Don't let the test scores deter you from considering Takoma!
Our child has just finished two years at Takoma in the pre-K program and will be entering Kindergarten in a few weeks. Every time we walk/drive by the school, she is excited to say hi to the school and can't wait to get back. She has learned an amazing amount in her first two years and I have the utmost confidence in the teachers and quality of education going forward.
The school is small enough that all the staff seem to know all the kids. It is truly a warm and loving environment with wonderful teachers. We are excited to return to Kindergarten!
Our child has thrived at Takoma, and we are particularly impressed with the early childhood program. We are entering our third year at the school and so far our teachers and teacher assistants have been capable and caring. The staff is energetic and positive, the facilities are very nice after the recent renovations, and Principal Taylor tries hard and cares about her school. It is not without its challenges as it grows in number of students and tries to capture more active parent involvement, and we wish more neighborhood children opted to attend, but we are happy with our experience and we recommend the school to neighbors and friends for their children. We work hard to help our child learn and grow, but we realize that much of his academic success and happy disposition is a direct result of his early school experience at Takoma.
I am disturbed by the previous post, as it does not fit with our experiences at the school over the past 4 years. There will always be some kids who act up, but it is not the norm. Moreover, if the problem described had been brought to the principal's attention, she would have intervened, as in my experience she is deeply concerned about any child being teased or bullied. She has made the school an exceptionally nurturing place, as the poster notes, and does not tolerate inappropriate language or behavior. But she can't intervene if the issue isn't brought to her attention. Interestingly, I recently met another first grade mom whose daughter transferred from an "elite" west of the park school and LOVES Takoma precisely because of the supportive and positive, environment and the caring and very competent teachers.
This is the first year that my first grade daughter has been going to this school and she has disliked it from the beggining. She has been getting picked on, insulted, and teased the ENTIRE YEAR! However the teachers are nice, and seem to try to make it a friendly environment. I hear 7-9yr olds cursing at breakfast, saying things that are inappropriate for their ages. After this school year I will be taking my sweetheart of a daughter out of this school. The things these kids say I can only assume, they get from home, or possibly older siblings. For something like this to go on the entire year is ridiculous, and I would not recommend this school to anybody that cares about their child's feelings.
We've been extremely happy with the preschool class at TEC so far - caring teachers, small teacher-student ratios, and administrative staff who are incredibly competent and helpful. The new facility is beautiful, and it seems the buzz about TEC being an "up and coming" school is very true. Some aspects of communication are a little haphazard, but with a bit of proactive parent involvement it's been fairly easy to get the information we need.
The teacher and principle quality should be at 100% and far greater than parents participation or their being involved. In this day an age a lot of parents just do not give a care about their children's education.. Therefore, the staff (teachers and principle) need to step up and provide the children with a quality education by any means necessary. Go back to basics when teachers were teachers and not equals with students. Dress appropriately so that children will no that you are a teacher not their buddy in wearing torn geans and too tight clothing. How can children learn when teachers are busy with the dress fad of today. Takoma should and can be one of the best, if the teachers and principle can get it together. Put the blame where it should be. Children leave home for school and this is where education begins and ends.