My daughter attended this school from K-2nd grade. This school is currently in transition. It is getting a new addition this year that will improve handicap accessibility and add more classrooms. The PTA/PTO is mostly new moms rebooting the group. There is a new Asst. Vice Principal and P.E. teacher as of last year who seem very good.
It is a very LARGE elementary school with close to 500 students (about 75-100 in each grade/22-23 per class). It has sacrificed most of its once large library for additional class rooms. The playground, although up to code, is showing it's age. The school is adjacent to Kennedy Park that has some lovely facilities.
The principal and school staff works very hard with what they have and are generally supportive and friendly. Study groups and after school activities are almost non-existent. MSCR, the YMCA, Scouting groups and Girls on the Run provide outside options for these activities.
The school seems to have a decent music and art program. They have a classroom dedicated to technology assisted learning using chrome books that student can use 1-2 times a week. They also have a 3D printer. All school communications are provided in either American English, Spanish or Hmong. The school offers before and after childcare and there are many in-home child providers in walking distance. (Use Nextdoor.com to access them.)
The size of the school and difficulty in pick-up and drop-off from Meadowlark proved too much for us. (We are not eligible for bus pick-up.) We are looking into a smaller, more manageable environment for our children next year. I suggest parents do their research and check out all the area school alternatives when enrolling their child. MMSD home schooling and private schools such as St. Dennis Catholic, Holy Cross Lutheran and Abundant Life are popular alternatives in this area.
This is a very good school, with engaged, caring staff and teachers. I feel like everyone from janitorial staff to principal care about the kids. Resources are tight, but this is true in most local schools. The teaming that teachers do is helpful. 2/3 teachers have been there over 8 years. I have felt welcomed in all my child's classes. I am encouraged to be more involved, thru PTA, or fields trips, or fundraisers. There are wonderful yearly events, like ice cream social, movie nights, Family Fun Night, etc.
The staff is good , but changes often due to poor leadership. There is a lot of turmoil between staff and administration. Reading scores have gone down over the years and celebrations are discouraged. As a parent I feel unwelcome in the school by administration. So sad.
My school is great as I was able to talk to school staff as soon as possible. As a parent I see that my child is showing growth in being patient. Follow instructions with great respect. This school is a great idea for my child.
We open-enrolled our daughter into Kennedy when she started kindergarten and we moved out of town. She is now in 4th grade and we've had nothing but great experiences with Kennedy, the Madison schools, and all of our daughter's teachers and teacher's helpers. We've never second-guessed our decision to use the open-enrollment process to put her in Madison schools and most specifically Kennedy Elementary.