No school is perfect, but this school is a perfect fit for my children. They are above average, and they are consistently challenged at this school. I am eternally grateful to the volunteers, founders, teachers, and donors for making this excellent school an option for my family.
Two years in and my kids are doing great. This school may not be for everyone as I have seen some disgruntled reviews. Hopefully those parents have found a better fit for them and their kids. As for our family, this school has been a great experience for our kids. This year OTA is implementing character coaching based on researched traits for success and happiness in life. They are learning that good grades are nice but that being the best you can personally be is even better. Another addition this year is orchestra for all kids from 5th grade up. The programs this school has integrated with the basic California educational requirements is to be applauded. We are so proud this school does not "teach to the state test" and still scored a 901. It's a challenging workload for the kids but, at least for mine, it's paying off. To people who have commented the school is run like a business. I don't have a problem with that. The administration gets grants and much needed funding to keep moving forward. In just two years it's astounding what they have done along with a lot of dedicated parent volunteers. The school isn't perfect but it's really delivering for my kids.
ota is an out of the box learning environment. when i evaluate schools, i not only look at reviews and testing scores, i tour and listen to my instincts on the type of fit for my kids. this school is an amazing fit for my girls. i feel so lucky to have found it.
I love OTA! I am more than satisfied with the quality of my children's education, the dedication of the faculty and staff, the hands on learning approach and core knowledge curriculum. ALL of the families and kids that I have met and worked with are also as dedicated to the school and love it as much as I. Therefore, I was very surprised to see, a few reviews were so rancorous and petty. No single entity is "perfect" and for everyone. It would be foolish to believe that, however, the OTA faculty and staff are constantly striving to find the best and most effective teaching and learning atmosphere- if something doesn't work they discard it, but if it does, they strive to perfect it! I know that they "bend over backwards" to help kids that are struggling. I certainly hope this disgruntled parent, if so unhappy with the school, has with drawn her child because there are MANY kids and families that are wishing a spot would open up for them! . During the school year, OTA usually runs a tour once a week- call, make an appointment and see for yourself. OTA is a phenomenal place! I sincerely hope your child is lucky enough to attend!
Nobody cares about your kid. If you complain you might as well paint a target on your child's back. Don't go there, it's a bad place.
School is run as a business, nothing is about the kids...such a shame. The promise was good, too bad they don't execute it.
OTA has been a great experience for my children. Music/Piano twice every week, lots of PE, art science, project-based learning. My kids actually like going to school! The teachers are dedicated and professional and I always see them after school offering free tutoring and running clubs. They also welcome parents into the class to help teach art, math, reading, even Seminar (every kid is in "Seminar" here). My only complaint is the wait list is so long I cant get my cousins or my friend's kids in.
Every time there is a bad review, there is an immediate good review to follow...intriguing. School non-bullying police only applies to some. Arrogant administration. School will probably be good in a few years, right now is not well structured to deliver what they promised 2 years ago. I don't think the Core knowledge is presented correctly. The grading system is not good, my child only has A's and B's at OTA but when I got him tested in 4 different private schools, NONE accepted him, he was not at the level where he should be with the grades he has. I showed his work(to which he received a passing grade at OTA) to the Principals and they were baffled, they said his work was so incomplete and they would have never accepted that ( but it was accepted at OTA, which high scoring). Hopefully one day they will achieve their goal of education, their promise is great, but the delivery is not promising. This is my opinion (and probably of those who ran out of there on the first year),like others said, do your research. I want my child to go to a school where he can be prepared for what is to come, high school, college, career, and right now OTA is not it. Out There Alone
As a student who had spent her entire life in private schools, I was curious to see how an institute that does not charge tuition could still claim to offer a hands-on learning environment. I was not disappointed. Due to the brevity of my internship, I worked exclusively with the kindergarten and the seventh grade. The kindergarten was a mixture of both new and old learning techniques that ranged from measuring items around the room with a string in order to comprehend the concepts of "shorter" and "longer" to "play time" on ipads that offered reading comprehension, math, and music games. The seventh grade was also a mix of the novel and the traditional. Instead of tests, oral exams were administered to quiz the students' comprehension of class material and a seminar discussion was held at the end of the week in order to teach students how to both argue their opinions while respectfully listening to their fellow students. Although my brief visit was limited to only these two grades, I have no doubt the remainder of the staff and student body at Old Town Academy are as impressive as the ones I had the chance to work with.
O - outrageous T - tyrannical A - amoral Don't recommend drinking their "Kool Aid"
If you are looking for something different - OTA is certainly that! If you try to compare it with a typical state school, you won't get very far. You can safely ignore the 1 star ratings... those people obviously wanted something else and good luck to them in their search. We can all do better, and that goes for OTA, but the point about OTA is that it is oozing opportunity. Your child will have to learn how to make the best of the opportunities, and how to become a responsible individual. Orchestra, languages, innovative math program, hand-on science explorations, varied field trips, marshal arts, sailing....... the list goes on. it is hard work, but if you and your child 'get' OTA, there is no richer, more real-world place to learn. Judge for yourself.
