Our child has been a student at Clark Elementary School for three years. We love that the school is in the middle of a vibrant and interesting community, and has a diverse student body. The teachers are committed and caring, and the principal has years of experience in school administration. The class sizes are wonderfully small: so far we ve had the following class sizes: 13 kids in Kindergarten (with two teachers), 15 in 1st grade and 17 in 2nd grade. At Clark, our child has developed a passion and skill for African drumming, and has declared that his favorite subjects are science and math. The school building is beautiful, and a hallway was recently decorated with a new mural designed by our art teacher. This summer the school is adding a schoolyard garden and the students will help grow and pick the vegetables. If you're thinking about sending your child Clark, definitely come and visit! I think you'll be impressed.
I strongly believe the three previous reviews were not written by parents but by the same school administrator. What real parent uses the phrases: accountable, differentiating the curriculum to meet the learning needs of each child. Really? They sound like catchphrases lifted from a dissertation. So the only flaw is that the school needs a new playground? Give me a break! I can t imagine three separate parents having the time to diligently monitor reviews about their child s school and that each would submit positive reviews within a day or two right after the one negative review appears? My suggestion to the real parents - visit the school with your eyes wide open. Notice if the teachers ever smiles naturally around the principal. Does the staff act nervous when the principal walks by - do they hide behind a file cabinet? Do teachers avoid being seen talking to a particular teacher (a teacher that looks haggard and pecked on) else they also face the same wrath by the principal? Ask your third grade child if their teacher ever humiliates them in front of other students or the principal says something to a teacher that makes them sad. My child has!
It seems like the OP has never been in the school. Our child is in his third year at Clark (he's in second grade) and the teachers have been excellent, attentive, and very well trained. And they care. Alot. There is a friendly, family-like environment and everyone is very approachable and accountable. My family is very satisfied with the school and are thrilled to see it improving and should be even better in the future. I rate the administration as top-notch, the teachers as very good (some are exemplary) and the facility is very good--the most beautiful school in the system. The only flaw, really, is the insufficient upper-grade playground space. There is an excellent pre-k play structure, and an adequate K-1 area. After that, the children are limited to an open field. If there's something that needs investigation, it's how a jewel of a school like this can have such a pitiful play area. The kids find a way to entertain themselves but they deserve better.
I strongly disagree with the review below. I have two kids at Clark, and for the most part we've had a wonderful experience. Classes are small (as is the school itself), the teachers are very caring and they do a great job differentiating the curriculum to meet the learning needs of each child. Some of the best teachers at Clark are true stars who manage to change kids lives for the better. Support services are extensive and in my experience excellent. There has been some turnover in principals in recent years, but the school now has a very experienced and talented principal who is building on some of the positive changes that were made last year. Test scores went up dramatically last year too. Clark does have a very diverse student population in terms of both race and income - that presents some challenges for the teachers, but also provides real learning opportunities for the kids. If you're thinking about Clark for your child, my advice is to visit and give it a chance. Also, the statement about the after-school program below is simply inaccurate. There are always multiple adults there...
We have been very happy with our experience at Clark. The teachers are very committed to the well being and success of the students. The children are seen as individuals, with unique needs and strengths. The teachers are happy to communicate with us, and have been wonderfully attentive to our son's intellectual strengths, while still supporting him socially and emotionally. They have also been phenomenal about his medical needs.
Terrible school. Teachers have no idea what they are doing. After school program is a joke. The students sometimes have no teacher to monitor them in a after school program. This school needs a review by the board of education.