My child came into Polar Tree well ahead of the reading level for their age; the staff squandered her advantage and then turned around, in an accusatory and hostile manner, and told us WE had a problem and WE had to hire a tutor. Many times the faculty weren't very good and it seems to trickle down from a Principal bent on power and making it a difficult work place for the staff- hence the poor quality of teachers. As with any business, the turnover of staff is a pretty good indicator as to the atmosphere of the workplace. This school has a MAJOR problem with turnover- anyone who's any good will bail out at the first opportunity. In 6 yrs at Poplar Tree, we had ONE very good teacher- the rest were average or worse. Lots of issues with the 'mommy clique' lobbying for their kid to have an advantage, so beware that element if you don't like to have to 'play the game'...as we prefer not to. Our child did FAR, FAR better once they arrived into Middle School. If you can afford to do it, send your child to a private school- this school has a tyrannical principal and is over-run by helicopter mothers.
My children's school is Poplar Tree Elementary in Chantilly, VA. We moved mid year to the neighborhood and were very happy to transitioned our children from another local school. Right away they picked up on my middle child's weaknesses and began working with him. This school seems to really know how zero in on those who need help and I really like that! That is a gift. This child is now doing great! In one of the other reviewsI read about the school, it touched upon inconsistancies of teaching teams. All schools have this problem. The other review had concerns over teaching of kids who will be transitioning to middle school. The school we came from before Poplar Tree seemed to not know how to teach little boys which made a huge impact on my son's attitude toward learning just starting out in school. Girls seemed to get great attention because they are easier and the boys were punished by keeping them in at recess and yelled. Poplar Tree, on the other hand, since they focused on my son's weaknesses, he is now much more confident in class, has less disruptive behavior and is more receptive to learning. That is a positive approach and I like that! I hope this is helpful!
A nice neighborhood school however quality of teachers inconsistent. My daughter had some fabulous teachers, unfortunately the concerns in the community about the weak sixth grade team was true. Two teachers were added this year and were a huge disappointment. Some teachers lacked innovation, unable to connect and motivate children, most did not utilize the fabulous technology provided, even though it is part of the teachers job description and Rocky Run Middle is leader in digital education. Children change teachers for each subject to prepare for middle school, however, this is the only preparation; teaching styles & methods same as other elementary grades. Parents with middle school students have advised others than our kids are the least prepared for middle school compared to other schools and our experience supports that concern. A motivated child who is eager to learn will manage. The principal is aware of some of the problems, but unsure if change will happen. Administration view and parental view of situation very different. Despite weak areas in this school or any in this county the the demographics of this area ensures success & weaknesses overlooked.
This truely is a great school. The small class sizes, the additional help that the teachers receive to enhance the classroom is excellent. The technology in the classroom is far above anything I've ever seen. The PTA and parent participation is excellent as well. The Principle dodoes whatever she needs to do the improve the quality of education for her students. I love this school.
one of the best schools I have ever had my children in. They care about the child and offer a lot of extra activities to keep the child interested and motivated. The music/band program is outstanding. What an active PTA
Excellent School - one of the top in Fairfax County. Classes are small enough that children receive individualized attention, but the school is large enough that special programs are offered. Gifted and Talented programs, special ed, computer, music, art - it's all here - and loving, caring teachers too! Poplar Tree has been a great place for my now 3rd and 1st grade daughters to start their educational experiences. Don't forget that full day kindergarten and a K/1 program are offered here too. Poplar Tree has been a real asset to our family adn the community. The special prgrams held by the PTA have given us the opportunity to become a member of the Poplar Tree family. I cannot say enough about how reponsive the teachers and principal have been to our needs and desires for the success of our daughters. A great school that we will surely miss! - Mrs. R
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