On the surface, ACS looks like a good school. Very clean, well-organized. However, once my child actually enrolled, things changed. I am appalled at the amount of homework given. Too many things assigned and not taught. At first, we loved the school in sixth grade-very caring teachers who actually taught and seemed to enjoy the classroom and the children. By eighth grade, things really changed. The once helpful social studies dept changed in eighth grade- only two choices of teachers: awful and worse (Kane and Witham). In English, Coleman just assigned massive amounts of work and nothing modern-very old school and1960s curriculum. Beutel for science was a breath of fresh air. Math teachers were OK but were out a lot and rushed through the material. For families considering ACS I would recommend sixth and seventh grade (best teachers are Bostrom, Dickens, Andrews, Reynolds, Mena) and would find another school for eighth.
Many fantastic teachers and clean/well maintained facilities. The best of my kids' education here is that they have Mrs Asher for two years of math. Kind, patient, fair, organized, understanding and inspirational, she goes out of her way to help kids, be it setting up special challenging courses for the talented and motivated kids or patiently channeling the extra energy of the kids with ADD, she is instrumental in shaping my kids' love of learning and building self confidence in middle school. Other great teachers are Mrs Hepps (English), Mr Kane (history), Mr Beutel (science), Mrs Bostrom (history). PE department is great, offering many fun activities such as circus club and various intramural sports. Library carries the newest books kids love.
As a former student, I can say that this school is as reported by the majority of other reviewers, good. Well, it was. The teachers, in general, are good, the campus is spacious and clean, a variety of mildly-overpriced food is available (From local fast-food shops) to purchase for lunch, etc. I attended Stelle for 2 1/2 years, because I dropped out halfway through 8th grade. Why? Incessant bullying and the lack of reaction to it by the staff. If you aren't an athletic, well-off white, you will be bullied for one reason or another. The majority of the students were shallow-minded and, in my opinion, did not take school seriously, to the detriment of people who wanted to learn something. Classes would constantly be interrupted due to the large sizes, and my life gradually got worse and worse as I stayed there. I was made fun of for my ethnicity and hobbies (Reading. Just plain reading.) because I wasn't part of the general clique. Eventually, I kicked a few of the kids who were bullying me in the genitals and left the school. It completely tolerates bullying up to a very, very high cap. As in, nobody cared until somebody was urinated on. Seriously, a kid got peed on.
This school is just ok. While there are many teachers that are great, there are also many that are not. The principal does not discipline the children or teachers appropriately. Just because it looks pretty from the outside does not mean it is the same on the inside.
The best teachers are: Mr. Kane (really challenges students to think), Mr. Beutel (great science teacher), Mrs Asher (very kind), Ms. Andrews (outstanding English teacher), Mrs. Hepps (excellent English teacher), and Ms. Dickinson (fabulous history teacher). Wish the class sizes were not so large. Too much homework assigned by the math department.
Now that my son has graduated from Stelle I'd like to reflect on the 3 years there. In general the school is quite good - especially compared to other local middle schools. The campus is state of the art and lacks for nothing other than an auditorium IMO. The staff is excellent with top notch teachers. The culture could improve quite a bit though. My opinion is that the administration, especially the principal, are "in the box" thinkers, doing little to unify the student body, or increase global awareness. In a sense, the students here exist in a vacuum, with little knowledge of the world beyond their priveleged lives. This would be my only complaint.
More of a miniature college than a middle school, A.C. Stelle is a diamond in the rough. I pulled both my boys from private school when they transitioned to middle school to place them in Stelle. I have NOT been disappointed. Highlights include the Science and Math departments. I couldn't be happier.
What a fantastic school! One foot onto the campus and it becomes very clear that Stelle is not the ordinary public middle school. I have had 3 children pass through the gates of the school with my 3rd in 6th grade now. Hope that you get Asher and Beutel for teachers. They are the best of the best.