The only reason that this principal still has a job here is because of the transient nature of a military community. In a regular neighborhood, the parents would've banded together to demand a decent principal years ago. She treats the young students and their parents rudely and is basically an overpaid bully. She doesn't have kids and doesn't seem to especially like the majority of them. She definitely doesn't like most parents, even if you try to be nice to her. The teachers are careful to stay out of trouble with the principal, but I've been told by a teacher that they're looking forward to her retirement! The teachers are excellent and a good principal could really make this school amazing. Each year, parents go on Ft. Meade Facebook pages when they find out their child's new teacher and ask for reviews, and the reviews for every single returning teacher at this school are positive. Teacher communication is good overall. A new principal would mean more opportunities for parental involvement and better cooperation with the PTO as well, although a lot of parents do currently volunteer. Most people who request a certain teacher for their child get the one they ask for. The lunch monitors aren't great. The classrooms are pretty large. There are no restrooms in my children's classrooms like there sometimes are for young students, but the hallway restrooms are pretty nice. The facilities are as good as can be expected considering it's an old building. The water tastes bad though. PreK and K have separate playgrounds. The K playground equipment doesn't look that great, but the kids seem happy with it and there is a large field to run around in. Bottom line, if you and your child(ren) avoid the principal, it'll be a positive experience!
My son had an amazing kindergarten year at West Meade and I couldn't be happier with the quality of teaching. All of the teachers and staff were courteous and responsive when we needed anything. I'm just sad that the school is only for Pre-K and K!
I have children in both Kindergarten and Pre-K this year and am beyond happy with our experiences with the school. Our daughter has a medical condition that requires some extra care and communication. The school has done more than we had even hoped for to ensure that everything we could ask them to do for her and more is happening. Our daughter in the kindergarten is now reading at a 2nd grade level and we were worried she would not be challenged but they have been able to keep her engaged and working ahead when she can. She is now practicing spelling the site words that most are learning to read. I know some people have said negative things about the principal but we have had many sit downs with her and think she is great. She is very straight forward and is truly focused on the kids. The school is so great and I feel so lucky both of our kids got to start their school experience at such a great school.
Love love love this school! I have two children, both whom have severe disabilities and the teachers and staff have been nothing but kind and supportive to both of them. My oldest, whom is autistic, was at West Meade for both prek and kindergarten started out with major behavioral issues, had troubles with communicating, and always wanted to seclude himself away from everyone now has blossomed into a very caring, intelligent individual. The team of teachers and specailists are just outstanding and did everything in their power to make sure my son felt welcomed. My son ended his kindergarten year reading and writing at a second grade level which is very unusual for a child with autism. My youngest, whom has muscular dystrophy, has received the same warm welcoming as his brother and is very excited to be going back to West Meade next year. Couldn't be any happier with this school and feel so grateful for everything they have done for my children.
I have heard great things about the teachers here, however given my experience and hearing about a few other parents experiences in my neighborhood, I can't believe this principal still has a job here. I found her to care more about boisterously announcing the power of her position and exerting a bullish nature towards these small children instead of being an exemplary leader.
The teachers are great! The office staff is just not very child friendly! The office has been so rude to my family over the last 4 months! I have family staying with me for medical reasons until my husband comes back from school. At least once a week I get a call saying that my nephew isn't allowed at the school. (When myself, my husband, my sister and once with my sister and myself brought over papers to the school approved by housing...were told that they never received the papers for anyone) It's a joke, and I'm not laughing! But hey the Bus Drivers are AMAZING!!
This school has undergone major changes beginning 2011-2012 school year due to the opening of a new elementary school on post. West Meade Elementary is now West Meade Early Education Center and only houses kindergarten and below for the entire Ft. Meade post. Approximately half of the staff members are new to the school, and old members had to interview and be re-hired; all teachers are now young-learner focused. Administration is no-nonsense and can seem abrupt. The building is old, but updates can be found throughout; smart boards in every room, new playground equipment, and materials. In response to recent comment regarding lunch money... the district decides to feed students with no lunch money a jelly or cheese sandwich and water, not the school. Also, all schools in the district participate in an online lunch mgt. program where parents can track their balance, make deposits online, and receive email alerts when funds are low. Regarding the comment about Curriculum, again, is determined by the district and these teachers follow it. Overall you will find West Meade to be a typical public school with common disappointments, and benefits.
My son is attending school here this year, the work is way behind what he was doing last year, there is no attempt to challenge him mentally. He was injured at school requiring 7 stitches and the school and the school did not contact us directly, but called the police to come get us despite having many phone numbers and email addresses for us. He ran out of lunch money one time, in stead of a advanced warning or a days credit they gave him a jelly only sand which and a empty cup. The principal makes her self unavailable to parents, they make every attempt to keep parents out of the school. and i have not met one parent there who is satisfied with the place.
My son is finishing the second half of his 1st grade year at West Meade, we transferred from Seoul where he went to SAES. The curriculum here is a joke! In his previous school they were spelling 2 syllable & compound words, they had Spanish, the mathematics where much more challenging... and they kids were in school for 40 minutes less. They are reading books at the kindergarten level in class. I have tried speaking to the teacher and staff but as others here have said, it gets you no where. I am seriously considering homeschooling because the academic programs are so poor at this school! I am unable to find out if it is AACPS that is sets the curriculum or the school. If you want your child to have a great start in school, look elsewhere!
Her 1st grade & 2nd grade years were outstanding. She was eager to learn & wanted more. That 3rd grade teacher was something else. She was/is a bully, negative & none supportive. Her style of teaching was aggressive & rough. She did not communicate well with us at all. My kid went from being an A student to C-D.. How? Why? We talk to the Principle, Couselor & the Board. No one did anything to help our child. The teacher was always negative no matter what. I was at the school like I should have been getting a pay check. The bottom line is, no teacher should be allowed to teach if they do not have the child's best interest at heart. If you have lost your passion for the job, LEAVE IT. But don't make the children loose their excitement to learn. That almost happened to our child.