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9 OVERALL RATINGS

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This school has an effective approach to homework:
Strongly disagree
Disagree
Neutral
Agree
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Currently, most people answered Disagree (2 responses)
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Teachers at this school are effective:
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Currently, most people answered Neutral (2 responses)
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This school develops strong character in its students, like integrity, compassion and respect:
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Currently, most people answered Neutral (1 response)
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Leadership at this school is effective:
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This school effectively supports students with learning differences:
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This school effectively deals with bullying:
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There are 18 reviews about all of the school topics.

Review comments


Amount of homework: Agree


- a parent
Most grades give math homework. Part of the goal, as explained by teachers, is to give students the opportunity to practice math in English (because math instruction is in the target language, either Spanish or English). In addition, students are generally encouraged to read every night and log progress. Teachers are generally receptive to feedback about the volume of homework. In my child's kindergarten, homework is entirely optional (kids can pick up worksheets if they'd like). In second grade, teachers communicate that if students can't finish or parents think the work is excessive, students won't be penalized for turning in partially complete work.

Develops character: Agree


- a parent
The entire school uses the RULER approach to develop social-emotional learning. Even kindergarten students are taught to identify their feelings and develop strategies to help them modify.


Teacher effectiveness: Neutral


- a parent
The kids do learn to read and write in the immersion language. However, it is strongly teacher dependent whether or not they can teach math in the language.

Amount of homework: Disagree


- a parent
I do not feel that Kindergarten students should be doing any homework. My 3rd grader would love to do homework if it were projects that interest or other long form work that they don't have time to do in the classroom, but really all that comes home are more worksheets.

Develops character: Disagree


- a parent
My daughter says that her teacher just tells her what to do. She is not impressed with the integrity.




- a parent
The school has difficulty getting teachers especially for the Japanese curriculum. There is turn over every year in the teachers, last year we lost two very strong teachers. I have spoken to teachers who feel downgraded by the administration and I am not surprised when they leave. My student in 3rd grade started out Kindergarten loving learning and is now not unhappy to go to school everyday. I teacher her to speak up for herself and to know that she is worthwhile even if she cannot do the work as quickly as other students . But I feel the school's focus on achievement is misguided and the students feel incredibly stressed. My kids are both showing anxiety each morning when they get up for school. This is not how anyone wants to start out the day.



- a parent
McDonald has a lot of pros but many cons, too. The language immersion classes have instructional assistants and rotating interns, allowing for one teacher to sometimes focus 1:1 or take small groups aside for focused work. (Parents fundraise for this, which requires time & a lot of money. Sometimes the fundraising gets out of control with a competitive, disrespectful tone but that has improved in the years we've attended.) Some teachers have done a nice job respecting the needs of different paces and abilities, but it seems that this isn't a great school for kids on either end of the bell curve. Some aren't challenged enough and there's not enough resources to help them not be bored, others are far too challenged without the support they need. The leadership doesn't seem to handle requests for support or change well. Many families leave because of this. This is part of why the upper grades are significantly smaller classes than the lower grades. (Plus, you have to be fluent to attend after 1st grade.) There is a huge difference between the Japanese and Spanish programs. If you're considering this school, I recommend interviewing parents on both sides, with kids in the upper grades, as well as lower. And try to find a few who've left the school, if possible. Lots of teacher turnover recently. It's changing a ton, so old reviews don't mean much. WIthin the first two years, my children were speaking in the other language and frequently wanting to teach me words. They also grew tremendously in knowledge of other cultures and the world. This, and a pretty involved parent community, is by far the school's greatest strength. Many other aspects of education here are less impressive.

Teacher effectiveness: Neutral


- a parent
This is incredibly teacher dependent. Some are amazing, others are not. A few of the most treasured teachers left at the end of the 2014-2015 school year.


Amount of homework: Disagree


- a parent
Teacher dependent. Some of the K teachers gave homework. Some first grade teachers, too. There's a tremendous difference between the Japanese and Spanish sides on this, as well. Parents can always refuse it, though.

Develops character: Neutral


- a parent
Some teachers are great at promoting this, others pit kids against each other by rewarding or punishing entire table groups or classes for one child's struggles to attend or participate. Very teacher dependent.

Nearby schools

Last modified Mc Donald Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 10 out of 10 based on academic quality.
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