Best teachers in Prescott! The new director in 2015 is transforming this school into a much more organized and consistent school (which was the only area I felt needed improvement). In response to another review I'd like to clarify that my child is reading at a 3rd grade level in 1st grade, he's been disciplined effectively by his teacher and the director (she's great with disciplinary issues), and I've gotten accident reports from his teacher when he's gotten hurt. She does not send home a note each time he gets a bump. But if he's actualy been hurt I am always notified. Moving on....
La Tierra offers a supportive and accepting community where our families and citizen scholars thrive! The school welcomes students from all walks of life and encourages them to be curious, confidant and active participants in their own education. The school values academic excellence, character development, community involvement, cultutal sensitivity and environmental stewardship. Yes, we do sing our school song one per week at community circle. We also celebrate birthdays and student successes. We hear announcements and watch special presentations from classes (last time 2nd grade taught us about compassion and empathy). We do not hold hands. There's so peace pipe. Rarely do I see tie dye. La Tierra is a unique school where your child will grow into a compassionate, motivated, curios, brilliant scholar! It is not an unschool, pipe dream, disorganized den of hippies. I chose this school because I wanted my child to be a happy, brilliant, unique, compassionate, accomplished and bilingual scholar. I have not been disappointed!
La Tierra is a gem!
We literally have the most inspiring, loving, brilliant, enthusiastic, committed and impressive team of teachers! They are kind to one another. They show respect and kindness to all students and they are always friendly, respectful and inclusive toward parents. I cannot say enough about this phenomenal group of people.
All students at La Tierra are required to read every night. For small children it means being read to and as they get older the time requirements change and they are expected to read themselves. My 1st grader is now reading almost at a 3rd grade level! He has other homework when it's relevant but it is usually a spelling and a math worksheet one per week. Homework at La Tierra is always relevant and age appropriate.
As a kindergartener my child learned to critique is own work. He made 2nd, 3rd and sometimes 4th drafts of his work. The children are taught from the beginning the value of learning from their failures. This is such a unique approach to learning. My son used to cry when he could not do something the first time. It was very hard to get him to practice anything and he was so serious about doing everything "right." After 2 years he is much more inclined to accept disappointment without dramatics. He will make drafts of his artwork at home even! It has been an amazing transformation to watch.
Or school is committed to fostering a safe, respectful and inclusive environment for all students, families and faculty. Our children learn cultural sensitivity, compassion for peers, and the value of strong relationships. Every teacher knows my child. They even know my toddler. My shy 3 year old frequently asks the second grade teacher (who is not my other child's teacher) to hold her. The staff at La Tierra is made up 100% of kind and compassionate people and this is reflected in the way our students model their behavior. Or family feels so supported by La Tierra!
The school has a very strong focus on character development. Each week my 1st grader has learning targets for Writing, Math, Reading, Expedition and Character (such as respect, compassion, empathy, honesty, etc....).
No structure, no accountability, no academic standards. All they care about is "nurturing" the child's "spirit". Which equates to taking lots of walks, pushing them through to higher grades even though they can't read or write, and never disciplining. They also have no procedure for reporting so if your child gets hurt you'll never get a call or note. Basically a disorganized, delusional fantasy unschool run by people who don't care enough to push or enriching your children.
Our 8 year old is finishing his second year with Mr. Dave. He was fortunate to have him for both 1st and 2nd grade. I can NOT praise the school and it's staff enough. It's been an absolutely amazing experience for my son and our family. We plan to enroll our kindergartners in the Fall 2014. Expeditionary Learning has them so excited about school and keeps them engaged. I give my highest recommendation!!!