THOREAU ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

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3870 NAKOMA RD
MADISON, WI 53711
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Phone: 608-204-6940
School Information
  • GreatSchools Rating: 5
  • Educational Climate: Above Average
  • Technology Measure: Medium-high
  • Type: Public
  • Grades: Preschool - 5th Grade
  • District: Madison Metropolitan School District
  • Students/Teacher: 12:1
  • Students/Grade: 60.7
  • Number Students: 425
  • Number Teachers: 30
  • Instructional Expense/Pupil: 6931
  • Poverty Level: 6 - 15.9 PERCENT
  • Number Computers: 70
  • Principal: Ms Kathleen Costello
  • CHARTER SCHOOL
  • GIFTED AND TALENTED PROGRAMS
  • ESL
  • SPECIAL EDUCATION
  • ADVANCED PLACEMENT
  • BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS
  • ALTERNATIVE PROGRAMS
  • YEAR ROUND CLASSES
  • VOC-TECH
  • ADULT EDUCATION
  • NCLB SCHOOL
  • BLUE RIBBON SCHOOL
  • COALITION OF ESSENTIAL SCHOOLS
  • AYP SCHOOL
  • INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE
  • MAGNET SCHOOL
School Ratings & Reviews

School Ratings (11 ratings)
Maximum Rating: 5




    School Reviews (11 Reviews)
    Page 1 of 3
    Parent Review | Rating:
    Posted 2014-05-23
    "Our second and first grader love Thoreau. The teachers care about the kids, and there are a ton of events that build community among the kids, teachers, and parents that really make it feel like a community. A lot of parents walk their kids to school too, so they chat, share information and experiences, and form friendships that way. One review complained about drop offs, but I've never had a problem with this and there are two crossing guards stationed nearby as well as a newly installed light at the corner. The music and art teachers are also just great and there is a lovely park right next to the school in addition to the usual playgrounds. In the winter, the city floods a small part of the park to for a little ice rink. Girl Scouts meet just up the street in the neighboring church's basement, and after school care is available for working families. I would like to see a greater TAG presence in the school, as we have some gifted kids that would surely benefit, but I think that was just bureaucratic bumbling they'll work out. Overall, we love Henry David Thoreau! and, as the school song says, "We care about you and the feelings you show at Henry David Thoreau!""
    Parent Review | Rating:
    Posted 2013-10-27
    "In a word; amazing. One of the most significant achievement gaps in the city of Madison and Thoreau Elementary is tackling this head on with their eyes wide open. Our experience has been terrific."
    Parent Review | Rating:
    Posted 2013-04-23
    "Invisible principal and overall poor management. One example is the unsafe drop-off and pick-up procedures. The Madison School District does not provide bus service for families living within 1 1/2 miles of schools. Thoreau is located on a very busy street and has no drop-off zone. Parking is extremely limited at this and other schools. Without bus service, parents have to shuttle kids back and forth daily (sometimes to multiple schools) dragging younger children along and limiting work schedules. Not sure how other raters decide on higher ratings, given this and other management issues, but more importantly the school's poor academic performance."
    Parent Review | Rating:
    Posted 2013-02-03
    "Experienced, skilled, and caring teachers and a vibrant community have made our daughter's years at Thoreau wonderful. She is eager to learn and her needs have been met both academically as well as emotionally and socially. The leadership of the school is adept even as the socioeconomic diversity of the student body requires constant creativity. Rather than shy away from the challenge, the principal and staff consistently find ways to address the needs of ESL students, special needs students, and students facing economic hardship. The kids do what kids do best: learn and play and make memories together. Thoreau's diversity is its strength. I also tutor in the school every week. Despite the economic challenges that most of my tutorees face, their eagerness to learn and persistence shines through in every session. I was surprised to read one review referring to serious behavior problems. Thoreau uses a "catch them while they're being good" system of positive reinforcement for behavior that has been amazingly effective. Information is available here: http://www.thoreauschool.org/pbs I recommend Thoreau without reservation. It's a great school that fosters joyful learning."
    Parent Review | Rating:
    Posted 2013-01-07
    "This school, and perhaps the district in general, has a real problem with managing significant behavioral issues and ensuring the safety of ALL children. This, of course, interferes not only with the emotional well-being of the student, but it also hampers learning. There are many issues that seem to be related to the school's leadership or lack thereof."
    Page 1 of 3
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