Thanks to all the supportive comments about how to handle our bullying problem. I did bring it to the Headmaster and they really took it to heart. Although my Son has a very unique situation, it's nice to know the school leadership is behind you 100%. We have not had any problems since I met with them. They gave us some great feedback and it was a very productive meeting. Thanks for the encouragement!
Regarding the March 25th review about your son being bullied, I cannot agree more with the suggestions provided by a parent on March 26th. However, I must add one more. I am the headmaster of the school, and I am not aware of your son's situation at all. A suicidal child is a situation that needs to be brought to the attention of the school administration so that teachers can provide that child the support that he needs. If you believe that you have already told us and nothing has been done about it, then please tell us again; your situation does not sound like one that I recognize, and it is important that we have the information that we need, not in an anonymous format but in a way that helps us serve your son.
Re: The review posted yesterday about your son receiving slanderous remarks from boys in his class. First, tell each and every one of his teachers what is being said. If your son can, have him tell the teachers the names of these children. Make sure your son has a buddy with him, someone that can verify the negative talk. Make a time frame with the teachers. You will meet with them, and discuss the situation after the teachers have dealt with the boys. Take this to the very top of Great Hearts if need be. This needs to stop and stop now. I hope to hear from you about the situation being handled swiftly and appropriately.
Re: the February 7th review - your review was accurate re: no trade school, no home ec, etc. However, Great Hearts is very up front re: what their educational philosophy is. It sounds like you have a fundamental disagreement and so this is not the school for your child. We chose this school b/c it teaches students to think critically/reason which was missing in my public school education and is still missing from public ed for this most part, imo. This, and character development, are essential to being a functioning American citizen. Learn how to think, learn and work hard. Then you can teach yourself anything.
First, I don't believe that CPA prepares people for life. College? Sure. Life? Not even close. Preparation for life is the opportunity to train in a trade at school (ie. Jewelry, shop, etc), character development, time to obtain a job, an core education that can be built on in college, home ec, the knowledge of modern day systems (ie. stock market system, tax system) and technology (ie. cars and computers). The approach that CPA takes is good at character development and a core education for college but, fails in all the other areas. There are no trade classes, there is not enough time to sanction a legitimate job, there is no home ec, no teaching of modern day systems or technologies. CPA produces scholars but, being a scholar is not as valuable as being a functioning American citizen. Being a scholar is in fact only significantly valuable when pursuing a highly academic path in college. It is not a "life prep" school and not a "college prep" school.
My daughter has been at student at Chandler Prep since the beginning of 6th grade and is now an 8th grader there. She loves this school!! She has made lots of great friends and is very involved in extra-curricular activities there--orchestra, choir, student ambassadors. Her homework usually takes her about 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete and she receives excellent grades. She has really liked a lot of her teachers especially Mrs. Polley, Miss Flynn, Mr. Meyer, and Miss Wiltjer. The music/band/orchestra teacher, Mrs. Gottry, is excellent and the kids all love her. All of the teachers are required to have tutoring hours and my daughter takes advantage of those often. She also makes use of the Math Lab which is run by upper classmen and offers extra help with Math homework. I feel that my daughter is well supported at this school and the teachers really want what is best for the students! It is a challenging curriculum, but anyone who is willing to work hard and take on a challenge can be successful at this school. My daugher is looking forward to attending CPA for high school.
My daughter is starting out her 2nd year at Chandler Prep (7th grade). She came in with high AIMS/Stanford 10 scores from her top rated public elementary school and decided she wanted more of a challenge than the public middle school. It was a tough adjustment for her in regard to homework in the beginning, but after the first quarter she established a pretty good routine. Homework does range from 2-5 hours a night if you want to do well. She made the comment to me the other day, "I learned one or two new things each week at XXX elementary school", now I learn several new things each day in each class." All of her teachers last year and this year are really passionate about their subjects and this truly makes for excellent instruction. Honestly no complaints so far about middle school. She feels she can achieve anything. She is deciding whether or not to remain at CPA for high school, as our original plan was just to attend for middle school.
