The teachers are warm and open. The children run to school and beg to stay and play at 3:15. I never saw anything like it!! Ms. Lee PS is wonderful as is her assistant Ms. Maria. Ms. Zuriga in PK looks to be just as intelligent and loving and dedicated. The community is international. Today in addition to US citizens from throughout the USA I met a new mother from Romania, parents from Armenia, parents from Kazachtistan, parents from Italy, Germany, Ethiopia, Pakistan, China, Viet Nam, El Salvador the Dominican Republic etc. Kids are adorable and very well behaved. A great atmosphere for social learning and academic success. We love you Ross School!!!!
My family has lived in DC 5 years. Initially we never considered a DCPS school for our now 6 year old daughter. At Ross since Pre-K, she has blossomed. Ross is the epitome of the great, small school. The just completed renovation is a remarkable improvement and makes the learning come alive thanks to the new technology at their disposal. We will hate to leave Ross once she completes 5th grade.
Ross Elementary School is a great school! Principal Searl has proven to be a strong leader and the teachers and support staff are dedicated, professional and well qualified. We have a very strong PTA body and lots of parents do volunteer work on a regular basis. My son is very happy with his teachers and loves the aftercare program with all its enrichments (sport and academic alike). No wonder that the waiting list to get a spot at Ross is in the double digits!!!
We moved back to DC last August in time for the new school year. My daughter had attended a phenomenal school in our previous location where she was in the gifted program, so I was very apprehensive about putting her in DC public schools, particularly with all the bad press the District was receiving at the time. However, I have to say, that Ross is a wonderful school. Principal Searl is a breath of fresh air. She is very "open door" with the parents, who are extremely active at this school. She also gives her staff room to be creative. My daughter's class has kids who fall into all learning levels, yet her teacher manages to challenge them individually with some wonderfully creative assignments. My daughter loves the partnership Ross has with Filmore Arts where once a week students attend music, arts & dance classes. Moreover, the after care program is the best I've experienced. So far my daughter has been able to take swimming lessons, do Girl Scouts, and attend a special Science Program (just to name a few). There are only 140 kids in the school which is nice because you really get to know the community. I think Ross is DC's best kept secret.
I am glad that your daughter feels happy at Ross. I do however understand what the previous parent is going through. My son came to Ross in the middle of the school year from overseas with limited English. We enrolled him at Ross as it was our neighborhood school. Less than a month later, he started complaining that he was being made fun of by teachers. I did not pay much attention until another student (and her mother) told me how my son was being rediculed in science class by the teacher. The same teacher, responsible for after school Scrabble Club, would continue with his cruel tactics and give my son consonant lettes only, time after time, impossible for anyone to make words, let alone a child who's learning a new language. This again was confirmed by classmates; when confronted, the teacher denied any wrongdoing, implying that the children were not telling the truth. Also, the math teacher was also being harsh on him because he was unable to read "cursive" used for the problem of the day. We scheduled several meetings with the principal but she did not even show up (we met with the counsellor). We had no choice but to pull our boy out of the school. Former parent
Its a little better with the new principal but nepotism is still present with a few teachers who tell the so called "important parents" that their children are geniuses and the not so important parents how their children need a lot of help, with the same few kids being put on a pedestal for everything and anything. Students themselves know that this has been an ongoing trend among a couple teachers. It's time for this to stop as all children should be treated equally.
The recent post about the Ross science teacher is disturbing. This teacher breaks the mold --he's charismatic, fair and firm, and doesn't teach to any tests. He brings joy to his teaching and it's contagious. My children, who have moved on from Ross, still talk about the things they learned in his class. As for the kings/queens, the majority of students find it a fun and healthy competition, and in my experience, each student found the rewards attainable goals for all. If ever they get to a true state competition, it's a gentle test of their ability to handle the competition that all 'winners' (queens or kings?) will endure. As for the test scores, it's the measuring stick current Ross parents wished for in a new leader, and she's done an admirable job --I wish her luck with her families.
DC CAS is finally over! As raising the scores by 20 points was the focal point of the school this year, teachers taught to the test and no more. A very small school of 134 students has a literacy coach and 2 full time ESOL teachers yet everyone in the class was expected to do the exact same activity. Science is quite scant. The teacher uses a bulletin board of science queens, kings, princes and princesses to show students' progress. When I asked the teacher why my child's name was nowhere to be found, he made a loadful of complaints about my childs lack of involvement and work habits. He was not interested when I told him my child was in ESOL. I discussed this specific matter with the administration severak tunes but saw no improvement or results. ROSS ES website is wonderful but unfortunately does not reflect reality.
