This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
West Springfield Elementary School5
Posted September 10, 2013
- a parent
Every school should be this GREAT! The office staff meets my needs quickly. The teachers are respectful, knowledgeable, loving and or point. The teachers keep me informed and keeps my child on track in a polite, caring format. Best school we have attended.
My son just finished Kindergarten at WSES. We were initially excited about the hype the team of Kindergarten teachers advanced regarding their teaching style, approach, and results. My son entered as a strong student. I volunteered often in his class - the teacher/child ratio is high (25 kids to one teacher and one assistant), the environment is noisy and the kids expected to ultimatly guide themselves. My son tested very high at the end of the year - "he scored 195 out of 197!" - on a test that came with no explanation and when queried, ultimatly meant nothing. I enrolled him in an academic summer camp to keep his skills sharp. The camp teacher immediatly asked if he was a public school student and when confirmed, noted he had no grounding in phonics and couldn't read - "but he scored 195 out of 197!" After 8 weeks in camp, and a lot of hard work, my son is reading chapter books - on his own! - and working on fractions and word problems in math. Don't believe the hype...out of all the public schools, they may be the best, but that doesn't mean your child is getting the best education.....we aren't going back to WSES.
This is a public school that has a private school feel. It's smaller than other area elementary schools. There is very strong parent involvement and community support. Great teachers (although more new teachers than a couple years ago).
I can not say enough wonderful things about WSES. I have two children at the school (upper and lower grades). I have found all of their teachers to be outstanding and they are getting a wonderful education. The community around the school is great and the parents are very involved. The office staff are warm and inviting. I know that there is a concern about the focus on tests. I've been in several elementary school and think across the system the SOLs are stressful and impact the way teachers work. I don't think it is unique to WSES. The school has given my kids the tools they need to be very successful in their academic careers and they are very happy at school.
The author of the post in this thread who mentioned that this school places too much emphasis on testing has hit the nail on the head. This is an excellent school for the lower grades (K-2), but leaves a lot to be desired for the upper grades.
My son attended Kindergarten at West Springfield Elementary. This school is phenomenal! The kindergarten teaching team is outstanding! They have been teaching together for a long time and have there routine down pat. The parents are very active. The administration is involved and responsive. The office staff is friendly. The school is a good size. The last I looked this school was ranked 17th in the state. Housing in this neighborhood is very hard to get in to because of this school.
I started going to this school in 6th grade, and i loved it! I was very sad to leave it for middle school. Its very welcoming and everyone was so nice. I loved almost all the teachers. The consoler is great too! The principal and vice principal are mean though. But i loved going here sooooo much. If you can, definatly go to this school.
We are a military family and thankful to have stumbled upon this gem. The staff is outstanding. There is strong leadership from the administration and high expectations. These are the attributes we look for in a school.
While my children have enjoyed the school, we feel there is too much emphasis on test scores and not enough out-of-box thinking. The lead admistration (Jones), while competent, was condescending and unapproachable, leaving little room for maneuver by some outstanding classroom educators. We've noticed many neighborhood families disenrolling their well-behaved, talented childred to pursue less restrictive environments. There is also a high teacher turnover as well. We have moved our eldest child over to Keene Mill for the Advanced Academic Program. We are hoping our younger children test in as well.