Test scores don't always tell the full story. My oldest daughter attended this school for first and second grade and my younger one attended kindergarten here. My older daughter began kindergarten at a private school because her birthday is in December and was not able to attend FD that year. Her first grade teacher Mrs. Young was phenomenal. She knew just how to work with an extremely bright, highly energetic child. Her potential was recognized quickly and she took part in the Excel program. Second grade was a rough year behavior-wise for my daughter, but her second grade teacher, Ms. Munoz, kept in constant contact, especially when she felt like my daughter was not performing to her potential. The reading workshop group with another teacher, Ms. Weaner, was exceptional. My daughter said it was "so hard!" Ms. Weaner really pushed her kids to not only read but to comprehend, and skating by was not possible. Now we have moved. We are in Fairfax County, and my daughter says reading class is so much easier than Ms.Weaner's class, but boring and she would rather be back doing the "hard stuff to make me think." She is excelling in her new school, and FDES is part of her success.
Not only is the principal personally involved with the kids, but the entire staff is from the cafeteria men and women, all of the teachers, and the support staff. That's right, I said support staff. You don't always see a school that not only has great teachers, but a support staff to help them be great. We all know that teachers spend enormous amounts of time preparing the kids for the SOLs, and making sure all the students keep up, but having a teacher's aid or a counselor to help is key for successful students. When we bought our house a few years ago, we made sure to purchase in a neighborhood where our daughter could still go to Frederick Douglass. I know we made a great decision.
This is our 3rd school year here and we now have our 4th and youngest child attending Frederick Douglas. Our experience has been amazing. Our 5th grader was very 'challenged' in math. FDES provided special before school math groups to their struggling students to support the math curriculum and our son ended up scoring advanced proficiency on his SOL's. We have had two other boys at FDES with successful IEP plans and Speech programs who have progressed amazingly well. Our Kindergartner is very settled and happy already! We are a very happy family!
Although we belong in another school district, my special needs son (high-functioning ASD) attended FDES for his kindergarten year, and we couldn't be happier with his experiences. He was pushed to grow, but not pushed so hard as to discourage him (and us). i felt like i could work hand-in-hand with his teachers to resolve issues and celebrate his accomplishments. Last year his IEP case-manager hand-picked the students' teachers, and the classrooms set aside for students with special needs were clearly updated and well-funded. My concerns were met with respect and reasonable solutions. i couldn't be happier with my son's first year of school at FDES.