Summit's students use Chrome books and teach themselves from Playlists, Summit calls this "self learning". Teachers are no longer educators helping teach students. They have become web hosts who tell students to "Google it". It's likely this is why they have such a high turn over rate with faculty. Summit's Special Education Program is one of the worst I've experienced. They really don't have a program other than offering special ed students support class time. Special ed students are forced to take the same AP classes as the rest of the student body utilizing the self teaching method. Teachers have little experience helping these special needs students and are often uniformed regarding their IEP (Individualized Educational Plan). Instead of helping special ed students and their families, they deny and deceive. Its all about the mighty dollar. Summit harms these special children by causing anxiety and depression. If you try and fight back they get their lawyers involved. Shame on them for treating special needs children and families in this way.
The small class size, and personable teachers helped my freshman son start the year feeling very safe and excited to be at Summit. He was eager to dig in and give it his all. Then we hit an obstacle. At the beginning of the second semester, he became overwhelmed, got sick often, and started missing school. I sent a note to Ms. Pak, the school s Director. I received her reply within a couple of hours, and agreed to attend a meeting the next morning with her, all of my son s teachers, and my son. Ms. Pak made it clear that she cared about every student and asked my son to explain to everyone what was troubling him. After listening to him, each teacher shared his/her perspective, personal challenges, suggestions, and steps each of them would take to help him through. Wow! He bounced back, and is thriving again. I think Summit has bright, engaging, and driven teachers. I am thrilled to see the experiments they have the courage to take. I understand not all will work.
This school used to be great. But now 100% of instruction is computer based. Not supplemented with technology, but relies on technology alone. Teachers are no longer partners and educators. Now they are simply glamorized tutors. The school can't retain staff, because teachers are no longer valued. But that doesn't matter with the school's new "playlist" model. It's now no better than those k12 online schools. Avoid this school, and all summit schools!
This school is run by a group of young professionals with very little oversight from the Summit Public Schools organization. There is no consistency. They are all over the place with their teaching styles and philosophy. It used to be that all electives were taught within the two down time months of they year where the students immersed themselves. Now they interrupt school every few weeks for two weeks. There is no time to immerse students in either core curriculum or electives. Teachers used to teach. But no more. Now students use Chrome books and teach themselves from Playlists. Teachers are supposed to be in the school to facilitate projects. Ask a student what they did in class & they mostly answer that they worked on their playlists. Very few facilitated projects are being done. Books are poorly chosen. Facility is not clean. The Teachers are confused as to what to do. The Administration is confused. The parents are confused. The kids are really confused. Diane Tavner is busy opening up new schools and cannibalizing the teaching staffs at the existing schools. More teachers are pulled to roam from school to school with poorly prepared electives. Disaster!
My son started 10th grade at Summit this year and he loves it and so do we. The school emphasizes on self learning. The staff is very young and passionate about what they do. The students like the teachers and follow them because of the closeness of their age. It is very different than an old style schools and the way they teach students seems to be working as they have a very high rate of college acceptance. Our son was very hesitant to switch schools but once he started it did not take very long to love it. They have a lot of fun programs for the kids as well. We are very grateful that our son had the opportunity to attend this school.
This is a school that gets its students through a lottery. The students are not tested or hand-selected. The students make up the demographics of the school district. They have a 96% or better of getting the seniors into a 4 year college. They are currently working at improving their curriculum so that their students FINISH college with a degree. (i.e. the national average is only 55% will do so). How is this school so successful? They have high expectations for the students and the students meet those expectations. There is a lot of help given through teachers' keeping office hours, peer support, an assigned mentor for each student.
My student has had an excellent experience at this school. Although the students are pulled from a lottery, it offers just as much diversity as the area public schools. The classes are small. The school is small. Most athletics are done outside of school making for an eclectic student body of ice skaters, swimmers, sailors, dancers & more. The teachers are all quite young, for many this is their first teaching position after many years of schooling. They are also dynamic and enthusiastic. Students are inspired! The teachers are committed and work long hours allowing unprecedented access. Sometimes that translates into the mundane things, such as updating grades, being back-burnered. The promotion ladder at Summit Public Schools is also unparalleled in the public school system. New schools are being opened all the time. Teachers and faculty are always on the move. Some change is good preparation for students "real world" experience but this year a few major programs & key philosophies are deemed unsuccessful & were quickly, maybe hastily, changed - leaving both parents and students off kilter. I'm confident the course will be righted and the students will excel.