Both of our boys attend Chandler Prep and we feel so fortunate for the educational opportunities they are given through the school. We are confident that they will be successful in their college endeavors, especially with the plethora of resources and close guidance of CPA's college counselors. Most faculty members are phenomenal! The two that were not a great fit were replaced. Our sons are being taught to be lifelong learners and thinkers. We couldn't be happier with Chandler prep and wish we had received such a wonderful education in high school. The students we talk to who don't like the school are those who don't want to read and work hard to earn high marks. The parents we talk to who don't like the school prefer to hover instead of allowing their child to be responsible for his/herself. There are new uniform guidelines this year, which seem a bit restrictive. However, it keeps our back-to-school shopping very simple, and we do love to see the kids so well-groomed and dressed. The character of the school is outstanding. Our kids are in an environment that stresses strong morals and a sense of community. Our son even told us he wants a college like CPA!
We are so happy to have our son at Chandler Prep! The sections are small (22 students), so the teachers actually get to know each student personally. When we had our parent-teacher conference, I was so impressed by how much each teacher knew about my son. He really liked and respected all of his teachers and feels extremely safe at school. The students seem nice and more academically oriented than those at many public schools. We are very satisfied with CPA!!
We weren't happy with the quality of education here. After 2 years we are leaving. Our son was just another kid here, and they will not even notice he is gone.
My son finished the sixth grade at Chandler Prep this past year. The sixth grade was the best educational experience I have seen in my 3 children in the State of Arizona. This is my youngest child. My second child graduated summa cum laude from ASU W.P. Carey School of Business and Barrett the Honors College this past May. I tell you this as it is important to understand the experience of the parent in regards to the rating of the education as well as the instructor's. I have nothing but gratitude and respect for these educators. Not only did I find them to be engaged, they went out of their way to make sure your child was as successful as could be. I am amazed that this not a private school since my older two attended private education from 6th grade on. If you require an education that is sound and will prepare your child to be successful in college than this is where you want to send your 6th grader. Thank you
My kids have been at this school for five years now, and I have seen a steep decline in the quality of education over the years. The school used to have engaged, charismatic teachers, but most of them have left and the teachers who remain are primarily inexperienced and/or inept. The students are not as academically challenged as they used to be, and my older child has had virtually no homework over the last two years. It seems the focus of Great Hearts Academy is to open as many schools as possible, but unfortunately, the quality of the existing schools has suffered as a result. I assume my review will be short-lived, as any negative postings of this school have disappeared rather quickly, but I would encourage parents to consider other schools in the area, as it seems the quality of education at Chandler Prep will continue to deteriorate.
My son has just completed his second year of high school at Chandler Prep, and we are disappointed. Yes, he is receiving a better education at CPA than he would in a mainstream public school, but that isn't saying much. Despite the rhetoric about classical education, CPA seems to have a lot of dead wood: kids who don't care, from families that want a credential with as little effort as possible. The administration handcuffs the teachers by placing primary emphasis on student retention instead of excellence. In essence, the school is run by difficult parents of underperforming students, because if anybody is made uncomfortable, the Great Hearts network might not get as huge as the business plan requires. My son--who, I think, doesn't really deserve the high grades he gets--isn't being taught a lot of basics, but he's having a big stack of "Great" books thrown at him as if a superficial knowledge of a huge number of books read really fast constitutes an education. A lot of the kids here belong in vocational school, but they get retained because the numbers have to be up, up, up. Maybe this was once a classical school, but now it's a factory.
My son just graduated, and although there were challenges along the way, I feel so proud of the transformation that I saw in him during his time at CPA. The books he read, the teachers he had, and other students made such a difference to the young man he has become. I am proud of him and so grateful to CPA.
