Great School!!!! My child transferred from private school, and it has been a great transition. The staff is great. This is one of the best schools in Portsmouth, not to mention that it is a newer school.
My son goes to Olive Branch for preschool and we absolutely love it! His teacher is fantastic and the Principal is readily available to take phone calls, etc. My son is taking off at Olive Branch both academically and socially. I just wish they had Kindergarten too!!
My daughter attended Olive Branch for kindergarten and first grade. I thought the school was terrible. It was extremely disorganized, the PTA had no idea how to properly use their funds. My daughter ended up with two teachers that were both very focused on the negatives of each child. They were not very encouraging either. The teachers would constantly point out my daughter's flaws to her in front of the classroom, making her feel ashamed of who she was. They tried "diagnosing" my child with ADHD whent they were the problem. Her first teacher punished her for "showing enthusiasm towards a topic they were about to discuss, in the form of a gasp" ( teacher's quote). I just really think the teacher didn't seem to enjoy children. Teaching was nothing but a job to her. I can go on forever about how horrible this school is. When I moved out of state and my daughter started a new school, I saw an immediate change in her. Her self esteem improved greatly and her academics had also improved even though her new school was much more advanced academically.
Olive Branch is a public school that is a small high quality education similar to that of an elite private school. The teachers are wonderful and love to teach while the principal does everything she can to make the school run efficiently and be successful. The parents and PTA are 100% supportive and do what they can to ensure the success of the children. OBES works hard to reach all of the needs of all of the students. Our daughter attended private schools for pre-school and we have been delighted with OBES. We are extremely pleased after getting her SOL scores today and she pass/advanced all of them with two perfect scores in Reading and History. We have no complaints!
The teachers are great and always available, if there is a problem. They are very supportive of their students. Mrs Bright, the principal , knows what is going on in the school at all times and is very approachable. My grandchild loves going to school there.
Teachers at OBES truly love teaching. They accomodate different learning styles and frequently offer extra support to struggling students. The kindergarten and first grade special ed team there is among the best anywhere.They work dilligently to reinforce skills as well as instill confidence in all students to help them perform. 95 percent of the children leave kindergarten as readers and thats phenomenal. There is only one thing bad about OBES and thats the current leadership. Asside from the leadership, OBES is a quality, neighborhood school.
Schools teaching is outdated. Enrichment activities are extremely limited. PE, Art, and Music are all only once a week. If a student is not learning at the pace of the others by way of the teachers method, there is no effort for a different approach to teach that child. It seems they feel it is not their problem. I do not see love of teaching here.
I wento to Olive Branch from kindergarten to fifth grade. I loved it! It doesn't have a lot of students, so you could move around easily. The teachers rock. They just got a new principal though. I'm not sure if I like her much. But other wise, it's great, awesome there! The food is really good there. The etachers are also very nice and the cirriculum is good. I got straight A's.
This school tends to use outdated methods of teaching. Current research-based methods aren't utilized. Rather the teachers tend to neglect the fact that all children do not learn concepts the same way. Some are visual, audial, kinesthetic, etc. However, these teachers tend to deliver instruction through lecture approach. MAny times if students have questions they are told to 'look it up in the book.' There doesn't seem to be any emphasis on discoreyor active learning taking place. As for extracuricular activities, they are very limited. Students are also restricted from recess if they havn't finished classwork. Recess consists of walking and running laps around the playground. On days when students have art, P.E. Library, or music they do not even get recesss. The current principal, Mrs. Bright, and school advisor feel that since the scvhool has full accredidation none of these previously mentioned actions should be changed.