This school did a terrible job addressing my child's special needs. He was constantly stressed out because the emphasis was always on the SOLs and not how he could learn the materials. The special ed teachers often bullied him and should be considered a shame on the teaching profession.
We pulled him out of Fairfax County Schools completely and he has been thriving in a private school that completely focuses on him, not the test. For the first time he is learning that learning can b e fun, not a chore. If your child is special needs, RUN, don't walk from this school!
The only reason I can give this school a star is because of the excellent art teacher; otherwise I rate it ZERO!
We have been in the Ravensworth neighborhood and school for two years now, my son is in the second grade. He is not in the immersion program, I prefer that he gets his math and science skills down instead of a second language at this point. We are very excited about the new principal and the security changes she is making. The staff is always very kind to him, including the nurse who will call if he gets hurt, and his teacher is always open to communications with me. He is in a happy and secure environment, and we love that he can walk to school (with supervision of course)! He does not have special needs so I cannot speak for those folks, I can only say that we have been pleased. He is reading by leaps and bounds and he loves the art program as well.
I have two children at Ravensworth Elementary who have had an overall positive experience with the school. We have a new principal who has already brought new energy and positive changes to the new year. I have never witnessed bullying at the school, but sincerely hope that the new administration will adhere to a no tolerance policy. Our children deserve a safe and happy learning atmosphere. Our school needs parent involvement in order to be successful and volunteers are greatly appreciated by the teachers and PTA!!! Ravensworth does have talented and caring staff and teachers in the immersion program! The first year can be overwhelming and I do hope that the new principal is able to restructure the curriculum and make the program more cohesive for the lower grades. I have heard from numerous families and have experienced with my own kids, that if you can get past the first year in immersion...it is rewarding and worth it. I am excited about the possibilities for our school and think we are on the road to excellence.
I can't speak for the bullying complaints in previous reviews, but my experience with Ravensworth over the past 4 years has been mostly positive. The teachers are committed, the staff is fabulous, and with the new principal, we already see many much needed changes in the school. Sure, there are a few bad apples, but you get that at any school. The new administration has brought about a new energy and a new way of doing things, even in these first few weeks of school. Starting last year, the PTA has been committed to bringing in classroom hands-on STEM workshops, science fairs, chess club, after school fitness, Global language classes and so much more. Parents are involved in the school and there is always a large turnout for family fun activities like the ice cream social, bingo night, parents night out, movie night, etc. This school is making great strides to become one of the best in the area! I can't wait to rate this school 5 stars in a year or two!
I have been a parent at Ravensworth Elementary for 5 years now. There have been ups and downs as there would be with any school. We are all super excited about the recent changes with the administration. There is a new level of energy that has already brought on positive changes and fostering a renewed sense of school spirit. We are also going to be undergoing a complete renovation over the next few years. My kids are in the Spanish immersion program. First grade is a challenge for many different reasons. Just get through it...some of the brightest, most gifted teachers are further along in the program. This school community is supported by two great neighborhoods (Ravensworth and Signal Hill). The type of neighborhoods where people know each other and come together to get things done. We have found a place where kids actually WALK to school! We could always use more volunteers, but we manage to do a lot of special programs above and beyond the general curriculum because parents step up and volunteer.
Bullying behavior is accepted at this school as documented by several different families. It is unbelievable that the administration has no clue how to handle reports of bullying that are even witnessed by other students. Run, as far away as you can, if you happen to fall within their school boundaries. Just read other reviews on this site in regards to bullying. It is happening and is allowed to continue. How sad for the poor little victims who speaks up and are met with no solutions from administration. Clearly, it is a huge problem that continues year after year. We are glad this school no longer has any part of our child's life.
I'm sorry to hear that bullying is still going on. My son also endured years of taunting by other students under the same administration. Even then the attitude was "Johnny you shouldn't do that" and that was that. My son still talks about being harassed and he graduated four years ago! There are teachers who are outright mean to the students. If a child is special needs or doesn't fit in Fairfax County's neat little box, don't expect understanding. If you can, look for another school. If not, good luck.
The teachers are not to blame for this failing school. The administration is incompetent. If your child is middle of the road or can qualify for GT centers, you'll be fine. Anything else, you will be spending a lot of time fighting for what they need and know that this school will fight back, belittle you, insult you, and bully you. Bullying is out of control in this school and addressed but not enforced. All 3 of my children attended this school and all 3 hated it. All 3 endured bullying. It is not a happy place to be educated. Good luck.
We are moving at the end of the month to another area and our child will go to another school... we are really sorry about leaving Ravenswoth ES... It has been a great place for our son. If we could, we ll stay there. A great community and he has a great teacher in Kindergarten and 1st grade. Thank you for everything. We ll miss you!!
