This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
New Designs Charter School1
Posted September 11, 2014
- a parent
New Design Charter School on Figueroa. I cannot believe how many parents did not show up to Parent teacher night when I was talking to all the teachers. I guess they do not care what there kids are doing in school. Plus the lack of school books in the class rooms. I guess the teachers were lied to that they were going get there books. WOW what type of school is this.
I went to NDCS for 4 years, and I had been looking for a way to get out for a while. The classes aren't challenging at all and the school is very small and squished. People have gotten hurt because of the congestion in the hallways during passing periods. Many students got in fights at this school. I would often be eating lunch only to turn around and find 2 girls or boys punching each other or someone pulling someone' s hair on the dirt field or in the hallways. The uniform is so rigorous, I once got suspended for forgetting my burgundy tie. I made good grades at this school, but didn't really learn anything. I was surprised when I later moved schools. In order to get lunch, you must have a small ticket that is about 1 inch long. They give you these tickets at the beginning of every month and if you lose yours, you simply can't get lunch. I would seriously consider all other options, before sending your child to NDCS.
This school does not have strong leadership. The principal is not licensed. There are no strong challenging academic programs. The entire school is organized around standardized testing. I expected more from the leadership. Teachers are fired left and right and it provides no continuity for the students and the parents. There is no LAUSD bus service. The food is catered, which means there is a lag time between it being prepared and the time it is brought to the campus. The playground is dirt, yet a nearby charter school has an astro turf playground. The students are crammed into small hallways and classrooms. They and push and shove each other between classes. It amazes me how the image of the school is so different than the reality. As a parent I advise anyone considering this school to attend their local school and, if needed, to pay for tutoring yourself. New Designs is not what it appears to be.My children are very disappointed, and I will be removing them from the school next year.
As a former student I can attest to the fact that the school trains students to test rather than think. It has absolutely NO extracurriculars which have a HUGE negative impact on students college applications. The few that get into exemplary colleges do a lot outside of school without the help from the school. The SAT test scores are extrememly low and its IMPORTANT that they aren't. They have a few good teachers and a great college counselor that has been the one getting these kids into college. The school doesn't help the situation by hiring inept principals and hiring staff for the most ridiculous jobs. These people do absolutely nothing and get paid with money that should go to students books and lab resources. It is an outrage. WHERE IS THE MONEY GOING?!? If it isn't for the kids. This place is a business,they get money for every kid and the "high" test scores are for extra funding from outside places. Take your kids somewhere they will get the resources and learning experience they deserve, they can go to much better places.
My Cousin graduated from the New Designs Charter School and is now at a 4 year college!! and all thanks to the great visionary and hardworking teachers and admnistrators at New Designs!! My Cousin who was an average student is now an "A' student. She attributes her success to the before and after School programs, the weekend programby the school and the opportunity to be mentored by students of neighboring USC students!! She also credits her success to he "A-G' graduated requirement by the school. Good job New Designs!!!
I am a recent graduate from NDCS, and though we can brag that the majority of the students graduated with acceptances to 4-year institutions, I can also say, firsthand that this school is not ideal, the students here are taught to test.The main focus of NDCS is to improve their API score, they can care less about the quality of learning. There are a few great teachers, but the school is very unorganized, even after seven years. Any teacher or staff member who goes against the CEO's opinion will most likely be fired, all true movers-and-shakers (as far as staff is concerned) do not return for a second year because of the CEO's unwillingness to compromise. The students at NDCS have a high API score because they are taught using the released California standardized test questions. They take these tests every month, resulting in kids who are taught to TEST and not to THINK. The obsession with testing at New Designs has ruined the potential for true high quality learning that this small school setting can provide. It is true that NDCS is a better alternative for other urban schools like Foshay, but if you want your kids to LEARN I suggest you also enlist an outside program.
Students at New Designs out-perform neighboring public schools on standardized tests. Most seniors graduate and can boast letters of acceptance to more than one four-year college. Great program! Great school!
My daughter is currently attending New Designs and she loves it. The curriculum is rigorous and although she is in the 6th grade she is already taking college classes. Everyone who graduates from their high school has to complete the requirement to enter into a four year college. The school day is long but I love the teachers.