The parents are what makes this school enjoyable. The principle is NOT engaging, with dishearten office staff. The teachers are focused on teaching to MSP. The children love it but as a parent, I would like the teachers to expect more from their students and offer challenges that would lead to greater success for future learning.
Good school for the lower grades but the teachers in the higher grades seem to be on auto pilot and don't assist the students. The principle really learns the families and works with parents to ensure the best possible out come for the children. The extra classes (music, art, dance and theater) are good and keep the kids engaged. One of the teachers goes out of her way to learn the children and keep them engaged, to the point that she helps them with homework before school even if they are not in her class. She will be missed as my children move on to middle school. If you stay involved with the teachers your children will have an amazing experience, if you choose to sit back and do nothing your children will not get the best out of it. Be prepared to go to many extra activities be it science fair, chocolates chimes and cheers, or plays every year but they are all fun.
Worst choice for my son. Teachers were not understanding. It was excuse after excuse about how they couldn't provide information on the weekly report. Grading was very subjective. Office staff was RUDE and condescending. It isn't a great school. I would rather have sent my child to his neighborhood school.
Both of my kids attended this school and I really appreciate the effort of the school to get the parents involved in their kids' education and activities. The reading program they have after winter break is a great program for the kids that offers incentive to read 1000 minutes. It really helps their reading levels improve drastically over the course of the 10 week challenge. The science and art program are top of the line.
I taught at Elk Plain for 7 years. I would still be there if we had not moved out of state. The teachers and principal at Elk Plain are very professional. I found them to be very open to different teaching strategies. Teachers receive specialized training to infuse the arts into academics. Most teachers work hard to explore different teaching techniques to meet all students needs. As one parent review suggested, a child will do well at Elk Plain if the parent is committed to volunteer work. However, a child will do well at any school if the parent is committed to the academic success of their child. Elk Plain offers an atmosphere where children can explore talents and abilities that extend beyond the academic realm.
I think EPSOC has slowly gone down in rating. Parents are involved, but I feel that upper grade teachers don't have any heart in the teaching they do. They do the same thing every year just different students. Nothing has change in 6th grade for many years. My oldest has graduated from high school and my other kids still bring home the exact same homework and has to do the exact same essays she did when she was in 6th grade at EPSOC. Lets get a little creative. Different students need to learn different things not the same year in and year out.
I wouldn't put my kids in any other Bethel public school. Elk Plain SOC is amazing. The principle is very involved and knows everyone. The parents are all involved - required parent hours helps there - and the teachers are all very motivated to teach. My son adores his teacher and loves his specialist classes. The only complaint I have about the school is the fact that the kids ride transfer buses and often transfer at the middle and high schools. This can be overwhelming for a little one.
Our son-22yo, daughter-18yo, and daughter-14yo all went through Elk Plain School of Choice from the time it first opened. We all worked together-parents, staff and children to make EPSOC the best school and helped my children be the successful students that they are today. The oldest is getting his master's in teaching, the middle is pre-med and the 3rd in her freshman year of high school. We moved away 7 years ago but we have fond memories of the 'family' we had there. The teaching staff was phenomenal and truly cared about each and every child. The displays and productions put on were well orchestrated, again with the teacher's and parents working together from costuming, makeup, scenery, etc. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank-you all for everything. God bless you all!