My kids have been going to this school for 3 years now and love it. Kids are friendly, teachers are wonderful, and my kids can't wait to go to school in the morning.
This school is awful. The administration is very difficult to deal with, ignores parents' concerns, fails to encourage excellence in teachers and does not support the few good teachers that have not yet left. It is clear that neither the administration nor the teachers recognize that the target audience at elementary schools is children--children of differing learning styles and personalities. Parent involvement is weak and the PTA is at constant risk of being disbanded simply because the administration does not support parent involvement. It's a shame.
I have 2 kids in the immersion program at Ravensworth. While I think it is a good program overall, we have been quite frustrated with the lack of good communication to parents about assignments and tests. Teachers are supposed to post homework assignments, notices of upcoming tests and study materials on the Blackboard 24/7 site. None of our kids' teachers do so. Making matters worse, the school sends home piles of paper, but again, often there is no explanation whatsoever about the units/subject matter being covered in the class, nor any guidance for non-native Spanish speaking parents. The classroom work and homework is copied from a workbook with VERY poorly written Spanish. Even fluent Spanish speakers in our extended family have trouble understanding the homework problems because the Spanish is written so awkwardly. The immersion teachers don't seem to want to help parents by providing extra resources.
There is a wonderful community feeling at this school and I am so pleased that our daughter attends Ravensworth. There are many opportunities for parents to get involved and the administration is very welcoming to parents in the school. Our daughter is in 2nd grade in the immersion program and I am torn about whether to stay here or go to a full time/level 4 Advanced Academics (GT) school next year because we love the school culture and community so much. But some teachers are better than others and generally there is room for improvement in parent communication about academics. Immersion is not a fit for all and can be the cause of some negative reviews by parents,.
My son has been in the immersion program for two years and I am not sure what the parent who posted on Jan 20 is talking about. His class size is 20 students. I think his first grade class was 23 students. Even if this was true it may make sense since some parents realize during the first year that immersion is not the right fit for their kids. Parent conferences were great and I never heard stories of teachers screaming at the kids. The teachers respond to emails and phone calls quickly. My guess is Jan 20 child did not fit the immersion program and rather than finding a better fit or doing some supplemental work they are taking this out on the school. I am sure there are teachers that could be better but there are parents not supporting the school appropriately also. I have had the experience of bringing my concerns to face to face meetings and I did feel I responded to in a professional manner. My main concern was that the Spanish teacher sometimes spoke English when the program is supposed to be Spanish all the time during math and science. If you have the chance I would send your child to this school.
We pulled our kids from the immersion program after one year. Whatever Fairfax Schools once were, that is no longer the case. Our children's classroom sizes were 29 and 27, rules indicated no immersion class over 24 because of the nature of the program. The size of the classes reduced teachers to child managers, not teachers. Conferences were exercises in message management; everything was "fine" and "no problems" smiles all around. The kids tell a different story of the teachers screaming at the students to "shut up" . When confronted with said information in conference, teachers would delve into their displeasures and dislikes of the administration. In a separate conference with administration to express concern about teacher behavior, administration would delve into their displeasures and dislikes of the teachers. Professionalism does not exist at this school. I would like to add more about the staff and administration of this school, my displeasures and dislikes, but what would be the point. They didn't care about our concerns when we were there in meetings, face to face..they certainly are not going to care about a review on a website. If you can, avoid this school
The Good: Excellent SAAC; Very clean; Most teachers are good, some are excellent; Safety is very good; PTA Grace Art and Assemblies; Excellent Admin. Assistants. The Bad: The Principal does not interact well with parents. Parents must complain to have some basic issues (e.g. class size, emergency communication) rectified. Critical input may be met with punitive administration measures. K-3 gifted differentiation weak or non-existent. Bottom line is Admin. spends energy 'controlling' parents rather than working with them. Too bad because that is weighted most heavily in my rating...
I can only speak for the afternoon preschool program, but I am amazed at the communication and the dedication of the staff. My son's teacher is making a big difference in her student's lives, and she is one of the best teachers I have encountered. I am so happy that my son was placed at Ravensworth.
A new principal this 07-08 year and new solutions at Ravensworth have greatly improved student-teacher ratios and allowed Spanish-immersion children and non-immersion children to mix in classes within a given grade. The new principal is offering assistance to parents who's children are in the immersion program for subjects such as math (taught in Spanish). My child is not in immersion but I am happy to see teacher resources spread more evenly. The music and arts program are on target and the school is business-partnering with a martial arts establishment for PE. LD programs are important to the school, but I don't know enough to comment. There's strong parental involvement but the same parents rather than new faces which would help spread the work. There's a Chess Club but no other extracurricular activities planned by PTA.
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