This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
South Sutter Charter School2
Posted October 04, 2013
- a parent
This school is great for curriculum funding, if you can get your ES to submit the orders, the staff to process them and the administration to approve them. We've had a ridiculous amount of trouble getting certain curriculum to meet my child's special learning needs. The school has an immense bureaucracy and has moved far away from its original vision of parent choice. It's the classic charter school trade. You take their money (curriculum funding) and you follow their rules and take their tests.
We've been homeschooling with South Sutter from the very beginning. This used to be the school for those looking for parent choice, but sadly that has changed as they are striving to jump through the hoops of WASC accreditation. The WASC accreditation is important, so I hope they figure this all out. I would especially be wary if you are a parent of a high schooler. There is limited college guidance; it is up to you to figure it out. This means SAT/ACT testing, concurrent enrollment at junior colleges, college admissions, scholarships and financial aid. And, be aware that you are not in completely charge of your student's curriculum or grade. Unfortunately, what this means is that you don't have all the real benefits of homeschooling (parent choice) or public schooling (site classes, team sports, and college/scholarship guidance). But, on the positive side, SSCS does have a good budget for purchasing curriculum and outside classes. I hope they will find a way to bring back the original parent driven vision, alongside pursuing accreditation.
As a new homeschooler - I could not be happier with South Sutter Charter. My ES is Denae Mertan and I also work with another ES Charlene Bastian. Both are wonderfully supportive and provide extra guidance and help when I need it while respecting me as my child's primary teacher. They are warm, care very much about their students, flexible, resourceful and very knowledgeable in curriculum. South Sutter's funds are generous and there is a huge variety of classes and materials. I've not had much contact with administration and STAR testing requirements don't bother me as long as our school year does not revolve around prepping for the test. My husband and I are former teachers and we relish the freedom and creative options South Sutter offers. Mrs Mertan and Mrs Bastian have been personally and professionally supportive and are fine, fine educators. Thank you South Sutter!
We've had four children at the school since it's inception 6 years ago . I have to agree that parents and students are not the main focus of the school. The school's mission seems to be to stay accredited and ensure it's standing with the state. On the positive side there are more funds available to purchase curriculum and parents aren't required to return everything at the end of the year. Also, the school allows more choice in vendors. Based on personal experience, however, the school really offers nothing for parents of college bound high school students. Guidance counseling is non-existent and information about whether particular classes are acceptable (or a-g) for the CSU system varies from ES (Education Specialist) to ES. Nor are parents provided with any definition of this important point in writing Also, if an out of the ordinary issue arises that an ES cannot address, there is NO support from anyone else at the school. Calls are not returned nor are emails. So, BUYER BEWARE.
We have been with SSCS for 3 years now. I absolutely LOVE this school! I can't say enough positive things, truly. Our ES is the absolute best! She got us through some really rough spots when we first started. It was really wonderful to have that support. The small amount of work we have to turn in really takes the pressure off and allows more time for learning. I'm not bogged down in paperwork for the school all the time. As for those who mention the test scores....yes, there are parents that don't care about the STAR test. I don't worry about it much, but we do some practice testing beforehand. The scores do help the school out, so in that regard if the parents appreciate SSCS, it would be nice to work a little harder for testing. My kids are always in the high end of proficient or advanced. I wish that other people instead of complaining about the school would just put a little more effort in. Show others just how special South Sutter is!
I have been with this school for 3 years now and we love it. Our ES is wonderful and is on top of everything and fully supportive of what we are doing. Most homeschooling parents don't teach to the Star test and I'm sure that is why this school has a lower score, but I think the Star test is a joke and I don't want my children to spend the year learning how to take a test; I want them loving what they are learning. The one down side to the school is how strict they are with not allowing you to turn in anything with a religious slant. My children were in a dance performance with a Christmas tree on the stage and the school would not accept the picture because it contained a religious symbol. I have had the freedom to chose my children s curriculum and extracurricular activities, this has been priceless to our family.
South Sutter Charter School is not interested in children. They are interested test scores and state funding. This is a fine school as long as you are not interested in what is best for your children. If you dare to question South Sutter, you will be bullied & threatened. The funding is not worth it!
This school has gone downhill! If you look at the ratings SS has received over the years, you will see a steady decline. Like most charters, they started as an advocate for parent choice. They have gradually become more restrictive and invasive to protect their status with the state. Those who said that children are not the focus are completely correct.
We have been with South Sutter for 3 years. I have also experienced other charter schools and traditional public schools but South Sutter does the best job of respecting the parent s right to choose and educate. I appreciate SSCS because of their parent s choice philosophy. SS has a lengthy vendor list where parents shop and choose all their own core curricula, basic materials, and extracurricular services. A SS Education Specialists meet with families once a month, they ask only for California minimums when collecting samples instead of all the work the student has done for the month and allows the family the option to grade their child/rens work. This frees our family to include much more sectarian material without completely doubling the children s workload. South Sutter is as close as you can get to homeschooling privately. It just comes with a generous curriculum allowance, knowledgeable support, and friendly community.
I worked at South Sutter Charter School for 5 years. I recieved high alcolades and letters of recommendation throughtout the duration of my tenure there. I quit working for this school because this is a horrible institution with no more interest in educating the students enrolled in their school than in adhering to state mandated standards. The API scores for this school are telling, they are at the bottom 10th percentile compared to other schools in the state. Bottom line: do not enroll your child in this school unless you're one of those 'I don't care' types of parents, then by all means....