I just want to say we just moved here and I am a very active and protective mother with my child, I was so impressed with the school and staff they cleared all fears that my daughter and I had about starting a new school, thank you to all the staff at Carysbrook, I hope the rest of the school here are as outstanding and wonderful as the staff and school at Carysbrook are....
We moved into the area 4 years ago and was concerned, at first, about the size of the school district, our previous district was much smaller, but have since realized that it's well managed. I believe the changes in staff and administration have played a positive part in these changes. My oldest transitioned into this school after spending his first 3 years in a top rated NY school and was at the same place as the kids he entered 3rd grade with. I am also pleased with the new changes that will take place in 2012/2013 school year that will eliminate all of the trailers and reduce class sizes. Overall I am pleased with the schools and I look forward to the continued changes.
This school is very weak. About 1,300 kids in a K-5 Elementary school is ridiculous. Building is huge and there are still 15-20 trailers out back. School employees are diluted and call them "learning cottages" but anytime a child has to walk outside, go across campus, to get to a bathroom in the other building... that's a trailer. School has too many kids. I never met any principals but know they switched every year or two. Office staff may as well be working at a fast-food restaurant. My child was being harassed on the school bus everyday and school did nothing.
After transitioning from Florida, our son had a tough time at the beginning of 3rd grade but his teacher and Assistant Principal were fantastic and together we were able to get through this tough time. The school is what you make of it.
After attending other schools, my daughter had her own issue with transitioning to a large school. However, we have found Central to be a very heartwarming and caring experience. The office staff are amazing and know 1500+ students & families connected to students by name. The ancillary staff also take a personal caring to the children's well being, developing caring relationships and concern for their academic welfare. The teachers are wonderful and able to tailor to the needs of each child, amazing in a school of this size. The IB curriculum is being integrated into the classroom structure, and the quality of education is continuously being evaluated for improvement with continued change focused as much as the school system funds allow, on the needs of the children. My daughter's teacher was fabulous, taking a personal caring with family dynamics and working individually to facilitate my daughter's highest level of achievement.
School located in a rural area. I agree with the lunch issue. School buses start around 7am. When they enlarged the school they forgot the to enlarge the cafeteria. My kidergartener eats at around 1pm and my 4th grader eats at around 10am. Getting home off the bus at 4pm makes that a long day. The school does recommend snacks that you have to provide EVERYDAY or they end up watching classmates eat theirs. Classroom performance is hit or miss based on what teacher you get. Nothing much offered for extra curricular or gifted, those kids are usually classroom helpers or read alone at their desks. There are great private schools in Charlottesville if you don't mind the 30+ min drive to and back.
I have never felt the need for my child to attend private school until this year--unruly, undisciplined students, unhappy teachers, and poor management make for an environment which leaves a parent wondering if they aren't doing their child a disservice by sending them here. Ditto on the very low expectations and parental involvement.
Get ready for an eye-opener if you move your child here from a 'good' school. I moved here from the reasonably good Albemarle school system and I have been amazed at the lower level of expectations that goes across the board--the staff, the facility, the programs. I am disappointed enough at the school system here (my other chld is in the equally poor middle school) that I will move at the end of this year.