Leadership is weak. Parents not welcomed, only when convenient. I too expected more. Its just not preparing my child for the future. I understand the hands on and the independence of the program, but considering that most kids came from regular traditional schools (this is a2 years old school), they give the children no guidance. I don't like it, I don't like their grade system, I don't think the grades my child receives reflects what my child should know. I wish they could do better, I do see potential though, we just can't wait for it to get better. That's just my opinion.
OTA is an amazing school! The principle, teachers and staff strive to help students achieve goals and thrive. The 3rd grade, for example, completed their core knowledge curriculum a month in advance and have been spending the remaining school time working on a presentation/ performance/ awards ceremony and taking great field trips..! They have an amazing hands on learning/ project-based science program and robotics program, all students learn to play the piano or can participate in orchestra , recess is supervised and games/ activities are set up to keep kids active and not sitting on the fence gossiping, there are amazing parent volunteers assisting with everything from seminar discussions, hot lunch, teaching art, helping in the classrooms or sharing skills in meaningful ways with the students. They also go to great lengths to work with families of troubled students to resolve issues and fix problems. I think OTA is an incredible school, I am more than satisfied with my children's education and I look forward to seeing the school becoming an even more amazing place- (it only just completed its second year- it really is a marvel!)
Not happy with it. I expected a lot more from this school when I enrolled my child 2 years ago.
This school has been a blessing to our family for the past 2 years. We love Old Town Academy's value-based curriculum, community support, and family atmosphere which enhance its strong academics and enrichment programs. The dedicated teachers truly care about the success of their students the staff is committed and caring. There is an open-door policy to the principal and they know every child by name! There is a true partnership between parents and the school. I feel confident my son s education, as well as his social development is being thoughtfully considered each day. My son is learning time management skills that will take him far in life. He loves participating in a variety of school activities and after-school sports programs. We moved from North County to be apart of this school because we know the benefits of Old Town Academy how it implements, Equality and Excellence for All.
I am very excited to apply for my future Kindergartner to attend Old Town Academy. My neighbor's children are enrolled there and I have recently taken a tour. The learning environments (including lunch and recess) are called 'active learning zones' and I was especially impressed with the classrooms and labs which feature state-of-the art technology. According to my neighbor's kids, the project based curriculum is challenging, and it's not easy to get good grades, "you really have to work for it". They seem very proud of their school, and proud of themselves. I believe this is a very positive learning experience, and I look forward to being a part of it.
We could not be happier with our choice to enroll our child at OTA. It has been a wonderful fit for our child who is thriving in this student centered environment. She is challenged, loves the curriculum and has found a confidence in math we could have only dreamed of. The project based learning allows her to demonstrate her understanding of the content without being assessed only by a test. We have made some great friends here and enjoy the community thoroughly. Thank you to the administration, teachers, founders and all staff for making this school possible! We are beyond excited to see OTA continue to grow and develop in the years to come.
In three years, this school will have a hundreds-long waiting list. I feel like this is the best kept secret in San Diego. I am so happy that we are here, and look forward to great things to come! Every thing the school does is very intentional, with a focus on what is best for the kids. I love it here and look forward to rolling up my sleeves to pitch in where needed. Go Ospreys!!
A great start-up school and huge potential for students at OTA. After several other schools, we were and still are very pleased to find this one. One thing you need to realize is that your child will be expected to take full responsibility for themselves. They have to take ownership of their projects and self motivate to a greater extent than at other schools. They deal with ensuring testing standards are maintained separately from providing a rounded, purposeful learning environment. These objectives often overlap, but priority is given to nurturing true respect and understanding while empowering students to become masters of their own destinies - over and above pure teaching to the test. This approach probably will lead to frustration if your student can't focus, can't self motivate or doesn't start seriously caring about making something of their educational opportunities. Without doubt, this are touch times to start a school, at OTA there is an opportunity rich environment for your child to grown in. The over-all feel of the school is very friendly, especially towards students and their families who respect and value the special school they lucky enough to be part of.
My Child is a Student at Old Town Academy. Like any new endeavor, patience and vision are necessary in order to see something fully develop. OTA has done wonders in a short period of time, to provide our children with a warm, child centered space. Tom Donahue is the principal at OTA, He believes that the child is filled with potential, and has built a school that gives the child an opportunity to participate actively in the educational process, and have a sense of pride and accomplishment in their own work. Every teacher in the school knows my child, she is not just a number, but an individual member of this positive community. Mr. Donahue is a talented educator, and is rarely inside his office. I witnessed him helping a child who during recess was working on figuring out a math problem, he empowered this child by teaching him a math formula to assist in solving this problem. To me, that is a rare gift in a principal. . This is a choice school, and might not be the best match for everyone. If you are looking for a school where your child is expected to shine, and where academic passion is encouraged, visit OTA and see if this is the right choice for your family.
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