We love this school. The sense of community is maxing, and like no other I have seen in the many, many moves our family has made. The teachers and staff are extremely open and friendly, and most importantly, you can tell they love their jobs. Ms Kimball in the front office is especially wonderful and very warm with both kids and parents. Last year, great schools rated Larchmont a 10 out of 10 and Taylor a 5 out of 10, though this year both are 7s. I doubt that that much has changed in just one year, and feel that Larchmont is closer to that 10. We love it!
Our district is riddled with problems, but LES is a wonderful school. Its location close to ODU and NATO means a culturally diverse student body from all around the world. Chinese is offered as a weekly resource and many of my children's friends are bilingual. With over 500 students, the school only has 3 buses because most of the children live within walking distance. This "neighborhood school" feel is rare in the city and creates a great community feel every morning as families all walk and ride their bikes to campus. The PTA is the most active I've ever seen, offering regular after school enrichment activities and raising money to fill in the gaps with district funding. Such a great environment (and strong parental network) means high teacher retention and quick turnover of not-so-great teachers. On the downside, the building is ancient, some of the grades are over-crowded (we don't get any sympathy from the district), the gifted program is weak (because district standards are so low, a huge percentage of LES kids qualify as "gifted"), and some of my friends with "special needs" kids have been frustrated with the school. Our personal experience, however, has been very positive.
If you have a special needs child, think educational success is more than just high SOL scores, value arts/music/creativity, believe kids should have access to a playground, or have a child who is different in any way this is NOT the school for you. I was repeatedly told my son was getting services when he wasn't. He was also forced to stand against a brick wall at recess most days as punishment for things related to his disability instead of being given help. He was bullied relentlessly and punished when he tried to defend himself. 3 kids told me separately that they could say or do whatever they wanted to him because they knew they wouldn't get in trouble. We are vegetarian; at lunch kids repeatedly shoved meat into his face. A teacher wrote the names of kids who were in danger of failing on the board in front of the whole class, which was denied.The list goes on. He turned into an angry, defensive child, gave up trying in school & came home crying at least once a week.A year later in a private school, he is finally making friends, getting good grades, starting to believe there are teachers who care & will help, & happy. So much for rights to free, appropriate (& safe) education
i went to this school in fourth grade.This school is the best ! Thanks for teaching me Mrs.New !!!!!!!
My three children attended this school for several years but we ultimately became discouraged by the overcrowding, lack of resources and condition of the building. The school is about 25 years beyond the need for a renovation. The class sizes are beyond the max allowed limit and the lunchroom situation is a true shame. My husband and I always wanted to support urban public schools but Larchmont Elementary School does not live up to its prior reputation.
We have had a very positive experience at Larchmont. It is unique as many of the kids walk to this neighborhood school. I believe this fosters a closer community. We've had great teachers and our children have thrived. No school is perfect, and my only issues with the school stem from the school district's heavy emphasis on standardized testing. Overall this school has great teachers, staff, parental involvement, and extracurricular activities. Get involved! There are many opportunities to get involved in the school community at LES and your children will benefit!
We have a 13 yo that graduated from Larchmont and 2 boys still attending. We have had great academic and social experiences every year. The best way to encourage your children to receive a great education is to be involved and show up to volunteer when you are able. The Principal at Larchmont is very encouraging to the teachers and staff, as well as to the PTA. When I have had situations arise that I questioned, I have gone directly to the teacher/and or Principal and they are very willing to help resolve the issue. If you are looking to choose between a public or private school, save your money (or donate it) and send your children to Larchmont.
My child is in 2nd grade at Larchmont, it has been a great year so far. Last year was a different story, but the Guidance and Gifted Resource team helped get through the challenging times and are the best in the district!
My daughter attended LES K-5 (just graduated) and my son is a rising fourth grader who has been there since kindergarten. Overall, we have been very happy with Larchmont. The teachers are caring and committed, parental involvement is encouraged and the learning environment encourages achievement. As a parent of two gifted children, I have been less than thrilled with the school s gifted program (more of an NPS than LES problem), but that does not outweigh the positives of the school. If we could go back in time and choose any school in the Tidewater area, we would still choose Larchmont. The academics are great and the strong sense of community here is priceless. Your children will be smarter and happier for attending LES.
We are so pleased with Larchmont. Our first grade son has a wonderful teacher who is firm but fair. She pushes him to be better, and he is very motivated to work hard and extend himself. His writing skills have greatly improved, and he is thriving. Also, I should mention that the PTA and administration work together to provide many fun extra programs for the family (Bingo night, Science and Math Night, R.A.T. Race, Spring Carnival, Flea Market, etc.). The school also has its own garden, maintained by students and families at the school. Overall, we are so pleased and would certainly recommend this school.
My grandson attended Larchmont for his fifth grade year. He loved the school. He attended another highly rated Norfolk School (Ghent) and the teachers there did not appear to understand the way his process things. The teachers at Larchmont encouraged him and built up his self-esteem. They let him know that he was capable fo doing a lot more. They encouraged all their kids to participate in variety of things and made learning both exciting and challenging. This is the number one elementary school in the area.
Larchmont Elementary has exceeded our expectations! We moved into the neighborhood with the intention of sending our child(ren), when we had them, to LE. After having our daughter, we heard mixed reviews regarding the school, its administration and teachers. As a result, we sent our daughter to private school for K and first grade. I now wish we had saved our money and sent her to LE from the very beginning. We have been thrilled with the academic quality, teacher and parent involvement and environment at LE. I can't offer any comment regarding the administration, as I have not had any reason to have a problem resolved at that level. The bottom line is my daughter is thriving, happy, advancing academically and has loved her teachers and classmates.
My two kids attended Larchmont Elem from 2004 to 2006 (Grades 1-2 and 3-4) and loved the rich academic and social experience. We are a Navy family and had lived in Hawaii prior to moving to Norfolk. The kids' school there was one of the best public schools in the state, but it is a near-joke compared to the great quality of Larchmont's curriculum and teachers. We are now stationed overseas in Japan and even the kids lament the lack of academic challenge at the base school compared to LE. We miss LE's high standards, demanding curriculum, and most of all, its professional and caring faculty.
Having attended Larchmont myself as a child, I found that my son has benefited greatly as did I from the old fashioned school house feeling that this school has to offer. Definately set apart from the rat race feel of many public schools. It allows a child to relax and feel at home.
Larchmont is one of the two best choices for Norfolk Public Elementary Schools (Taylor in West Ghent being the other). The teachers are committed and experienced, and the PTA is VERY strong. The building is old ('historic') but has been upgraded to accomodate new technology demands. The kids are very happy here and are supported by a very strong Larchmont community.
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