I feel that there is a lot of work to be done to get everyone on one accord. The school is more concerned with AYP DC CAS AND BAS test scores there is no time to focus on teaching the children a steady curriculum. The kids have to deal with a power hour in aftercare that they no longer go over homework' We parents work longer hours and pay for aftercare because it provided a time for homework. We are not asking for much.
I feel very fortunate to have gotten my daughter into Ross. She is in Pre-K 4 this year. Her pre-K 4 teacher is fabulous! And, all of my daughter s other teachers -- Spanish, science, phy-ed--are wonderful too. The new principal has a vision for the school and is working hard to make the vision a reality. The entire faculty is working hard to make this a top notch school. The school is incredibly diverse and has good parent involvement.
The school's strenth is in its pre-primary and kindergarten programmes. I recommend it strongly. Beyond that Ross becomes a different school in terms of teacher quality and overall educational and growth experience, especially in grades 3-5. Strong PTA.
There is a great need for differentiation at Ross ES. We came from overseas during the second half of last year and had a positive experience with my son's teachers. This year however is a different story as the school is following the total inclusion model where all students stay in the regular classroom. In November, I scheduled a meeting with the principal and teachers and expressed that my child was feeling frustrated and overwhelmed because the work required from him was too difficult. The teachers basically blamed him for lack of motivation and concentration and said the others were doing fine. The principal defended the teachers saying they were experienced and were preparing all students to make AYP. She added that the ESOL teachers would support inside the classroom and not pull students out. Since then, we are being treated dismissively and sarcastically by Ross faculty.
I am disappointed in the quality of my child's teachers this school year. With small classes, teaching could definitely be more student centered rather having 'workshops' for every subject where groups of students work cooperatively to come up with the correct answer. It seems one person does the work and the others copy. I have asked several of my child's classmates if the classroom teacher meets with the small groups and the answer has always been 'not really, she sometimes gives us the correct answers at the end'. I truly hope Ms. Alexander realizes this and hires quality staff passionate in teaching.
The school year has just begun, & already I feel the dismay of other concerned parents in the air. To start, we have lost a potentially good and caring principal, Ms. Sandra Gonzalez, we've lost a teacher's aide, and we've lost a lot of students parents due to the drastic changes, and the nasty politics that seem to lurk around the corner. Also, the atmosphere of joy and warmth and cohesive parental support, seem to have died down a bit. Perhaps its also due to the major changes. Needless to say, the new principal, Ms. Alexander needs a chance to respond and motivate the parents at Ross, to become the warm and familial environment that we have come to love. Best foot forward!
Ross is an excellent school. Ms. Durkin,is an remarkable teacher. She really cares about her students. The kids are very disciplined and well behaved. I have seen a tremendous change in my daughter's work habits since being in her class. Ross has started a Soccer Team for the 1st grade class and the kids love it. I would recommend Ross Elementary to everyone.
With a new principal in 2006, Dr Hartsock, parent participation has grown exponentially. Additionally, new programs, such as Filmore Arts, new PE teacher, improved facilities, and more active and supportive PTA has dramatically increased enrollment. New extended Aftercare program rapidly became an example to emulate within DCPS. Academics and curriculum are improving. Expectations of parents and teachers alike are high. Children are well behaved. School uniforms are required. Support from the community remains strong and vibrant. Demographics or neighborhood are changing-more in boundary parents are sending their kids to Ross. An up and coming school. Look and tour Ross before you consider a private school. Ross is a public school with private school qualities.
Ross Elementary School is absolutely outstanding. As mentioned in the other reviews the small close knit school has much support in the community (Carnegie, Starbucks, Safeway to name a few). Some of my co-workers participate in the Everybody Wins program, a great program with one on one reading assistance for the children. Ross is a great multi-cultural school for all. I currently have two children that attend the school. I would like to personally Thank you staff for all of your help.
This is a hidden gem in the Dupont Circle area. I have two children that attend this school. It is a very diverse school and one of the best elementary schools in DC!
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