We have had a great experience at Taylor with loving caring teachers and staff. I feel that the teachers are well qualified and do not let children slip through the cracks. There is great technology and high expectations. I have heard from others that the gifted and talented program does need some inspiration and revamp but have not been in the program to give a valid opinion.
One star for the principal. He's likes to be seen and pretends to listen, but, don't be fooled, his image is everything to him. The teachers are very motivated and dedicated, the parents are very motivated and dedicated, and as a result, the students do very well for a public school. Basically, the principal looks good because the community makes him look good. When you really start to ask around, you will start to hear the truth. Parents are little hesitant at first, but you'll hear the truth sooner or later. Keep asking and listening at soccer games and the pool. The truth is out there.
The leadership of the principle sets the tone for this amazing school. He is everywhere, I see him outside as children are dropped off/picked up, at school events, talking to parents and easily interacting with kindergartners and 5th graders. He and his staff make a difference everyday. We are a military family and have relocated frequently; have experienced a wide spectrum of schools. Two of our boys have attended Taylor; each child learns so differently -- it was a relief to see how the teachers brought the best out of each child. This school fosters a sense of community, fun learning environment while challenging the kids to reach their potential. The Extended Day Program is dynamic and well run also. The wow factor of this school is certainly not in its old facilities; rather it is made up by the leadership of the staff and amazing, dedicated teachers.
I moved to the neighborhood to send my 3 kids to Taylor. The Principal is excellent, so attracts top teachers. Some of those teachers are amazing -- they seem to understand and care about the kids. My kids of different ability levels and learning styles, and the curriculum seems to fit all 3. It's a place to thrive and gain confidence. Your kids learn to dance confidently, too. Imagine a 5th grader who can confidently dance a waltz, tango, and folk dances from different cultures, etc? They don't even seem embarrassed to hold hands with their dance partners.
We moved from Chicago several years ago and I interviewed three other Arlington school principals in search of the right place for my child with special needs. Taylor was clearly the right place for him: demanding that he make an effort but forgiving when he faltered, and invested in both his emotional and academic development. He has flourished due to great teaching and terrific services, and a school environment that truly cares for him. There is very little socio-economic or ethnic diversity at Taylor, which was a drawback for us. But the principal acknowledged this when we first spoke and said that the school practices inclusion by focusing on acceptance of those students with special needs. We have found this to be absolutely the case. As working mother, I do sometimes feel in the minority, but I am deeply appreciative of all the volunteers who give their time and effort to support the school. There are a wide range of volunteering opportunities that I have been able to take advantage of that allows me to feel that I am doing my part as well.