Hi Fringecresters,

I'm wondering if any of you have any experience with Whittier Elementary... My son is starting Kindergarten next year and Whittier is the designated school for our area. I'm a little nervous about signing him up there because I've really only heard negative things about the school: issues with bullying, low test scores, etc. I have no personal experience with the school and I don't know anyone who sends their kids there. Do any of you send your kids there? Is it really as bad as I've heard or are those stories gross exaggerations?  Any information would be appreciated.

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Hi!  I send my kids to Whittier, and I love it.  The Principle, Cindy Bazner, has done some amazing work with this school.  I remember in the beginning trying to get all my kids transferred to Bandalier because I had heard bad things, too, but the process never got all my kids together.  So we ended up putting them all together at Whittier.  Five years ago when there was a family night or awards ceremony there were very few parents in attendance. Now the school is a buzzing community of families,  from all backgrounds.  Our kids have received extra attention where they needed it, and we are so pleased.  We all love Whittier!

Cara A. Valente-Compton

Candidate for State Representative, District 19

Thanks for the response Cara. It's so nice to hear from someone who is actually there. I saw a report on one of the local news stations a couple of years ago about Whittier having a bullying problem and have been uneasy about sending my kids there ever since. But I'm finding that the transfer process in APS is kind of a crap shoot. I'm glad to hear that things seem to be improving.

Granted it's been 8 years since my daughter went there but I was not impressed. Try for bandelier if you can.

We do like Bandelier very much.  If you can get in there, request Ms. Lea for Kindergarten.  What's hard is Monte Vista is a magnet school for Science and Math, but Bandelier is a magnet school for Liberal Arts (I bet that will start a feud in your house :P CS Geek vs Theater Geek, its on).  Bandelier did score higher on the standardized tests this year then both Whittier or Monte Vista.  But not sure how much stock to put in standardized testing.  Does Whittier have a magnet for a particular field of study?  That would be good to know and may help your decision.  Really, as Cara has pointed out, it is the parent involvement that makes a school or not. 

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