This review is based on my experience with preschool through KG. I was worried initially about the environment being too aggressive, based on the "general impression" of the school but so far it has not reflected on my kids and they love going to school everyday. They are learning a lot and more importantly, they are developing a love for learning. Extra curricular activities also seem reasonable. spring/winter performances and art/music everyday. The class size is big (32 kids in KG) but the teachers seem to be on top of it. They make sure you are kept in the loop about your child's performance and provide regular constructive feedback.
I went to this school from preschool to 8th grade, and I really hope you choose not to send your child here. The management makes some ridiculous policies, the history teachers enforce their political views on students, all the extracurricular activities are a joke (once per week and not nearly intense enough to provide the high school-level skills needed to progress), most of the teachers are extremely Indian and can't speak a word of English, the middle school hallways are really cramped, and your child won't develop any social skills. I could go on, but I think you get the gist of the problems with this school.
great school,but needs to teach more algebra in 7th. teachers are helpful. They teach music well.
My child goes to this school, but i'm planning on transferring my child to a different private school that will treat us with respect, because this school has horrible management. The executive "Isabel Haney", she is is unprofessinal, arrogant, and plain rude! no wonder the manament is horribly wrong! Let me tell you an examples about how annoying this woman is. I dropped off my child to school one morning and decided to park my car somewhere else and walk my child inside the school, but as soon as I open the front door it seems there was a barking dog reminding me that I need to drive my child to the drive way instead of walking my child to the door. I felt humilated the tone of her voice of how she address to me her reminder in front of the crowd in a hallway. she is even calling me "Mom" which is totally Wrong! for crying out loud I have a name and I'm not your mom!.... this doesnt make sense, what if I live nearby or choose not to drive my child to the drive way, so my child can't have school? she can send me a letter of reminder rather than standing on the hallway and barking parents with her reminder.
My daughter goes to this school, but I am planning to withdraw from this school from next year because of many reasons. Let me list them here. 1. Student to Teacher ratio is higher or almost same as any other public schools. Most of the classes have 28 students. 2. Management is arrogant. They just don't want to listen to the feedback. If you give any feedback, they will just say that it's their policy. They never give ear to you. 3. Tests everyday. Sometimes you feel frustrated. If they can limit to one test per day, you can focus on that and perform better. 4. They never correct the homework. I was shocked to know that the teachers never even look at the student notebooks. 5. There is no focus given to any student. Personal attention is lost in the crowd. I won't blame the teachers. It's the management crowding the class with students and overloading the teacher with plenty of unwanted stuff. It's all on the shoulders of the parents. 6. Just giving textbooks of one grade higher will not improve the quality of the education, also how the education is taken to the students. I doubt if the students follow, what is being taught in the class.
I live very close to this school, but send my kids to another private school. Parents feedback about excessive homework, not helping kids who are falling behind, not encouraging individuality and high fees have given me an aversion this school. The feedback on this site tells me I am right!
My son has gone to Challenger since pre-K through 3rd grade. Great school for academics. I like the way they teach Math, Languages and Logic. They need to make Geography more interesting. They have also introduced sports programs during after school daycare. My son would finish homework during after school daycare and he coped with the academics well, however I have seen other kids not coping. Academic standards are high and if a kid id not coping, I'd think its not worth the experience for the child.
Challenger is a school for parents who are 100% focused on their children's education and not extracurricular activities. My daughter, finished 4 yr. pre-school and will start kindergarten soon. What she has already learned is amazing. I have no doubt that she is ahead of any 1st grade class at any of the top elementary schools in the area. Yes, I believe that children need to learn to socialize as well as study but it is our jobs as parents to have them enrolled in other activities. I want my children to be prepared academically, and that's what Challenger is doing.
I would never recommend this school for any parent. Children are just pushed way beyond their capacity. Teachers don't teach the concept really well. All they do is testing. Every week nearly 5 or 6 tests are held. My daughter is not allowed to talk in the class. Teachers are frustrated and using foul language in front of kids. Children's self confidence and creativity is zero.
