The school definitely offers some advantages over other schools: smaller class sizes, electives, different approach. However, there is no playground, very little socializing for the kids and I find the staff and many of the parents to be aloof and exclusive. There's no principal which seems to result in a lack of coordination and organization throughout the school. Pick up time is complete chaos, and you never know when the kids are actually going to be released.
ACA II is likely better than any other public school in Antioch, including its sister school, ACA. However, there are definite areas for improvement. The school does not have a playground for the younger children. The combined classroom approach works well for some students, but others have difficulty shutting out the noise that 60+ kids in a big hall can make. The kids are allowed to choose from a variety of options, but that also means they can choose to do only the things they like. There is no principal; instead, the school is essentially run by committee. The older grades become confusing, and kids who aren't intrinsically motivated may simply get lost and/or fall behind. The teachers, esp. those in Primary and Elementary, do really care about the kids. They certainly go the extra mile. The parental involvement is spectacular, and I doubt you'll find a more caring, helpful community.
We are a former ACAII family and while this school has many great qualities and some awesome teachers, it is not a 5-star school. Our kids were behind in every subject when they moved to their new school and I have heard that there are other issues. It does have another campus that appears to be better so I'm not sure why ACA II is lacking. Other parents told me they had the same experience when their children relocated.
We need more schools like this one. The small community school feel as well as park like environment go well together. There is an emphasis on the whole child and every child has his own planned learning.
I have a first grader and a kindergartener attending this school. We couldn't be happier. The schools environment is friendly, open and encouraging of all kids to strive to do their best. We love the Montessori environment, love the staff, love the parents and love that our kids are excited to go to school every day. My first grader has some learning disabilities that this campus staff discovered and we are taking steps to help with. If you really want a community feel for your childs education, I highly recommend this school. I also love that the curriculum isn't based solely on what is going to be on the standardized tests, there is a lot more to educating children than passing a test. This school strives to acheive a well-rounded student, with leadership skills, public speaking skills, time management skills, and so much more.
I have a 2nd grader and a kindergartener at ACAII and have had a very good experience. The Montessori style of education allows the children to work within their own abilities. My daughter is working a full grade ahead and striving and my son is enjoying a more hands-on approach in kindergarten...something he needs. As far as testing goes, the students do not 'pre-test'. They just take the tests with the knowledge they've obtained in class...as it should be. They enjoy a wide variety of learning experiences and my kids love it. You'll get the same issues as with any school, but because the parents are so involved I think it makes a huge difference.