The skills taught at this school in the performing arts are perfectly suited to prepare the students for life in the real world. I use the digital art teachings of this school to increase my income from marketing, the acting experience I learned here to boost my confidence and prepare for interviews and sales, and finally the academic skills to always present myself in the best professional way possible This has resulted in great success for myself and I'm proud that to say this school provided the tools for me to succeed in life. I feel the schools greatest strength was allowing the students to have a safe place to express themselves and push through personal boundaries. In the end by the time I graduated I have both lifelong friends, as well as many memories of both failures, which provided valuable lessons, and great success. As I understand it the school has become less accepting to freedom of expression, and the student body has changed, but as I see it the spirit is still alive and well on campus. Someone can find their voice and hone lifelong skill while attending this school. John Class of 2009.
I have worked at and had children in three programs under the NCS umbrella. NCS started over 20 years ago and since that time they have responded to community needs by producing quality programs that lead to innovation and choice throughout California. The great thing is that NCS provides a choice for students, parents, and staff. I encourage you to look at what each program offers and their staff to see if it is a good fit for your child. In fact, I encourage you to look at all options in your area. Not every school is for every child or teacher. Expect that at some point programs will change and grow. Remaining the same is usually not a part of innovation when the world and student population you serve is changing.
Natomas Charter School is all about tolerance...except for tolerance toward Christians. Homosexuality is celebrated here, in a big way- witness this school's production of the highly sexually referenced, profanity-laden "Laramie Project," which glorifies homosexuality and denigrates Americans of faith. Shame on this school's administration for it's promotion of the sexualization of children- 6th graders- who are exposed to frank sexual talk from 17 and 18 year old high school students on a daily basis. Parents- you should know what you are getting your kids into- be warned
My children have attended PACT for the past two years. I have enjoyed teaching homeschool with them. The first year I was excited about getting started unfortunately I didn't have a supportive advisor to guide me along and as a newcomer to homeschool we were overlooked. We got a better advisor and things ran smoothies. I liked the administration, teachers and office staff. Last year things chaned with a new administration and front office staff was gone. I haven't cared much for the new leadership in that they don't represent the homeschool in any personal way, appear indifferent to parents. For the whole year that we have been in school not one of them introduced themselves. The student body is cultural diverse however I didn't feel the school was welcoming. My kids felt singled out to what they were doing when they were not causing disruption. When many times other children were loud in the library it would go unnoticed. At some point the administrator finally enforced a strict policy of in supervision of kids. Needless to say I like the program but administrators need to have better PR. The school I rate 5 star, administration 1.
I am a student that currently goes to PFAA at NCS and I am sad to tell all these happy parents that I didn't like it. You see I am shy and so are my friends. The parent involvement is mainly for making them think the school is good and all because they are only involved in the arts of the occasional parties for the academic portion. The teachers mainly focus on those that are behind and sometimes those kids don't care. So we have a lot of students that are ready for the next thing but the teacher won't go foreword. The school focuses on bullies a little too much. They haven't noticed that most kids know not to do physical confrontations and just talk behind the "victim's" back. Kids are getting smarter every year. The mentor program is a joke to all the kids involved. The lunch tastes very processed. The quiet students aren't payed attention too. The slow learners are merely told the same thing over and over. The loud kids disrupt every lesson I have. The only reason this school has 2 stars is because of the teachers that really care about the students. There is only one teacher that pays attention to the quiet ones in my opinion. THANK YOU! (You know who you are.)
I found out about this school by accident when I was walking to my new house one night. When I applied, I had no clue how good this school was. I soon found out more and heard that it was a pretty decent school. I started having high hopes for it, but in the end it is a disappointment. It is a wonderful school for its arts and creativity. It's campus is also very clean and beautiful. Bullying is on the low, and kids are generally (or at least act) nice. Which brings another problem, this school is trying to fix something that isn't broken. They focus too much on bullying. I believe that bullying should be addressed, but not enough time and energy is focused on other things. The school's teachers aren't the best either. Like other reviews, some should be teachers and some shouldn't. Also, they are planning to "incorporate" mine craft into our studies. Even though I am a student and one who plays this game I find it a rather terrible idea. I wish I could speak more positively about this school, but the reality is that I can't. In a nutshell, if you are what they like this is heaven. If you aren't so much of that, good luck.
My son has attended two Academies at Natomas Charter School, and I am appreciative of the excellent and supportive teachers he has had throughout his middle and high school years. The school has high expectations for both students and staff which is why it is such a successful school that receives tons of awards. Bad teachers won't cut it here. Thank you, NCS teachers, you're the best!
