First and foremost, it is a place where my child is getting an excellent education, AND is learning a second language. I am amazed at the level of instruction she has received. The teachers are smart, loving, devoted, and motivated. My kid is a science and spelling nut and she has gotten her fill of these. She may know Animals and their genus in Spanish, but she knows them. Yes, I never really thought about what makes a mammal a mammal, but you will get an earful of these and many other wonderful facts if your child gets lucky enough to enroll at Fairmount.
Secondly, the school has an amazing shadow support team. I was approached by teachers and the school social worker to enroll my daughter in several programs that I didn't even know existed and that have assisted her greatly in her parallel social development. These include SST (Student Support Team), a social skills class, and a play group. I have had more meetings (SST, formal and informal parent-teacher conferences, parent-principal conferences, parent-aftercare teacher conferences) than I care to mention. That being said, this school is ON IT. I am so very grateful that they have guided both my daughter and this reluctant parent into advancing her behavioral/social/emotional needs along with her educational needs. Kudos to Fairmount.
Thirdly, I love the community. We came from a formal, Catholic school pre-school that was wonderful, but that focused entirely on the kids and left us parents out. After three years of Fairmount, I am amazed that our circle of friends has expanded dramatically, and that our lives are richer because of it. We have completely connected to these families. Just two days ago, I needed someone to watch both my kids for 3 hours who are at home on Winter Break. I shot out a handful of e-mails and got THREE offers to take them. We love both the on-site events like Baile and FiestaVal, as well as the off-site events, like an annual camping trip over Memorial Day. I think this year, families have booked more than 30 campsites for that weekend. If you are looking for a community school, you have found it at Fairmount. I feel lucky to be a part of it. I had NO IDEA that my social life would become organized around an Elementary School. But, so be it. We are having a blast.
Lastly, I love the potential of Fairmount. Fairmount has not yet "arrived" on the public school scene. There is a lot of work to be done, and I see that as an opportunity to shape my Children's education and to be involved in the community. All hands are invited to participate, and no ideas will be turned away. The new Principal has a vision for Fairmount and is creating a roadmap to get there. She is very aware of the cultural and economic diversity and is working closely with the teachers, the PTA, ELAC, the School Site Counsel (SSC) to integrate the Spanish Immersion model with the children's education needs, state mandated educational standards, and Fairmount's on the ground resources. We need and welcome motivated families.
—Lauretta Komlos, mother to 2nd grader and incoming kinder