Our kids did not complain about any specific bullying incidents but the 3rd grader did communicate how the "compliments activity" really only serves to bolster certain other students (class favorites) position with the teacher. Exclusionary/playing favorites is a form of bullying and this particular teacher sets her classroom up for it.
No personal attention at all! 3rd grader is ahead of her peers but "punished" for being bored with slow pace. Tried to read a book (as instructed) while waiting for teacher to work with slower kid. Got into her book and was reprimanded for "not paying attention" when the teacher was ready to move forward. Wow. Our 1st grader is behind her peers but quiet/shy. So, the squeaky wheel slower kids got the attention they needed while she continued to fall behind. Un-good and un-fair.
Principal is new, as we understand it. She seems to care and seems to be involved with the kids and genuinely concerned but she may lack the nerve to oversee some of these "burned out union employees". I used that term, instead of "teachers" because that is the distinct impression that my wife and I got. This principal has an uphill battle ahead of her.
As older parents, we need to take a college level course on common core. Common core seems to us to be utter nonsense. When we asked teachers for help "decoding" common core, we got the silent treatment.
Moved here summer 2016 from a GREAT school in Southern California, 1st and 3rd grades, Fall 2016:
* Things beyond faculty/staff control: 1) common core (we hate it), 2) lack of free/recess/blow off steam time (school board control). 1 star.
* Things within faculty and staff control:
1) Class room "culture", despite teacher's (3rd grade) intent, is NOT inclusive/fair. Why? "Circle time" and "compliments" set the kids up for "playing favorites". Kids are called upon to "give each other" a compliment. This sounds nice and well intentioned. What happens (as in politics) is the same kids (the "old guard") call on each other with the same old tired/repetitive compliments which sets the tone for how kids pair off/team up/group-think/interact for the rest of the day. This is also, frankly, a waste of time from an academic standpoint. The teacher's well intentioned attempt to include "socialization" in her lessons just singles kids out for being, ultimately, LEFT OUT. 1 star.
2) Fair treatment and the "dumbing down" effect: our 3rd grader communicated to us parents on numerous occasions, how she felt singled out for reprimand. Example: while waiting on teacher to pay extra attention to a "slower" kid, our kid would (as instructed by teacher) take out a book and read when she was ahead. When she became interested in the book but the teacher (very quiet lady) was ready to move forward with the entire class, she would be reprimanded (including having the book "snatched" from her hands) for "not paying attention". On another occasion, she had to use the bathroom. When she returned, teacher had her "sit outside" because the class had moved on (so, punishment for bathroom break?). 1 star.
3) Academic progress: 1st grader barely made any progress from Kinder in SoCal during fall period. To be fair, she is our introvert who will NOT raise her hand when she has questions. There are 21 other kids. We get it. But we count on teacher to spot trouble and respond. Also, 1st grader communicated to us, "unkind" treatment on more than one occasion.
4) Communication: 2 stars. Very little talk from teachers to us about our girls. Too short notice on school events.
5) Overall, a distinct impression of "burn out" from our teachers. Going through the motions, no fire, no passion. Union employees getting paid.
We are now home schooling, Spring 2017. Bad experience at Silver Ridge E.
As our time with Silver Ridge is coming to an end, we reflect on the last three years we have had with the teachers and staff. It was a great experience and the most I could have asked for as a parent. Loving and friendly principal, teachers and all others involved. The PTA is very supportive and offers many fun school functions. Highly recommend this school.
The principle, staff and every teacher I have interacted with so far are all amazing! My oldest is in first grade right now, but we have also had several foster kids in older grade levels. Everyone truly cares about the students and does their best to make the experience individualized, fun and successful. I highly recommend Silver Ridge!