I do not like this school at all. First of the front office staff is so rude, they don't even speak when you come in. My son's first teacher left during the middle of the school year, we were not inform until her last day working at the school. You can't have any interaction with your child, (for instance if you wanted to drop in just to check up on him/her) they wouldn't allow it unless u have an appointment. I'm sick of this school and I don't recall my son having any homework until his new teacher arrived the beginning of this year. Don't allow your child/children to go here!
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 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.