I am a new parent at the school. My 7-year old kid has been going there for 2-3 weeks now. I would like to make a few observations of this new school:
1) Dress code - I like school uniforms for students. It promotes community unity and appropriateness of apparel. However, I noticed that some teachers dress low cuts during school hours. At the same time, I noticed that the headmaster wears model-like high heels. I heard that was her trademark. If I didn't know better, I thought she was running a modeling school. I wonder why Dress Code doesn't apply to school teachers and administrators.
2) Playground - The playground for elementary kids is so small, like virtually non-existence.
3) Classroom Size - On average, each classroom houses 30-31 kids. This is quite large compare to where we came from, and contradicts to the small classroom size that Great Heart promotes on their website. Although there is a teacher and an aide, I wonder if there is a state policy of student-teacher ratio.
4) Teacher's Qualification - I noticed that in my kid's class, the teacher aid's English proficiency is poor. Her weekly email updates had grammatical and spelling errors. This is concerning and she is my kid's teacher.
5) Philosophy - The school places great importance on the Western Tradition, Socrates model, and 4-Cs. This is great. However, I got the impression from the headmaster (through her presentation and email updates) that the Western Tradition is more superior than other traditions, and is the only tradition that promotes freedom and democracy. In my opinion, her comment was not inclusive of other cultures in today's global society. I hope this will not propagate to our kids who study there.
There is a disconnect between truth, beauty, and goodness and the management of the school. While classes have a main teacher and an aide, in my experience, the aide's English writing ability was shockingly poor. Although when the school opened, math was broken up into 3 levels of ability, now it's just one.
It is a great school, a Great principal makes everything wonderful, the quality of the teacher A+ They're always finding what is best for kids and school always looking for the future of the generation
It is very shocking trying to apply to this school and they tell you quickly you are not accepted. They have a long waiting list and never call anyone to give you options. I really wanted this school for my children, but too bad not enough space.
I can't say enough about this school. Amazing teachers, a well-rounded, gifted education for ALL students (History, Math, Science, Writing, Reading, Social Studies, etc.), P.E., Spanish Immersion, Studio Art, and Music every other day, advancement in math according to the child's INDIVIDUAL abilities and not constricted to their particular grade level, exposure and open discussion of classical literature not taught in many schools today, lots of extra-curricular activities, and a culture of respect and friendship fostered throughout the school by faculty and students. There are also both a head teacher and assistant teacher in EVERY class so that every child gets the individualized attention they need. Teachers are trained to facilitate lots of classroom discussion within all subjects, so that they are learning not just from the teacher, but also from each other. Students are very used to being able to speak comfortably in front of their classmates knowing they will be respected, regardless if their answer happens to be correct or not. There is quite a bit of homework, which I believe could stand be lightened up, but other than that Archway has been an amazing fit for my daughter!