This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Willow Springs Elementary School2
Posted January 20, 2015
- a parent
I have had 2 children attend Willow Springs. There are some good teachers there. I agree with the other reviews, the principal, Mrs. Rhein and her chilly administration are more focused on the school's and her reputation than creating a positive learning environment for students and teachers. One of my son's favorite teachers was apparently "squeezed out" and I hear this is typical at WS. A friend of mine that works for FCPS says the WS administration is notorious for being difficult. No wonder they have such high teacher turnover. We are now at Forestville and the principal and the teaching staff have been amazing. A big change from Willow Springs.
Willow Springs administration is definetly the weak link at this school. As cold and sterile as this school is, the focus really isn't on academics. I say this as an AAP parent who has become very frustrated with this school and it's ability to challenge gifted children. Why be an AAP Center if you are not going to embrace it? PTA and parent involvement are the best thing going for this school. There are also some great teachers here, but there is significant turnover from year to year which is telling.
hi, I go to willow springs and im in 6th grade. I think the school is awesome! the teachers are great and the strings/band and chrous concerts are really fun. the teachers are actually very helpful! also I help out with the autistic ids and we take great care of them, so the person who commented on the autism stuff if wrong! I hate the principal, but I don't know why... its the best school ever
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.