I have taught at Natomas Charter School PFAA as an academic teacher for over a decade. There are many reasons why I do not wish to work anywhere else. I work with a dedicated, innovative and professional staff. Our students are curious and love learning. The integration of arts and academics in all aspects of the school learning environment and culture create an environment that encourages creativity and critical thinking. Every member of this community: the teachers, support staff, administration, students and parents work hard to provide a unique and meaningful educational experience. In addition, I believe in the mission of this school so much that my own children have attended since sixth grade. They are developing into intelligent, compassionate, creative and confident adults and I know that many of the teachers and experiences they have had at PFAA have contributed to this growth. If you are considering PFAA for your children or for a place of employment, come talk to us. You will be inspired.
I am a full-time teacher at Natomas Charter School PFAA and have been for over 15 years. I love my school! I wanted to share this story with anyone who is interested in either attending or working at a truly great school. Recently, I ran into an alumni student of PFAA. I'll call her Laurie. Laurie was and is a shining example of a PFAA kid. She was totally immersed in the Music Department as a singer/songwriter and performed as much as she could during high school. She was a completely dedicated musician. When I ran into Laurie this summer she had just graduated from UC Davis (pre-med) and will be starting medical school this Fall. Laurie recounted to me that many people are surprised that she went into the sciences because she had attended an arts high school. She said, I always correct them. I tell them it s because my high school put an equal emphasis on arts and academics. I had to work hard at both and I loved it all." Laurie is now going to be a pediatrician who uses music to work with autistic children. The students who graduate from PFAA enter the work force as engaged, critical thinkers whose deep understanding of the arts will make the world a better place.
As a former teacher in PFAA, I would not recommend this school to anyone. The administration treats teachers very poorly. Teachers are disposable and they feel like they are too, which is why so many teachers resign year after year. Also, teachers are "asked" to change grading policies and student grades, which is against Edcode as only teachers can assign grades. If you're a teacher seeking employment, please notice the high number of job postings this school offers years after year. There is a reason and you should not apply. If you're a parent, consider the constant shift of teachers as unstable for your child. Also, not all teachers at this school have a teaching credential because it is not required in a charter school. This can lead to inexperienced teachers who are teaching outside of their subject area or who have no idea how to manage a classroom. Academics are not valued nearly as much as the arts are and your child will not receive a strong academic foundation. Overall, given the opportunity, whether you are a teacher, parent, or student- choose another school! -A former PFAA teacher now working at a wonderful school where I am valued
Despite the personal attacks here, PACT is making changes for the good of all children. Yes, sometimes long time teachers have to go- but it has been our experience that this happens at any school when teachers refuse to teach ALL kids, not just the ones they like best. PACT has changed class formats to make room for more students, to open registration in a fair way and to spend more time helping parents homeschool. Why choose a homeschool program then put your kid in 10 classes? That isn't homeschool, that is avoiding traditional school. My daughter is excited for Minecraft history and also for writing, science and dance- all of which are still at PACT along with 70+ other classes. If you want to homeschool with support, with enrichment and field trips and social opportunities, this is the place. If you want more of the same, more old school sheltering, fear and 19th century strategies, this isn't the school for you.
Natomas Charter has 5 schools under it's umbrella. My child goes to PFAA (performing arts school). I know quite a few children from his grade.For the past 3 years all have told me how much they love PFAA and don't want to miss a day.That speaks volumes. Besides the academics and arts offered, students are not allowed to disrupt classrooms in anyway, resulting in the whole class period being productive.It gives the students necessary skills they will need in high school.A Technology class is given 6th grade where they learn various programs and will be able to type at least 30 words a minute by the end of the year.They teach students to be organized, comfortable communicating with their teachers, responsible for their success and to give back to the community.They do all this in an environment that is truly free of bullying. A C average is required. This school has expectations and makes them very clear to all students from the start. As a result, students rise to the occasion and excel.The growth I've seen in my child, both academically and personally, has been astounding.If that is your child is a performing arts kid, this school will be a great fit, academically and creatively.
It's unfortunate that I write this review because I have been a supporter of PACT for a few years. We have enjoyed the classes, teachers, advisors and students. With that being said, we had some changes to the school this year which seems to be spearheaded from our new administrator. With little to no insight from parents and advisors, the new administrator made drastic changes to the classes being offered. In addition, they let go of a well loved teacher who devoted her career to PACT for 17 years. The advisors are being treated poorly and you sense a "if you don't accept my rules then you are out the door" atmosphere. Unfortunately this discontent is not mine alone and I hear from many other parents that this is not what they want. The saddest part is the morale of the school has change. Once a place that felt like a community is now separated by the tension between the administrator and the advisors, teachers and parents. It's very unfortunate the new administrator has taken an "it's my way or the highway" attitude. I'm not sure if it's hers alone or coming from upper management but either way it's a shame that a once great school is being subjected to poor management.
