This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Mary Chapa Academy5
Posted August 14, 2012
- a teacher
As a teacher, I am enthusiastic about starting a new school year. I feel that we have a wonderful leader who supports us and provides great training to achieve student success. I feel confident that my colleagues and I will provide excellent learning opportunities for each student.
As a parent, I am very happy with my daughters achievement at Mary Chapa Academy. She is entering First Grade reading at a Second Grade level. I feel teachers constantly receive training and I know my daughter is being challenged because instruction and homework is being differentiated. Teachers, staff, and Principal are respectful and friendly. This past year they implemented a Book Challenge, Literacy Night, and a school carnival. This makes learning fun and exciting!
Being a volunteer parent at my daughter's school, I will say that this school definitely has a strong principal with amazing leadership skills. I have seen a huge improvement academically in many students. I agree that the school has gone through many changes, but which school hasn't? The school has implemented a variety of intervention programs to assist all students including classes during Spring and Summer breaks. Each classroom has at least 5 laptops for students to use, allowing the students to increase their learning. Parent involvement is increasing and as a result, the school has started a PTA. I feel that this school has a happy and safe environment due to the awesome principal and her administration. Teachers are great, and continually receiving training. I feel that the school's community rating given here, needs to be higher due to it's many recent positive changes.
This school used to be part of Greenfield Elem School. They were split into 2 schools: Mary Chapa and El Camino Real. They put the Academy pieces on to attract students in the long run. Mary Chapa Literacy and Technology is named that because they want to focus on those things. Literacy is being focused on by implementing an updated curriculum and hiring consultants to implement programs that have improved schools with similar demographics. Technology is focused on by installing Promethean boards into all the classrooms. The problems with this school are countless, but I would say are mostly due to the high turnover rate in every position. Even before the state took the school over, there were, on average over the past several years, more than 30 percent teacher turnover. With the state takeover, there continues to be about the same. Of the remaining teachers, many live very far away and are consistently looking for jobs closer to home. Leadership is non-existent. There have been five principals this year. The 1st moved with the El Cam side (3rd 5th). The 2nd (with additional full-time duties) was overworked (opinion) and resigned to focus on previous duties (2b continued).
The 3rd & 4th (co-principals with additional full-time duties) recently resigned their principalships. 1 quit and moved to another school district; while the other will be quitting & moving to another district school (with additional full-time duties). The 5th will start soon. The principal who started the year is quitting soon & moving to another district. The superintendent quit in January. The interim super has shown no noticeable leadership (measured by notes home to parents and my contacts within El Camino and Mary Chapa). The bilingual program was dismantled, the technology was rolled out haphazardly and with little teacher training, the new curriculum was not taught to the teachers. The promised computers in the classroom haven t materialized. I have been in the community for several years and have noticed that the only constant at this school is change. There have been many attempts, with the state takeover, to make positive change, but after a little more than a year I have yet to see the fruits of those labors. My son's education has been put on hold, but is too precious. As a parent, I seek an alternative for my son, and will withdraw him from Mary Chapa ASAP.