Our child went to this school and it was not the best experience. The school is a bit dysfunctional and has been trying to rebuild over the past two years after being run by a family for many years. The school staff and teachers are entirely white (except for one teacher) and a lot of the classes have mostly boys. Some kids who have social problems or trouble following rules are being admitted, and that has affected kids who want to learn without a lot of distractions. The school also has a really small play area, and that made it very hard for kids to play without bumping into each other. Overall, the school has some promise, but has experienced a lot of student turnover over the past few years. The best private schools in the Bay Area are always filled and have waiting lists. This school always has openings.
Our daughter recently transferred from a Contra Costa School and within a few days we saw some amazing changes in her. First of all she sat upright when doing home work. Secondly, she shared with us and with excitement some of the work she performed during the day including science and music projects and finally she sang to us various verses of the Sound of Music. We hope with the current management, skilled Principle and wonderfully experienced first grade teacher for our daughter's continued great education.
My son has been at The Academy for two years. We are extremely happy with the school and the overwhelmingly positive experiences we've had so far. The teachers are fabulous. Ms. Crippen's (K) classes are fun and creative. Mrs. Labarca's (1) classes have more structure, more singing, and more international flavor--the students sing greeting songs every morning and they count numbers daily in 8 different languages! Due to the school's reputation and screening process, as well as self-selection by parents, the students tend to be academically oriented and motivated. This makes accelerated teaching possible. My son's classmates are all active, bright, and well-behaved. They have different talents and interests, yet all get along really well and are kind to each other, which makes every school day and birthday parties very enjoyable. In my opinion, The Academy offers the best environment and programs for academically-oriented, "gifted" kids in the area. Its academic atmosphere and accelerated, integrated curricula are unparalleled among peer schools. It provides an advanced yet balanced structure for educating an all-around scholar accompanied by intelligent and similar-aged peers.