PACT has fundamentally changed for the worse due to the unchecked, unilateral decisions of its head administrator who has continually kept parents, advisers, and teachers in the dark. Originally, PACT's desired to support and assist parents with how they sought to homeschool - offering semester and year-long classes along side shorter enrichment classes that created a unique learning environment and community. However, changes were announced in early 2014 that year-long classes (such as Kindergarten and 1st Grade) would be eliminated and replaced by 7-week "unit study" classes which could be repeated continually without any change in content. Furthermore, classes like Creative Writing would be replaced with "Minecraft History" or "Zombie Geography." These changes were implemented without input or involvement from parents and were told the new direction PACT was taking was not up for debate. Continual deceit and underhandedness by the Administration is exemplified by the most recent action: the a much-beloved teacher of 17 years "will be leaving to spend more time with her family" when, in actuality, she was terminated without notice to her on the first day of summer break.
So excite for the new changes at PACT! Students have a huge variety of enrichment classes to take on site, all while parents will get more support in homeschooling curriculum, structures and differences in styles. The new workshop format is perfect for my family because we travel during the holidays and always have to skip class for several weeks. I am looking forward to when my son is old enough to be in the new hybrid program that has two days a week on site, with three at home. It will be an easy transition back to brick and mortar traditional high school, which has always been our goal. I have found the administration to be warm, understanding and they even homeschool themselves so they know what it is like. They also have been very helpful in implementing my son's 504 plan and talking about learning disabilities. We wouldn't homeschool anywhere else!
PACT has implemented substantial changes to its educational model in 2014. Enrichment classes are now almost entirely limited to short workshops on trendy subjects and a curriculum review is underway. Students are limited in how many workshops they may use. The changes were made at the discretion of an on-site administrator who favors a media-focused, entertainment-based approach to learning. For example, she relies heavily on Minecraft and movie versions of literature. Her philosophy is set forth on her blog and self-published book, "Academic Homeschooling" on Amazon. Her priorities are not supportive of Classical Homeschooling or Charlotte Mason ideals. The administrator uses a label, "Academic Homeschooling," to contrast her view of, "Religious Homeschooling." Homeschoolers with faith-based viewpoints should be cautious of her leadership. I suggest doing, "due diligence" to evaluate the leadership direction PACT is taking by reading the administrator's published opinions. There are some outstanding teachers and advisors at PACT, but the ultimate governance comes from the on-site administrator. If you share her views, you may find a fit. If not, save yourself the headache.
We decided to pull our children from the Natomas Charter PACT Academy after the administration announced that they would be making sweeping changes to the program for next year. Unfortunately the wonderful yearlong and semester classes offered in the past are being replaced with 7 week workshops that offer no real educational benefit. Additionally, students will be very limited in how many workshops they can take. The administrators are dishonest and have low academic expectations for the program. There are numerous homeschool charter programs in Sacramento.. don't waste your time at PACT.
First and foremost, my son thoroughly likes Natomas Charter PFAA! As a new 9th grader he has particularly appreciated the high level of social ease and camaraderie with fellow students, the openness of his teachers & their accessibility, plus the relatively strong rigor of his classes. Another strong positive feature for him is the high levels of personal motivation and competitiveness he perceives held by the school's students. He considers the students very talented & enjoys the mix of visual & performing arts skills held by them. To quote him, "All are very talented & everyone gets along well with each other; in fact their relative high musical/artistic proficiencies help stimulate everyone to strive higher." As educators, both his mom & I believe that the positive factors noted by our son stem from the focused efforts of the PFAA administration, faculty & staff to create a student-centric school climate that is both supportive & encouraging & is built on a foundation of strong academic standards & educational professionalism. Such a climate promotes development of each individual student, fosters excellence and emphasizes respect of individual differences and diversity.
My school is in the Natomas Unified School District. The STAR Academy is a Great charter school founded under the Natomas Charter School system. It has a varied student body and AWESOME teachers. Lots of 'after school enrichment' activities: art music, sports, yoga and engineering to name a few. Fun after school care program open til 6 (M-F). My child loves his teachers and staff.
The PFAA program is a very good program, The school academically challenges my student and holds my student accountable. The school promotes being a self advocate and individualism. They have a lot of options that are not common at other Sacramento schools at this school including various booster clubs, culture awareness, 8th period options, lots of after school events, homework club and after school media center availability. My middle school child loves the school and is exceling. My student is socially accepted as well which was a problem coming from another school prior. We, myself and child, are very happy being a part of NCS PFAA.
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