This school is fine. The faculty is great and the facility is excellent. Great diversity and a real dedication to learn.
Sadly, I believe that the color of your skin and your economic level greatly affects the way you and your children are treated at this school. If you are diligent in monitoring what you are told about what is, or will happen in the school and classroom vs. what actually does happen in the school and classroom you may find what I found--a large discrepancy. Some infractions are minor while others are major and can have a negative impact on not only your child's education but on his or her self esteem. For those who will disagree with me that is fine, and of course it's your prerogative. All I'm suggesting is that you monitor your child's experience at Dogwood very carefully and this includes making unscheduled and unexpected visits to the school. Listen and learn. I sincerely hope that your experience is different from mine. Just because a staff member or part of the administration smiles politely at you and tells you what they believe you want to hear does not mean that your child will be treated well.
This is a bad school and the money is low.I wouldn't recommend this school. The teachers are nice but the school isnt that great
All three of our children have or are attending Dogwood. The school did not perform well in the past due to the high number of ESL students attending. The only bad thing is that we lost the modified calender schedule over the summer. The staff is great and the administration goes out of their way to make themselves present and involved.
I wish county would realize they can't just throw money at the problem, because the school has been so bad it gets a lot of funding, free lunches, free after school programs, but if the problem is the student body is bad best chance for those kids is to ship them to other schools and make this one a magnet school. You can have the best intentions and funding but until the makeup of the student body changes, it's going to be a bad school.
I am a mother of 3 children, two of which are of school age. We sent our children to a Blue Ribbon private school for several years but made the decision to switch them to the local public school for a number of reasons. My husband and I are very happy with the school and our children and so much happier. The classroom sizes are low and the quality of the education is superb. I am a believer that education needs to be positive and that is what this school is all about. The teachers are genuinely happy, dedicated, involved and energetic, but most importantly, very positive and nuturing. The principal is simply outstanding. She is so visible and is regularly seen in the cafeteria, walking around and helping kids. It is really an unbelievable thing to witness her in action. Watch this school--it will end up being a model school.
My child has enjoyed the gifted program, loves reading, science, and loves teachers. My perception is that Dogwood makes a great attempt to make sure every child's individual educational needs are being met--perhaps better than most elementary school in Ffx County. Certainly not all teachers are perfect, but for the most part, we have been impressed so far with the quality of the teaching. I believe the school community (parents included) could do more to bridge the social gaps and to create more unity with non-English speaking families of the school.
My children have thrived here! One has special needs and receives the support & accomodations he needs. They've both had excellent teachers. Their key strength is the ability to ladder instruction, providing the right level of challenge for each student. Class sizes tend to be less than at other schools and additional resources are available for ESOL students. It also has a full-time gifted and talented instructor (other non-gifted center schools share a GT teacher). I recommend the school highly.
Well, these last updates are older and my child was not enrolled during this time. However, this is one of the worst schools in the entire Fairfax County Public School system. I say that not only as a parent of a child who attended there, but with input from 3 separate Fairfax County School Teachers. I have two friends with children that attended kindergarten the same year my child did. The material that their children learned in the beginning of the year, my son was learning towards the end of the year. They have no interest whatsoever in assisting children with special needs. Fairfax County has some wonderful schools (so I have heard) but this is definitely not one of them.
For the past 11 years, at least one of my children has attended Dogwood Elementary. We've endured bad press, a devastating fire and 3 Principals. I have been a Dogwood supporter all these years. I am involved and often in the building, so I see first hand what goes on there. My kids continue to perform well above average on tests like the SOL's. My oldest child was well prepared and continues to do well in challenging IB courses offered at South Lakes High School. We love Dogwood's diversity. I consider it the best kept secret in Reston!
Dogwood is an excellent school. The building is brand new because of a fire in 2000 in which the entire building was gutted. Students were sent to 3 differrent schools in 2000 and 2001. This affected test scores in those years.
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