After having my child in Whitesburg Weekday (preschool) for two years, we enrolled my little girl in WCA. WCA tested her for readiness for kindergarten 5 months before she began kindergarten (and said she was ready). We began paying tuition two months before school began. After 3 1/2 days in kindergarten, my husband and I were called in for a conference. The teacher was the only WCA person at the conference, and told us our child was not ready for kindergarten. She could stay for the rest of the school day....and tomorrow, if we really needed it. As we scrambled to find a new school that day, my child's belongings were packed, she was sent home and told by the teacher she would not be returning-before my husband or I even had a chance to talk with her. The school "let us out of our contract", but "could not refund our money ($1,500)" for almost two weeks - after having deducted a $300 "curriculum fee". The monetary damage was nothing compared to the psychological damage caused. Heartbreaking.
Even though others may think that the public schools in Huntsville are great, the fact is that they are going down hill. I grew up in Huntsville, attended Grissom High School at its pinnacle, and know the high expectation of professional parents. We decided to make the move to Whitesburg Christian Academy for our son after the debacle of computers in Huntsville City Schools last year. I know not every grade or every school had problems, but ours were overwhelming. This year has just started and my son is enjoying his classes (which include Latin, not available unit high school in public schools). The small classes are very helpful and his teacher is kind and knowledgable. The Headmaster spoke before the new parents and I felt that he was very clear that each of us had sacrificed to send our children to WCA. I have been nothing but pleased with the experience so far and recommend this school highly. I would check out the final scores of the seniors if you want to know the rigors of this school. This is a Christian school and they make no apologies for that. And neither do I.
There are some great people at WCA. I just don't see the huge advantage academically there though. I grew up in LA (Lower Alabama, ha) in an area that is rural and low-income. In these areas of our state, you pretty much need to put your children in a private school if you want them to get a good education. Here's the thing: Huntsville is not in Wilcox County- Huntsville has incredible public schools, save for a few areas. Grissom and Huntsville are tremendous schools- in fact, my two children were actually BEHIND when we moved them from WCA! Once again, WCA is not a bad school, it's just that public schools in Huntsville are of such high quality that your children don't have to go to a private school to get a great education. Huntsville is a GREAT place, totally different from where I'm from in Alabama.
My child has been at WCA for the last 3.5 years. I am not sure what all the fuss was with the administration. I guess I chose not to get involved in that. As for people saying it is not academically challenging enough, I am not sure what they are talking about there. My child was bored in public school. She was not offered the advanced work that she needed to stay interested. When we moved to the Academy, I immediately fell in love with her teacher. I don't see why someone would complain that they want their child to have the experience of a teacher not liking their child. I have not loved every teacher my child had but that you will find every where. I think the teachers all care about teaching and the students and want to present their teaching in fun and creative ways. My child gets to do projects that her public school friends envy. I think she has been challenged but has not had a overwhelming amount of work to do. I like that our school has smaller numbers. Tuition is expensive but comparable. Kids get the option of band in the 5th grade. The office staff is so nice! The Headmaster is nice. I would like more fundraising for field trip options.
We put our child at Whitesburg Academy and really had a bad experience from day one. The $6000 tuition is just a minimum. Your are expected to fill out a financial commitment card. If you don't, they will pressure you to do so. If you do, your level of commitment will be evaluated against your income. If it is considered too low, you will be pressured for a higher level of support. Then, you are asked too get grandparents involved so the school can solicit money from them. For the money Whitesburg expects per child, you are better off with Randolph if private school is desired. Academically they do throw allot of material at the children. If you want your child to learn latin, french, or spanish in elementary school then they have that. If you want your child to have a more real world education, the Academy is not for you.With the Huntsville city schools, kids in 1st grade are each issued IPad computers and a well rounded education. The academy is very limited with technology with only one out-dated computer per 1st grade class.Whitesburg Academy states they are training kids to be leaders but what they are doing is creating kids to not be able to relate to the real world.
