Parent Nick Tise's story

I was on the fence of charter vs. public vs. private school here in Durham. I looked at several “Schools of Choice” and also my neighborhood school. What I saw at those schools really brightened my outlook — smart kids, a challenging curriculum for kindergartners, a good student to teacher ratio, and diversity in both race and socioeconomic status. Little did I know that my initial good feelings were only trumped when my son began kindergarten at Pearsontown Year Round Elementary School.

While it is the largest elementary school in the district, it does not feel large. The administrators and my son’s teachers were incredibly welcoming and worked to strengthen my son’s academic and emotional abilities. He quickly learned to read, as did many of his classmates; he moved beyond grade level in many of his subjects, as did many of his classmates; he was offered pull out AIG (Academically and Intellectually Gifted) instruction each week, as were many of his class mates; and he had specials including music, science, art, and computers. Even more impressive than the academic support, was the emotional support that the school personnel offered to my son and to his over anxious parents. His teacher and the principal made time to discuss my son’s progress (and difficulties). We received feedback on a daily basis about how he was doing and what he was doing. Lastly, Pearsontown offered many school hour and after school hour events for the children AND their parents. From the Multicultural Fair (with over 500 attendees), to the Parent vs Teacher basketball game, to the Father’s Group, Pearsontown created and grew a vibrant and supportive community. I smile every time I think about how my son’s kindergarten experience is better than I would have ever thought possible.

from Nick Tise, Program Manager at Duke on Saturday, April 24, 2010

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