Although the teachers are fantastic academically, ethical lessons are a bit more scarce. For example, my daughter was scolded for wearing her jacket because she was cold. It is apparently a rule that they are not allowed to wear jackets in the class room. My daughter asked why this was a rule, but did not get an answer. I feel that if a child is curious as to why something is the way that it is, then they should be able to be enlightened and understand the reasoning behind a functioning. To me, this is definitely a matter of INTEGRITY - although the rules are the rules and they are to be followed, it is generally a good thing to do to explain to anyone who is curious the reason things are the way they are, to promote that knowledge and satisfy any request for knowledge, especially as a teacher, instead of using her position as a teacher, elder, and authority figure to neglect an understandable and reasonable inquiry - COMPASSION - it is also the kind hearted thing to do to tell a cold little girl why she is not allowed to wear her coat instead of making her feel bad- and RESPECT - my daughter asked a completely reasonable question regarding something that she was curious about and the respectful thing would have been to answer the question instead of making it seem like she did not have any right to inquire in the first place.
Another example I have concerns the teacher's lack of action when my daughter would not branch off on her own because her best friend was in her class. She ALWAYS sat by him and was in his groups. She wouldn't even pick her own topics for projects - she just did whatever he did. We were not even aware this was going on until she sort of accidentally told on herself one day. Although it is not the teacher's responsibility to parent their students, I would hope that they would encourage a bit more autonomy in their classroom.
ARP assigns a fair amount of homework. My daughter stays busy but is not overwhelmed. As I mentioned before, students have the potential to earn ARP dollars if they complete extra homework as well, which I find to be very productive and beneficial.
This school has the potential to be fantastic, but falls short.
Good 1st - They have "ARP dollars" that students can earn through extra homework, good behavior, etc. which they can then save for various goodies at the store - teaching them the value of working hard for a "pay" so that they can gain items they enjoy. I REALLY like this concept. The school has also made it so that the teacher that is currently instructing my daughter can transition to the next grade level with the class so that she will be able to teach the class next year. I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, the students are very comfortable with this teacher and are likely to continue to do well with her. On the other hand, my daughter is in the 4th grade. It will not be long before she transitions into Jr. High where she will have all different teachers as well as new friends (most likely) and I do not want this already drastic change to be hard for her to acclimate to.
From what I have seen, the teachers at ARP work to ensure that students are preforming their best. The teachers are always willing to help a struggling student. All of the teachers that I have met are exceptionally kind, caring and friendly.
The bad- I do have a problem with the way the classes are scheduled. A student can take a "fun" class that takes place during a core class. My daughter plays the viola, but this class takes place during math time and the sport she is involved in takes place during reading. Of course a 10 year old is going to pick playing an instrument over doing math! The classes missed are supposed to be made up at a different time, but I do not feel that these altered classes - at a later times without the rest of the class - have the same impact that the regular class would. We told our daughter that if her math grade dropped, then she would not be able to play the viola anymore - which is TERRIBLE to have to say given I am thrilled she plays an instrument!
However, the BIGGEST issue I have with ARP is the location. ARP would be great, if it were not located right next to a trailer park on the south side. I do not trust the environment. Also, as unfortunate as it is, the location brings more "bad seeds" as well. Obviously there are bad influences anywhere, but I have seen kids sell drugs from schools on the south side so.....
The school itself is also in need of an update
I am a single parent and this is my daughter's kindergarden year. We had moved from east side of town and I immediatley expected this school to be just as rude as the staff at her previous school. I was wrong! My daughter is actually excited to go to school. The staff is understandable and I don't feel judged at all. The school has helped me any way they can by providing thanksgiving basket and christmas also. And as many times I've come to pick my daughter up no one has been rude. The principal is also very socialable with the kids. You can tell he truly cares for the kids and parents also. Hes always saying hello to everyone and in the hallways. Great school!
My boys in the recent past have gone one school where they felt safe and knew everyone. Last year we went to another school cause the school before was safe and everyone knew them and brought smiles to there faces. This year we are at ARP and my boys hate it there. The kids are mean and the staff when I call partically one is so rude. The boys don't feel safe there and I feel that the staff needs to realize that we parents want friendly people working and not rude ones