Still no language path for students beyond middle school after 8 years of promises. Some of the German teachers' proficiency (in German) is below that of 5th graders. Staff turnover is tremendous (quickly approaching 50% in less than a year), the majority of teachers seem inexperienced and are left to their own device since there is no written curriculum and little teaching materials given to the teachers. Attrition among students is high as well, especially for middle schoolers. The climate is unfriendly at best. Opinions are better not voiced openly without having to expect repercussions from the governing board. Test scores are declining steeply. This is sadly no longer a 5 star school. The biggest areas of concern are math and science proficiency - very ironic for a school of arts & science. Overall, leadership is sorely lacking and the result is chaos, lack of discipline and organization, and lack of community.
No school is perfect, so I'd never give a school 5 stars but this one merits 4. The school has strong academics, the language immersion program produces great results (and has been recognized by the German government as one of the best German immersion programs in the world!), and there's a very involved community of teachers and families. It also has very clear curricula for each grade, contra what other (former) parents here have stated perhaps they didn't know where to look (i.e., they don't seem to have asked the principal), but I've seen the documentation, so I know they exist. The main problem with the school, paradoxically, stems from its greatest strength some families get so involved with the place that they start to feel an unhealthy sense of ownership. This has led to pointless feuds (such as the fight over retaining the principal that spilled over into the television news a couple years ago), but there is now a strong governance structure in place that has managed to push much of that off stage, and ground has been broken on a new purpose-built facility that will provide things like a library space and better security, so this already solid school can improve further.
CONS: No approve curriculum PROS: Great teaching skills and dedication from Music, Art, Sports, 6th grade and below German & few English teachers. You may want to think about not sending your child here for middle school.
The school has been in existence for 7 years now and does not have a written curriculum. There is NO library (all those donated books are in storage) and the SPED dept is all but non-exoistent. The language immersion and front office staff is the only plus to this school. There is no full time nurse, nor there a lunch room. We were there from the doors opening and finally gave up and put our children in another program that supports them as individuals and has CURRICULUM. It's not that the teachers are new as another parent stated there is NO ASD approved written curriculum. THe teachers have no back up, and the principal has NO regard for confidentiality or even ordering enough books for core subjects. We had to buy Math books for 2 of our 3 children so they could do their homework correctly. The heart and soul used to make up for what Rilke lacked in building and supplies. That is gone and only getting worse as the APC insists on RULING rather than managing and doing what is best for the STUDENTS. As one who put 1000's of volunteer hours in, I hope it goes back to the Family and heart it once was. But we are out. My kids now thrive at a neighborhood school.
We have two children at Rilke. We have been through the old building and principal, and are now looking at a new building. The other reviews are correct, that we have limited funding and the building is inadequate. I don't know that the new building (15-16 school year) will fulfill that need. I have heard it will not. We love Rilke. We love the education, the attitude, the dress code, and the families that are involved. We do not love the founder and her disrespectful attitude towards families or that she's referred to as the founder when she was one of many that started the school, including a parent that still is involved with the school. There are issues with the curriculum, the Academic Policy Committee and the Principal that never seem to resolve themselves. Probably because parents are passionate and that can cause drama. We DO have an art room, and every year my children have had art once or twice a week. The music teacher is fantastic. As a professionally trained musician I am so grateful for his level of teaching. Some of the teachers are inexperienced, and therefore can lack in curriculum, but even that has not stopped my children from excelling. We love Rilke.
PROS: Parents are very involved (4 hours/month/family). There is a nice dress code and the kids are fully emerged in German for half a day. They are fluent by second grade. RSV (PTO) does a ton of cultural activities. They have a great art program but a very small art room. Administrative staff is very polite and helpful. CONS: The school is leasing and sharing the building with a church, therefore the classroom size and the hallways are narrow, not enough restrooms, no lunch room, library, computer lab or science lab. The gym is shared space. There is a discussion about a new facility, but since a charter school gets less money/student, the budget will not sustain a bigger facility. The new administrator has less than three years of Principal experience, all three Rilke. There is a different classroom structure every year, due to staff turnover. NO CURRICULUM, just a narrative. Each teacher runs the classroom based on their own experience. So if you are lucky to get a more experienced teacher your child will do good, and vice versa. SBA test results from the past two years are below state average. Overall a school that has potential to be good, but it is far from it. Go see it
Excellent, very diverse. we love the teachers. parent involvement is high. Highly recommend! we have 2 children at this school, soon to have a 3rd. why not learn a second language and specialize in math and science!
Our school is excellent, they strive in academics. there is a ton of parent involvement. my son has learned his german quickly. i cannot wait for my daughters to attend. This would be great to help supply the school with everyday items that they could use. GO PANTHERS!!
The school is pretty good overall and my son is now talking German nearly every day there. Listening to friends with children in immersion programs, Rilke sounds like it and the Spanish school do the best with immersion. I think most people want to know the negatives, so here you go: Dress code - one person put this as a positive, personally I think it stifles child creativity and self-identity but completely misses on its goals. Seriously, why no stripes or plaids until 6th grade? Under funded - my 3rd grader currently has no art class Music - they don't do a concert for the kids perform in front of people. I usually hated them as a kid, but they are a good experience for learning when to take things seriously. Parental control - I don't like that a group of parents and the founder of the school determine the school's policy. The principal went to school to understand what the choices mean, he should make the decisions. The principal doesn't even decide whether something as important as French also being taught happens. Considering the lack of funding, this may not have been a good use of funds. I rated principal down due to policy being controlled by board.