This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted April 25, 2015
- a parent
As I toured, I saw kindergarteners dancing to the alphabet, primary students doing fine art and when I got to the 5th - 8th grade classes, Scott had a student from each classroom come and explain to me what the class was working on. The articulate confidence I heard from kids in explaining MI theory and their thematic project based curriculum blew me away! The work displayed in the classrooms was excellent quality. I enrolled my children and was lucky: all three got in. Their teachers were loving and understanding of all the upheaval they were going through - divorce, transition from home to public school, moving - and nurtured them in ways I will always be grateful for. Plus when my two older children were behind their reading level, they were given exceptional help through the Title 1 Reading program, until they reached the level they needed to be (both of them within the first semester). 4 years in: I ve watched my children grow into responsible, independent workers and thinkers. They re driven and excited about learning and community. Their teachers provide so much scaffolding to allow them to succeed. The extra involvement required of me is worth all the growth in my kids!
I have a lot to say but I am forced to be concise. There are many good things about this school, but enough fell short that my son only attended for Kindergarten. Mr. Scott, the principal is very comfortable, always listening to opinion and helping the school to grow. The communication and community involvement is great. The teachers put out a lot of effort for the arts and performances and although showing much love, they lack skill. Leaving the students performances and art work much lacking in comparison to other occasions I have witnessed my son's skill. Similarly organization in all things falls short, it has the feeling of a young school, trying hard to reach the sun but not quite strong enough. Last year reported a "B" level school, it is very much so. It seems their multiple intelligence theory serves as a convenient excuse for lack of standard. Programs for reading and math are painfully slow. Although supposedly individualized my son spent much of his time learning and relearning things he had mastered in Pre-K, at an A level school. They never pick up momentum, or importance, falling short of a kindergartners' potential. Leaving me always saying, "And?"
In a counter argument to the previous reviewer, I have to say that not every school is right for every child. My child went from Kindergarten through 8th grade at Skyview. I have nothing to express but deep gratitude that my child received the education they did, through the diligence, respect, and skill of the staff of Skyview School. Yes, as in all schools, regimes change and with those changes, adjustments occur. But I can honestly say, this school has NEVER been stronger. The teachers are happy, the students are happy, and consequently, it's hard to find an unhappy parent. Making grand statements stemming from one family's experience can be taken for what it is: one experience. My child's "one" experience formed the basis of education they needed to become the powerful High School student that they are now. On that note, my child went to PHS after being at Skyview their whole elementary career and they are now a straight-A student! Skyview rocks!
Due to the changes with PUSD, I felt the need to write this review to help parents make an informed decision . I removed both of my children from Skyview after watching things go down hill over the past few years. Many other parents did the same. Concerns by numerous parents were continually brought to the director and nothing ever improved. My children are thriving at PUSD and I wish I would have moved them sooner. The problems in a nutshell: chaos, disorganization and a lack of instruction from leadership. This has led to a a very stressful and frantic atmosphere were teachers seem on the point of breaking. Teacher turnover is extremely high for such a small school. Correspondence and homework sent home was always full of grammatical errors and miscommunication. It has truly been refreshing to be at PUSD and in a system that has strong communication, transparency and consistency. Surprisingly, my children are also doing better academically. I now feel that the chaos of Skyview was hindering their full academic potential. If avoiding stress and anxiety is important to you for the overall health and well being of your family, do yourself a favor and avoid Skyview.
Skyview has been excellent for our daughter, who will begin 5th grade in the fall. She started Skyview in kindergarten. Our son just completed kindergarten. He turned 5 in May and initially we were concerned he might be too young, socially, for starting school. I believe a lot of boys do better by being closer to age 6 when starting kindergarten. But our son had learned so much in preschool that his preschool teachers said he'd be bored spending one more year there. The very small class size with one teacher and an aide are a huge plus. Our son did have some adjustment issues and his teacher kept us informed and offered ways to help him succeed. I have always found his teacher to be easy to reach and available to speak to at any time. Same with my daughters teachers. Yes, I know of a couple of boys who started kindergarten and then left after a short time. I was having lunch with my son one day when one boy choked another in front of me. This same child had punched my son just days earlier. This child did end up leaving. Perhaps he was not ready for kindergarten. My husband and I are very happy with the education our children are getting at Skyview.
My first hint that something was amiss is that shortly before school started, we caught wind that both kindergarten teachers had left. His teacher seemed stiff and unable to take charge of her room. Adjustment to the long days was hard on most of the kids.My son missed the 4th day of school because he got sick.8th day of school we witnessed an aide pull him up off the ground by his arms until he stood(he would lay flat on the ground when he felt overwhelmed). We met with the director to express our concerns with, what we considered, man handling of our child. Day 9 at meeting with director and teacher.They told us they thought our son showed signs of Autism and should be in preschool.I asked, Are you asking us to leave? The director said, We can t force you to leave. They offered no plan to help our son and no testing to prove or disprove their Autism theory. They just wanted our son to leave on day 9. They had no time to get to know our child and they had no interest in our thoughts as his parents. Our son was never their priority. To date, at least 8 children have been removed by their families, from their kindergarten program this school year.
The "Skyview School" the reputation is built on, is no longer here. The great, great person noted as Janet below established this school with a group of other great people (parents). After 17 years they were extricated from this school so that someone who does not have the skills (qualifications) could benefit from their legacy. There are some good teachers here, although the rampant nepotism used in hiring practices has made as much as 50% of the staff related in some form, either by marriage, siblings or friendship (same names optional). When the thought of family school is mentioned it means them, not your kid, or you, the parent. The original great entity and idea of an "gifted program" no longer exists. Everything goes through cycles, this one has reached its end.
Skyview is an excellent small school! This school cares for the students and families alike. The principle, Scott is amazing and runs the school calmly and in an organized fashion. The things I would change would be the outdoor eating area. It needs to have an option of closing it in during cold winter months.
The best thing about Skyview school is that they truly seem to care about the kids (to the best of their ability) and do no allow bullying. It is a good school for the ones who are adept at getting attention. If a child is quiet and non-aggressive they are likely to fall through the cracks in terms of getting the attention needed to learn what is taught on a daily basis. There is a big focus on art (which is great and necessary) however the staff (including some of the teachers) are role models for disrespectful behavior and ingratitude towards those who are not staff. Skyview is not a friendly place. It is a great school for "entitled" people with little or no sensitivity for those outside their group. Though the curriculum tries to be "inclusive" the energy of the school is not. It is difficult to be sensitive to the needs of others if they do not see others. Nevetheless, I do believe everyone there is doing the best they can. Not a terrible school and not a great one. An average school for average people who want to feel comfortable.
My background: Both of my parents were teachers. We picked Skyview school because we thought it had the best kindergarten teachers based on our visits to the area schools. Ms. Janet was our daughter's kindergarten teacher. She was wonderful: experienced and loving. I volunteered occasionally and saw her interactions with the kids. As a charter school, it attracts teachers who want more ability to have a classroom that has creativity that is not restricted by the rules and regulations at public schools. We found the other kids to come from families where the parents care about their kids' education. Reading programs are excellent, math programs could be more challenging. The homework is less than what typical public schools give out. This is a Monday through Thursday school.