Dr. Kristofer Sippel, June 25, 2013
Thank you for your interest in our schools. We are proud of the environment that has been created where each child is kept at their cutting edge of learning. The great state of Arizona allows families to choose a school environment that fits best with their needs. While parent reviews can give you a good snapshot of how a family is feeling at a given moment in time, we ask that if you have a question regarding any of our award winning programs please contact us for a personal tour at 480-222-0811.
My son entered San Tan's kindergarten at the age of 4 years, 7 months. He was extremely eager to be in "real" school so we allowed him to attend San Tan. We found out quickly that there is a GOOD reason why public schools want you to wait until your child is at least five years old to start school. Developmentally, children are just not able to handle solid academic work until that age. So our son ended up competing with children who were up to two years older in his same grade. The second real negative is that San Tan teaches first grade curriculum to kindergartners and second grade curriculum to first graders and all the way up, they are one grade ahead. Now he is in public school and is getting all the early concepts he missed at San Tan. All I ask is--why is this technique of skipping kindergarten allowed and not revealed to parents BEFORE they put their very young children in San Tan? We were expecting an age-appropriate, normal progression of academic work which he most definitely could have handled. I say skipping kindergarten is an attempt to have San Tan look better on tests by requiring the parents to take up the slack in learning caused by this lack of readiness.
To keep it short and to the point, they have some outstanding teachers, if you're lucky enough for your child to be appointed one. We also dis-enrolled our child due to issues that were minor and rectifiable had the teacher and principal cared enough to work cooperatively with us rather than ignore our pleas to talk with us. However minute issues compound and become large ones. The 1/2 days and closures are ridiculous as other parents state but those were not the deciding factors, those issued helped ease the decision making process. We are now at Kyrene Del Cielo which is the highest rated school in the district and among the highest in the state. I once agonized over the thought of leaving STLC but now I see how much my opportunity my kids would have missed out on had we decided to stay. Kyrene offers a Self Contained Gifted Program as well which offers an even wider, more rounded curriculum. Whats shameful is we were once the schools biggest advocates, we believed in them, and had quite a vested interest in their success. We'd planned on being at STLC through thick and thin despite those horrible half days and closures which turned our worlds upside down.
This is our 2nd year at STLC and we couldn't be happier. Both of our kids have amazing teachers and are continuously being academically challenged. My kids are constantly being challenged and taken to the next level. If you are looking for a school to meet your child's individual learning needs - this is it.
I have been working at San Tan for a few years now, and I cannot think of a better place to work. My fellow staff members are so supportive and it really feels like a team. The administration is wonderful! They truly care about the families and staff. Love and Logic is a wonderful tool we use here at San Tan. Building relationships with the kiddos is so crucial. I think it is great that the students have daily P.E. and music every week. San Tan not only provides a safe learning environment for the students, but for the teachers as well.
This school is great! I love the involvement from the students, the parents, the Teachers, and the community. My child has thrived and will be returning next year!
San Tan Learning Center is a wonderful school in Gilbert which is engaged among the business community and it's leaders. San Tan Learning Center was nominated among it's peers here at the Gilbert Chamber as an Employer of Choice in our 2012 Annual Awards. I have been able to experience first hand the passion and dedication of the staff in teaching a quality education that is innovative, engaging and fun for the students. San Tan Learning Center is not only an asset to our community but a but partner in providing top notch education to our families.
My family has been with this school for many years now and we could not be happier. From the preschool to the K-8 classrooms, individualized learning is happening. Everytime my daughter is on campus, she lights up and flourishes. This is such a great peice of mind for me knowing that she not only is getting a great education but feels safe and secure to where she loves being at school. How could I ask for more? The teachers and administration work closely together to do what is best for their kids. Yes, the gym is not full size as mentioned in other posts, but we came into the school knowing what they had to offer facilities wise. This is not as big of a deal as others make it seem; the smile on our daughters face and her learning is what matters. We love this school and what it does for our daugter. We can't wait for our youngest to attend as well.