I do not know what to make of the school any longer. I have to agree that it is a good school but if you have an accelerated child, they will be bored. I have to agree with the parent that used words like indolent etc. I wonder if some teachers are reducing the work to help the slower students. I do not know. Some parents get their gifted children additional tutoring but was it always like this? Tempe Prep is consistent. Maybe CPA is going through growing pains. Lets be patient and do our part to build the school
Time Management. This is what your child will learn at this school. The most important lesson learned in 6th grade was by us, the parents - Let your child fail. What? This means, let your child go ahead and stay up and watch TV, and fail at the test the next morning. What better teacher than learning consequences for actions? And better to learn this lesson now, when it doesn't count. After the difficult lesson learned, our daughter had the best study skills! She knew that only she could create the habits to succeed. CPA has alot of homework. But, our daughter has figured out to use that extra 5 minutes in class to start outlining a chapter from the history book. To use the extra 10 minutes to study Latin vocabulary. While waiting for the car...to finish the science study guide. The car ride to skating practice is a great time to finish the 10 problems assigned for Algebra homework. Lunchtime is a great time to discuss science concepts learned, with girlfriends. CPA doesn't really have plays/musicals for middle schoolers. So, we go elsewhere. Sad about the lack of Physical Education? No problem. We went to a place where she learn dance/skating every day.
Consider this school carefully. Most teachers are excellent., but grading inconsistent. Homework is intense! - 3 hours or more of homework/night. Communication is poor from school to families. Lack of balance for fun & family life; could be problematic. Number of students to make it through the program is low ; burn out rate high. Students can be exhausted & tend to get little sleep to do well. Not enough emphasis on positive reinforcement when doing well. The reading is often dark which is not always good for teens. Overall it is too much pressure & I am disappointed even though my child has been accepted to every college applied to, I am not sure the gain is worth the stress, exhaustion, or failure to bolster the student's self image. Parent involvement seems to be limited to few ; but open for more parents if you are willing to take it on. Meetings are not encouraged to have outsider parents attend. School does not answer phone during busy times can be frustrating. Parent involvement is highly encouraged to know what is going on at school. Rules for students appear to be inconsistent or not consistently enforced. Dress code is good.
My daughter has been in this school for almost 2 years. She came from an average public school, so it was a challenge for her here, especially with math and Latin, but the teachers have been very supportive and have given so much of their time with before and after school tutoring. The homework has been manageable, and the school constantly seeks parent/student feedback to make sure teachers are not assigning too much or too little homework. Even with her academic struggles, my daughter really likes the school. The other students are much kinder than those in her old school. I think this is partly because of the kinds of parents who choose this school for their children, but it is also partly the culture that the headmaster and teachers have created. If your child is in coming from an average public school, I think you will find this school is a huge improvement.
My child is in the 6th grade, some of the pros and cons of this school that we have experienced so far: CONS - all the students are expected to be on the same level academically. If your child is struggling, there is help with free tutoring after school, BUT if your child is accelerated she may be bored, especially in math. If your child is gifted, or accelerated this school will not challenge her. So far, classes have been a breeze for my child. PROS: The extra-curricular activities, sports, etc have been really great, class size is small, the student population seems to be well-behaved, nice kids, the teachers and staff seem to be very nice and caring. Most importantly, my child really likes this school ( I suspect the light homework load helps). Overall, the pros outweigh the cons so we will be staying here for middle school, although I wish we didn't have to pay for outside tutoring to stimulate him academically.
My son just came to this school at the beginning of the school year-in 6th grade, transferring from a Catholic school. He loves it, we love it. Just like any school, I am sure it has its strong points and weak points. Overall, however, it has exceeded our expectations. The teachers are so energetic! Reading the review below, my impression is that with use of words like "abysmal," "indolent," and "ineptitude," that your agenda is to get your son away from all of the "common" and "banal" people who you must think WANT a lame education for their children because they attend "the core public school." I don't think the school "understimulating" him is his problem so much as you are.
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