My daughter graduated from WCA last year and attended WCA for 11 years. My son has been at WCA since first grade and will graduate this year. Originally, we had no intention of our children attending private school for all their grade schooling, but WCA was such an excellent experience for them that they did not want to leave. Through all grades they were getting excellent test scores, always ranking in the top 2% as compared with the national scores. Both ended up with ACT scores that provided scholarships and the average ACT for the entire school is 27. The teachers care! The sports program will grow as the school grows, but it provides an opportunity for some to play sports that would not have a chance to play in a larger school. Plans are underway for a new facility that will provide the school with a more independent feel from the church. The Christian education environment and curriculum is very valuable as compared with the immoral stuff going on at many public high schools. They train them for a world view with a Christian perspective. The new headmaster and principles have the school on the right track. Overall, an EXCELLENT school.
This is not necessarily a "bad" school, it is just made for a very specific group of students. Families that are ultra-religious may find this school accommodating, but most families looking for a well-rounded, academically-strong institution with a plethora of extracurricular activities for students will be disappointed. Furthermore, the lack of extracurriculars may lead some to believe that the curriculum is rigorous. This is simply not true. My student had vastly more homework for AP (Advanced Placement) classes in a public school than he had in any WCA classes. This school has great intentions of preparing the next generation of Christians to be productive, Godly citizens. However, the school is just not a real-life experience. My son is going to college after high school. He needs to know how to deal with classes larger than 15 students, or a teacher that does not like him (not all of them will, it's just life!), or a teacher that does not believe exactly what he believes. It is the lack of these experiences along with the academic deficiencies of WCA that drove us away after the first year. Unless you are a family of ministers, look elsewhere for a school.
WCA has come a long way in the last year and the staff and new Headmaster are doing a tremendous job. We've had kids at the school over the last three years and we didn't have major issues with the former Headmaster (or chose not to get involved), but had friends with very valid concerns. The atmosphere is completely different this year and the Academy seems poised for growth. WCA had their first homecoming this year and our kids had a great time. The basketball team is vastly improved and the overall sports program seems headed in the right direction. With a new headmaster, a new elementary school principle and a very competent interim upper school principal (hopefully she'll go permanent), things appear to be headed in a very good direction.
Our school has been through a lot of changes over the past 2 years. While our school is not perfect we have loving teachers, great children, and wonderful parents. We need to work on issues in our adminstration. With God's grace we are getting there.....We will be there until our child graduates high school!
Saw most of the reviews were fairly old! WE are looking for a new headmaster, and the Lord is definitely leading our school in a new direction. I have had kids there for 6 years now, and hope to see more improvements next year (in all areas).
Whitesburg Christian Academy was the best school in Huntsville, AL. The current headmaster there has no idea how to run a school. He is running it into the ground. I would not recommend that you send your children to this school. You will be lied to and led to believe that he cares about the students. He only cares about himself and what makes him look good. Also, if your child is interested in sports, this is not the school for you. Their sports program is going no where! The only bright spot of the school are the teachers that the headmaster has not hired, that served under prior administration.
We have had nothing but wonderful experiences with the Academy. As a former educator, I've been pleased with the curriculum and teaching methods. The administration has had to add those with higher qualifications in order to lead a school faced with phenomenal growth, so some changes were in order to meet the requirements for professionals. With growth there will be change and some do not handle change well.
We were looking for a private school providing a Christian atmosphere and high academic standards. Our first year went very well as our child had a wonderful teacher. Unfortunately, subsequent years were very disappointing. The curriculum is definitely average for a private school. The administrative staff failed miserably in their Christian and professional behavior. We had hopes our child would graduate from WCA but promised growth of the upper school facilities have not materialized. Another reviewer wrote to ask questions prior to signing a contract. Don't expect to get honest answers. We pray that the Church Leadership will correct the Administration and allow WCA to prosper as a school for Christ.
When we enrolled our child at the Academy we had high expectations and thought we would be there until graduation. Events of the past year, which in our opinion were not carried on in a Christlike manner, have caused us to change course and leave the school. The teachers were fabulous. The curriculum is average for a private school. The administration needs much prayer in order to reach the potential the school once had. Parents considering enrolling their children should ask questions and pray before siging a contract.
This is a great school, taking a faithbased, biblical approach to teaching. The curriculum is advanced, expecially in mathematics, giving the kids a headstart on college. The faculty and staff are wonderful.
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