This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Fronteras Charter School4
Posted November 24, 2014
- a parent
My child is currently in her fourth year at Fronteras Spanish Immersion Charter School. My goal on sending her to this school has been to give her the gift of a foreign language and provide her with a diverse learning experience. It's not always been easy, and there are times when I have doubted whether this was the right fit for us, but this past year I have seen her language usage in both English and Spanish really emerge. It's a challenging program that requires dedication on the part of the teachers, parents, and students - but one that will have lifelong benefits for those involved! The school is focusing on immersion training for the teachers and staff, working on a way to ensure our children graduating from the program have a way to continue their studies in Spanish, and have an easier transition to the high school setting (where the focus is grammar). A new building is also in the works! As long as the school continues on it's current path, I will be sending my younger children to this school as well.
We have had kids at Fronteras for 12+ years. It's been a great fit for our family! All 4 kids have consistently tested above average. They are all strong readers in Spanish and English. The unique exposure to cultures, accents, projects, reading buddies, multi-age environment, and language have been very beneficial. They have a much larger appreciation and fascination for languages and cultures than they would have developed in most main-stream schools. Our oldest two are in high school. They have adjusted seamlessly .... doing very well academically (finding some classes boring since they were used to content being taught in Spanish). One went into Spanish II, the other into Spanish III (both have done some translating). The challenge with high school Spanish is that they emphasize grammar - to equip their students to pass college tests. Fronteras focuses on real communication. With 13 verb tenses in Spanish, the transition can be a challenge. We highly recommend Fronteras!
I recently learned that after 9 years of Spanish, the students only place out of level 1 Spanish when leaving middle school and entering local high school. Really? After 9 years of Spanish? Standardized testing scores aren't overall remarkable in non-Spanish subjects either. It seems like a good idea, just not a good program. We couldn't see the benefit of staying and are moving our boys elsewhere.
Fronteras is a unique learning environment with some fantastic attributes. The immersion approach means that students learn to leverage their language acquisition into alternative ways to problem solve--a hugely beneficial, life-long skill. Having never taken a language course in my life, I've grown to appreciate the value my daughters gain from their experiences at Fronteras. The founders, teachers and staff at Fronteras are committed to building a program that embraces diversity and celebrates learning. Charter schools all struggle, but my family is proud to have made the choice of Fronteras.
In the last couple of years, the academic program of this school has deteriorated significantly. Teachers are NOT orientated with the mission of the school and therefore are set up to fail. Most do not understand the process of language immersion and therefore resort to English when they think their kids are struggling. This actually creates more problems. Administration thinks that if a teacher can speak Spanish they can teach immersion. There seems to be a lot of children struggling. I would not recommend this school at this time. They need to renew their vision and unify their staff and parents so everyone is on the same page. Sad to see.
I have currently have one child attending school at Fronteras. My child has been reading since Kindergarden. They give you online assignments to do with your children, reading and math. You as a parent, it is your responsiblity to study with your children and they will be reading and understanding math in no time. My child is reading chapter books and doing 2nd grade math and is in first grade. Parents, aunts and uncles cannot blame the public schools. Seriously, parents need to have more involvement with there childrens learning. Parents expect too much, they think a public school will teach there children all they need to know in life, wrong!
I have two nephews, ages 7 and 9, who have attended Fronteras Charter School since kindergarten. Somehow, these two boys were passed lazily through multiple grades without so much as learning how to read, much less to write or do basic arithmetic. Furthermore, they don't know or understand Spanish. They've only just learned to read after being enrolled in an extracurricular program. I strongly recommend avoiding this school.