Never send your kid to this school. All you will have is your stressed kid all the time. After coming home no life, just home work, test preparation, and book report. They are not everything for your kid, she also needs sports or some free time after coming home.
I do not recommed this school at all. The teachers have unrealistic expectations from both the students and teachers
Most children from public schools do well and enter good colleges too! And they do this joyfully too, and they are free to do more than soccer, swimming and piano! They have their voices intact, without getting institutionally addicted on issues like motivation!
Challenger School is for motivted students only. If you want your child to get to some of the top colleges in the country, you need to give them solid study skills that they learn at Challenger. My middle schooler knows how to study for a test, focus on homework as well as on all her extra curricular activities, such as soccer league, piano and swim team. Kids who stick to this school are very well prepared to enter any of the good high schools in the Bay Area.
This school isn't as expensive as others (Harker, etc.) but isn't worth the ever-changing prices. The overwhelming majority of students resent Challenger. It's absolutely uniform in every sense of the word. The uniforms themselves look like what people wore in the 1880s. You can't eat food (ever...not even during break) with the exception of lunch. You can't cross the street unless there's a security guard there (he usually isn't). No posters in rooms. Backpacks aren't allowed in the classrooms ('fire hazards'--they have to be kept outside). The teachers refuse to be involved in anything to do with students, and parent involvement is kept at a minimum. 'Extracurricular activities' cost at least 10 dollars an hour and are after school. If you have a truly gifted student, send him to a decent public school or Harker, where they can take more advanced courses and not stay in standard classes with unqualified teachers.
Initially, when my son got admission in first grade in Challenger School, I was really happy. But later on, I felt really bad why I chose this school. Teachers, staff ,principal are rigid and they don't actually help kids who wants to learn but little behind compared to top rank students. Parent conference are held quite often only to let the parent know to put more effort(pressure) or to choose for additional tuition facility at 50 bugs per hour. One hour homework is not actually an hour it takes nearly 2 to 3 hours with reading,science and geography. After that, kids have to study for the tests. Too much stress for both the child and parent. We even stopped hosting or attending parties during weekends as our son has to prepare for the weekly major tests. I am happy now that I pulled him off from the school.
I am so thankful that I pulled my son out this school. It is developmentally inappropriate for a child in pre-school to have 30 minutes of 'learning time' and only be given 1 color to copy a teacher's art work. It got worse by 1st grade with upwards of 1 hour of homework a week. No wonder they are turning out students with stutters and ulcers--the stress level is TOO HIGH! I would rather a well-rounded child than an uber-academic robot. I was also shocked to find out how few of the students have CA credentials (or credentials at all). My one kudos to the school: high tuition provides beautifully manicured campuses.
I would recommend this school up until Kindergarten or the 1st grade. Then it gets way too much for the students and parents in terms of homework, book reports.... and tests week after week. This absolutely leaves no time for the kids for other activities let alone free time! Emphasis is on pushing the kids to perform better and better. That's one of the reasons, there is a big drain of students in the higher grades.
Both my children have gone to Challenger since they were 3 years old. Each child is encouraged to do their personal best without being labeled as the smart or dumb kids. Mrs. Venkat first grade teacher at Newark campus is wonderful teacher. She works hard to bring out the best in each child. The principal is kind and knows each child by name.
Challenging academic program but manageable for diligent and above-average kids. Well-rounded extracurricular learning/activities with music, arts, PE, and computer language(PC Logo for lower grade levels, Pascal for 7th, 8th grades) Not much parent involvement is required. Overall solid education.
This school is exceptional. The teachers try very hard. Some students have ended up in Stanford and other large schools. The only proiblem is the horrid looking uniform. There is a woman with and master in music and is good at teaching the children about notes. Mr. Villegas is a great P.E. teacher and makes sure everyone is fit.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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