My family and I moved to the area two years ago, and I have two children at Carl Sandburg. They absolutely love the school, the friends they have made and the teachers they have had. I volunteer in the classroom when I can, and I see the dedication the teachers put forth with their students. If you are like me, you will voraciously read all the comments on the school if you're looking to move to the area... just keep in mind the dates of the reviews, as some are from long ago and the administration has turned over - I have nothing but praise for the principal and vice principal!
Our experience at Sandburg has let us to conclude that some of the teachers use very outdated teaching and classroom management strategies. It is unfortunate that many teachable moments, enriching opportunities, and creative expressions of learning are stifled by staff members who seem to have taken their last professional development class back in the 1990s. Worse yet is the principal who is the epitome of the smarmy-politician administrator. Her leadership is reactionary rather than visionary, and she makes choices that are genuinely damaging to young children's psychological and emotional development. She makes no attempt to turn issues into opportunities for growth, but takes the easy way out for herself (which is usually not in the best interest for the children at the school). As another parent who posted here mentioned, the principal would rather punish/isolate/suspend all children involved in an incident than work through the facts of the matter to help the children learn from it and feel safe/valued at school.
I have a daughter that spent of all of her elementary years here. The experience was great, and we never had any issues at all. My son, however, three years behind her, was a different story. The teachers were as great as they have always been. However, the new principle (hired in 2012/2013 school year) is horrible. She never took the time to interact in a positive way with any of the students, and was more interested in following a rule book than actually leading the school. Our view of the school became so negative, we moved our son to another school in the district, and the difference is night and day. He enjoys school, gets the help he needs, and we are so happy we made the choice. I volunteer frequently at school and have also been struck with how nice and kind the children are to each other, which was definitely not the case at Sandburg. There are significant bullying problems at recess, and rather than address the roots of the problem, the principle just chooses to suspend all kids involved, I really hope the district finds some new leadership for this school, there are some really teachers, staff and students here who deserve better.
We currently have a daughter in second grade, they have excellent teachers and support staff- if students miss on their state exam requirements, such as dibbles, they have excellent fallback programs to help them get better- but ultimately it comes down to being very involved as a parent and working together with the teacher and other staff members to better your kids education- I have found that parents that complain about the school not doing very a good job usually means the parents are not involved as much as they could be in there child's education- we have made a point to spend at least 30 minutes minimum a night with our child in areas they needed to improve, such as reading, math, sentence structure and spelling words- it is very rewarding to see that the time we have put in has payed off in much improved test scores and overall understanding of material- it's up to the parents. teachers only have so much time they can give each child, take some personal responsibility and most important take the time to sit down nightly with your kid and teach them the things they need to learn to be successful- it's all what you make it!
Our son is in first grade and we are pretty unimpressed with the academics or attention paid to the students. Because he is not behind and is not disruptive, he doesn't get any individualized instruction or work geared to his level. It's worksheet after worksheet. Son is bored and disengaged. We attended a private kindergarten and our son is doing lower level math in first grade than he did at the beginning of kindergarten. Despite multiple teacher and counselor conferences, none of our concerns have been addressed because, again, our son is not ruining their testing curve. It's pretty sad to see a 6 year old who went from loving school to despising it. We are looking into other options for next year. Finally, others commented on the prejudice against working parents. FOR SURE.
My son is going into 2nd grade. The school is very good in terms of facilities. The building is brand new so everything is state of the art. Parent involvement is high. They also emphasize healthy eating in the cafeteria which is nice to see. The principal is friendly and nice and she seems to be doing a good job. The teachers and staff are all friendly as well. My only minor piece of advice to her would be to try to get to know the students and parents a little better. My problem is with the other students. I suppose part of it might be just growing up but my son went to another school last year and started at this school this past year. Since coming here, he has had a few developmental issues (fights with other students, etc.) and has learned a lot of bad language and other negative traits. We are leaving the school and I am feel that he'll have better influence elsewhere.
My youngest child has a learning disability and we have found that both the regular teachers and the special education teachers go above and beyond to ensure our child is learning everything his peers are. We couldn't be more pleased with his progress. Another child has no learning issues but struggles with motivation and is awkward socially. The quality of his education varies with the teacher some are capital letters WONDERFUL making him excited and passionate about learning and others meh. We've had one meh teacher in 5 years. By contacting her and working together we were able to get my kid back on track. Even in the year of the meh teacher previous years teachers frequently checked in with our kid asking him about topics they knew interested him and making sure he had buddies at recess. He's made good friends at the school and is making great grades. The administration does not tolerate bullying and goes above and beyond to ensure all kids feel welcome. My oldest is graduated from Sandburg and has gone on to all A's and honors classes in his Middle School and High School education. It is very common to see both dads and moms participating in classroom events.
My daughter is going into 2nd grade at Sandburg, and we have been delighted with our experience so far. Her teachers have been wonderful, and the administration and support staff are also very warm and caring. We particularly loved the principal, and are sad that he is leaving for another opportunity. We hope that the incoming principal is as fabulous as she sounds! My daughter entered kindergarten prepared to learn, but not knowing how to read etc. By the end of kindergarten she was reading and by the end of first grade she was well ahead of grade level. I volunteered in the classroom once a week and noticed that the teachers focus special attention on ALL students (not just those who excel or those who are behind).