As a parent who has had their child at this school for several years, I can share what I believe are the good and bad points. The good points are that this is a great K-2 program. After that, the benefits dramatically go down. We did not see a holistic approach to education but rather a strong focus on pure academics. I will say that there are some very dedicated teachers, which is why we gave the 5 stars. Also, this school has had turned over three principals since we have been here and they still have not replaced the last one. Finally, we gave an average score on parent involvement as some teachers excelled in this area and others did not.
I'm commenting on my specific parent experiences at the The phoenix schools. My experiences were specifically in Folsom & the school in El Dorado Hills that was shut down. I can say that this is NOT a place you would want to trust with your children. The private company that took over the school a few years ago has completely & without a doubt let the teaching & more importantly the leadership staff & facilities become run down & have cut expenses like lunches & in the quality of the staff they employ. I've seen first hand arguments with parents where teachers disregard parents requests for care of their child. I've seen teachers who were "let go" after incidents that shocked & surprised me relating to child care. Teachers using their cell phones while "supervising" classes. Believe me you DO NOT want to consider this school as they are obviously experiencing serious financial issues, and they lack the ability to prioritize child care over money. They are not willing to spend any money on quality employees, let alone update their toys and learning tools for children. They are interested in 1 thing which is & in now way consider your child's needs or care in any way.
A great private school education! I have no complaints! The new principal has made many tremendous improvements to the school - including new security measures/telephone in each room/television in each room. The teachers are happy and dedicated. The school curriculum contains music,technology and art on a regular basis. The after school programs include taekwondo, chess, gymnastics, choir, cooking and even rainbow looming for the little ones! Everyone, including the librarian, is friendly and courteous, must especially mention Rhonda and the other ladies at the front desk, who makes my day by greeting me with enthusiasm and a smile every time. Parent involvement is also significant. Very impressed with this school. Keep up the great job!
I enrolled my fifth grade son at Phoenix for several reasons but the main reasons were for writing and smaller class size. Prior to this year he hated writing! Writing was the cause of most of our homework and school troubles. Now he looks forward to writing and his writing skills have grown tremendously. I am amazed at the difference. I plan on keeping him enrolled through 8th grade. We are really liking the smaller classes and more individualized instruction he receives. I wish my two older children had been able to receive the same level of instruction.
I love the teachers at this school! There is an open door policy, meaning I can stop in at any time to observe my child in class, as well as any other grade I am interested in. Each and every time I have observed there are meaningful lessons being taught, the students are engaged and the teacher shows genuine care and concern for all the students. I love knowing that my child is cared for by such personable, kind, and sensitive teachers and staff. The class sizes are small enough for the teachers to get to know every single child personally and differentiate the curriculum based on the child's learning style. The effort it takes to be a teacher and care about someone else's child as much as these teachers do is recognizable and commendable. Thank you Phoenix Teachers!
The students, parents and staff are amazing at the Phoenix Elementary school!!! With small class sizes (average of 16-18 students per class) and current curriculum that follows the common core standards, students are getting an amazing experience! Each classroom is equipped with a flat screen tv or a projector to integrate technology into the student s daily lessons. Students participate daily in specialty classes taught by specialty teachers- this includes art, library, music, p.e, technology, Spanish, yearbook, and media. I feel privileged to be teaching at school that provides such high quality education!
Not recommended at all, this school has no communication between the teachers to the school office, very poor origination, my son was in the school for one week and we have to pull him out since we are so disappointed with the school. We signed my son for all the activities, but they didn t take him to the field trip or the mini camp, even though I triple checked with the clerks in the front desk to make sure that my son was on the entire list for all the activities. But he was left in the classroom twice, I wonder when the teacher had the list on the hand and didn t count the kids to make sure all the kids are there or not? My son was very sad of his experience of this school, all he said about this school was: they forgot me. And the kids are bully there, teacher seems take it too easy on the bully kids.
