My children have attended ABES for 3 yrs, and we are pleased. Their class placement has been good, and transition from our old elem school out of state was flawless. They have excelled. I have found that parent involvement in the classroom has always been welcomed and there are lots of volunteer opportunities throughout the year outside of the classroom. I read other comments regarding lack of friendliness of office staff, and while I don't completely disagree, they are certainly not a mean bunch. My best advice to a new parent would be to involve yourself in your child's classroom as often as you can, and sign up with the PTO (it's free) to be contacted with other volunteer opportunities in the school. It is through these channels that you get to know staff and see their love for your children. The lunch room is not a quiet place, but 2 staff members can't possibly keep a lid on hundreds of children at once. The yeller has been gone, but I think if teachers were made to rotate lunch duty and/or the first 15mins were silent to eat you'd see a quieter lunch room..it works! The school struggles for volunteers, it desperately needs more parents/families to step up!
Although I don't have any of my own children attending to this school, I accompanied my neighbor today to join her and her 2nd grader for lunch at the school and I was shocked. There were 2 ladies with the children who keep order in the cafetaria and one of them was yelling horribly to the children for being loud and other things. I understand that because of the loud noise they would have to raise there voices, but yelling, that is different. You could see such fustration and anger in her face. In addition, that they have the children cleaning up the tables, picking up the silverware and trays. That should be done by these ladys which get paid, not the children. I really disliked this policy (if that is what it is) from this school. So far, I'm not enrolling my boy in this school. Kids are there to learn and interact with other children, not to be doing other people job!
My 3 kids are all attending ABES. My older son started KG at ABES and he is graduating this year. I have nothing but praise and gratitude to all the staff, principal, assistant principal and of course all our beautiful teachers (including the one that "yells". I have volunteered few times in school, and as a parent, I understand what it takes to keep order in even a small setting like my house, I can only imagine how hard it is to keep order and discipline in a 20+ class. Yes there are those who need extra help in most classes, but overall "Hats off" to our ABES teachers for their patience, consistency and dedication. We also have a very active PTO that we are proud of. We are proud of our teachers and we LOVE our ABES teachers and staff. Grateful parent
In a word, awful. As a military family, we've experienced our share of schools across the spectrum, and this one fell short of our every expectation. From the first impression of the office staff; unfriendly, condescending and at times downright rude, to the administration's seeming disregard for any sort of parental involvement or input, it really left much to be desired. Our son's second grade teacher, while competent, was overwhelmed by the academic levels of the students in her class, and consequently those who, like my son, did not act out, were left to fend for themselves while those with behavioral problems received the majority of her time and attention. One of the third grade teachers was known as 'the yeller' by the other children, which went on for an entire school year. We transferred our children and are so glad we did as there are other, better options in Stafford.
This school is caring and supportive. I moved to Stafford, VA in July 2009 (a military family) and was pretty worried about my children going to a school who s Test scores fell below the state standards. However, once I arrived and my daughters attended school, I quickly spoke to their teachers because I wanted to know their character and how they felt about the school and its entirety. Last year (2010-2011) my daughter took the 3rd grade state tests. Prior to taking the tests, the teachers tested each student and whoever did not past the pre tests received tutors; my daughter fell slightly below (reading) and therefore had a tutor which was provided by the school. When the test results were available, my daughter passed with an advance in Reading, Math and Science. The parent who stated "the school puts children into cookie cutter class room" yes they do, but the teachers do a fantastic job at separating those levels. Those individuals who excel above the class are given Enrichments worksheet to keep their mind stimulated. My daughter excels in math therefore she always receives harder worksheet then the rest of class. I have very pleased with the school!
I can't speak highly enough about ABES. I have only ever had positive experiences with my child attending there. The faculty is great, and my child's teacher is constantly giving me feedback.
I am also shocked to see such negative reviews for this school. My daughter is in the third grade and has been coming here since Kindergarten. I did like her 2nd grade teacher but she is why I gave the teacher quality 4 stars. Her other two teachers have been excellent. Mainly, she was having major behavioral issues in the beginning of Kindergarten throughout first grade. They worked with me and really CARED about helping her behavior not affect her school work and now she is doing 100% better (and she is not on medication) which I think has a lot to do with her teacher this year as well. Both the vice principal and the principal (along with guidance, the school therapist, etc.) came to several meetings to discuss what we could do as a group to help improve her learning and behavior and they formed a whole behavioral chart / system for her. Also - I have been in the school A LOT as well as called in and no one has ever been rude to me, the staff has always been nice and friendly. She has never had a teacher change mid semester either, she did have a substitute at the end of the year last year because her main teacher had a baby which is obviously understandable.
