Sorry to the prior poster -- Great Schools had some flaws in their data sets --- Franconia is an average school (5 out of 10) -- or should I say, it's student body is average -- the teachers may be great. But, Franconia's student body scores average on state tests. It's not necessarily bad -- b/c their could be high and low scoring populations that cancel each other out (i.e. average), but you can't really say "congrats" for being middle of the road.
I think that Franconia is a great school. We are a military family and prior to sending my two children to the school, the parents that I spoke with had nothing but positive things to say about the school. I was a little concerned due to the reviews and ratings on greatschools.com but I feel that you will have some dissatisfied parents at every school. Unfortunately these are the only ones who are taking the opportunity to write a review. I have found the academics to be excellent. The teachers and administratives are responsive and the school is safe as as well as visually appealing with the new construction. There is not much more you can ask for in a school. I would have to say that the lower test scores may be due to the number of esl students that attend the school.
I had two kids attend FES for one year. We were very disappointed. My son s 1st grade teacher was pleasant but disorganized. My wife and I worked hard to communicate with the teacher and to develop strategies to help our son, but the teacher was unable to implement the strategies or develop her own. We sat in the back of the classroom for an hour one day and observed that the teacher was engaged with about one-third of the class, spent half her time disciplining one-third of the class, and completely ignored the other third of the class. My daughter s 2nd grade teacher was much better but just did not have the time or resources to help a child having difficulty with reading. Because my daughter was falling behind we fought for and finally received an IEP; however, the IEP was completely inadequate. The IEP committee was disorganized and could not explain basic concepts. The primary focus of this school is the SOL scores rather than actually teaching. Today, after a year in private school, both kids are making great strides, happy, and well adjusted. If you have the money, put your kids in a private school. If you don t, be prepared to fight thebureaucracy for resources.