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Old 11-14-2010, 08:08 PM
 
159 posts, read 349,743 times
Reputation: 74

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What's the story with Ballantyne Elementary?? I was just checking some info on the NC school report card website, CMS website and GreatSchools.com. There seems to be a lot of issues there.

According to the NC and CMS websites they have a very high teacher turnover rate and average less then 1 library books per student were as the district averages 18 library books per student and the state 23 books. Also on GreatSchools.com there are several very negative reviews from parents and teachers.

I am close to purchasing a house in this school district and don't want to have my child getting a mediocre or subpar education.

Can anyone shed some light on this?

I would also be interested in hearing good and bad experience with the school.

Thanks
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Old 11-15-2010, 06:23 AM
 
416 posts, read 810,611 times
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I live in a neighborhood down the road from Ballantyne Elementary and I'm surprised by the negative comments. I don't have a kid at school there (yet) but the kids in the neighborhood (and parents) seem to like it.

There were only 3 reviews on the site you visited, so I'd caution that its not a good mix. People tend to be more likely to post a review if its more negative.

As for the turnover, I'd also caution on that figure. CMS moved a lot of teachers around in the last year or two. Ballantyne Elementary is only at 92% capacity last I saw, so I would guess there were a lot of reassignments that could have hurt that figure.

The reviews also discussed staff issues, but I don't know that this is surprising for a brand new school. All of the staff and teachers are having to learn to work together. I wouldn't expect them to be as cohesive as an established school yet.

I can say with certainty that the neighborhoods feeding into Ballantyne Elementary are top notch, so I would expect the calliber of student to be pretty strong.
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Old 11-15-2010, 08:51 AM
 
Location: S. Charlotte
1,511 posts, read 2,883,163 times
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We have children who attend Ballantyne Elementary and have for the past year and a half. Note the school itself has only been open for 2 years. The student population and a lot of the teacher population was pulled from older, more established schools in the area, such as Hawk Ridge.

I have honestly had more than great experiences there. My kids have had wonderful teachers so far and are receiving extra challenging work when needed as well as support. I do know there has been some teacher turnover in some of the grades, but the management worked very hard to smooth out the effects on the kids and to get the best teachers in there. Not sure what is happening at other schools, but I have to think Ballantyne is not unique in staff turnover.

There is a ton of parent involvement as well, through basic volunteering and coaching of clubs such as Odyssey of the Mind. There was a very fun Turkey Trot this Saturday that was well attended.

The principal is very strict/hardcore and is looking for teachers who not only can teach at the grade level but who also can think outside the box and know when to provide more instruction if the class has already moved past the basic CMS mandated lesson. This can be a tough thing to do for new teachers, but these teachers too receive mentoring throughout the year. For example, one of my kid's teachers last year was brand new and did a terrific job, and the current teacher has a ton of experience (40+ years) and is also doing an excellent job.

I believe the staff issues/perceptions are growing pains of 1) a young school and 2) a crappy economy. The one teacher I know who was laid off early this year is now back teaching a different grade level due to another teacher who left voluntarily. We have teachers from Ballantyne who live in our neighborhood and they are happy with their jobs overall.

Pls visit the school so you can get a better feel for it. Before we moved we visited many schools in the general area, such as Polo Ridge and Hawk Ridge too, just to get a feel for the kids, teachers, parents, community, etc. Don't feel that you MUST attend Ballantyne but also don't be worried to, if that makes sense.
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Old 11-15-2010, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,269 posts, read 88,551,127 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prettyinnj07 View Post
What's the story with Ballantyne Elementary?? I was just checking some info on the NC school report card website, CMS website and GreatSchools.com. There seems to be a lot of issues there.

According to the NC and CMS websites they have a very high teacher turnover rate and average less then 1 library books per student were as the district averages 18 library books per student and the state 23 books. Also on GreatSchools.com there are several very negative reviews from parents and teachers.

I am close to purchasing a house in this school district and don't want to have my child getting a mediocre or subpar education.

Can anyone shed some light on this?

I would also be interested in hearing good and bad experience with the school.

Thanks
A lot of issues?? It's practically brand new, maybe the only "issues" are those related to getting a new school opened and running efficiently? Greatschools does give it a 9 out of 10 academically.

Last edited by lovesMountains; 11-15-2010 at 09:53 AM..
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Old 11-15-2010, 09:52 AM
 
159 posts, read 349,743 times
Reputation: 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovesMountains View Post
It's practically brand new, maybe the only "issues" are those related to getting a new school opened and running efficiently?
It could take several years to get a new school running efficiently - perhaps you don't see that as an issue but others might.
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Old 11-15-2010, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,269 posts, read 88,551,127 times
Reputation: 39866
Quote:
Originally Posted by prettyinnj07 View Post
It could take several years to get a new school running efficiently - perhaps you don't see that as an issue but others might.
I get that, but I was just saying rather than there being big problems there this could all just be about a handful of disgruntled people who happened to post on the great schools site because they don't like all the new rules of a new school by a new principal.

Really, until you visit and check the school out yourself you won't have a good feel for whether or not your child will be comfortable there
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Old 11-19-2010, 08:22 AM
 
24 posts, read 53,061 times
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My youngest child goes to Ballantyne Elementary now and we love it. I have a good school to compare it to as well: Charlotte Latin. My older child went to Latin before we decided the $$ wasn't worth it (though Latin was a good school). Ballantyne Elementary has a very active PTA and they do a great job in fund-raising and keeping the school well-equipped. To me, there is very little difference between the education my child has received here compared to Charlotte Latin. It's a great school, but so are most of the S. Charlotte elementary schools.
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:47 AM
 
1 posts, read 4,640 times
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Default Weak Leadership!

The principal at this school severely lacks leadership abilities and is not respected the teachers. The teaching environment is horrible and the principal rules by fear and lacks any sort of compassion. You could not pay me enough to send my children to this school.
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:13 AM
 
841 posts, read 1,239,930 times
Reputation: 450
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeg90 View Post
The principal at this school severely lacks leadership abilities and is not respected the teachers. The teaching environment is horrible and the principal rules by fear and lacks any sort of compassion. You could not pay me enough to send my children to this school.

Your first post is on a very old thread and goes very negative about a principal at a school. I sense an agenda... or a grudge.
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:08 PM
 
985 posts, read 1,653,431 times
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in my opinion many times when people have positive experiences they don't post them on websites like that, you will mostly hear the negatives. Just keep that in mind when reading so few "reviews"
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