I as shocked to see the negative review of this school. I have been nothing but impressed by the teachers and staff. I find the levels of students in my child's classes to vary greatly but the teachers really seem to meet the needs of all of the students. I am THRILLED that my child goes to school at ABES!!!
We moved here from Southern CA expecting the school to be an improvement. Unfortunately, we found the opposite. There tends to be a high turnover of teachers and a breakdown of comunication between the staff and the teachers. They also tend to put the children in "cookie cutters" instead of recognizing individual strengths or weaknesses. I have also heard many parents mention that the OFFICE STAFF IS VERY UNFRIENDLY!! I agree. Just a greeting smile would have been nice. After a few months, I transferred my child out of this school. I'm glad I did. Overall, this school is sub-par.
I think that Anthony burns would be better if their teachers wouldn't change every semester, be more attentive and focus on child's needs and concerns, the office staff us not friendly or helpful. Over all think its an okey school
Our three boys were new to ABES this year. They were K, 1st and 5th. We were very impressed with all of their teachers. Despite having a wide range of abilities in their classrooms they were able to keep our boys interested and challenged. One example of this was that my 1st grader wanted to read Harry Potter for AR. His teacher encouraged this and cheered him on. He was a good grade level reader, he now reads at a 4th grade level. There are several more instances I could site. Whenever we had concerns both the teachers and the administration responded immediately and appropriately. We love the Shiney Red Dragon Awards! Our boys loved being caught being good. Two of the boys teachers even showed up to their baseball games.
The teachers seem to care about all the students and they are exposed to a lot of information. Teaching is geared a little to much to the standardized tests but that's the case in all schools. Nice new school with great art and music department.
While we were impressed with the teaching staff, the attitude of the administration was not one that fostered a sense of community and communication with the parents, nor did the administration seem to welcome parent involvement or input. The lack of a back to school night in the fall is just one example. When compared with other schools in the district, the amount of activities designed to invite parent involvement seems inadequate.
When ABES first opended, it was thought that the school would be excellent -- we were going to have a fantastic principal and many experienced teachers. I do think that this is what we have -- a great administration and good teaching staff. However, I do not feel that the teachers are able to meet the needs of all students. There is such a wide range of abilities coming in to the school that I really feel that the teachers cannot challenge the kids who are advanced while helping the kids who need to get up to speed. I am not sure that this has anything to do with the school itself, rather more the way the districting happened -- and this is reflected in the SOLs from last year. More needs to be done to enhance kids learning outside of class instruction.
I have 3 children currently at Anthony Burns. We have been incredibly happy with the administration, teachers, and entire staff at Anthony Burns.
As a parent of a Kindergarten student at ABES, I am very pleased. My son has learned a tremendous amount of information in just 4 short months. He is very happy in his classroom and enjoys all the challenges presented to him by his teacher. I think the staff is caring and very well trained. I would highly recommend this school to anyone looking at it for their children! The one frustration I have is with the adminstration. They seem caring but it is difficult to have meetings with them as they are often off campus. In addition, there aren't enough informational meetings held in the evenings. However, I don't believe this in any way impacts the teaching and learning that happens at ABES.
We are a brand new school that has just completed our first year of operation. We had a wonderful first year of learning and developing. Can't wait to see what next year brings! Our students were eager to learn, our school is bright and clean, with a very cooperative atmosphere for learning. We have before school chorus, Orff, computer clubs, SOL help classes. Our mascot is the dragon, our colors are red, white and blue. The teachers have a common planning time to enable them to be as cohesive as possible. We are on a 15 day rotation schedule, rather than a traditional M-F schedule. This enables all classes to attend their 'specials' without consistently having all 'Monday' classes miss music, or art or P.E. It can be a bit confusing at times, but mostly, it was helpful. We are nestled in a beautiful neighborhood called Austin Ridge in Stafford.
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