As many people said, the principal here is unfriendly, has rules that never bend, and communication style is brusque and, at times, harsh. She has a way she wants to run things (no snacks for birthdays or holidays, no forgetting a lunch or an instrument, etc.) and she has no interest in your opinion on anything.
I like that they avoid homework on the weekends, but break it up into small bites so you do a little each night. We've never felt overwhelmed with homework (my daughter is in 4th grade in the AAP program).
Academics are excellent. Teachers are fabulous. Building is nice with the new renovations. My daughter has been there for 2 years (transferred from her base school for the AAP program) and really likes it there (and she's picky).
Principal and front office are, like many people said, patently unpleasant. Fine if you never have to interact with them, less ok if you do. I wouldn't let them stop you from going, but you've been warned! ;)
Very good teachers at this school. Unfortunately, the principal wants to shove her ideals of healthy food down our throats. They only want fruits and water for snacks. The cost of fresh fruit is getting higher and we can't afford to buy fruits every day. There are some snack lunches that .are as healthy and much cheaper, but she doesn't allow it. No cupcakes either on birthdays, and no candy hearts on Valentine's day. All in all, no fun in this school.
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.