I've read some of the negative reviews, but I haven't seen any of those issues. My child has gone to Phoenix for two years and has had a wonderful experience in both school and aftercare. The elementary school teachers are fantastic and great with the kids. They can tailor the kids education to meet their individual needs because the class sizes are so small. The after school teachers, while younger than the elementary school teachers, are very caring and have fun with the kids. When I pick my child up from school, he is either playing or a teacher is reading a book to them. There are parents at every school who have issues with something for that particular school. We live in El Dorado Hills with good public schools yet my friends have issues with the leadership and class sizes in those schools. I think it is up to parents to find a school that meets their families needs. We love Phoenix and the safe and academic environment it offers, so we are enrolling our daughter here in the fall and plan to send both kids here through middle school. I highly recommend Phoenix and only have positive things to say about it.
We had a issues with after school care at Phoenix last year. Switched to public school and the issues went away completely. The key difference I see is the public school after-school care is run by experienced after school teachers. At Phoenix they utilize a lot of High School kids looking to get class credits to save costs. The difference was very distinct. I had a very hard time even finding out what happened in after school care, everything was escalated to the principal who then launched an investigation that made matters more convoluded. It was one child's word against the other. The maturity and experience level of the after school staff was simply not there. In contrast at our public school day care we never had this issue dealing with professionals. They provided better structure and discipline to the kids than the Phoenix High School after-school teachers did. Experience and maturity counts esp when dealing with larger number of children. After school care we thought was one area we paid private school prices for less than public school quality.
My son has attended Phoenix for K-1st grade. We have been so happy with his teachers and the quality of education he has received. There have only been 15 kids in each class and the teachers are able to focus on the individual needs of each kid. My son has learned so much this year and is reading consistently at a 2nd grade reading level, even reading early 3rd grade level books. The school itself is small and has a very safe learning environment. My son is shy and can excel here whereas he would be left behind at our large public school. I have volunteered in his classes and see the wonderful interactions the teachers have with the kids and how their artwork tie into the unit they are focusing on. Some people have stated negative things about the principal, but I have only had positive interactions with Mrs. MacDonald. I feel that she has moved the school forward in a positive manner and has brought an excellent curriculum to the school. She is very professional and is quick to respond to my emails and in person questions. We have only had positive experiences at this school and I plan to continue to send my son here as well as my daughter when she starts kindergarten.
My daughter has attended the Phoenix school since an infant and now (almost 6). Her baby sister is next door. We LOVE the Phoenix schools and what they offer. The staff is so wonder, loving and caring. I never have to worry when I drop her off, she is in the best hands, she has become so bright and It is all what she has learned over the years attending the Phoenix. This year in kindergarten she has blossomed even more and is so bright, my favorite part is that she is encourage to read and she is reading like a second grader and she isn't even in first grade yet. I do not have one complaint. The teacher, principle and other staff members are always in communication with you with up coming events and so friendly. The entire school has a really cute monthly assembly which they recognize the students and they do special events such as Cheer and choir performances which my daughter is in, Melts my heart, I love it. I highly recommend this school. The best decision I made. Both Pre School and The elementary are amazing.
I continue to come to the same conclusion, that although some months are a struggle to send my children to Phoenix, it is well worth it in the end. The teacher communicates with the parent's regularly. They have a structured environment, personal attention to the child & childcare. I some how missed out on the multiple choice craze in school. I am so grateful to see someone actually say, teaching to the test and memorizing facts doesn't cut it. It could just be good luck or my course of study, but I managed to walk out of Murray State, with very very few classes of only multiple choice tests, as the vast majority were essay or some combination. My graduate program was all individual responsibility, no group think and a paper / presentation. You need to know how and why we got to a point, and that is not there anymore. It was all critical thinking. Learning is not just "factory work" having this answer fit into this question. Having an understanding of the historical knowledge is so important, and is lacking on so many fronts. It has been challenging to find quality employee's with the vast amount of people out of work, and new college grads have not proved any better.
I completely agree with the comment below that At phoenix you just pay for the "advanced" curriculum and not advanced teachers or personalized attention. The teacher never felt like it was their responsibility to communicate child s progress to parent. Assessment was handed over after 4 months they were done. I also felt that the teacher focused more the negative aspects of a growing child and took no initiative to steer her in the right direction.
