The school has a lot to improve on.
When visiting the front office, many of the staff act like you're bothering them and they have better things to do. This carries over into phone calls to the school as well.
The counselor I have dealt with does not impress me at all. She is unresponsive, unorganized, and non-compliant with Virginia law requirements when dealing with the my child's needs.
The teachers are a hit or miss. I have worked with teachers at the school who have a genuine interest in teaching my child. But I have also dealt with a few teachers who don't. They focus more on the students who are academically proficient and neglect those who are struggling. They can have a very condescending tone as well. And one teacher tried to guilt-trip me by making it seem like she did my child and I a favor when all she really was doing was her job.
I consistently ask my child how school was, what difficulties were encountered in class, how we should work to improve, etc. So I was taken aback when one day my child told me that help was needed for a task that was assigned to the class. When my child had asked for help the teacher told my child she was too busy and was helping someone else. My child had asked on a few occasions with little results from the teacher. When my child told me this, I had to internalize my anger. Instead I pulled out the iPad and helped search for ways to help with this set back. All it took me was 5 minutes to pull up the right website to help explain what type of exercises they were doing in class for my child successfully accomplish what the teacher failed to take the time in class to do.
I am all for supporting my child and helping with assignments at home. But if a teacher can't take the time to explain something so simple like she is supposed to, then she as well as the other few teachers are hurting the students. She left my child feeling that he was not worth the effort because she would rather help another kid who already grasped the concept she was teaching.
I was contemplating moving into a new school district but I like our neighborhood and I have some hope that the school can improve. Especially with the new principal to lead them in the right direction.
If your child is an average or an above average kid, you will love this school. 2 of my children are and they had a great experience with great teachers! My 3rd child had problems and the obvious thing to do with him was to constantly send him to the office and call me and make us feel like a horrible parent and put bandaids on the problem. After we moved recently we found out thru comprehensive testing at his new school, that red flags were obvious (hello!) and that he was actually autism spectrum. He could have received services thru the best county in the nation, but instead, we had to find out from a whole other school that actually he needed help and services, instead of possible suspensions and harshness. The office staff is great to those they like. If we move back, I will avoid this school!
The teachers really care. Besides great effort in teaching, they care to be good people. My son's 2nd grade teacher came to his championship football game to cheer him on. Sadly, a friend of mine passed away recently. The teacher of the deceased's niece came to the celebration of life to support her student. My older son went to the school years ago. When he visits during a function and sees his old teachers, he always thanks them for being awesome. I ve seen tears of joy in their eyes when they see him. He is now an honor roll student at South County Middle School. Newington Forest Elementary School has been fantastic for my sons!
I would not judge this school on its test scores: it is a great school (my kid did poorly on the SOL writing because it said you can write the essay as long or short as you'd like: my lazy boy did two sentence per paragraph). My four kids have gone there since 2008 (youngest will be in 3rd), and of course we have had not-so-great teachers; however, the great teachers have balanced that out. Parents are VERY involved! I sometime wonder where all the PTA money goes... Any way, the Office team is the WORST! They are so rude and act like they have to go out of their way to do their job for you, but the principle and VP are super. Besides the Office team, the only other bad part are the extremely high taxes we have to pay, and yet the district Needs more money!
Newington Forest has exceeded all of our expectation. Our children are consistently being challenged, the teachers are very hands-on, and the administration is very professional. Any families considering this school district will not be disappointed.
Our children have attended Newington Forest since Kindergarten - we now have one in 6th and one in 4th. Overall we are extremely pleased with the school and the teachers. The sense of community is strong and the diversity is amazing. Experience wise it has been a blessing for our children to meet kids from all over the world.
An excellent community school with friendly teachers and administrators who instilled a love of learning in my child. We have always felt welcomed and encouraged by everyone there. Newington Forest is a diverse community with a strong sense of parental involvement. We, unfortunately, will be moving to a new school but will miss our Newington Forest family!
My son will be a second grader and just loves his school! As parents, we are very pleased with the dedication and hard work that all teachers including staff continuously show. Thank you Newington Forest Elementary!!!!!! Your hard work is noted!
THIS SCHOOL IS BEYOND GREAT! MY DAUGTHER IS BEEN HERE SCENCE KINDERGARDEN AND I SACRIFICE NOT TO MOVE OUT OF THE AREA SO THAT SHE CAN FINISH IN THIS SCHOOL. WE ARE SO PROUD AND THANKFULL TO THE SCHOOL STAFF THANK YOU! :)
My children have been in Newington Forest for 5 years now. I am so impressed with the high quality of teachers who go above and beyond for my children. I have a Special Needs son and his needs have been met beyond my expectations. Teachers and Office staff are happy and welcoming. Mr. Kren is a great Principal who obviously has hired a staff that creates this wonderful environment for children and parents.