Horace Mann Elementary is one of those schools that get listed in real estate listings as "highly desirable," but after several years of experience with the school, I'm still trying to figure out why. It's a good school, but not a great school. The facilities are top-notch and there are some excellent teachers, but getting the great ones is a crap-shoot. And the fall-off from the excellent teachers can be significant. As with other area schools (I would guess), the school is consumed with test scores and the school year is spent preparing students for the standardized tests, but not necessarily learning.
Mann Elementary students, staff, parents and community continue to improve on the superior performances exhibited by this elementary school. The District and community provided a new green sustainable school in 2003 with good lighting, day-lighted classrooms, ample ventilation and modern audio visual equipment. Principal Spaulding and her experienced motivated staff challenge students from Kindergarten onward with homework, spelling test, nightly reading goals and conversation starters for parents. The PTSA is extremely engaged by providing numerous enrichment programs like Knights of the Multiplication Table and Spanish Club, School Services like IXL Math and Accelerated Reading Test and an Art Docent Program all totaling an annual PTSA budget of $48,600.00. Parents are really involved as there are typically 5 to 10 background checked parents in each classroom per week to assist teachers and students by reading books, listening to young readers or performing clerical task. The results are students who continue to improve on prior exemplary test scores which place the school in the Top 5 District-wide. We are fortunate to have students in such a highly performing school.
We are very excited with the reading program at this elementary school. Teachers are aware of the importance of supporting children to develop fluency and written skilld during the first years of elementary school. A lot of work and volunteer support is given to those children that are not up-to-the-benchmark. Volunteer work is the backbone of the program. Hopefully, parents become sensible to the fact that our society is moving at a faster pace; and parents' engagement in children's education is critical.
I have been an involved parent at Horace Mann for 7 years, 3 of my children have attended. I have been very satisfied with 9 out of 10 teachers I have worked with. Horace Mann has a very dedicated Staff. The great math (Math-a-Minute) and reading program that have been in place for 6 years are available solely because of parent volunteers. (Kids actually graduate from the math program in a fun ceremony called 'Knights of the Multiplication Table' where the Principal, doning a crown and cape, knights each of the kids after they answer a multiplication question. It's a big deal for the kids and parents alike!) The involvement of the parents at this school is impressive! It is often mentioned by our principal and new staff members. Extracurricular activities are offered for students and parenting lectures are subsidised by a very active and involved PTSA.