My child has just finished another school year and I am extremely happy and pleased. I am surprised by the number of negative reviews for what I perceive as trivial characteristics. 1) No school sports team. It was concern that I factored into my decision to ATTEND the school (not leave it). I concluded that athletics should not influence my choice for education, especially since they are comparable to most local private and charter schools that also do not have school teams. 2) No foreign language that was promised. These complaints occur in the past 3 negative reviews and appear to be an effort done in concert. Foreign language was offered a couple years ago, but the school informed all parents it would not be this year because reduced tax credits. 3) Member of chamber of commerce. This seems odd since I googled the chamber of commerce members and many charter schools, Christian schools, and both the Gilbert and Chandler Unified Schools are members. Perhaps I am blinded by my child s joy at San Tan, and feel the need to defent it. This lends to the the testament that parent involvement is phenomenal at the school, and is why I recommendation and support it.
I have nothing but wonderful things to say about San Tan. My daughter is in Kindergarten, and we love the teacher and all the growth that my daughter has made. Not only is my daughter growing in the classroom, but she has made so many wonderful friends. She has really come out of her shell. She is so excited to move over to Fulton Ranch and meet new teachers and friends. I know that San Tan is preparing my daughter for the real world starting at the young age of 5. Go San Tan!!
In my 3 years at San Tan, my experience has been that the teachers and administrators choose to work there because they truly care about the education of children. Choosing a school based on sports/fields and how big the gym may be is not a priority for my children's education. My husband and I care about effective, communicative teachers and an implemented school vision that puts children first. We have found this at San Tan.
San Tan Learning Center has been a great choice for my children due to the excellent teachers, strong school leadership, and challenging academic programs.
This school is Horrible. We originally placed my son here because they had a program specifically for gifted kids and the classroom size was good. This year, was the first year they had a seventh grade, and their "plan" was to use the K12 online program. They gave seven undersupervised 7th graders laptops and a self paced program and left them to basically fend for themselves. By midyear, most of the kids were atleast 15% behind pace. Now that it's the end of the year, they are telling the kids they don't have to finish History or science, because they are so far behind. This is not educating. This is stealing your tax dollars. They stated they were going to hirte a foreign language teacher, but that never happened. Now they are saying they have a "new and improved" program for 7th and 8th grade. DON"T BELIEVE IT. Avoid this school.
We came here for the gifted program after being disappointed with Chandler's CATS program. It was definitely a step up, and we plan to stay. It's not perfect, but it's the best fit for us, and they do seem to be continuously improving. Our pros - Kids' best interest seems to be #1, Daily PE, Individualized Learning Plans (this they could definitely do better, but it is way better than CATS and any other school I've heard about), Nutrition Policy, Real Community Feeling, Responsive Teachers. Our cons - No gifted K, Not Enough Technology in Kids' Hands.
My child is about to finish her second year at Santan. I was hopeful with the school's recent growth; as well as the administration's vision that we would be pleased with our choice of school. That has not been the case. My child is on her second teacher so far this school year. This transition was very difficult and little was conveyed to me about this. The school lacks resources as well as adequate facilities (no full size gym, auditorium, or playground). Overall, the teachers lack experience and the administration does not keep its promises. The school is over-hyped and does not deliver the results conveyed. Like stated in one of the previous reviews; the school is too focused on being managed like a business instead of a fostering a school environment where children's needs come first.
We have experienced both the preschool and elementary schools and have been very pleased! Our 3yo is reading and our elementary child is reading two levels above their grade and is excelling in math, vocabulary, and all other subjects. We listened to the charter board meeting as well and the only issue was overall math test scores for the school being slightly low. The school has grown a lot in the past year, and with growth comes challenges- kids new to the school need time to catch up. We feel that they are working hard to address the issue and the test scores will show it. As for the food issues previously addressed-preschoolers can't bring milk or juice so they actually eat their food instead. The school does not allow sugary foods or snacks. These are good things! Due to severe allergies, nuts and nut products are not allowed at the school; this is not a big deal! There are so many other options. This is a great, nurturing school with a dedicated staff and involved parents. They have music and daily PE (hopefully Spanish and Art soon!) They are not perfect but no school is. Parents need to do their part and work with teachers to make sure their child is excelling and happy.
