I wish I could give an honest review but terms of service forbids "slander" aka saying anything negative about the school and/or it's staff. So this apparently isn't a site that will give a full perspective of schools. However, surely I can at least say my daughter was at this school for nearly two years and I don't recommend it to anyone. Children and parents are treated horribly.
Franklin @ Alma has a very positive learning environment. The focus here is on the academics and this is reflected in every decision made. It is obvious that the school has the best interests of the children in mind. Fund-raising is limited to modest parent dues, twice-yearly book fairs, and a raffle during the Spring Fair/Ice Cream Social. Every parent volunteers in some way at the school. Monthly FPO meetings are a chance for parents to get more involved. The teachers are very good - this is my son's third year and we have both been very happy with all of his teachers so far. With this focus on academics, the arts get left out to some extent (I accept this and plan extra-curricular activities for my child accordingly.)
I can't say enough good things about Franklin at Alma. My son has been here for 3 years. The teachers and the Principal really know and understand the needs of individual students. My son has strong reading and math skills. He has also learned excellent problem solving skills. He is encouraged to think and share his ideas. Students are taught respect for others. The teachers and Principal show not only respect for students and parents but also a genuine interest in student development. This school was the perfect choice for us. First child going to kindergarten we were a bit nervous. The campus is small and very safe. It is small enough that we know most of the parents and children at least by sight if not by name. Our experience has been fantastic. My son met has lots of new friends and thrives in the classroom. There is a defined structure that assures that he understands exactly what is expected of him. I have had the opportunity to attend events at other schools in the area and each time I realize that we made the right decision when we chose Franklin at Alma. This is truly a great school!
This school provides the academic challenge that my daughter needs to stay engaged. The methods are established and proven through the Franklin back to basics/Spalding philosophy. The focus is on learning the fundamentals without all the flashy technology that can detract from learning objectives. Parents stay fully engaged through more frequent progress reports (every 3 weeks) and volunteer commitments (participation in at least 3 committees) than in other neighborhood schools. This results in greater student success. For our family, we do make an extra effort to participate in extracurricular activities that we find outside of the school as there is almost no focus on that in the Franklin philosophy. I do feel that is important for helping a child grow up to be a well-rounded individual.
We started Franklin at Alma last year when my daughter was entering first grade. We had only heard positive things about the school so we decided to look into it. They are a parent choice school, fundraising is minimal and parents are very involved. We were very impressed with the academics and moving to this school was the best decision we could have made. They offer tutoring before school which was fantastic for my daughter since she needed to catch up to their 1st grade level on phonograms since she didn't attend kindergarten there. The teachers we have had so far have been wonderful and the Principal knows every child's name. I am not a fan of the dress code at all but so far that is my only complaint.
Franklin at Alma is a great school for my child to start a solid foundation. She has attended since Kinder and she really enjoys going to school, reading, and especially her teachers. The back to basic structure this school offers is a strong accelerated program that was perfect pace for my daughter and keeps her very focused. The teachers are so wonderful and very open with the parents. They keep us well informed about our children's progression.
Franklin at Alma is an overall great school! The Franklin program is one of high caliber with the type of teacher and student support that parents would hope for. My husband and I are both products of public education and feel we have successful, fulfilling careers. We looked at charter, public and private schools. I have been happy with our choice of Franklin. My child is getting a top-of-district and high quality state education without the high cost of private education. Franklin expects parent involvement with children and values it. The principal is approachable and hands on; teachers I have known thus far are good and any questions I have had are addressed efficiently. Good neighborhood. Some of the rules may be seen as strict; however, I have felt so far that my child respects the rules and seems to take pride in knowing them and following them (i.e. dress code and conduct).
Is a small school with not that many students. I absolutely love the school. The teachers and staff really care about the students, and do their best so the kids can learn. Their curriculum is more accelerated than a traditional school. But my kid comes home happy everyday and exited about learning!
My daughter had the great privilege of attending this school for first grade last year (2012-2013). (It is a school that teaches one grade level above the normal grade level...so my daughter was learning 2nd grade curriculum). She had the most amazing teacher! She went great lengths to ensure my daughter's academic success. This very special teacher had high standards and expectations of her students yet treated every child fairly as well as with love and respect. While the workload was challenging both in class and at home, it was all meaningful and done with purpose. The kids were busy from start of the day to finish, there was no "busy" work. Everything was done for an academic/educational purpose. The principal knew who both my daughter and I were and was always pleasant. We had great parent engagement as well. Sometimes there was more than one parent volunteer working in the classroom at the same time. It fostered friendships among the parents and confidence in the teacher/parent relationships. We would absolutely still be there if we had not had to move. We will dearly miss the teacher, staff and wonderful learning atmosphere at Franklin at Alma!! Keep up the great work!!
My daughter finished her first year of Kindergarten at this school and we've both had a wonderful experience. The teachers, assistants, nurse, office staff and principle are all very involved and you can see that they have a passion for what they do-- working with children. We've also had some custody issues and they were all very sensitive to our situation and communicative with me as a parent of any problems that were taking place.