When I brought my first child to Sierra Canyon, I was amazed at the amount of space; the environment was expansive, with a great del of grass and blue sky. Then upon hearing the "pillars of character", I was thinking; 'okay their heart is in the right place', but it was upon seeing the smiles on the children's faces and hearing the little gap-toothed recitations as un-coached answers to the admissions director's random questions that I was sold. I was not wrong. My daughter has recently graduated as an academic all-american and is attending a premiere research facility in the UC system. I have a second child who's matriculated to the upper campus where my first child actually started the new swim team. She asked, and Sierra delivered: if you need it, they will do it. That's a can-do attitude. In regards to the 11th grade literature list that someone mentioned below; that person is patently wrong. I know the list, and can attest that the Springsteen poetry was presented in contrast and addition to Leaves of Grass, Death of a Salesman, Two Trains Running, Gatsby, Scarlet Letter, Dickenson's poems and two others. The Faulkner was part of the TENTH grade list. Take a tour! It's great.
The teachers are great and most of them really care about their students. However when problems arise the administration's handling of problems is marginal at best with respect to the lower school. They are very quick to blame the child and parent and even in the face of evidence to the contrary still blamed the child. This was psychologically abusive to our child!! They tried to say our child was the problem and that our child had all these problems as diagnosed by their "specialists." When we had our child tested outside their "specialists" turned out our child is actually very, very smart. Some families are afforded accomodations and are able to make their own plans that work best for their children while other's are not and that depends on whether you work there or not or how much money you have. As far as bullying that other's describe that is the absolute truth!!! Administration does look the other way depending on whether your family has money to give to the school or if the child's parent work's there. Way too much bully behavior goes unchecked there be sure your child can hold their own before considering Sierra.
Was a former student here. A number of teachers were given positions due to nepotism and long-time relationships with the owners, with the result being that academic quality and teaching techniques are mediocre (public school level, really). The school spends a lot of money to make the buildings and grounds look impressive, but neglect what should really count. Just as an FYI a lot of people I graduated with have gone on the Pierce College and Cal State Northridge, with less numbers going to UC schools and a few to USC. (I can count may one person who went to an Ivy League school, and it was on an athletic scholarship.)
I am a parent to a child in the Lower School, and we have been very pleased with the campus, teachers, administration, and academics. My child transferred from a different Independent school and it was amazing to see how much more he learned and progressed at Sierra Canyon. The learning environment is divided into "like learner" groups, which is fantastic as the children are placed into a level that is appropriate for their development. The students take very interesting field trips, including overnight ones, which really allow the classes to bond. My child's teachers have all been incredibly caring, qualified, and devoted to bringing the best in the students; we are delighted with our choice to attend Sierra.
My daughter says she loves Sierra Canyon despite sharing a few negative incidents. I thought I could trust this school but will reconsider if the "Character Counts" program isn't respected. I've told her to focus only on learning, ignore bullies but stick up for anyone who is picked on so that they have a witness on their side. We'll look out for the problem families. Thank you for the valuable information. I'm sorry to hear what you went through. Bullies are a dime a dozen. Creative bright polite happy kids are so rare.
In response to the parent who posted on October 20, if you're unaware of the bullying problem at the school, I suspect your child is not sharing with you, which is not surprising - my child was expressly told by an administrator to NOT share with me bullying incidents that occur at school. The kids are well aware of the pervasive nature of bullying at Sierra Canyon. A while back, my child received a phone call from a former classmate apologizing for the bullying my child endured. Just recently I was chaperoning a party and a little girl came up to me - she knew who I was - she told me she was aware that my child was bullied, and she was very sorry. She proceeded to share with me that she, too, was forced to leave Sierra Canyon because she was being bullied and administration would not deal with it. Further, a teacher at Sierra Canyon shared with me that she had to withdraw her child, also because because of bullying. The only reason bullying is such a problem at Sierra Canyon is because administration looks the other way. If the bullies were seriously reprimanded, they would stop. Instead, the victims are forced to withdraw in the interest of their physical and emotional safety.
Sierra is just awesome.... Just awesome... I love it.... It is like a family... Our headmaster is just the greatest.
CAUTION PARENTS i am a former student from sierra, (K-7) and it does not prepare you for real life!!! The math program is messed up. Even if you get a C you can pass the class. At public schools, you have to get a 85% that shows that you actually know the material!!! ONCE AGAIN do not go to this school. It is is WAY too overpriced.
As a parent whose child went through entire program, I will address the comment @ "Their math skills are streets ahead of their public school friends and neighbor kids", If only that was true. I would not feel as though I wasted thousands of Dollars. It is Absolutely False. My Student feels the school did not prepare for college Math. @ Comment regarding Chemistry teacher---This is correct. The teacher was Lost; the entire class was spending hundreds of dollars on tutors. @The red flag to your comments are "tutoring kids." Perhaps the kids you tutor are the problem------- The Majority of my Students friends at Sierra opted for tutors.
The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. ~William Arthur Ward Beautiful 37 acre campus. Outstanding faculty, councillors, and coaches with depth, teaching savvy,, and hearts in the right place. Sierra Canyon recruits the cream of the teaching and coaching world. Incredible staff. Credentials and advanced credentials from Harvard, Yale, Tolstoy, Colgate, Stanford, and many other great Universities. Teachers that would be successful at anything they did. No attitudes here,, the focus is on education and building character with bearing in a magnificent, friendly and helpful learning environment. Outstanding academics, athletics, theatre arts, dance, sciences, social energy, field trips,, it's all here, and it's all superb. Our 7th grader excels in Sierra Canyons learning atmosphere and loves it here. No issue getting up and rolling to class in the morning. May be tough to get enrolled. Worth the effort if your child is a good student and of good character. Not for children with learning disabilities. Sierra Canyon School cues up your childs best years in front of them.
