Students enrolled 806
School leader Mr. Joseph Morrison

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35487 Dumbarton Court
Newark, CA 94560

School website
(510) 739-0300
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Map of Challenger?Ardenwood address.

3 stars
Based on 42 ratings

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think about this school

October 05, 2014
Since there is no 0 or -ve star I had to pick 1 star, but this school doesn't deserve the 1 star. The management is horrible with their ridiculous rules and they do not listen to your concerns or feedback. This obviously has trickled down to the teachers. If you have any questions, the middle school teachers will ALWAYS respond with "I have to manage 180 kids, I can't focus on 1 kid". They just give you blanket, cookie cutter responses. They act superior and make you feel that there is a problem with your kid by saying other kids are doing great. In the end your kid will come out psychologically damaged with low confidence. Don't fall for their constant pitch of being ahead of the public schools by 2 grades. What a joke! This might be true for history, but not for math and science. Elementary school is a little better, but once you get to middle school it is no better than public schools academically. The teachers/administration just cram unnecessary topics to make it appear like they teach a lot. The kids get into the habit of memorization rather than developing fundamental skills. Just compare the curriculum with public schools before getting lured into this trap.

- submitted by a parent
January 27, 2014
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.

- submitted by a parent
April 14, 2013
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.

- submitted by a community member
January 27, 2013
great school,but needs to teach more algebra in 7th. teachers are helpful. They teach music well.

- submitted by a parent
April 21, 2012
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.

- submitted by a parent
February 26, 2012
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.

- submitted by a parent
January 09, 2012
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!

- submitted by a community member
April 20, 2011
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.

- submitted by a parent
July 29, 2010
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.

- submitted by a parent
April 10, 2010
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- submitted by a parent
no rating April 01, 2010
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.

- submitted by a parent
February 16, 2010
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- submitted by a parent
no rating January 21, 2010
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.

- submitted by a parent
November 24, 2009
I do not recommed this school at all. The teachers have unrealistic expectations from both the students and teachers

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 07, 2009
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!

- submitted by a parent
August 18, 2009
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.

- submitted by a parent
August 17, 2009
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- submitted by a community member
July 27, 2009
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- submitted by a student
December 15, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
no rating July 24, 2008
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.

- submitted by a community member
July 01, 2008
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.

- submitted by a parent
no rating March 13, 2008
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.

- submitted by a parent
June 19, 2007
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- submitted by a former student
April 01, 2007
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- submitted by a student
March 27, 2007
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.

- submitted by a parent
January 18, 2007
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.

- submitted by a parent
July 15, 2006
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.

- submitted by a parent
June 11, 2006
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.

- submitted by a student
May 27, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
April 03, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
March 29, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
March 22, 2006
I was told that not all Challenger campuses are the same. I don't know, but I have been only at this campus for 5 years now. The problem is that Challenger is becoming a money maker, and their priority is to their money and their policies that protect them and not the children. Why am I paying them to have pretty much the same issues as the public school system? Crowded classroom, teachers micro managed and generally people who are rude to your child all the time. I pulled my child out for the coming year. The name is now gone, the need to just put kids through the system instead of really teaching is quite blazingly apparent. Too bad, this only goes to show that nothing good lasts forever.

- submitted by a parent
March 20, 2006
This school does the opposite of what it's motto says for the children involved. Kids lose their confidence, and it supposedly high acedemic standards are more by books only study(better known as memorization) There are some great teachers, but chances of getting one for your child is not too good. Their policy of taking away recess for everybody based on one childs misbehavior is not good. They are scaling back on acedemics based on the large flight of students after elementary. The sports programs needs much improvement. They are trying an art program with my son's 3rd grade teacher as the 'expert artist'

- submitted by a parent
February 21, 2006
I sent my son to this school. The only things I can say about this school are: 1. Expensive - overpriced. 2. Lack of extra-curricular activities - it's study, study, study...kids end up learning only theories and have no ideas how to apply their learning (application is much more important than theories, in my opinion). 3. Diversity? This school lacks the diversity I'm looking for. 4. Curriculum is not suitable for the child's age. 5. Parent involvement is discouraged by school.

- submitted by a parent
January 17, 2006
Great Academic programs;definitely set the child up to college

- submitted by a parent
December 06, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
November 02, 2005
Academic Program Superior. Your child will be educated by Challenger, but they will need to be committed and you as a parent will need to assist them. Remember, you may work hard but the rewards are there! Your child will be able to read, write, count and articulate in a superior manner as well.

- submitted by a parent
September 20, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
August 07, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
June 18, 2005
My Child was enrolled in challenger for 2 yrs and he hated it. He was discrinated and was made to run laps for no reason.If you are interested in this school please dont go for your sake and your childs!

- submitted by a parent
no rating June 18, 2005
The principal wasn't the least bit kind to his students.The teacher quality wasn't great at all. There were no extracurricular activites. The overall quiality of the school was very bad!

- submitted by a parent
June 08, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
April 11, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
January 19, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
December 16, 2004
My 4.5 year old son loves his school. The teachers (Ms. Viraj and Ms. Grace) are very competent and caring. The emphasis is on phonics and writing at the pre-k level. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they have started elementary math (additions, substractions) as well. Great school environment. Great teachers.

- submitted by a parent
September 23, 2004
Great acadamic program. Kids learn a lot quickly. I saw my 5yr old made significant improvement in his writing and phonics in just 2 weeks. Not a lot of work need to be done at home for K. They get most of learning done in school.

- submitted by a parent
September 10, 2004
Poor quality of teacher. Desks for children are antequated and unsafe and they continue to fall on top of the children's fingers. Not enough interest in the child and more on getting through a lesson. Too much homework for children under 4th grade. Kids spend all evening either doing homework or getting ready for the next test or book report. This leaves minimal time for free time in the evenings for children and parents.

- submitted by a parent
August 08, 2004
This is a very good school. Our kids have attended 2 challenger campuses so far and they are very similar in what they offering. The teacher interaction is very smooth and they take great interest in your child and their progress. There is a lot of emphasis on their development. Pre-school is the best combination since it doubles as a very advanced day care with their 11 hours coverage.

- submitted by a parent
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Challenger?Ardenwood
35487 Dumbarton Court, Newark, CA  94560
(510) 739-0300
Last modified Challenger?Ardenwood is a Private school that serves grades K-8
Challenger?Ardenwood Rating: 3 out of 5 based on 48 reviews. Top