This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Azalea Middle School1
Posted September 27, 2014
- a parent
My daughter is a new student at Azalea Gardens Middle School. I did not know what to expect after reading about Lafayette Winona closing and more students arriving. My daughter said that there are over 42 other students in her science class. Her math and social studies classes are also large; however, she has a very small reading and writing class. This is unacceptable. How does the principal expect the teacher to handle 40+ students and teach them what they need to learn. I am also concerned about the condition of the school; my daughter said that they have trashcans to catch the rain on rainy days, and the girls restroom doesn't have toilet paper, soap, or towels. On a positive note, the teacher seem wonderful and well prepared; I went to open house, and all teachers seem willing to assist whenever needed. They had beautifully decorated classroom and thought out presentations. My daughter loves all of her teachers including her science teacher who struggles with more that 40 children.
The roof and windows leak, the bathrooms are in poor condition and not supplied well, there is mold and mildew everywhere and the technology does not work well. The teachers are caring and hard working. I personally come in early, stay late, come in on Saturday, and tutor for free. We feel powerless to maintain discipline because administration worries more about offending the parents of one student than considering the needs of all the other children in the class. The deans ignore conduct notices and referrals. The principal makes promises to students and does not follow through (trip to Busch Gardens). She once told us that she could do without the teachers, but she NEEDED her office manager. Special education students do not receive accommodations because co-teachers spend more time coming late to class, attending meetings, and testing than helping students in the class. The security guards and resource officer spend most of their time sitting around the nurses office or texting and playing games on their cell phones. I hit my emergency button and no one came. A student was sent back to my room who had just vomited in the trashcan because "no one could pick her up."
My child's school is Azalea Gardens Middle School. I appreciate my child's teachers, they are very involved with her. They are just as concerned about her as I am. Unfortunately when it comes to help with bullying, the school is not so great. I called the office an hour ago and no one has returned my call. I let the secretary know that my child has been kicked and that another student put kick me signs on her and she said well i'll just give you the deans voice mail. We are not dealing with normal children. There is also another girl that bullies my daughter, I went to her parents house this morning and her grandfather could care less. I guess i'll just have to call the news or the police. After everything we've seen on tv about bullying, and young children taking their lives because others make it unbearable. Some people just don't care, i'm not one of those Moms who just says ignore it, because I know if she does it won't stop. I was bullied too as a child and guess what all those bullies now have very dissatisfying lives. I hope this school realizes that bullying doesn't discriminate against anyone and that it is a problem that needs to corrected & addressed.
My son has went to this school from 6th to 8th grade.. I must say I was worried about it when he first started.. because he is a very quiet child. But he has done great.. The Teachers are amazing and have always kept in touch with me even if it's too tell me he is doing a great job or he has been too quiet again.. he hasn't had no problems at the school. His grades are amazing and if he need to stay after the teachers are always there to help.I have nothing bad to say about school or the staff they have always been a great help to me and my son.. I think half the problem with schools these days is the parents.. You don't let the teachers do there jobs.. This school is great..
I attended Azalea immediately after I left St. Pius X in the sixth grade (I had to leave because my parents couldn't afford it anymore) and in my first quarter at Azalea I was assaulted 6 times. I was bullied because I had no friends at the time, but I made it out alright and gained a reputation of not only being able to defend myself, but also for defending others like me. The behavior of the "bad" students was a direct result of their home life; I actually ran into one of my bullies from Azalea while I was in college, and he apologized to me and actually bought me lunch. While I was there (1998 - 2001), I met some of the most important people in my life, and one of them was a teacher. He did more for his students in three years than most will ever do in their entire lives, and it's sad to say but it is true - he was an exception to the rule and without more teachers like him, and without some of the staff I had when I was there, I can only imagine the school has fallen back into social disrepair. There are probably dozens of kids being bullied by kids who don't know any better. The public education system is broken, but a single teacher CAN make a difference.
This school is terrible. My son has been diagnosed with a mental disorder and started last year. He has been beaten up by bullies four separate times on the bus and after getting off the bus. Everytime this happened the faculty (dean and principals) made him feel as if it were his fault. the first time he did not fight back and was beaten badly and also reprimanded for not going "straight home" after school. The second time he was suspended for pushing the 3 students back as they were hitting him in the head. Yesterday he came home with a swollen eye and cheek and we were told this morning that it was "mutual combat" so he will more than likely be suspended again. supposedly he "mutually" decided to fight four other guys who grabbed him from behind and held him down while beating him. We have nowhere to turn to for help on stopping this from happening.
The teaching staff has been wonderful, but the upper management needs to be replaced. The lack of intervention the dean's and principal have in the inappropriate behavior and bullying is unbelievably appalling. The coaching staff uses inappropriate language towards the students and does no show support nor sportsmanship during games.
Hostile learning environment. Student discipline is a joke. Assaults by students on other students are each treated as separate events so a history of repeated threats, abuse and assaults by one student to others is not taken into account. This is due to the leadership of the principle. When talking to the principle you feel as if you are bothering her. She doesn t hide her contempt very well either. Most of the teachers are fine if not great but the school is a breeding ground for bullies. It took the school a full quarter to find a Latin teacher for the advanced students making them work that much harder to catch up during the second quarter. Then there is the fact the school is falling apart.
This is an awesome school! It is one of the best in the city. I feel most parents, students and teachers complain because they have never experienced any other school in Norfolk. Azalea is definitely the best in Norfolk. As a teacher, I love going to work at Azalea. I have worked there for many years and we are a family!
This was my childs first year in middle school and I had hoped that it would be a wonderful experience. But, all those hopes have been dashed. he comes home angry, in a rage or crying about how aweful the teachers are, the administration shows no concern, even when in a face to face conference with a parent. The principal comes across as 'why are you here and why are you bothering me.' I would not recommend this school to anyone. In fact the best thing the city could so is close it down.