To the tutor that mentioned Civil War knowledge: Our Sierra Canyon educated kids would love to discuss the Civil War with you. From " the Confederate high watermark at the Angle in Gettysburg, south to Harpers Ferry, all the battles up to and including Antietam, from Fort Sumter west to Vicksburg, up the Shenandoah Valley, all the way to Fords Theater." -Those are my kids words, not mine. Their math skills are streets ahead of their public school friends and neighbour kids. My daughter is a math professor at CSUN and is very impressed with Sierra Canyons mathematics dept. She was well into then beyond Geometry by the 7th grade on the strength of Sierra Canyons excellent teachers and program. She got a math scholarship out of it all the way to her Doctorate. Jack Londons soul walks the halls of this school and you can hear his heart beating in the library if you just warm YOUR heart a little I invite you to take a tour. Call the school and they will be glad to accommodate you, and you'll be impressed by the outstanding kids and faculty you meet. The red flag to your comments are "tutoring kids." Perhaps the kids you tutor are the problem,, not the school. Hence being tutored.
Ok so I'm an outside observer, namely a tutor who had 4 students from this school last year...and I'm outraged. A particularly bright 8th Grader (on the US national chess team) had no idea who fought in the Civil War and why Abraham Lincoln was important. An eleventh grade English class in American Literature was asked to read Bruce Springsteen songs (not lit) but not Twain or Hemingway or Crane or Hawthorne or Benet or Irving or James or London; they got 2 major works of American Lit all year, namely The Great Gatsby and a Faulkner novel, which if I recall correctly was As I Lay Dying. He asked his students to write essays in one paragraph only and to use absurd numbers of unrelated quotations as coherent supporting evidence. It was downright appalling. The calculus teacher was lost, and the Chemistry teacher as well. And while I do ont consider a majority of my students bright--there have to be some below average for the concept of an average to make any sense--in this case I do believe all 4 were bright. It is in fact so bad that this school deserves to have its accreditation revoked, a charge I do not issue lightly and have no motive to issue except for my observations.
I was a student at Sierra from 2nd-8th grade. I always loved it - the fieldtrips are always absolutely incredible. The staff is your second family and the academics are very, very challenging. I was in the honors program and all my teachers were incredible. Unfortunately, it is highly overpriced and the kids are extremely privileged on the whole. The high school has far more expenses to pay with "Peak Week", books, and tuition in general. On the whole, I would not take anything in place of Sierra. It was a great elementary school. I now attend a more reasonably priced and reputable high school - Chaminade. The dynamic is very different and I love it.
We have been at the Sierra Canyon lower school for 3 years now, and we are thrilled with our experience. It has a very warm and "family" feel from the founders of the school (who come by rather often), to the administration to the staff. It's a great group of kids. They are respectful, accepting of diversity and have an overall good time while learning at an incredible speed. The kids do not seemed overwhelmed or stressed out. The food they offer is fresh and high quality, they have an in-house garden that parents and kids foster. If desired, there are a plethera of parent involvement opportunities. There is no pressure, but the opportunities are endless and it's fantastic. This school is willing to make change based on feedback like I have never seen. Everyone's voice is heard. It's unreal. We have found our home and have no plans of leaving!
A warning to all the parents. My duaghter broke her right arm with 2 broken bones on the right hand. The reason: there was no one there to tell her not sit on the fence. Not even a phone call after I took her to hospital to see how she is doing. All they care is collecting money thats all. I wished they could just call and feel sorry for what happened to my daughter. The phone call I receive was from their administrator after I complained and informed them that she had a broken hand. Her escuse was that she was busy with paperwork and couldn't make a call to see what happened. I am usually not a person who complains I just care about your children being safe and all I am telling you is please be careful. You don't know what my daughter had to go through with her injury.
This is a very very good school. Academically they out perform a lot of other better known schools. The school is building out the sports programs - after that will be the arts programs. The administration is 100% open to feedback and there is a true open door policy. They are a young school and do need to raise money and have parental involvement to build out the facilities, finish the non-academic programming and build up the parent-school infrastructure.. Being a young school means that parents can have a lot of impact with what is going on. Given the tuition (lower than Oakwood, Buckley, Viewpoint, Campbell Hall), this is a very good value for the money.
Our daughter has been at Sierra Canyon School since 1st grade. We are extremely happy with the school's teaching philosophy and the supportive staff and administration. They treat my child as if she was their own. The academics are outstanding and with the new athletic director, the sports teams are solid and at the top in standings. College counseling support is tremendous. The merger of the upper school and lower school is complete and it feels great. An upper school gym is being built and soon there will be a multi-purpose building on the lower campus. We couldn't be happier at Sierra Canyon!
For the parent who asked about Ingenium Charter School, here is their web site, IngeniumSchools.org. Hope this is helpful for you -- so many folks are having the same challenges with tuition.
An excellent school that provides a perfect foundation for college. We sent our child here from a public school. The attentive and supportive teachers are great and he is thriving. The only drawback is the constant need to pay for "extras" like books, trips and tons of other things throughout the year that can really add up, on top of the high tuition. But even with that, we feel this is the best chance we can give our child for a successful future so it's worth it in the end.
What every school should be like.....Unbelievable grounds and program is second to none..All 3 of my kids have thrived!!!
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