Principal Morningstar did an exceptional job this year - the future is brighter around here with her sense of calm determination & confidence. No nonsense, equalitarian, communicative leadership style. Her newsletters were a great means of communication and her presence before & after school were a great opportunity for the kids and parents to approach her and observe how she handled things (effectively & consistently). The counselor and music teacher are both exceptional, going far beyond what is required of them and really creating a sense of community by putting on all-school evening events.
I bet everyone who has posted so far is in the montessori program. That's just how it is. I doubt dual programs work flawlessly anywhere, but they definitely don't here. It lacks a feeling of 'whole' community. The montessori program is great & the nontraditional program (for a diverse program in the Southend)is good too, but the montessori [program] feels exclusive. That said, the new principal is no-nonsense & can-do. To her credit, both lousy traditional-program teachers left/retired midyear! Also the montessori does lots for the school (with their money & parent involvement). All kids seem really happy here & the counselor is fantastic.