The school is more interested in bureaucracy than in nurturing and teaching. I reported a bullying incident and was told that my daughter had to learn to "stick up for herself." Nothing was done at the classroom level after multiple attempts to resolve it with the teacher. Her response was simply that she had "too many children to keep track of them 100% of the time." For someone who suggests self-advocacy and accountability, she doesn't take her own advice. This is just one sample. Classroom management is not something many of the teachers do well. Boys are treated differently than girls (negatively so). For example, If boys talk "red reminder," shaming discipline, and trips to the principal ensue. If the girls talk its becomes "pay attention girls". Common sense has gone out the window where parents are known to the administration, who can see them, but will not let them in until they flash their driver's license at a tiny camera. This, despite the fact they called you by name on the intercom to greet you. This school is run more like a prison institution/Nurse Ratchett style, than a learning environment. So happy my kids are in Harpers Ferry Middle School now.
The teachers, administrators, staff and volunteers at this school genuinely care about the students. Driswood provides an encouraging atmosphere that gets the children excited about learning. Teachers are kind and patient, adapting their lesson speeds to the class. They encourage parent participation, (field trips, book fairs, PTO, fundraisers, performance volunteers, classroom demonstration volunteers. There is regular communication to parents from teachers in regards to how the week went and what children will be doing the following week. Teachers are professional, uplifting, and engaging. If you are looking for a great Elementary School, Driswood Elementary is it!
I wish I had more positive thoughts about this school, it is an elementary school after all, and what is more exciting then young children coming together to learn and grow. But unfortunately, my families time at this school, was not enjoyable. Most of the teachers try their best, but the leadership negatively impacts almost every aspect. Teachers aren't provided with needed supplies or an inviting place to create and nurture our children. As a parent, you are not welcome, not even at the PTO! There is no community, for members of this school, to be a part of and it's truly sad. Many people have left and even more are thinking about ways out. I encourage you to ask around in the community and to neighbors, to got honest opinions of this school. I guarantee your most common response will be "they have great teachers" because no one truly wants to be unhappy about where they have to send their child to school, but a lot of them are and it becomes hard to come up with something nice to say. I would also like to point out that most of the negative and truthful reviews have been removed, if you have a child at this school, then this should not come as a surprise. Very glad to be gone!
I have 3 kids that have either gone, or are going to Driswood. I couldn't be more thrilled with the administration and teaching staff! They are all in a position to either foster my child's love for learning or scar them to the public school experience altogether, and I'm happy to say we have been blessed with every teacher that has touched my kids' lives. I don't know how much parent involvement people expect, but I've found the staff almost tripping over themselves to make parent involvement possible, so some of these comments have me flabbergasted! I couldn't speak more highly or recommend this school enough.
My children love going to school every day at Driswood. I have noticed that there are limited opportunities for younger students. There is an end-of-year kindergarten celebration, but after that, students have to wait until fourth grade to participate in a special event. Fourth and fifth grade have a chorus and band concert, and the fifth grade does a musical. It would be nice if each grade was allowed to participate in a choral concert or some other special evening event showcasing their talents. Unlike other schools my children have attended, only the parents of the children participating in the event are allowed to attend. Other families and students are told that they cannot attend the evening choral or band concerts or the musical. It would really foster school spirit if all families were encouraged to support the students participating in these events.
I'm a teacher at DES and started when we opened at SM Park. We don't have a high teacher turnover. Teachers retiring, moving, going back to middle school b/c it's easier, being transferred, are reasons for turnover. I've been a new teacher, and resent the comment made towards getting the "new" teacher. Teacher's are begging for a job at DES. I get asked on a regular basis if we are going to have an opening. We had the highest test scores last year, and we were 2nd this year. Our 2nd yr, we made Distinguished school, an achievement most schools have never made. It's upsetting to hear people talking negatively about our school, or to read negative comments. As for our PTO, I agree, our parents will do anything for us, but there's a handful that are not in it for the right reasons. If the PTO is going to cause a negative vibe between the parents and staff, then they should be disbanned. I, along with many of my colleagues would appreciate if the negative comments would stop. I would like to see us all come together and build a positive culture in our school. The staff and students are not afraid of the administration; not anymore than you were when you were in school.
My children love going to Driswood. I have noticed that only the older kids get to participate in special school events, like chorus and band concerts and musicials. My kids have never attend a school where every child didn't have the chance to participate in a chorus concert or other evening special event to showcase their talents. After the kindergarten end of year event, kids don't get to do any special musical events until fourth grade. Even families who want to suppport the school are told they can't go to the band or chorus concert or the musical unless their kid is in it. Every kid at the school should get to participate in something and not just the older kids.
DES is an excellent school with excellent staff. We have had nothing but great experiences here. If we have any questions or concerns, they are addressed immediately. The only bad experiences I've encountered ( and we just moved here) is several of the parents do nothing but complain about the administration because the parents seem to want to control the school and do not have our children's best interest at heart. It's really quite sad that this wonderful school is plagued by these negative parents and believe me, I've heard them talk at the bus stop. However you will notice that these hypocrites continue to send their children to DES because it is the best school. Go in and speak to the administration and staff. You will see how truly passionate they are about our children and the school. If you don't like DES, transfer your kids, because I don't want you creating a negative culture for my children! Never have I experienced the cliquey high school mentality of some of these moms, which seem to be the ones complaining about everything. It's not a popularity contest, you're not in high school so get over yourselves.
Driswood / DES has wonderful teachers and staff. The administration doesn't supply the teachers with the things they need for their classes to include empowerment and supplies. Administration also discourages parental involvement. Parent involvement is not something that is encouraged by the leadership of the school. The children and staff fear the administration. I would not recommend this school to other parents.