This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
New School for the Arts5
Posted June 10, 2014
- a parent
As a parents, my daughter has thrived at the school, and feels safe and supported. Since 6th grade she has grown and takes her schooling seriously. The faculty and admin are great and communicate with families frequently.
I was disappointed when my year ended with a staff overhaul, but I feel the school still provides the same safe environment to grow as an individual that it offered me in my years attended. Like any school, there will be pros and cons, but i have to say: If your child is having a rough time in their current school, or just needs a fresh start, consider the possibility of attending NSAA. This school allowed me to come out of my shell and explore different skills and talents that I didn't even know I could do. In Public school I had difficulty making friends, I found myself isolating, and I didnt participate in extracurricular activities. I'm not saying this school is a magic solution to your antisocial problems, but the environment allows you the opportunity, and pushes you, to be in the spotlight. The smaller class sizes makes it a lot harder to go unnoticed. I appreciate what this school did for me, and I am grateful for the opportunity to attend, graduate, and make lifelong friends.
THE GOOD : The school offers great opportunity and connections in the form of art teachers who, generally, do wish the best for their students and a mostly accepting student body. There are also some very rigorous academic classes, although offered sporadically. THE BAD : The school has very, very poor administration. The Executive Dean blatantly disciplines intermittently and inconsistently due to favoritism and has unprofessional relationships with students. It is unclear how funding is allocated as some departments are consistently poor. The teachers seem to be hired with little background information and teachers who stand up for the students don't last very long. OVERALL : under different administration, the school would be a thousand times better.
Our daughter is happy and thriving at the New School for the Arts! She has attended this school for the past three years. She was generally miserable at previous schools. Her grades at this school and previous schools have consistently been "honor roll" level (if not higher). However, she wasn't receiving the creative opportunities she needed. The visual arts electives she has been able to take at the New School for the Arts are clearly a large part of the reason for her happiness. The welcoming and accepting culture at this school is another reason. When your child is truly happy, it's worth it to adjust for the lack of a cafeteria.
There are teachers who are awesome instructors completely dedicated to their students. However, only two teachers send class updates, they are VERY appreciated. There are NO conferences offered each year. The portal is not updated regularly. I have a problem with the fact that a certain teacher allows students to sit and do NOTHING in class. Apparently he is online. I agree with a teacher who said in a review that staff is incompetent. Additionally staff listen in on students and reports information that is twisted and untrue to higher staff. They have a roach coach each day.. Over-priced unhealthy foods are the main choices. My biggest concern is that requests for an IEP's or a 504 with legitimate medical conditions or psychological conditions are met with forms from other states yanked off the internet and applied to our state. The 'accommodations' are not put in place or followed. The teachers were not even informed there was a 504 in place. There are NO conferences offered and there are NEVER fire drills at all. In the two years my child has attended she can not recall one fire or emergency drill. Last, their is blatant favoritism shown by some staff towards students.
This school is a joke. The administration doesn't have a clue as to what they are doing. And they fire highly qualified teachers and in turn they keep the teachers who aren't even certified in what they teach. This school gives a bad name to all of the other charter schools who are running an honest business. Please do your research before even considering sending your child or even teaching at this school. I do not recommend it to anyone.
I watched my artistic son struggled in "regular" public schools until he came to NSAA in 7th grade. This school allowed him to blossom. He graduated in May of 2013 and is now attending Laguna College of Art and Design in CA. Special credit goes to the dean Katy Cardenas who has devoted every fabric of her being to the school. In the visual arts department Keelan Maney and Matt Dixon were amazing mentors. When my son graduated he made me promise to continue to give my tax credit contributions to the school. For some, one of the negatives is that there is no cafeteria - wasn't a problem for our son since he always packed his lunch even while in public school. Also, like many charter schools, we had to provide transportation. In a way this was good since this required a higher parental commitment level. Teachers were mostly excellent - although there were a few clunkers. If you are looking for an accepting artistic community for your child who might march to the beat of a different drummer, this may be the place for him - or her.
A great safe place for creative types. High teacher turnover rate is NOT due to poor admin, but rather it is the nature of the game. Low pay, poor funding, bad benefits, etc. You can thank The State for that, not blame the principal. One can take only so much before looking to higher ed.
Fire the administration. Some teachers are awesome, but the school is totally lacking in leadership which is unprofessional, inappropriate and basically incompetent to work with teenagers, many of them from at risk situations. The result is high teacher turnover, which as others have pointed out can lead to academic failure and leave students unprepared for college level work. The art and creative writing teachers are excellent and supportive; every year I am amazed that the good teachers continue to put up with the ridiculous incompetence of the school leadership. I believe this problem is reaching crisis proportions and concerned parents, alumni, students and teachers need to demand regime change in the administration.