We have been at STLC for almost two years now and have been continually hopeful, but constantly disappointed. We hoped that the school would grow (it has almost doubled) and settle into a nice model with the needs of the students as a priority. That is not the case. The majority of teachers are doing the best they can and truly care about the kids, but the administration is clearly more focused on the business side of running the school rather than nurturing their founding vision. The parent involvement at this school is remarkable and the school would not be at all successful were it not for them. Yet, we have been appalled by some of the actions, and communications by the administration towards parents. STLC has spent a lot of money becoming Chamber of Commerce members and sponsoring Chamber events. For a business that is fine. For a school not so much, considering students have not had the resources that they should since the start of each year. Promised programs like foreign languages and individualized learning have never truly occurred. We will be thankfully taking out children to another school for the 2012-2013 and consider our experience at STLC a lesson learned.
We will not be returning to this school. For prospective parents, here is our list of pros and cons. Pros-This school has relatively small class sizes and some excellent teachers and a handful of very dedicated parents.Cons- This school does NOT have real ILPs(teachers are not trained to do anything with the continual assessment results), there is no computer lab/technology for student use (teachers have a laptop and smartboad, but there is not tech education for the kids). There is not adequate space for sports, nor a working discipline policy, or a certified school nurse. The curriculum seems random, at best. Overall, we feel that the school lacks the resources and ability to actual deliver on its vision and is unstable.. Also, the extra things listed as available at this school are inaccurate. There is no foreign language taught. There are no school sports, unless you sign up for a paying club (many of which are taught by the overworked teachers and parents).
I agree- all schools have issues and you will never find a perfect school. HOWEVER, you should be able to count on a school doing what it says it will do. When we started at STLC, it had a 10 Great Schools rating, it now has a 7 for a reason. They have not been able to replicate success with their growth. The State Charter Board recently granted them enrollment increase on a mercy vote because they had already signed a lease without getting the charter first for expansion& State Charter Board does not want 400 kids to be out of a school. While we have had several positives at the school, there is no individualized learning for students despite what they say, and there seems to be no accountability from anyone. I was hopeful to find a long term school as what they are promoting sounds fantastic, but it lacks in implementation. I do not think my kids are a year ahead and in some cases, behind. To the poster on 3/19 - yes, in preschool it is often easier to find a different school if this does not match your needs. But, as children get older, you hope to make a great choice and there are more things to consider in the whole school picture before withdrawing. PS- there's no wait list..
My sons go to this school and we are transferring them to another school next year because they aren't getting, in the classroom, what we were promised. There are a lot of promises and not much follow thru, especially when it comes to individualized learning plans, teaching a grade level ahead and specials. If you are considering this school, be sure you look at the AIMS scores. After hearing the AZ state board for charter schools opinion of this school's test scores and operational practices, we were glad to know our instincts & experience is true. You can hear the audio testimony from their recent decision on the state's website under the March agenda. Our experience is definitely a lesson learned. When you are looking to attend this school, beware of the marketing gimmicks to get you to enroll. Maybe talk to other parents about their experiences at the school. There is a lot of parent involvement at San Tan. That's not a bad thing, but it's not everything.
This is my second year with a student at SanTan (Last year I had one in the gifted program and one in the regular) and I could not be happier. I found SanTan after learning my local public school, despite being top rated, could not help a student working more than a grade level ahead. After years of overcrowded classes, packets of ditto homework and lessons taught to the test, I chose to leave our home school and drive 30 minutes for a charter option. The decision was the best one I have made for my children. SanTan creates an Individualized Education Plan for all students. This allows the teachers to know the student's strong and weak skills and give them specific goals to work on. The program allows the students to work at their own pace and tests them three times a year using MAP to show progress. Homework level is selected by the parent. If your child is doing well and is challenged select a low level of homework if you want more practice select a higher level. The kids are given individual as well as group assignments, public speaking lessons, and debate topics. The teachers are highly qualified, engaged and follow the Love & Logic philosophy. They prepare students!
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