This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted May 29, 2014
- a parent
I am the parent of a 4th grade student at The Accelerated School. My son has been at The Accelerated School since Kinder and he absolutely loves his school, especially his teacher Ms. Nguyen. Last year he attended Troy Camp, which is one of the many programs the school offers. The teachers always manage to find a variety of student activities at no cost to the parents. Some activities include Read to Succeed and The Colburn School. The Projects and Events Committee has done an amazing job all year long. My son really enjoyed being part of the TAS Talent Show, Spelling Bee, and Story Book Parade.
Two Words: Rigorous and Challenging! Elementary and Middle teachers at TAS truly understand the importance of preparing students for the rigorous demands of the Common Core State Standards and providing effective and engaging instruction that challenges students to think critically. I've seen students grow and blossom into competitive young scholars, ready to tackle the University of their Choice. Teachers are constantly reviewing student assessment data to ensure that students are making requisite growth. Talk about true Accountability.! All in all, if you want a public school that can provide your child with a challenging, enriching, and rigorous education, I think TAS is the place to be. I also really like the teachers. Teachers care, put on their A-Game for their students day in and day out, and their enthusiasm/passion for education is infectious. TAS is definitely a great place for young educators to grow into strong instructional leaders. Many teachers thrive here!
I think this school has really fallen apart in the past few years. As a veteran student, being here from Kindergarten to 10th grade, this school is constantly changing its administrative positions, especially principals and assistant principals. They are very finicky about their rules and will allow certain rules on circumstantial events. Claims to be strict on uniform policies but allow students to substitute jeans for nave blue khakis (for middle school) and students to not wear uniform shirts. The school is more focus on discipline. Counselors are never found in their offices, but seen roaming the campus. Although the school is very well oriented on academics, they do tend to not renew the contracts of teachers who do well and teach their students. They plan on building a larger campus for ACES, which should really hold all elementary students from both TAS and ACES, to allow more room for the middle schoolers and WAHS. As I student at this school for 10+ years, this school has fallen far from the glory it once was.
I 'have' been in love with this school since it's inception. I, however, have seen the model become distorted with red tape and power moves by administration. There have been so many teachers that have left. I am aware that there are many factors attributing to this. However, I share the beliefs of many many parents here and the overall feeling is that we are loosing too many teachers. Not to mention we are being promised things that have not occured. For one, the budget. We have been told over and over again that we would be GIVEN the budget. Now we are told that this is 'public' records and anyone can obtain them. That just feels really patronizing. I do believe that things are tough all over. I dont feel the board of directors nor the administration are in accord with the teachers, parents and students. What a shame.
Not again! Another year of great staff leaving without any explanation, few opportunities for parent involvement in school decisions, and starting from scratch. Why can't the school administration hold on to great teachers and staff. Aren't parents supposed to be very involved in the decision-making in the accelerated school's model? Why are great programs like Early College being cut? I have had it!
The maj. of teachers my 7th grader has had the privilege of learning from in 2007-08 at TAS are outstanding educators. Ms. Perez, Mr. Lemus, Mr. Elkouby and Mr. Wong inspire their students to much higher levels in keeping with the Accelerated philosophy. There are multiple teachers with Masters Degress as well as several Phds, and it shows. Mr. Arellano is a fine, hands-on, thoughtful principal. The school is in fact large with 1300 hundred students from K-12 and yet the campus is run smoothly & professionally. I should also mention the patience and sincerity of the front office who are wonderful. I am grateful that my child had this excellent experience and regret that we must relocate. If you live anywhere near downtown LA, no matter what your ethnicity or income level, you will not find a better LAUSD option. I know, I tried.
The idealogy of the school is wonderful. Many parents complain about changes that take place at the school and their lack of participation is to blame. Since the No Child Left Behind campaign, I have seen a decrease in creative teaching curriculum. This is not directly the fault of the faculty, rather the policy enforced by having to keep the 'scores' up. To speak of teacher turnover, it is not a huge number. There are many factors that come into play when dealing with teacher turnover. Salary, teaching styles, and administration are just pieces of the puzzle. Since The Accelerated School is a charter school, the teachers are on Yearly contracts. Something that is 'across-the-board' for all charter schools. The primary function of a charter school is to introduce the Family as a unit to actively participate, most complaints are from parents who refuse to participate.