We've had a positive experience at MEA. This is our third year. We come from a homeschooling background and this has been a nice addition to our kids' education. Definitely worth checking out if you think a mix of homeschooling/traditional school could be a good fit for your child.
The school offers the usual state textbooks and worksheets, but there is a lot of flexibility to do what you want at the elementary level and a good bit at the middle school level (though the optional once-a-week classes are more useful in middle school if following similar curriculum at home). I've been impressed with the high school teachers and think many teens could benefit from the freedom and responsibility MEA provides.
I find it to be a positive, tolerant, and encouraging environment. A big thanks to the teachers, staff, and families that share their love of learning at Mt. Everest Academy!
My daughter is finishing her 2nd year (8th grade) at this school. Enrolling her at Mt Everest was the best thing we ever did. She can progress at her pace, especially in math where she is 1 year ahead. She learns much more on her own at home than she would be by sitting in a classroom everyday for 6 hours. One day of study group with the teachers and others kids is plenty. She is learning to work independently and howt avoid procrastination. The teachers are great, very supportive and always available when they are not teaching. The school offers a lot of extracurricular activities, field trips, performances, etc... We are hoping she can stay at the school until she finishes high school. However, there is no magic: if your kid is not motivated, doesn't work well independently, especially for higher grades, a more traditional school is better. We tried it first for a couple of months before making the jump.
For the child who is not challenged at his/her current school, this school is a marvel. The staff takes a personal interest in each child and the children are encouraged not only to strive, but to take independent ownership of their education. My child is in 5th grade and we did not see such "independence" on the horizon for some time to come in our previous high-performing charter school. My child also likes the fact that he can participate in classes according to his ability, not his age. He is taking math a year ahead of his grade, and a language with high school students, both of which are a challenge that he hadn't previously encountered but is excited to meet. It has been a great experience for him and he likes it so much that he is working hard to ensure that we don't feel the sting of the extra parent work to keep him here. That is good because it is indeed considerable extra work for the parents. Also note, this school isn't for all kids. Those who need to be motivated to do school work will find the lack of structure to be challenging. We have a younger son that we'd love to send here, but it just won't work for him.
If you are looking for the best of both worlds, look no further. The staff is extremely supportive for your home schooling efforts and really come alongside you to assist and encourage you. The class size is unbeatable and with having freedom to use my own chosen curriculum (for younger grades), I can't complain. As long as we are working hard and meeting standards, we are given all the choices a regular home schooling family could want. The only difference is you get a regular group of kids to meet with and they are taught by certified elementary teachers who know how to teach and what best practices are out there. That with the combined elective choices and free resources- MT Everest is hard to beat. I love seeing the principal walking around campus engaging in the student body and parents every time I'm there. It's hard to imagine putting my kids in a regular school after doing this one. Visiting is what sold me, and although I'd love to keep it a secret, I have to be honest and say as a former teacher- this school is amazing! You just have to see it in action to believe it.
My school is amazing. In my ten years of school, I have been to eight different schools, always returning to this one. I'm a student, and I think this is a good school for kids with initiative. The teachers expect a lot from us, and it's hard. But for people like me, with a want to learn as much as I can and get into a good college, it's perfect. It's not at all anti-social, in fact we are better speakers than most other kids. I think that people leave our school because they feel they are not getting enough support. Bu the teachers will help anyone who wants it, as long as they ask. My history and English teachers are amazing, and I wouldn't leave this school for anything.
I have two students at this school. We are changing schools. If you have a child with any special needs this is NOT the school to send your child to. The school psychologist is rude and condescending. The principal Mr. Rood, and the special ed department violate CA procedures. The principal said to my child in front of me that my child was just lazy and unmotivated. If your child is a strong scholastic performer and/or has special talents that make the school e.g. the principal look good, then this is the right fit for you and your child.
Good and bad... This is our first year here and my child is in kindergarten. The pros are they offer in-person classes and activities for those wanting their child to have a social outlet. The families are great and it's almost like a mini private school, but free! The campus is nice and clean and the playgrounds are nice for those with younger siblings. The cons are the teachers can be a bit disorganized and a lot of the curriculum was unavailable at the start of the year. We were left to fill in the blanks ourselves. Also, for those who want a true homeschool experience in which you choose what to teach, that isn't really the case here. You're handed a HUGE stash of books and work pages and expected to turn in this stuff at the end of each month. You can supplement your own materials for extra learning, but when it comes down to it your student is still a public school student and you're obligated to teach what they think your child should know. Also, you're still subject to public school rules and regulations. For some this isn't a big issue, but if you want true freedom of homeschool you shouldn't choose this school. Overall, great place though.
Is this the school for you? Hello, I too know what it's like to spend countless hours on this website.. trying desperately to find the *RIGHT* school for your little ones. This will help those that are considering starting/continuing homeschooling. Okay, so here it goes. I HIGHLY recommend this school for children in grades K-4th. The teachers for these grades are great, attentive, personable, and flexible. Your kids will make good friendships here and the teachers work with you. They become your good friends. Now.. For kids in middle school, there are lots of expectations, which make for a stressful learning experience. Which honestly robs the job of homeschooling that you desired to have in the first place. No curriculum options (Just one type provided). Trying to plan lessons, that align with the teachers expectations are just.. confusing. High School? Forget it. I have NO idea how the high school parents do it. I did however.. notice that most those that have high school students.. only have one child. Maybe two at the most. That must be how they do it. For those of you that have more children.. anything past 4th grade.. I'd look at other options to keep your joy and sanity. :)
This is our first year here. I only wish I would have known about it long ago. My son is in 10th grade. He has the option of doing one school subject at a time versus all subjects at once. This gives him more time to focus and build upon what he has already learned as the weeks go by. Work load is handed at the beginning of the month. Due at the end of the month. All the resources are made available to you either on campus or online through their website. 1-3 (optional) classes available during the week depending on grade level. Homework help also available apart from the regular classes. Great 1on1 assistance. The staff is super friendly. Principal Reed is wonderful and fully engaged in every aspect of his school. You can tell he cares about his students, staff and parents. The kids my son has befriended show pride in attending there. Lots of school spirit. I love that it still offers fieldtrips, events on and off campus, and lots of interactions. Many electives available. My son is dually enrolled in another near by school to attend an elective not offered at Mt Everest with no problems. The best of both worlds. Sack lunches also provided. Even got my own 'Teacher' Id card.
This is our third year at MEA. The pros: Terrific office staff Clean campus Conscientious and for the most part fabulous teachers Modern computer lab and net books in class rooms Promethean technology Fun music program Counseling and therapeutic help is excellent Cons: Ridiculos work load (math) wait till you see the books and curriculum. I drive my kids to have an actual class and the teacher doesn't teach but tells the kids to study for a test... ? That's what they do at home. This happened a lot last year. Maybe better this time around. Students are often allowed to be loud, rude and obnoxious during the precious class time.. I understand some of that but come on. -------------- Ok, here it is, the classes this year are huge. Way bigger than the last couple of years. 12 kids in a class last year has turned into 26 kids. I was attracted to this place because of its small size. Now? I'll wait and see