I d like to offer a different perspective from the recent posts. In our experience, we always found the new school principal/ administration very open to suggestions and to follow through both last year and this year. We signed our son up for the elementary school with the Phoenix school again this year, and we are not regretting our decision at all. Most parents chose to stay also: only 3 kids from last year s class left (2 moved to another part of the country, 1 went to the Gate Program). Our child comes back every day very excited with the science lab experiments, I m even learning all over again about cells, cytoplasm, nucleus, etc. Writing essays was not his favorite topic, but to my surprise he came to love it after only one month of daily practice. The new Accelerated Reader program, the upgraded computer lab and new text books are extremely promising. While the class size allows the teachers to spend some dedicated time with the kids, the class is still very multicultural. Finally the afternoon activities (e.g. Art, Fit Kids) are even more diverse this year with the addition of the First Lego League, the music band and more.
We pulled out our children after last year s debacle and am very happy with the decision. Our kids are now in Gate programs in public schools and they are very challenged academically. They love the bigger class sizes and activities public schools offer. I thought they would have a tough transition, they were at Phoenix since they were 8 weeks old and we had planned on staying through Middle School but they never even mention anything about their old school. Not surprisingly they have many friends from Phoenix that joined them in the public school. I agree with the comments here, the administration is just too adversarial. After awhile my children did not even want to play in the playground anymore so they can avoid getting in trouble. It got to the point we as parents could not even take the disciplinary reports seriously, everything was an infraction. It became a huge distraction. I urge parents to do their homework, there are a lot of great options there and you don t have to wait until the next school year.
I'm so glad i pulled my second grader out of Phoenix. Year 2010-11, his first grade was HORRIBLE. She was with all the teachers and despite my feeling that he was faring well, the report card showed differently and none of the teachers felt like it was their responsibility to communicate to me, what was going wrong and where. I felt that the teachers focussed more the negative aspects of a growing child and took no initiative to steer her in the right direction. I had even taken up the issue with the Principal who was supposed to let me know of my child's behavior, months later and am still waiting....In short, you just pay for the "advanced" curriculum and not advanced teachers or personalized attention.
This is the first time in the years we've been at Phoenix (since infancy) that we are questioning whether to enroll our kids for next year. Apparently we are not the only ones. An email went out extending registration due to the families not reenrolling. The school continues to be in disarray. We volunteered to be part of the Middle School Parent Action Committee but after one meeting it was cancelled. There just doesn't seem to be any enthusiasm from the company/administration to motivate parents to come back. It's sad to see a great school like this go down this way.
Many changes have happened this year at the school, these changes I believe have been positive for the overall development of the school. The principal is professional and involves the parents which is encouraging. The children are still learning the same life skills they have always been taught at the school. They skills are then applied to their everyday social life. A great job by the teachers and principal!
Last week we had a successful 4-8th information night for parents. Teachers presented, students and parents had the opportunity to hear about our curriculum and plans for next year, and there was lots of time to ask questions. We had about 100 parents come and talk to teachers and the principal, and it was a great night. Many 4th-8th grade parents were there and exited to hear what we have planned for our students next year. So, I do believe the positive review below was written by a parent--not the school, as the poster below asserted. We are having an Open House next Thursday, February 17th from 6:15-7:30pm. You can meet the K-8th grade teachers and tour our classrooms. Come see for yourself all the great things Phoenix Elementary School is doing!
It troubles me that some of the parents hold the principal accountable for things that were decided by the company, not solely by her. Her first and foremost responsibility is (and should be) to make the school a safe, caring environment for the students and staff. Not only has she done this, she has also done an excellent job of supporting the teachers in each individual classrooms as well. I feel directed and encouraged by the principal to be creative and innovative in my teaching. We are provided with resources and professional development opportunities to become better teachers to prepare our students for the realities of our technological and global society. We re also provided with a unique opportunity to determine the direction of the middle school (4-8th) beginning next year. The staff members are working to provide a curriculum that is integrated, exciting and innovative. It s imperative that we tap into the students creativity and critical thinking skills. It is an honor to be part of such a wonderful staff with a supportive and caring principal. I hope I can continue my teaching career here for many years to come.
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