Great principal in Lynn Mayer! PTA is extremely active and generous in providing the staff with funds for supplies, the student body with after-school and extracurricular programs, scholarships for those needing assistance, and chartering scout organizations. Staff is top-notch, especially regarding Special Education. Fairview is considered among the top in Fairfax County for its launching and maintaining of new and innovative special education/autism education programs.
Beautiful school inside and out. Always clean, organized and you can tell it has been well cared for and managed for years. The students are always courteous and polite. The teachers are happy and pleasant. The greatest thing about this school, though, is the welcome feeling you get from the staff in the front office. They greet everyone with a smile and a friendly hello that you don't get in many elementary schools.
The school does focus much of their time in teaching the SOL exams. The Band, strings, Music, Art and Physical Education are outstanding at this school. 6th grade teacher needs much improvement. No inspiration or ability to reach out to all students and encourage them to learn, or discover what works for them. Each student is unique and special. Teacher does not greet parents at open house, focused on the fact she teaches "gifted students", yet is unable to reach and inspire those that work hard and struggle but want to do well. Teacher is oblivious to those around her, fails to greet parents/student when seen on campus or out on a basketball court. Very self absorbed teacher. I come from a family of educators and medical professionals, who are called to help, inspire, guide, educate all in any way. Our son learned unfortunately, that not every one is caring or able to reach out and bring you up.
My daughter transferred in from out of state last year and I can say that this is the best elementary school she's ever attended. The academics are challenging, school/life balance is promoted, the teacher she has is exceptional and we have had no negative experiences since starting there. I'm a "picky" parent, and can normally find a LOT of faults with schools (with understanding measured in, a lot of my family are educators), this school has blown me away with the level of care, attention and work they put into the art of teaching our children!
I recently posted a comment about my experience with a Fairview Kindergarten teacher. It was pulled because I gave the name of the particular teacher. So I will repost without giving her name. All of my interactions with this particular teacher have been frustrating. She is often apathetic and even hostile at times. The first time this happened I excused her behavior, thinking she was just having a bad day. Since her behavior has continued, not only with me but also with other parents, I must accept this is her normal behavior. The other teachers are great, but this particular one needs to change her attitude.
We withdrew our children from this school after being consistently disappointed by the administration and academics. Security was taken lightly and protocols often ignored, with no response from administration when matters were brought to their attention. Academics related strictly to SOL's and lots of wasted time through out the day. We also felt behavior problems were ignored and the principal was concerned about outward appearances over actualities. Different leadership could make a difference in this overcrowded school.
Fairview is a wonderful school with challenging yet caring teachers and a very school focused administration. The PTA is VERY involved and supportive. The school provides the kids with a safe and friendly environment to learn. The teachers are very supportive of the kids even outside of school. On many cases, my son's teachers have come to his athletic events and held movie days for the kids. Many great afterschool programs.
Admin: Some of the rules and policies are ridiculous. Parental input is often 'politely ignored' or glossed over but that is systematic to FCPS. FCPS: I am very disappointed in the so-called "top rated Fairfax County Schools". The Chinese program is a waste of time & money. 1/2 day kindergarten; 1/2 day Mondays; and Teacher Work Days are a joke. Curriculum is very P.C. & some math concepts are taught in a weird sequence (dictated by FPCS & not teacher preference). The taxpayers do not get the respect and services they deserve from a multi million $ system. School: It is near capacity & fall '11 will get students from the Clifton ES area. It will be overcrowded for some time due to the demo of the area. Kids get little new material after April b/c they must review for the SOLs. Teachers: Some are drones/some are GREAT. They work in grade level teams so the kids can't get too far behind. Parents have to help at home b/c concepts are thrown at kids w/o much follow up in a short span of time & the assumption that all kids "get it". On the bright side, the parents are really active volunteers, the PTA tries very hard. Most parents are very bright, involved and motivated.
Welcome to boot camp. The academics at this school are great but it is not a very happy place. Your child will learn the basics, and build a very strong academic base. They will certainly score well on the standardized tests and all will "look" good. The problems that the school has are hidden behind its facade. If you keep quiet, conform to the clean cut image, don't challenge any administrator, and keep quiet, you will love this school. If you want to be involved with your child's education and hope your ideas will be considered...good luck with that. It's their way or the highway. Rather than a warm, loving environment it is more of a boot camp. We moved to this area for the schools 100%. Although we absolutely love Robinson Secondary where our two older children attend, we are very disappointed with Fairview and the overwhelming control of the administration.