Great school! I have been at this elementary school for over 9 years. It has a lower enrollment than other Fairfax County elementary schools, which makes the school a small, welcoming environment. The teachers know all of the kids, not just the ones in their class. A wide range of languages and cultures that have broadened my kids horizons. There are some engaged after school activities such as running, drama, and music. Very involved teachers and staff.
Great school! I couldn't be happier w/ the school, staff or teachers, and my experience w/ the school dates back to 2007-2008 school yr. I strongly disagree w/ the post immediately below. I too am a mother who works FT, & while I belong to the PTA (pay dues), I am not a board member & do not attend all mtgs, but the teachers & staff hear my voice & concerns re my child. They are responsive, and they care about my child & every other child. Further, I strongly disagree w/ the views expressed below re the ass't prin. She & the prin run a tight ship, and the kids at CES flourish because of it.
This school puts great emphasis on honesty, integrity & fairness. There is a special unit in the curriculum plus a rewards system to promote it. The staff speaks about "the Columbia way." (The high road.)
teachers do not challenge students. homework is a joke. no deeper critical thinking is developed and kids are clueless about the real challenges outside the school, in the real world. everything is rote memorization and theory.
On the surface, this is a happy and small community school and gives the appearance of great academic setting. But look under the surface and you will see how mediocre it is. It deserves lower rating than 7. If your child is disliked by class teacher, then you are out of luck. There is serious favoritism. If you are not on PTA (and which full-time working mothers can be!!!) then forget about succeeding in advocating for your child's best academic interests. Your opinions and meetings with the administration do not bring the results you want because you are not on the busy parent list. the PTA is a huge clique of crazy parents who desperately lobby for the best teachers (and there are only a few of those, about 1 in each grade). The assistant principal, as another reviewer alluded, has NO communication skills. She is constantly snapping at people, jittery, always suspicious of the worst in your child. Give a serious thought if you live in this school's boundary.
Columbia is a small, neighborhood school that has a strong sense of community and wonderful, caring teachers and administration. Our son has been here for kindergarten and 1st grade and we have been very happy with the school. It is extremely diverse and we love that our son is friends with kids whose families come from all over the world.
Without a doubt, Columbia Elementary School is committed to providing students with a challenging and rewarding education. I am amazed by the progressive ideas, constant communication, and positive atmosphere of this school. Very diverse in nature, this school has taught my children to respect ideas and cultures of others. The curriculum has amazed me as well. Each night when I ask my children about their school day, I am delighted to hear their responses. They are a part of a great learning environment that encourages social education as much as the academics! Just outside of our Nation s capital and in one of the best districts in the United States, Columbia Elementary is providing my two children a solid and enriching learning experience!