Mr. Notley has consistently gone above and beyond for my daughter and the other kids in the class. He is emotionally available for them as well. He builds the kids self-esteem and looks at the whole child, not just academics. I couldn't ask for a better teacher. I have been very impressed. We count ourselves very lucky to have been with him this year.
My daughter has gone to this school from 2nd grade and is now in 5th. She also went to public 1st grade and a CTA school the latter half of 1st. I can say this school is by far the best. She loves to learn and is very engaged in the classroom. She does all homework on her own and the teachers encourage this. I have seen my daughter blossom at this school and I couldn't be more grateful. All the teachers we have met from 2nd grade to 5th are amazing. They truly care about the kids and are emotionally invested in them. I have seen my daughters self-esteem grow showing a confident, content pre-teen. I owe this to the fantastic teachers at Knox.
Ignore any negative reviews. This school has absolutely nothing to do with achievement and everything to do with tapping in to your child's abilities and teaching them to be lifelong learners. There is no better school that I know of. If your child is invited to attend this school do whatever it takes to get them there because it will change their lives forever.
we love KGA as it caters to gifted students who are self motivated to learn and do more. My child went to a private school in the valley where we paid $10K+ in tuition and my child was bored and did not feel challenged. After coming to KGA, that changed. He gets excited about learning and STEM curricula is great for kids interested in science. However i must say KGA is not for kids that are not self motivated to learn more and those that need a very structured repetitive learning environment. KGA is certainly not that.
Early on, we were very pleased with the school. However, we are currently so displeased with the school that we we will be removing our children at the end of the year. Despite the school being touted as a gifted magnet, and advertised widely all over the valley, there is still no curriculum--teachers must create everything, and there is no rhyme or reason to the flow of the lessons. Second, there is A LOT of assigning here, and very little instruction. Yes, they're gifted, but they're also still children, and as such, still developing. Not all of their learning should be self-directed. This year just seems to be random project after random project, and the busy work? How many 80+ vocabulary exercises need to be completed where the student needs to copy the "official" definition, write their own definition, and then find a picture online that represents the definition? The only grade level that seems to have itself together is the 5th grade, but unfortunately, we won't be sticking around to find out.
I have 3 kids here and we've been her since it opened. I have a super mega achiever, an easygoing and forgetful one, and one who's a handful (to say the least). Each one of them has flourished in this environment. They absolutely teach to each child's needs and every staff member and administrator that we have met cares about the kids. Parents are way too critical of the pto and fundraisers. ..that's been the only sad thing to see. I'm so thankful for all those volunteers. My kids are becoming confident and strong learners excited about going to school. Homework is not busy work; rather it reinforces concepts and encourages critical thinking. So grateful for this bastion of education in a state that clearly doesn't value education.
Knox Gifted Academy is for children who test in the top 1 to 3% of the Chandler Unified School District's "CogAT," Cognitive Ability, test. It is a four part test and a child qualifies for "CATS," Chandler Academically Talented Students, if they score in the top 97% or higher on any one of the four parts, or if they have a composite score of all four parts of 95% or greater. Knox Gifted Academy is one of very few schools dedicated to "CATS" programs. Children engage in project based activities challenging and encouraging one another. The emphasis is not on test taking, or memorization; instead, problem solving, creative thinking, and critical analysis fill their time. I have 2 children currently attending Knox. While I know there is room for improvement, I am so impressed by what they learn and how they learn. Their teachers are second to none and know how to challenge high thinkers. If your child has tested for "CATS," I recommend Knox. I find that Knox students are slightly less "competitive" based and more "sharing" based. In other words, they are interested to learn from each other. My kids are so happy there.
Knox Gifted Academy was a blessing to our family! Last year was my child's first year at Knox and we had our ups and downs with it at first. His teacher was also new to the CATS program so I think that's where the problem was. That being said....even through all the ups and downs it was the best thing that could have happened to our son. He has found his place and Knox is giving his so much more than just an education. This year has been AMAZING for him and there is not a doubt in my mind that this is where he belongs! I'm grateful we found this school!
If your child is above average or slightly gifted, this school will be hard, seem bizarre and probably not a good fit. If your child is truly gifted, this school will be a blessing. It is for kids that need the extreme critical thinking learning path to be engaged and successful. My daughter has been at Knox for 3 years after attending CTA and Public school. It is hands down the best learning environment for her.
If your child is accepted, then you should send him/her to Knox. To be honest, I was very skeptical of the curriculum for the first several months. Knox is following the core curriculum (at an advanced pace) and integrating STEM. This method is so different than what I experienced in elementary school 30 years ago. The good news is that it works! Rather than memorize a bunch of facts, the teacher provided hands-on design challenges and real-world problems. Now, at the end of kindergarten, I can see the amazing results. My daughter has an excellent grasp of mathematical relationships and she recently performed division (not by using the standard algorithms, but mentally using what she knows about numbers). She has learned several writing techniques that I would consider "pre-essay" skills. She learned how to write a persuasive letter, a biography and a book/article review. With the redesigned SAT calling for more real-world problem solving and a deeper analysis of literary strategy, I think that the Knox curriculum is right on track. What a great school!