This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Ardmore Elementary School5
Posted September 19, 2014
- a parent
The new Principal is highly motivated and is on top of his communications with parents: social media, automated/online voice-mail system, and monthly printed newsletters. Our two children are entering 2nd and 3rd grade. The third graders are a much larger cohort than the 4th, and thus, there have been new teacher hires for the last three years. The school has increasing overall enrollment. Fortunately, it was rebuilt only a few years ago, and they have room to expand into underutilized classrooms. My eldest daughter has had a newly hired teacher for every year there. We have seen how fast their colleagues get them up to speed and work together to build a cohesive team of teachers across the same grade level. They work together in curriculum preparation, activities, and pool the kids together across the three classes for properly leveled reading and math activity groups (with the help of volunteer parents). It is an inclusive and diverse environment for the kids: with a close proximity to Microsoft and a catchment area that includes lower income families. There is significant socioeconomic diversity which fosters a wonderful environment to learn from one another.
My son just finished kindergarten at Ardmore and seemed to love it. It was a good school for the most part. The new principal was very interactive and easy to get in contact with. The curriculum was also good, I would have to say my only issue with the school was a select few teachers. My sons teacher in particular seemed to be a little all over the place to say the least. From forgetting to send home things to mixing up kids names on progress reports. I have talk to a few parents and it seems on children's progress reports were the exact same except different names on them. If your child goes to kindergarten her I would just suggest keeping in communication with other parents and with the teacher
I loved Ardmore. I had 2 kids that studied at Ardmore and I could never understand why people avoided this school. My daughter were always very lucky and had always great teachers that were able to challenge them and keep them working hard and improving. One of my kids left the school in her middel school years to joing the Gifted program and I am thankful to the Ardmore teachers by helping her get there. With classrooms that have kids in a variety of academic levels, the teacher were always very capable and knowledgeable to keep the class moving forward and in control allowing all the kids to progress and evolve. The new Principal is very approachable and very good at what she does!
The school is beautiful and the staff is awesome! They are very helpful and address to your questions carefully and with full determination. My son is in 1st grade and this is his first year in the school. Initially we were a little tensed about how he'd adjust with new surroundings, but his teacher is extremely caring and on her toes to help kids. The whole staff is a bunch of enthusiasts who are willing to teach your kids with new challenges ready for them which makes studies so exciting for them. They are very welcoming and approachable. New office manager (Mrs. Nordstrom) is very polite and dependable! I've loved this school and am sure, though I don't know half of the staff because I don't interact with them much, they all are excellent!!
My son is in Kindergarten at Ardmore and we love it there. I just read the last post about recess and before school arrival "chaos." I would have had to agree. However, the things have been changed after parental concern. Now, the waiting areas are spread out in the am with the littlest kids in one area and the bigger kids elsewhere. Lunch recess has also been revamped. I feel like kids will be kids everywhere and it is our duty to be involved if we see anything that we don't like. The actual curriculum, staff, and code of conduct is awesome. My son has 3rd and 5th graders that help his reading group. He loves it. They have a beautiful, fully rebuilt school. The Principal is awesome and the new office manager, for that matter, is on the ball.
The teachers/curriculum are great. However recess is poorly supervised which leads to kids who can get away with "playing rough." Pushing, pinching, bad-mouthing are common occurences. Some of the younger kids get lost in the shuffle. More supervision would minimize all this and lead to kids feeling safer on the playground. In addition, before school students are not supervised AT ALL. The waiting area is in the gym which is partitioned off in such a way that it is much to small to safely fit all the kids. The children are crowded in there while they wait for their teachers--it is possible that this is even against fire codes. The few parents that walk their children in feel obligated to stay until the teachers come, because it's pure chaos in there.
We love our school (starting with our son, who really loves it). The teachers, staff, facility and curriculum are great. The principal (Yuko Porter) is seriously amazing - very intelligent, active, and committed to the scuccess of students. We feel like everyone there is "on top of things" at the school and our son is making great progress. It's strange that the school's test scores are low, but I suspect the large number of immigrant kids who don't speak English natively are the immediate cause of that. The school includes many "Microsoft kids" and others who've just moved to the US and thus have trouble with tests for a short time. But at Ardmore they seem to catch up quickly and move into the mainstream. Meanwhile, all the other kids get what they need, whether they are gifted, need extra help, or are somewhere in between. In other words, don't let the test scores paint a negative picture of Ardmore! There is more to the story, and it's a story about a great school. The only deficiency might be relative lack of parental involvement, but again, I think that's a cultural divide in which immigrant parents aren't conditioned to think they should volunteer in some capacity.
This is a great school. While there are some families that do send their kids elsewhere (as noted in a previous review), there are many kids from the immediate neighborhood who do attend Ardmore, including ours. The teachers are excellent, finding ways to challenge or help the students as needed. The new facilities are great, very open and warm. I've met many wonderful, down to earth families and I have no qualms about sending our younger kids there in a year.
My daughter joined kindergarten at the end of the school year. She was amazingly welcomed to the school by both staff and students. The adjustment period was short. Since the first week she came home with books to read that fit exactly her reading level. It was clear that the teacher had sat with her and checked exactly her reading level. After the first couple of days she announced she already has a best friend (and then second and third best). Overall we had a very good experience, the school atmosphere is very warm, personal and well organized. The new building is amazing.