Our son was a bright, very bouncy, happy child. Upon enrollment in this school, he was accused of having ADHD. We had him taken to not one, but two different physicians, who refused to diagnose him. Our son's teacher was not happy that a doctor would not confirm her diagnosis. The story does have a happy ending, however. We moved schools, and we got a teacher who explained that our child was simply interrupting and causing bedlam due to what he advised was an attention getting tactic. As soon as we sat that child down, in front of his teacher and warned him off doing that EVER again, we never saw any signs of ADHD again. PERIOD. His current teacher says he's made 180 degree turnaround. To think we almost medicated our son for that makes me cringe. At the current school, all we know is that he passed only 13% of the knowledge he should have for a 5th grader, when he got to the new school. Halfway through this year, that increased to 50%. Beware of teachers at this school who want to medicate your children and are not qualified physicians. They really don't have a medical degree and should not be in the business of diagnosing children, in my humble opinion.
I've really stated it more than once, but the Vice Principal helped sort out a lot of issues. She deserves not only thanks but a pay increase. She, however, needs the help the lead at that school, to sort out the glaring problems mentioned above.
Teachers could probably be more effective if they were given more resources. Other schools buy online tools to help with typing, memorizing math facts etc. that really help students progress quickly. Discipline is a bit broken, as well, with a lot of misbehavior being blamed on ADHD, when it's simply not the case.
My children had so much homework at this school, and yet, they always felt behind. Homework is great, but I always felt, as the parent, I had to teach them the material. Both kids would get home and not be able to start their homework for reasons of not understanding what was presented in class. I now know one of them had an auditory processing issue, which explains why she was having so much trouble with a lot of verbal instructions on tests. The teacher, at the time, acted like our child was belligerent, and it made for a really rocky relationship between student and child.
My child was behind in math, and yet, he was given 3's. Now, we know that he was behind, and it makes sense now, why he barely passed the VA basic skills test. We simply did't realize that he wasn't getting the training he needed.
Again, this topic is similar to the last I discussed. Respect and empathy are close cousins. There are situations where kids are left alone at lunch (a lunch lady or 2 patrol a group of approximately 20 tables of 7, so you can imagine they hear none of the bullying.
Bullying is talked about, but the teachers we encountered didn't do a lot to prevent it and even suggested our child was making it all up. The Vice Principle did do an investigation and figured it all out. We only wish we'd encountered her earlier. She was GREAT, but no one else seemed to care.
We found they try, but fail, because they don't understand how much bullying goes on at lunch and recess, without the teachers being in earshot (teachers not present at lunch, and at recess, sit too far from earshot). They do try to address problems after the fact, and they talk prevention, but they don't walk the walk. My child told me she was bullied and she wasn't believed for 1.5 years, until her grades declined, her work fell down, and she was complaining of mystery illnesses all the time and tried to get me to not send her to school regularly. The Vice Principle at this school DOES try to get to the bottom of it, and she's very good, but the teachers ignored the problem.
Deer Park is an amazing school!!!! My two daughters are there for 4 years and they are very happy. Great principal, very good teachers with lot of experience and great background (principal is doing great hiring just A1 teachers) and office personal, excellent counselor, special education rocks!!, PTA very well organize, my older daughter went to Bull Run until boundaries change and If I need to compare Deer Park is better in all ways (Bull Run is bad but not that good like Deer Park in my opinion with two students attending).
Our son was very premature and the school has been great. He has been going there since age 2. They helped him through the early intervention and now he is doing great as a happy and achieving 7 year old. The school takes a very active interest in the well, being and education of it's students.