Willow Springs is a good school, but I agree with some of the comments about poor administration. It is true that the school ran out of copy paper several months in a row this year, which is inexcusable. I think that shows poor management of resources. Also, most classes are now overcrowded, and those triangular shaped rooms don't help. New teachers seem to come and go quickly, due I think to the administration's rigidity. My child has loved his teacher each of the 3 years we've been there, and has done well academically. But I also agree that the general ed kids get overlooked and are made to feel inferior to the AAP kids. And the school definitely "teaches to the test" to achieve those high SOL scores. Parents are asked to contribute an awful lot in time and money - more so than any other school we've been at (other FCPS schools as well as other states). Luckily the parents are very supportive, but I do think the administration takes advantage of their willingness to help.
My daughter is currently a 6th grade AAP student in this school. My older daughter was enrolled in this school also, but she wasn't in AAP. Although the school lacks in some caring feelings, the academic program is exquisite. Both of my daughters test scores increased by a profitable amount, and almost all of the teachers I speak highly of. Their SCA, and spirit nights/days are always a source of fun for my daughter. I have spoken often with their principal, and I respect and think highly of her.
I'm quite happy about the school at first time when I believe and send my son to one of the Kindergarten classes here. We'll send my daughter to this school this September as well. We wish all teachers and the Principal all the best in upcoming time.
I am not happy with the school at all. My child is a kindergardener, just started this year, and so far my experience is the worst. I have another child who graduated Fairfax County Public School, not Willow Spring, and never had any problem with any. Teacher and school administration at Willow Spring do not listen to parents or students. They have their own way of dealing with issues. In a constant need of volunteers or regular 81/2 by11 white paper, maybe the school needs to look over their management and expense budget, never seen a school before asking for those things. I was even thinking to suggest among parents to help with paper supply until i saw how the school was wasting a piece of paper everyday at kiss&ride. Please look over the management and your school budget.
This school is excellent. It is a GT magnet school which accounts for some of the high test scores, however, that is only <50% of the students, and after watching my daughter graduate . I was stunned by the amount of students graduating with either the Presidential Excellence awards or Presidential Scholarship awards. Out of roughly 120 6th graders, about 10 did not meet the criteria. Most hit the higher award. Don t be mislead by some other posters poor reviews; they have an ax to grind somewhere. According to the county regulations a child cannot be squeezed out due to poor achievement, it is against the law. About being the most warm and friendly, maybe not, but it has more to do with the neighborhoods surrounding the school. Most children come from high achieving, high income type A parents which are very involved and focused on the kid s educations and not the touchy feely things. As far as the arts/creativity question goes,>50% of the school plays an instrument, participates in chorus or the school plays. The school has received several awards for it excellence in education, music and the arts. My children have enjoyed their teachers and school.
My daughter is in her 2nd year at WS. Downisde: some teachers are disorganized, and yell at the kids. The administration is fairly rigid. Classrooms are shaped oddly (triangular), which is not an issue unless the class is crowded; then it becomes a space problem. On the plus side: Some teachers are excellent; the curriculum is challenging and the kids seem happy. Lots of parental involvement. They have "specials" frequently, including P.E., art, music and Spanish. The school's high test scores reflect the fact that it is a center for gifted students. Sometimes, I think the "average" kids may fall through the cracks.
This school is TERRIBLE for special needs kids. My son used to be autistic. He went to kindergarten at Willow Springs and struggled everyday. All the school did was call me almost everyday and told me to take my son home, deal with him, and bring him back when he could comply. They did NOTHING to accommodate his needs. They did not even evaluate him for special services. We left this school after kindergarten and went to Eagle View, also in Fairfax. Eagle View was very proactive; the principal met with me personally and made sure her staff and teachers worked closely with me to ensure my son's success. Today my son has recovered from autism, thanks to Eagle View's support, and no thanks to Willow Springs.
My son has gone here sence K and he is in sixth now it is a excellent school.
I would have to say that I am very impressed with the education my son is receiving at this school. He is in the GT program and seems to be thriving. We loved our base school so much since it was extremely warm and friendly. Willow Springs was hard to get used to because it is not as warm and friendly, but my son loves going there. What more can a parent ask for?
Horrendous administration-not a welcoming atmosphere, like a prison, no creativity, not a good school at all
This is a school that squeezes out any child who doesn't perform in an effort to maintain high scores on standardized tests. This process seems to be a product of the administration combined with some parents and teachers. The sad fact is that in an effort to outperform they've lost the way.
My 2 sons went there and we were very happy. They have the gifted and talented program as well as many advanced courses. I have been very happy with the principle and teachers.
Kindergarten is poor. Mrs. Prioletti is wonderful. Both of my children had her for first grade. A healthy level of parental involvement is encouraged. The school needs to put a little more emphasis on math, art and music, but they do an excellent job with reading and social studies.
Principal is average. My daughter is finishing 2nd grade this June. Kindergarten teacher was only a two star. First and Second grade teachers were both 5 stars, hence I could only give a four star rating on teacher quality. This is really a fantastic school with great families and kids, it's just that there are some exceptional personnel and some average -- I suppose that's true anywhere.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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