If you've read everything I've expressed up to this point you will understand why. There is no compassion, caring or empathy. The main office has a sign on the way (seriously--go check it out) that says "Three Reasons to be a Teacher: June, July and August"
Teachers are dishonest and so are administrators. If your child is struggling don't expect them to communicate that information with you in a way that is even remotely helpful. If your child has a learning disability don't expect the school to care. I have met at least five parents who have been fighting with the school and their special education department because they have been trying to get special education support for their kids. One father of a little girl finally got his child evaluated after they denied his requests to evaluate her for four years in a row. They only did it because he hired someone to advocate for him.
It amazes me that this school has any good reviews. I wouldn't be surprised if the teachers and administrators were the ones writing them. The review that says "Prinicpal is good, but doesn't cater to the parents, so it upsets those zealous parents who want to control what goes on. He's a principal for the teachers, which is why the test scores are so high." was written by the Principal. There's no way that a parent wrote that and no parent would credit the creepy annoying Principal for the school's "high test scores". The Principal is a real piece of work. He has NO relationship with the kids and is clicky with the staff. He was right when he said that parents don't like him, but there are many reasons for parents, teachers and students not to like him. I don't have the time nor do I have the desire to ramble but I will say if you want your child to get an excellent education, don't enroll them at Flint Hill Elementary School.
Fantastic environment. We've moved many times and will call this our last move. My children just completed first and second grades at Flint Hill Elementary. The PTA is fantastic for newcomers. The teachers we've had are supportive and responsive. There is always something going on extra-curricular between International night, Bingo night, Movie nights, etc. Definitely a great school community. We are minority students and this was our best investment.
We moved into our neighborhood because this school has a good reputation, but we have been very disappointed so far. Our first grader's writing is worse now than at the end of kindergarten. He didn't ever bring home any spelling words, any books to practice reading, or anything to indicate what he was doing in class. First graders have been left out on the playground without teachers realizing it, are not supervised enough for their age. There were large chunks of time spent on a computer program that "reads" to them in class. Dismissal for the entire school is disorderly. Art, music, PE, and Spanish have been good and are by far the best part of the school. We will give this school one more semester and if things don't improve we will be moving or finding a private school, both financial hardships, but worth it if if we can feel like our son is in a safe school where he is learning. Class sizes are really big at FHES, too, especially for kindergarten.
This is the worst school that my children have ever attended, in terms of atmosphere and attitude toward the children. We have been exposed to numerous schools, as we are a military family. There is a feeling of oppression here; kids are definitely not allowed to be kids. If your child drops their silverware in the cafeteria, they will not be allowed to get up and get a clean one - the staff will let them go hungry instead. This happened to my friend's child. 3rd graders get 15 minutes of recess per day. My son's class not until the very end of the day. During this "free time", the kids are told that they have to run laps. The office staff is very rude - they do not even greet people who come in. The principal will not discuss any parental concerns; Parents feel that he does not care about the kids. My child was treated so badly by his 2nd grade teacher that he emerged from last year feeling that he is stupid and bad. Almost constant yelling at the kids, sarcasm, and even extremely loud whistle blowing. This actually happened when I was in the classroom. A lot of emotional damage was done to him which we are now struggling to repair. Would move my kids if I could.
My children had the best experience at Flint Hill Elementary. Teachers from FCPS are clamoring to get into this school as the PTA is so supportive. We are a community of "movers and shakers" so the PTA knows how to make things happen. All the teachers are super professional. Now the school has full day kindergarten. The principal also persuaded the school board to have a full gifted center within the school.
My son has been a student at this school for 4 years. The experience has been very positive. The teachers have been excellent and the level of parent involvement is almost intimidating. The principal is always willing to hear concerns from parents but will always do what is right even if it not what the parent wants. My son has excelled here and has learned so much more than friends and relatives in nearby private schools. We have not encountered bullying. On the contrary we have found the school has created a very nurturing environment.