School caters to advanced children, they pull from all local schools and even bus children in from miles away. Instead of hiring more qualified teachers to teach in surrounding schools, haycock hires the cream of the crop!
We just finished our first year here. It has been wonderful--the teachers are fantastic and my child learned more than I ever imagined possible. The "specials"--art, music, science, Spanish, computers, etc.--have opened my child's eyes to subjects where she never had shown any interest (and we went to a well-regarded preschool with these subjects) The building renovation is almost done and when the kids return they will have a new building, inside and out. It will still be large--900+ students,--but class sizes average 22-25 in most grades, which is manageable.
The principal is departing for another school, so there will be a new face there as well. I had mixed feelings about her--she clearly knows her pedagogy, holds teachers to high standards, and I believe she has done good things for the school; however, I must agree with the comments that she was not as visible as an elementary principal should be (albeit very good on e-mail). Also, the PTA leadership is mostly new so it is a time of transition. But given its reputation and Blue Ribbon honor, plus the strong parental involvement, I believe this school will thrive. I am anxious to see the finished building and new technologies.
Haycock is now a Blue Ribbon School! Clearly the teachers and administration are doing great things to be recognized for such a high honor! I find the principal extremely visible. She most recently went camping with the fifth grade and I see her frequently at student arrival or in the cafeteria. She and the staff are definitely doing great things. My children are thriving and I'm thrilled with the level of rigor both in the center and general education classes. The teachers that we have had thus far are outstanding, fair, consistent and communicate extremely well. The Principal communicates via Facebook, Blog, Twitter and emails. I feel that I have a good idea what is going on in the school and feel blessed to have my children at the school!
I rated the Teacher Quality high, because it is whether a child is GE or AP. I had both. And the contrast was my biological child in Fairfax County schools with less money and, as a result, I ended up rearing my biological child in private schools. The principal is invisible. Even my stepchildren stated, "she never left her office," and this was before she became pregnant. I gave Parent Involvement a low score because the school is run (especially with virtually no supervision by the principal) by a core group of parents that are pushy and offensive. So I worked, extensively at times, on a class basis, bypassing the mothers that ran the school. I'm a native to Fairfax and, fortunately, I've never experienced such an environment. Instead, I chose to work at the middle school where the Principal and the PTA run it, and the environment is much more positive and engaging for anyone who is interested in helping.
I have two kids in this school now, one in AAP and one still in the lower grade. I love the fact that school staff, teachers and PTA all work together for the best of the students. We moved from CA to here years ago and my kids immediately loved the school that they don't want to move again until they graduate. LOL~ Thank you Haycock!
I had two children at Haycock, one qualified for level 4 gifted/AAP center. There is endemic bigotry among both students and staff regarding the Advanced kids and the GE (general education) population, with the AAP children clearly privileged. GE kids live with constant reinforcement that they aren't first class citizens. My biggest regret is that we waited so long to put our kids in private school. Several teachers were very good, but both children suffered with teachers who were apathetic, unkind, and/or poor classroom managers. Both children were bullied and received only limited help from the staff. One of my children lost an entire year of learning while the teacher struggled simply to manage the endless disruption caused by clustering children with severe issues into one general classroom - even though the administration was well aware that this group had deep interpersonal conflicts that caused the same problems the previous year. When I asked for help, there were many good suggestions but little follow through. Both kids are now flourishing in private school. Haycock did a great disservice to both my children, who are extremely bright, A students.
I'm an old student, I graduated a number of years ago and am now in college. Haycock was a great school. I realize that it is very crowded. Its always been that way, but what can you expect from a school in THE top county for education in the US? It says that there is about 850 students, when I attended there was about 1,000 so please stop complaining about the overpopulation. My class sizes varied from 18 to about 30 kids each year. Kids from Haycock go on to Longfellow and do incredibly well, many of which get accepted to TJHSST (the top high school in the country). The Haycock/Longfellow/Mclean HS school chain prepares you very well for your future and to complain about your student having classes with 35+ students is completely your loss because these teachers go to training to learn how to deal with it. You are kidding yourself to be writing complaints here. A top 10 elementary school in the top county in the country. Get over yourself. Think of all the kids out there who don't even get a proper education. If you get the chance watch the movie Stand and Deliver. Maybe then you'll realize how privileged your kids really are. If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.
Parents are kidding themselves if they think the bad reviews are entirely because of the AAP realignment. Look at them, they are not all from AAP parents. The school is a good school, but not the mecca that everyone claims. It's riding on reputation at this point. It's certainly not much (if at all) better than surrounding FCPS schools.