The teachers at Ashland put education and teaching first. My daughter's teacher went above and beyond to support my daughter and offered free tutoring to improve her math skills.
We didn't know how bad this "School of Excellence" had become until we moved. Based on what we have gathered from teachers (many have since departed - fact), other parents, and even the kids, the atmosphere has become oppressive in its quest to be "Excellent" statistically - it appears fundamental teaching is now the afterthought. After a job transfer relocated our kids to another "Excellent" school, it has been a refreshing change to have teachers with freedoms and time to prepare and teach the fundamentals which is reflected in our kids renewed enthusiasm. The school transfer also highlighted the gap between what our kids don't know versus what is expected at their age (much like the Benton Middle School comment from another parent - "you should have learned that at Ashland"). We can only speculate that the pressure for teachers to have their students do well on the standardized tests in order to have a great looking "School of Excellence" bar graph has made those tests the emphasized curriculum.
I just have to laugh at the "positive" current reviews for this school. Either those parents haven't had any interaction or needed any help from the principal or it is the principal himself leaving the positive reviews.
Ashland is the best school ever they have an awesome principle. The teachers are always friendly. they have an awesome lunch menu im really happy for my child to go nhere
We are really happy with Ashland! The teachers work really hard and go out of their way to help my children. The administrators are both very helpful and the kids love them always saying hi to them and giving them hugs in the hallway. Great school!
I have 2 children that attend Ashland and I can not say enough great things about it. The teachers and staff really work as a team to do the best that they can for each and every student. The Principal puts in every effort he can to keep this school at the highest standards possible.
At one point in time, Ashland Elementary was a fine school. As a parent of a current student, we are not happy with the new principal. It's his way or no way at all. He has a lack of respect for his staff as well as parents and students. We have never met such an arrogant individual. The principal has a way of sweeping important issues under the rug. If he's not going to benefit from it he doesn't care. Suggestion, if you can send your child to another school. It's not worth the interaction with this man. The morale in this building is very depressing. You can see it on the teacher's face as well as other staff members. Ashland had some very good teachers who were enthusiastic about their jobs and coming to work. Now as parents in a good community we don't see much enthusiasm anymore. Such a waist of good talent. We too are dissappointed with the new male administrator and the quality of education my child is receiving this school year. This school can be improved by appointing a new principal, especially one who cares about the students and their families, as well as the staff.
Ashland is a very fine Elementary School. What you find most on these review pages are complaints rather than compliments. Dedicated teachers, safe learning enviornment, a lot of work goes into each and every day that the school is open. Our kids are learning just fine, though at different speeds as most kids are not the same. A lot of complaints about the principal is very typical as he is the boss and most complaints in any industry are about the person in charge. Do I agree with everything he says or does? No, but we need to support him and the faculty rather than complain about every little thing. There are several things I would change about the school, but those are just personal opinions. The school is not run by the parents, but rather the professionals. I look forward to continuing my children's education at Ashland.
Please do not judge the school by the banners, creative academic metrics and clean aesthetics; rather by parents and teachers honest assessments...the children's academic performance once they leave and enter Benton. You will frequently hear during your child's first year at Junior High, "well they should have learned that at Ashland! The school's administration has focused on themselves and how they are judged, rather how the children receive, retain and rewarded. I cannot compare to other schools since our child has only attended Ashland, but listen to the parents and more importantly listen to your children. As they say' out of the mouth of babes comes the truth.' By the way, this has been brought up directly to the school's administration, and the arrogance of the principal was both condescending and astounding. God provided us with two ears and one mouth to listen twice as much as we speak. During our meeting(s), if only the principal could listen twice as much as he talks when he deflects the real issues and concerns of Ashland parents. Parents have had to hire tutors this fall semester to catch up their children up based on what they should have learned at Ashland.
This school has a lot of problems. Teachers are so overworked with a nit-picky micromanaging principal that they cannot take the time to enjoy teaching the kids. And don't even get me started on SOAR or School of Excellence. It takes more than good test scores and awards to make a school a good school. When your third grader comes home and says when the principal talks it seems like he is lying and doesn't really mean what he says-- that is never a good thing.
