This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Keene Mill Elementary School2
Posted October 30, 2014
- a parent
We are new to this school this year, and what a change! From a dynamic and fun school my kids ended up in bootcamp. This school is no fun for the children. Learning is fine but kids should have fun activities. Our previous school was very welcoming to parents and created activities where all could share. I remember helping out with pumpkin carving and the children brought Halloween-themed clothing for Halloween like cat ears, or princess skirts and so. Here, the fun stops with the principal, we received a note warning of anyone that bring anything related to Halloween was being sent back home to change. My son's first grade teacher hasn't even come with any fun activity and doesn't encourage parents visiting her classroom. I've heard some teachers comment that they will be transferring out because the principal is a "stuck-up..". The office personnel look like zombies going thru the motions and when you show up for anything they just give you "the look".. I know of many schools that will be having fun activities tomorrow, but not Keene Mill. I guess Kangaroos don't have much fun. All the principal cares is announce how much money they collected at the end of the day in donations.
This school is okay, the teachers are nice and my son, which is under the special education program is receiving adequate help. Unfortunately, the school's atmosphere is cold and unfriendly. The office staff barely look at you when you are there for any official business, and they make you feel like you are a bother. The principal came with some ridiculous rules about snacks and not celebrating birthdays with cupcakes for some unknown reason. The PTA is a lame duck. The principal keeps a tight rein in the school because she is more interested in winning awards for the school than anything else. Our previous school was a paradise compared to this school. I will move them out at the end of the school year. Don't believe the inflated numbers about this school. I even tried to volunteer and my son's teacher basically told me she didn't want my help.
We are new to the area and the district, and Keene Mill/West Springfield Pyramid overall. Registration was simple and easy. Orientation to the school could of definitely been better at the beginning of the year. The principal did a stellar job at communicating bus times and any delays which is important. They had plenty of student helpers to help the little ones adjust. Things only get sent home once a week from the school/teachers so it is hard to talk with your child to see what they have been working on all week until Thursday night- there could be a better system in place there.
Keene Mill is an excellent school where I fully trust that the teachers and administration are advocates for my children and work with parents as a team. We have had wonderful teachers in both community and AAP classes. My children have been challenged and enjoy school, as well as the PTA after-school activities and events. The school is getting ready to undergo a major, much-needed renovation that may unfortunately impact some of the activities, but should also address many of the HVAC issues and modernize the 50+ year-old school. We are very happy with Keene Mill ES and proud to be part of the Kanga community.
This school is just ok. I don't love it, I don't hate it. I have a child in the AAP program, and while she has done well here, we have never really fallen in love with the school. We have another child at a neighboring school and although greatschools.org gives Keene Mill a 10, we like the other school a whole lot more. The school itself is very old and rundown. The AC and heat often seems to be out of order. The teachers are decent, but I think that's true of most FCPS teachers. The younger students are made to walk with their hands behind their backs and holding their breath. It almost feels a little like a prison to see. The principal has been open about trying to win a health award through the county, but it comes at the cost of fun things such as bringing in birthday treats. The school does not feel at all like a community, probably because kids are coming from neighborhoods all over town. Like I said, my child has done well here, but I feel she would have been fine at any of the nearby schools.
This school is fine and I am glad my son is here but he would have done fine anywhere. I love the email communication this school has regarding events going on but after three years here I don't really feel part of the school. My son is in the AAP which he loves but I don't think they allow very much flexibility to the teachers. I think the AAP program should be renamed the advanced math and vocabulary program. My son does well but I don't think the program has done much to develop his skills as a creative writer or thinker. That being said I have loved most of the teachers and I love that no kids run under the radar in AAP. I am especially glad that some of the teachers have focused less on busy work homework as they have gone to higher grades. Overall I am glad I sent my son to the school and program but I won't miss it when he moves on.
Keene Mill deserves a 20 out of 10! It is an outstanding school and my family feels fortunate that our children can participate in a school of this caliber. The academics are stellar! The administrators are open to new ideas, and the school just had a fabulous Innovation Fair! I strongly disagree with the previous review. Who would want kids to play tag on the playground where they could be injured or eat food that someone might have prepared in an unsanitary kitchen? I think the school wants nutrition facts for food allergies. I also disagree about communication, as the principal sends out a weekly email to parents and the PTA sends flyers in the Thursday folder each week. All of our children's teachers have been supportive and caring and made the effort to teach our children what they need to know at an appropriate pace. I can't say enough positive things about Keene Mill!
Keene Mill is ranked #12 out of 1060 schools in Virginia on schooldigger.com and was selected as one of the top elementary schools by Northern Virginia Magazine! Way to go, Keene Mill, for earning a well deserved 10 out of 10 from Great Schools! Keene Mill has much to celebrate, but most of all, we celebrate our enthusiastic students, supportive parents, and wonderful colleagues. We are truly a community of learners!
This school is okay. People love it but I think it is okay. There are a lot of nonsense rules, like no tag on the playground and no home cooked items are allowed in school because everything must come with a list of ingredients. My son is in the AP program and struggles with the huge transition. Although they constantly talk about the transition 3rd grade holds for the AP kids, they don't seem to do anything to help the kids with it. They throw work at the kids thinking they will get it because they scored high on a standard test. Kids still need to be taught multiplication. It is a basic skill that is skipped in the AP program. Also kids need to be taught how to write a paragraph, even smart kids need to learn these skills. Overall not excited about the school or the program. The PTA communication is poor and frequently I don't know what is happening in the school until the day before it is happening. I am disappointed overall and I do not think this school deserves a 10 out of 10