Fairfax County General :
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I went there back in the 70s... It was terrible. I am a white person, and I certainly learned about racism. On the upside, I got pretty tough- that's what happens when you are in first grade and sixth graders who are like 14 decide they want to fuck with you every day. It got so bad that my folks moved out of there though. In first grade one of my classmates literally fought the principal three times during the year- he damn near won too. It burned down about ten years ago, maybe more, and even after all these years I was glad the fucking place was embers.
Well, these last updates are older and my child was not enrolled during this time. However, this is one of the worst schools in the entire Fairfax County Public School system. I say that not only as a parent of a child who attended there, but with input from 3 separate Fairfax County School Teachers. I have two friends with children that attended kindergarten the same year my child did. The material that their children learned in the beginning of the year, my son was learning towards the end of the year. They have no interest whatsoever in assisting children with special needs. Fairfax County has some wonderful schools (so I have heard) but this is definitely not one of them.
—Submitted by a parent
my children has attended Dogwood Elementary. We've endured bad press, a devastating fire and 3 Principals. I have been a Dogwood supporter all these years. I am involved and often in the building, so I see first hand what goes on there. My kids continue to perform well above average on tests like the SOL's. My oldest child was well prepared and continues to do well in challenging IB courses offered at South Lakes High School. We love Dogwood's diversity. I consider it the best kept secret in Reston!
Sadly, I believe that the color of your skin and your economic level greatly affects the way you and your children are treated at this school. If you are diligent in monitoring what you are told about what is, or will happen in the school and classroom vs. what actually does happen in the school and classroom you may find what I found--a large discrepancy. Some infractions are minor while others are major and can have a negative impact on not only your child's education but on his or her self esteem. For those who will disagree with me that is fine, and of course it's your prerogative. All I'm suggesting is that you monitor your child's experience at Dogwood very carefully and this includes making unscheduled and unexpected visits to the school. Listen and learn. I sincerely hope that your experience is different from mine. Just because a staff member or part of the administration smiles politely at you and tells you what they believe you want to hear does not mean that your child will be treated well.
I wish county would realize they can't just throw money at the problem, because the school has been so bad it gets a lot of funding, free lunches, free after school programs, but if the problem is the student body is bad best chance for those kids is to ship them to other schools and make this one a magnet school. You can have the best intentions and funding but until the makeup of the student body changes, it's going to be a bad school.
FFCPS allows parents to request and sit-in on on a full day of their child's classes. A parent in the room will surely change the daily dynamic but you might get some piece of mind or discover issues that need to be addressed with the staff to improve a student's future experience in the school.
When to Dogwood about 20yrs ago. My first day of school there was a bomb threat. I saw dirty, bloody underwear on the walking path on my way home. I was scared to walk home everyday. One teacher use to show up drunk day after day. Finally she was fired or stopped showing up and we had a sub the rest of the year.
I can only imagine what that hellhole is like now. I would rather homeschool than send my kids there.
Dogwood Elem is a joke. m Devers is not a leader, and the scores are "created" to make things look better. Students are not ready for middle school, and parents should beware of poor teaching practices.