This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Oakton Elementary School5
Posted March 07, 2014
- a parent
The best School in the area! Couldn't ask more from a public school!!! The teachers are caring and qualified. The students are smart and happy and the principal is visible. This is a gem of the Oakton Vienna area!!!
I am a sixth grader in this school. It is the best school you can have unlike the old school I would go to, this school has no bullies and the teachers in AAP are the best. I have only been in this school since fifth grade and I whish I had been here since third grade. I learned from my friends that the third and fourth grade teachers were very nice. If you say the front desk people are unfriendly and they communicate poorly, I don't belive so. I think this school deserves a 10 out of ten instead of a nine out of ten.
This school is over rated. The front desk people are unfriendly. The classrooms are crowded. My daughter is in the AAP program and I chose to keep her at this school instead of going to the assigned center. The AAP classroom is just as over crowded as the general education classes because the principal has the discretion to place non-AAP students in these classrooms to fill the seats. I will be moving my child to a center next year.
Have always loved Oakton for my oldest child- fabulous teachers, creative lessons, individualized instruction. My second child has had only average teachers and I was becoming concerned with her progress. Met with the principal this morning, and am so impressed with her right now. Not only had she taken the time to review my child's test scores and recent grades prior to our meeting, she was extremely receptive to all of my concerns and eager to work with us to ensure my child reaches her full potential. Can not say enough about the parent involvement at Oakton- so many great programs before and after school, an active PTA calendar and fabulous room parents. From an approachable administration, to a wonderful office staff, to the caring counselors and the amazing teachers, Oakton is a place I am proud to send my children each day.
I went to Oakton Elementary when I was a child and loved the school even way back then. The school is fantastic and I feel blessed that my Son, who is in 3rd grade, has been going here since Kindergarten. His teacher was just voted the #1 teacher of the year and the school was voted by FCPS as one of the top Elementary schools in the county. My Son has had some speech impediments and some learning disabilities since he was 2. Now, because of this schools facilities & teachers, my Son is thriving and is graduating out of speech and his grades have improved tremendously. The principle and staff are so caring of all the children. The schools after school academic programs are wonderful, my Son is learning Spanish (free of charge), keyboarding, drawing and is in an extra math league (which is free of charge) after school all because this school offers it to their students. I can not say enough about this school, their teachers, the staff, the academics, etc. except to say I love Oakton Elementary and I am thankful for everything they have done.
I have 2 kids at OES and have been very impressed, for the most part. My older child has had fantastic teachers, while my youngest's teachers have been less strong, but perfectly competeny. Some parents have very valid concerns about the Local Level IV AAP center, which is getting ready to start it's 4th year. For my older child, one class out of 4 is AAP, and maybe 6 kids who did not qualify we're drafted from the general population. For my younger child, 2 of the 5 classes are AAP, and about 20 kids were drafted to fill them out. This makes some parents feel like both AAP and General Ed. are being watered down and there are some bad feeling between kids who are in the center and kids who are not. OES does have a great new addition (no more trailers!) , a very involved administration, and an incredibly involved PTA that fundraises and pays for all sorts of extras. There are a lot of great extras, like Girls on the Run, Odyssey of the Mind, chess club and robotics. OES was also selected to start foreign language next year.
Hit or Miss. We have two children attending OES since 2009. One is in GT the other is not. In the GT program the class size is smaller and so far each teacher has far exceeded our expectations. As a result, our child in GT loves going to school and would just as well miss weekends and holiday breaks to keep attending. Our other child is the polar opposite. She used to love school until she started attending OES. Her class is crowded, her teacher overwhelmed and unable to control some students. The new principle has made sincere efforts to address the problem but it will take time. In the meantime we are not happy at all with the VP who comes across as immature and unable to address parent concerns. Instead the VP seems more focused on being 'funny' and each child's best friend instead of keeping the school on the right track. On the positive side, the school has two counselors who are very supportive and communicate openly with parents which I think is a key reason the school does not have bullying issues. The PTA is also amazing and manages to supplement the school with really good programs like Odessy of the Mind, an annual Variety Show and Grace Arts.
I've been extremely disappointed with OES, especially with the principal and administration. They are hostile to parents where they should be supportive. They communicate poorly and rudely; even innocent questions from a parent (e.g., "what time should I expect the bus in the afternoon?") are met with a combative response from OES staff. School protocols are unclear and inconsistently applied. Overall, our experience has been worse than unsatisfactory. I would strongly recommend that parents looking to settle in Fairfax County select an elementary school district other than Oakton.
As a parent, my experience at OES shows that there is great inconsistency in the quality of teachers. Last year my daughter had a young, energetic teacher who was terrific. Unfortunately my other child had a teacher who was on auto-pilot counting the last couple of years until retirement. So more experience doesn't always mean better teachers! To earn a better rating the (now not so) new principal will be have to root out the lazy, burned out teachers so that there is not such a difference within a grade that children and parents feel as though they won the lottery or lost it when they get the 'good' teacher or the bad one.
Oakton Elementary is a fantastic school with a nurturing creative environment. My two sons attend Oakton. We received a new principal last year who is a great leader. The VP knows all the children by name. There are some creative teachers who go all out to enrich the children's curriculum. Oakton has an extremely strong PTA with great leadership. They sponsor many before and after school activities and summer camps. They also sponsor GRACE Art, Odyssey of the Mind, Chess Club, Robotics, a soccer class, and GLOBAL languages. They have several community events yearly, such as a dance, BINGO, a book fair and more. The school formerly housed Oakton High School. As a result, it has a 300 person auditorium unique to most elementary schools in the area. Thus, there are many activities there, including story tellers, musicians and performers. There is also an annual Variety Show that is downright professional. The PTA is welcoming and loves volunteers. The school is currently under renovation. When my son was sick last week, he was sad because he would miss art. He tried to convince me that he could go to school anyway.