My child was sent to the prinicipal office 3 times, one for passing out gloves, another because they spat off the playground, and lastly because of being "disruptive" the prinicpal and teacher had it in for my child because she was a minority, wasn't born blonde hair blue eyes, and comes from a blue collar family!
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.