All the staff are very interested in helping our child succeed in their academics. The mentors are awesome too, they are like second parents! Our daughter need a school that had small classroom size and attention and most of all CHALLENGE. This school does all that and more. I love Summit Prep because of the amount of support our students get and all the great cocmoradery. Go Huskies!
This school has been a life changer. It is awesome, small and everybody there is friendly. I was graduating class of 2012!
If you are looking for a swimming pool, great football team and beautiful campus, Summit is not for you. If you want a small, highly focused learning environment, Summit delivers. Teachers are extremely accessible. Every child has a mentor (that they keep for their 4 years at the school), teachers insist on mastery and provide extra time for those children who need it. With just over 400 kids at the school, you will know most of them by the end of the first year.
Compared to other school's AP classes, the classes here are not as rigorous because the goal is that all students take AP in junior and senior year. They have to teach to the lowest commonest denominator. Those transferring to district schools find themselves behind. Some teachers are excellent, others not so...
I have now had the good fortune of graduating two of my children from Summit and have been part of this community for eight years. The commitment of the extraordinarily high quality faculty to the students ins unparalleled. Summit does not track its students into different levels of classes, instead offering every student the opportunity and challenge of taking AP classes. Summit delivers what it promises. After four years in this highly diverse student body, my daughter says, "We are One", and means it. The sports programs have greatly improved during the nine years the school has been in existence and my kids have enjoyed volleyball, tennis and basketball, plus the opportunity to use the Riekes Center. During the Intersessions, my kids have traveled the world, done musical theatre, film making, SAT prep, volunteered at nonprofits, created a website, seen brain surgery and much more. I just wish more kids had an opportunity to get a Summit education and luckily, Summit is building more schools every year!
It excels in quality not quantity! The teachers really care about the students!
I love Summit Prep Charter HS because the faculty and staff are 100% committed to delivering a quality education to my child!
I am student from Summit's first graduating class. I have been there for four years-since the school's first year of operation (2003) and I graduated in 2007. This school is unlike any school I have seen, with younger teachers that are excited about the curriculum. I would not have pushed myself as hard as I did if it weren't for the faculty at Summit which comes to know each student very personally and no one is left to fall through the cracks. Summit is what it claims to be- a college preparatory high school, and all the students are prepared to go to college upon graduation. The experience I had with teachers at the school was phenomenal and teachers become very close to the students. The intercessions are great way to take electives. I recommend visiting the school and seeing it all for yourself if you are a prospective student/parent.
Summit has been an awesome school and a perfict fit for my son. The teaching quality, class size and differentiated learning, are far superior to any thing we have experienced in the public relam of Menlo park or the private area . We have had his sibligs at local private high schools in Palo Alto and Atherton. The teachers closely track, monitor and mentor each student for their 4 years. The areavailable and willing to help each student succeed to their potential....any student needing additional help is able to have 1/1 or study group tutoring. a down side is that there are few extracurriculars, a minimal sports program, other extracuriculars: theater, student government, debate etc....are in the creatiion stage as it is a new school and 'running very ' lean. It is as diverse community as one wouldfind in the large public HS .The difference is students aren't falling through the crack at Summmit
I am A graduating senior, I have been there all four years, this is one of the best school ever created, summit is a very well thought out school, the feeling of community will never be qual, the extra curricular activities have open many doors to a lot of students from traveling over seas or working on high paid film sets, academically summit is rigorous but the teacher are always willing to help. there is millions of thing i could say about summit but to truly understand you have to experience it for your self, and class of 2007 is the best.
Great teachers, inspired administration, excellent academic and extra-curricular activities that build skills. We are very happy that our son has had a chance to attend Summit. The school and staff has exceeded our expectations on all counts.
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