This school is a huge disappointment. It's diverse but we have had teachers who are incompetent, unprofessional, and even bully kids and parents. Front desk and lunch staff nice but principals are ineffective and protect the bad teachers and have no respect for parents. We have had to pull our child out because of terrible teachers, not getting help for our child and poor leadership. We did not feel safe having our kid here. Very stressful and sad place, esp. if you are an involved parent.
Our children have been attending the school for a few years now. We like the cultural diversity and the above-average intelligence level of many families. All of the teachers we have met have been nothing but great! There have been several situations, however, we felt the principal did not handle the way we would have liked her to. We feel she tries too hard to "please" everyone and doesn't take firm stances. Also, this is one of the 2 elementary schools housing the Work and Learn program, intended to provide second chance for highschool graduation to troubled youth, which is not something we want our children exposed to at that age.
My son is a kindergartner at Stephens and we have been very pleased. His teacher is wonderful and I think the school teaching the motto of "Safe, Respectful and Responsible" is great. I have found a lot of the programs like moving minds to be great as well. I have not had issues with the principal that others mention below. I also love the diversity of the students!
Terrible leadership & continuity. If you are looking for a school which honors your parental concerns, this is not the school for you. The administration will say one thing but do another. If you are looking for a clean and safe environment, this is not the school for you. There is a false, insincere "caring" from leadership. I found some of the staff to be manipulative, judgmental and immature. They were more interested in creating drama then in dealing with issues in simple ways. In dealing with some of the staff, there was no communicating, only nodding heads and tuned-out ears. The class sizes are too large for each student to "learn at their own pace" as is promised. On the first day of school I witnessed one child punch another in the face and laugh and no one did anything about it. The teacher was too distracted trying to organize the class. I saw more disciplining going on then learning. The environment is more like a zoo for children then an educational institution. I know a lot of parents who pulled their children out. I wouldn't bother sending them to begin with.
Like all schools there is good and bad here. My child has dyslexia and his 1st grade teacher was not the best at acknowledging this problem. But his second grade teacher was a true advocate for him and helped us majorly with getting him an IEP. She made a major difference for our family. I agree that the Work to Learn program should not be situated inside an elementary school. And things that happened earlier this year involving one of those students was disturbing, but overall we have been very happy with our experience and that includes the 2/3 and 4/5 mixed grade classes. As with most schools it is mainly about the teacher and even that what I love you may hate. :) Also, parents are VERY active here and that is worth a ton.
The teachers are great ... but the combo grades are not in the best interest of the kids. Someone who just turned seven may be in a class with someone who is just turning nine. This is almost three years difference in age. This range is too much burden on the teachers.
We have had an excellent experience at Stephens. My son has some special needs, and the teachers, aides, and principal have gone out of their way to make sure he's got the best possible environment. My only complaint is that I don't get quite as much feedback as I would like.
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