This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Dranesville Elementary School2
Posted September 17, 2014
- a parent
Two of my 3 children have gone through this school and the changes that have taken over the years have been quite shocking. Enough so that I yanked my 3rd out and put him in private school. The principal and now two vice principals appear heavily focused on the students who don't speak English while the average to above average kids are all forgotten. They have added a GT program, but oddly there are kids in there with SIGNIFICANT behavioral problems and causing great disturbances for the others that want to learn. All the schools resources seem go to those students that have difficult with English. (Gotta boost those test scores to save jobs.) When your child is being partnered with another child to teach the other child BASIC ENGLISH something is wrong. My child is supposed to go to school to LEARN, not to be a teacher to someone else who doesn't even want to be there much less understand what's going on. Many of the veteran teachers are running away from the school in droves (or being forced out by the administration) so the turnover rate is high.
My son has been attending Drainsville for the past 3 years. He has loved all of his teachers. The office staff is all very friendly and welcoming. The kids that attend are very polite and thoughtful. I have been volunteering there every weeks for the past three years so I know first had.
We love Dranesville! There is a strong history and many veteran teachers that are committed to kids and families. The PTA does a great job, there is significant parent involvement, and great school spirit. The school is clean and well cared for. We are very happy there.
My kids went to this school for a few years and it started fine but ended poorly. Grades 1-3 were fine but grades 4 and 5 were terrible. PTA slaves get special treatment, of course, while teachers struggle to use the hard won equipment purchased through fund raising - smart boards are a joke. The problem in this school is teachers who are not held accountable for their poor work performance. If I performed as poorly, I would have been fired. With a few exceptional teachers aside, this school is terrible. I am considering home school.
My daughter has been very happy going to school here. She's been a student for 3 years now and she (and I) have been very happy with all the teachers she's had. It's a warm, caring environment. I've met with the principal and I think she is very personable and is doing a great job. Very happy that Level IV Academics are coming to Dranesville this fall. The PTA is also great, lots of opportunity for parent involvement.
My child has come home with soiled clothes several times that they didn't even notice had happened. The children noticed but not the two adults in the "small" class. My child says he wasn't able to get their attention to go in time. When he tells them he had an accident they make him fend for himself or even worse once time told him to stand in the sun to dry off. Three hours later when I picked him up he was still wet through his pants & undies & was even bluish, it was a cold winter day. Some power seeking rude staff . They never co-operate with parents. They try to impose new rules like dictators; they try to dominate on Parents like small kids. Teachers are not great, whereas some of them are okay. Some of the good ones cannot even speak up to their co-workers & help the parents. Communication varies greatly.
This school has undergone tremendous changes in the three years my children have been here. There seems to be a BIG problem with overall communication between those in charge and teachers. Principal Manoatl is a very micro managing leader who meddles quite a bit in the curriculum year to year. There is also a mismanagement of funds coming to the school and resources are NOT allocated to the places they need to be. There are many children in the school who do not speak English, and yet there are only two full time ESOL teachers to serve them. Teachers are rightfully annoyed and overall moral is so low, that some fabulous educators are leaving DES. Principal Manoatl concerns herself with aspect of "education" that really are none of her business. This school would be much better off taking a hands off approach to her educators and letting them do what they do best--teach! They know what works, what they need and how best to serve their students. I personally hope that Principal Manoatl gets board and moves on. This school could use some new leadership...pronto!
Both of my kids love this school and we have been here for many years and gone through administration changes as well. The current administration and PTA do a TON of work to get parents and families involved with monthly activities. Not to mention keeping everyone up to date on events going on via newsletters/emails/website info etc. Fantastic school, Fantastic Administration and Fantastic Teachers - truly a rising star in FCPS. As for test scores, there is only so much you can do with demographics you are dealt with and if English isn't your native language, but the pull out specialists work diligently to get the kids that need extra help the assistance they need.