New principal! New school! My children (currently in 4th and 2nd grade) have been at Penn Elementary for their entire elementary career thus far. Last year, I probably would have rated it lower due to leadership mostly. However, with the new principal, there has been some wonderful changes and the school, as a whole, seems to be evolving in the right way. I am very happy with the teaching staff. I'm also a huge fan of looping. It has been very beneficial for my 2nd grader. The specialty classes (i.e. autism class) is fantastic. I will say, the parent involvement is very lacking. Overall, I'm very happy with the school, the teacher, the faculty and staff. My children are happy and educated, so can I really complain?
Our children received a near perfect education at Penn ES. We didn't apply to the traditional school because we felt Penn gave a better education. We highly value the looping where our children have the same teachers for 2 years in 1st/2nd and 4th/5th. The teachers really get to know the children and in the 2nd year could get right to teaching rather taking time to learn how the children learned best. All of the specialty teachers are outstanding. The START/SIGNET program is a nice add. Overall, excellent program; but true, not perfect. One teacher while quite caring did not challenge all the children to their greatest potential, so we as parents supplemented more that year. One teacher was a disaster, but again, it was our opportunity to be more directly involved in our children's education and we used the experience to teach our children that is the world, not everyone is the best in their profession. We often asked other parents of their experience. Consistently, those who moved into this school found what we found, its excellence across the board.
Subpar teaching. They will not teach more that required by state. Little to no homework given. Especially in kindergarten. No homework and very little learning. More of a child care where they do lots of coloring. Principal is invisible.
Not a school for the kids with the special needs and the school teacher, at least the one teaching my kid, put no effort to stop bullying. She even was one to bully my kid and hold her hands around my kid's cheeks and said "You are the worst kid in my class!". My kid has language development delay and she was transferred to Penn when she was in the third grade. It turned out a nightmare. She had been bullied badly in her class since she could not express herself well and her teacher had no insterested in stopping bullying. My kid has problems on reading due to the language development delay but she is good at math. Before she transferred to Penn ES, she was in the advanced math class when she was in the first and second grade and in the special education in reading. But Penn ES put her in the special education for both math and reading and didn't want to differentiate my kid's different needs. After a struggled year in Penn ES, we moved to Fairfax County in order to let my kid get better education in FCPS. It became one of the best decisions in my life. My kid has been treated decently in FCPS since then and there is no tolerance on bullying in her current school.
Love this school! Both of my kids have been there from k-5. Super teachers who truly care for the students. This school uses Baldrige In Education. This program really gives students ownership over their behavior and study choices. Behavior trackers and the Zero Hero program again reinforce expectations of quality students. Family Fitness Nights and the running club are two favorite programs that my kids attend.
My daughter has been a student at Penn ES for five years now and loves the faculty and staff there. The school really appreciates diversity amoung children and their families and supports them in so many ways. The PTO works hard to support the school and offer financial help to benefit the needs of the children. The guidance support at the school is available for children when they need to express concerns and are quick to contact parents if there is something to be shared. It is a positive place and the team there really seems to care about the students there.
My oldest daughter has been at Penn for the last three years and my younger daughter will begin next year. I couldn't be happier with the school. Teachers care about ALL students, and do everything possible for every child to succeed. The atmosphere is friendly. The PTO provides many wonderful programs events. This is a top-notch school!