I have to second the notion that there is no room for differentiation. Teachers are told that they are supposed to differentiate instruction for different levels, but rarely does the administration follow up on that promise. I'm starting to think that administration is all talk here. It seems like many of the teachers are only concentrating on the top achievers and only working with the children with academic issues at the bare minimum level. All the administration is concerned about is their "school of excellence" flag. Seems to me it's all a ruse. With respect to the SOAR awards, how is it that all children are required to get this award? If a child misbehaves the whole year and does nothing to deserve this award, why should the teachers be forced to hand one out to those that don't deserve it? I thought the point of an award was to recognize those that achieve and perform above and beyond. Seems to me that SOAR is nothing but feel good nonsense. Maybe if administration would actually focus on disciplinary matters for once the children would respect authority and SOAR wouldn't be such a joke. Seems that the reputation of this school has been inflated by old reviews.
I do not recommend this school . I am disappointed with the current administrators and the quality of education my children are receiving this school year.
Some teachers do not care to be a team with parents. There is no room for differentiation. When asked for clarification on grading on how it matched to VA standards or even the standard Bloom's taxonomy, there was no valid response. I was laughed at and told repeatedly, "IT'S ALWAYS BEEN DONE THIS WAY" "NO ONE HAS COMPLAINED BEFORE!" The behavior of the teachers during this conference was not helpful in the least. They made it very apparent that nothing of what I, as a parent said was valuable and took everything so personally. How sad is that? So it tells me that teachers have no imagination and do not want to CHANGE and upgrade anything about instruction. Scary. Quid pro quo. Your child is now part of the institution. Quid pro quo. The motto should be that instead of SOAR. Lunch room: Children permitted to SCREAM continuously. Nothing taught in the way of how to handle oneself in the large areas. Trays taken long before necessary. Children sitting at the table while being wiped down by worker. Noted on this day several teachers late to pick up classes, so many sat at tables, long time, that they could have continued to eat lunch.
This is our child's second year at Ashland Elementary. We are very surprised at the rigidity of some of the teachers to consider suggestions from parents to improve the educational environment. They are argumentative and defensive to any change. Who helps pay their salaries? We fought hard to remain in this school district and now wonder why. Comparing this school to private school is easy to do as private school is better and we should have kept our child in it. We are not impressed with Ashland whatsoever at this point but remain hopeful it will improve. However, the arrogance of some of the elementary teachers is unacceptable. We will be contacting the administration to complain but from reading some of the comments on this site, it appears that won't fly. Anyway, we do not recommend Ashland Elementary at this time.
I have two children attending Ashland and we LOVE it! I had only ever had them in private school and was nervous about a public school but our experience has surpassed my expectations. We bought our house based on the school and have not been disappointed. Their teachers, education, and extra-curricular activities have been fabulous. The sense of "community", since the school is located in the neighborhood, gives something different than most schools. The kids live and go to school with each other and several of the teachers as well. The class sizes are always a concern since education funding is always being cut. While I would prefer smaller class sizes, I have been pleased with the ability of the teachers to handle the number of kids put in each class. I would recommend Ashland to anyone interested.
Based on my experience with Ashland's Elementary, the faculty has no understanding of minority culture. Ashland's faculty solution to dealing with a minority child, send them to Alternative School, "because it's what's best". I would warn any parent that has a minority child attending (or will attend this school), ensure you quickly address the fairness and appropriateness of discipline this staff invokes on your child. I requested the demographics on disciplinary actions taken on children attending this school and was told I would be provided a copy, still waiting. The principal and staff will only communicate with me face-to-face or on the phone, as e-mail left a paper trail of event's that could be explained by the school.
Both my children go to Ashland and we LOVE it! I had my reservations, having grown up a private school child but I do not regret it at all. Ashland is wonderful and I am so happy with the teachers and the education my kids are getting. Recommend it to all.
Our school is very friendly. We have a very active PTO who work hard for our children and our teachers!
I have three children who attend Ashland. It is an awesome school with a caring staff, great extracurricular programs (e.g. running club, gardening club, etc.), and wonderful field trips. I agree with earlier comments that the P.E. teachers are phenomenal. Our kids come home and educate us about nutrition and exercise. I do not think this school is overrated. We love Ashland!
I choose Ashland because it was rated the best in Prince William County. Don t let the ratings fool you, like they did me. This is the first school that my daughter couldn t wait to get out of. We are now moving, so that my 2 children do not have to attend Ashland. I was not impressed by anything at this school! It is very over-rated.
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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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