My child started kindergarten this year and we were pretty excited about the school. Unfortunately, our experience so far has been pretty "meh." Very average, 3Rs education so far. Not much in the way of themeatic teaching, no science, very little differentiated instruction, weak classroom management. Strong parent involvement. Hope it gets better in first.
Nottingham. I am a parent who had doubts about public elementary school. But after all the recommendations and research, I decided to try it out. I am pleasantly surprised what an outstanding school it is. It is a close net community and the educators are thoughtful, well informed,caring, and nurturing. The principal's passion for education, well being of the school and every student in the school is exceptional.
Four of my children have attended Nottingham. The first two had a wonderful education with superb teachers. Unfortunately, the best teachers have left, largely due to the micromanaging and unyielding behavior of the principal. The last few teachers assigned to my children have generally been nice enough, but were hardly inspiring, encouraging or creative thinkers. And several of the new hires have actually be rather mean and intolerant, particularly of boys.
As a rather new parent, I was excited about this school based on its rating and reputation but quickly realized that there are inherent problems. 1) There is no supervision at recess and little in the lunch room which has led to some bullying issues. The school insists at PTA meetings that there is no funding to support a new hire for this purpose. They tried to hire Extended Day to help out, but many would never show up. Not acceptable 2) The principal is 'rigid" and rather unfriendly for such a position. I have no doubt this has its effects on morale. I realize people are upset comments about her, but clearly they never had to seek her help with a problem 3) The kids are versed on what bullying is and how to report it, but it still exists, though I have never witnessed it so much in an early education school. I am afraid the school rides on their reputation to a degree. What really drives success in this school is the level of parent involvement and dedication. That is unmatched.
My son just graduated from Nottingham last spring. I cannot say enough about this school. We transferred him from a "choice" school in which he was not receiving adequate stimulation and was struggling in some ways. Nearly every teacher who we dealt with at Nottingham was challenging and warm. His fourth grade teacher was a saint who helped us to identify our son's ADHD issues and begin to work with him. The administration (in particular, the asst principal) was very supportive in helping us to work through his issues. The principal has very high standards and may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I believe that she is effective. Nottingham is the best thing that ever happened to our son.
Fantastic school and a great principal! I've read all the reviews on this website that consistently bash Nottingham's principal, but it leads me to wonder that the school probably does as well as it does because of the administrative staff---including the principal. This school runs like a well-oiled machine, and the counselors, administration and teachers are top notch! As a military family we couldn't be more pleased to have wound up at Nottingham.
The school has a great reputation but I have a concern that the school is riding a bit on it. We have been made aware of several instances of bullying that have been seemingly to brushed under the rug. These are instances reported to me/us by our child, other children and other parents. Kids may not be getting beaten up on the playground, but Nottingham needs to broaden their understanding of bullying, in my opinion. Extreme cliques, shoving in the hallways, name calling and etc seem to be par for the course, sadly. This is all "normal" kid stuff, I suppose, but the best of the best should have a zero tolerance policy that is strictly enforced.
Zero tolerance strictly enforced is the absolutely worst way to go. And can be considered the lazy way out. Zero tolerance leads to good kids who make a poor decision kicked out of school and arrested for having an aspirin in their book bag. A student pushes another student can simply be a disagreement handled poorly- a teachable moment. Not necessarily a criminal bullying act.
Nottingham is an amazing learning community with involved parents, engaged and happy kids and fabulous teachers who really care about the kids. The staff and administrators are supportive and helpful. There are amazing programs for every interest and special need, and the school has a wonderful spirit of fun. The after school enrichment options are diverse and creative - everything from sports to arts to science and more. The PTA is super active and all levels of participation are appreciated. We have been a Nottingham family for 5 years and we highly recommend it to anyone looking for a great elementary education experience for their children.
I've had my child at this school for 2 years now and the teachers are better than we could've hoped for. The principal - not so much. Submit a FOIA request for the school's scores and you'll see the teachers are doing a fantastic job while the principal's scores are consistently not up to par. This has been illustrated at several recent PTA meetings we've attended. I've met with both of my kids' teachers and it's obvious they do not receive the trust or credit they're due. We are worried these great teachers are going to quit because of one ineffective principal.
Nottingham is an amazing school. The teachers are incredibly dedicated and hard working. The principal has extremely high standards and holds the teachers and staff accountable. This has not always been popular with some of the teachers who were used to the do-nothing former principal. There is an enormous amount of parental involvement. The PTA funds many "icing on the cake" activities.
This is a great school. 4 out of 5 of my teacher experiences have been phenomenal, which I consider to be a pertty great rate. I find the principal to be very professional, communicates well with parents and is very responsive -- no easy task in a school with such heavy parent involvement. I think there have been some transition issues -- to be expected -- but new hires have been top-notch. The community is awesome -- very welcoming and active.
Nottingham WAS a great school prior to the arrival of the current principal. The children are afraid of her. The parents find her "rigid". Excellent teachers have left the school; morale among the staff is low. In spite of this, the teachers are excellent, the office staff is superb, and the quality of education that the children receive is top-notch.
We've had 2 children in Nottingham. The oldest went through 5th grade and the youngest3rd, 4th and 5th grade. We have been less than happy with the school on several occasions, and would have transferred our youngest child if the opportunity had permitted. The math curriculum changed 180 degrees (from traditional math to 'investigative' math the year our son began 3rd grade. It was a monumental mess and the teachers staff was unhelpful (due to what I feel was their own frustrations and lack of support with the curriculum). Our daughter was tested at a 6th grade level based on the CA standards of testing prior to entering Nottingham and left 5th grade struggling in math. Her W'burg Middle School math teacher stated that she 'seemed to be unable to grasp basic math concepts.' Beyond the poor Math curriculum, the Principal is not well-liked and teacher moral reflects this.
Nottingham has amazing teachers, fantastic administrators and incredibly involved parents. The PTA participation rate is 100% and it shows in the opportunities afforded to all the students.
Great parent involvement. High level of coordination between teachers and parents. Excellent facilities. Welcoming community.
I've sent two children to Nottingham and have been extremely happpy with the quality their education. In K-3, one teacher who gets to know your child well and teaches the academic subjects. In grades 4-5, the teachers use a team approach with teachers specializing in the subjects where they are strong. The PTA has nearly 100% participation, with lots of parental involvement in the school. The community is friendly and supportive -- playdates, carpools, and community events abound. Instrumental music and chorus are offered in grades 4-5, there is a good Arlington extended day program on site, and there is a wide variety of extracurricular activities available. Nottingham's 2006 renovation is spectacular, with an outdoor teaching courtyard, spacious bright classrooms, excellent music and art facilities, a large multi-purpose room, and an indoor gym. The new Principal is beginning her second year -- so far so good.
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