We scheduled a SIT meeting to discuss our child's learning challenges - and rescheduled twice to accommodate Julie Cox' schedule. The day of the meeting she didn't show. The meeting was at the school, during school hours...yet she was a no show and in fact left campus. No apology, no excuse, nothing even though we had both taken off work to go.
One page per night for kindergarten might not seem like a lot, but after a very long day at school (most 5-6 year olds are on sensory overload by the end of the school day), the expectation of an additional 30 minutes or more of work and academic attention is just too much.
I did a lot of research before choosing North Beach and really wanted to believe that public school could provide a staff of qualified, empathetic, enthusiastic and caring individuals. Unfortunately, my experience is that a handful of teachers and staff actually enjoy being there and are capable of being positive role models for the students and effective peers for parents. The principal sounds great on paper and knows how to give a convincing speech, but when it comes to being available for parents to discuss and resolve student issues, Ms. Cox shuts down and isn't open to working with the parents or finding solutions for the students. You get the feeling that she has already made a decision before the conversation has started, which is very disappointing. Also, there are many, many children who need individualized attention and are simply not getting it because they are integrated in the general classrooms with teachers who haven't been trained in special ed and who just don't have classroom support to give individualized attention, so kids who act out or need help or additional attention get sent to the office. I understand that many of the weaknesses of this school may be due to lack of public school funding, but it is the students who suffer. When a kindergartener is depressed and scared to go back to school, there is a real problem. Children at that age should enjoy their educational experience and the adults behind the scenes should have a genuine desire to create a positive experience everyday. On the upshot, the ladies in the office are AMAZING: helpful, kind and respectful. Some of the staff should be taking lessons from them when it comes to interacting with families and kids.
North Beach Elementary, with its exceptional teachers, parents and Principal Cox, is just what a quality public elementary school education experience should be. We believe our children are not only being well-educated, but extremely well-socialized in a fun, professional and realistic manner. We wouldn't want to be anyplace else.