I would say that because of the types of families and students that attend TCPS, bullying is non-existent. Period. Also, TCPS fosters such a strong philosophy of caring, understanding and collaboration between students, that students have too much respect for each other for bullying to exist at any level.
The small class size to some degree allows each teacher to approach each student with a somewhat "tailored" teaching approach. In my opinion, though, I would say that TCPS is not set up for children with significant learning disabilities.
The school's co-founder Sherry Risch is still teaching 33 years after she and Maggie Price founded TCPS. Leadership flows from the top down and is contagious. They both founded TCPS with a vision of building "life-long learners" that will impact every facet of our community, country and world. Sherry's leadership is contagious and she empowers both teachers and students to step-out, speak up, make suggestions and be innovative - new ideas and approaches are encouraged by Sherry.
TCPS is founded on the premise of integrity, respect and understanding. Students learn to not only respect and accept perspectives and differences among students, but they come to understand each other's thought process and background as a basis of that belief system. The interaction between K-8 grades through mentoring and programs such as, The Big Event, Thanksgiving lunch preparation and various open-house and performance shows, fosters an attitude of collaboration and comradery between student of all grades.
At TCPS, teachers are involved and firm - yet loving. With class sizes ranging from 8 to 14 students, you can imagine how close each teacher becomes with their students. They get to know what motivates each child and can in turn tailor their teaching approach to each child, as well as provide each child with a learning approach that specifically suits them.
Our daughter’s pre-school teacher’s son attended TCPS K-8. Her pre-school teacher was adamant about the risk of our daughter’s creativity and intellect going “under-nurtured” in the public school system – that she would be bored and grow to dislike school very early on. TCPS has provided excellence in education, nurturing her creative resources through each teacher’s individual interaction with each student (class sizes of no more than 14 students), without “common core”. She is close to all her classmates (under 10 students in Kindergarten). She is learning “real-life” application of academic concepts – not memorizing, but leaning “how” to apply what she is learning. TCPS teachers make learning “fun” and rewarding in a loving, yet firm learning environment. Our daughter has been able to see the fruits of her efforts and actually understands how much she has grown personally and with confidence that comes from accountability and achieving goals! She looks forward to school every day with enthusiasm as she is very close to her classmates and also close to friends she has made in grades 1-8 through daily interaction and cross-grade mentoring programs.
Fast forward today – 1st grade. To my daughter, school is fantastic because she has all her friends from last year and has made new friends. The school has only 95 students and cross-grade interaction is encouraged. She has PE, Spanish, chorus and art is incorporated and encouraged throughout her daily learning assignments. She is having even more fun this year and when I come to pick her up, she wants to stay and play with her friends. The class sizes are so small that we have also become close with not only the parents of her classmates, but also with many parents of children in other grades. This year they are also learning to code (program) a robotic mouse through a maze. It is high-level programming, but they are actually providing instruction sets to get the mice to a desired location on a board. They are learning “logic” and how to apply it – 1st grade. Wow!
My daughter, my wife and I LOVE THIS SCHOOL! Words cannot describe how positively this school, the teachers and Sherry the founder have impacted our lives. We are so grateful!
Our son has been at TCPS for two years now. His kindergarten year could not have been more amazing. I watched him learn by doing, instead of just rote/memorizing/worksheets. I believe the future of education hinges on a much more project-based style of learning, incorporating STEAM along the way. And TCPS understands that, and does an incredible job of teaching core ideas through group project work. They learn by doing, together and one-on-one with their teachers. He got SO much individual attention from his teachers, it was almost as if they were private tutors. He also had a music teacher, PE teacher, and Spanish teacher. Every teacher and child in the school knows his name. He is friends with kids in every grade 1st through 8th, I didn't hear of a single incident of bullying. He felt safe at and excited to be at school every day. He was still a little shy at drop off, but I noticed that every day it got a little easier for him. The feedback and information we got from his teacher made me feel like we knew exactly what he was working on, what his current progress was, and what his goals were, as well as how he was doing in working towards reaching those goals. Not to mention what we could do to help and support him.
Now he's in 1st grade, and I already see the fruits of his first year at TCPS. He is reading on his own, and enjoying it! He has a designated science teacher now too, and LOVES doing experiments in their own science lab. His math skills are impressive, and I can see that he loves mathematical challenges. Every student at the school has a tablet for technology education, and they're learning coding! He has so many friends cross grades and is always saying hi to kids and teachers, and now HE is proud that he gets to befriend kindergarteners and be a good buddy to younger children. And the shift in his confidence is nothing short of amazing. No more shyness at drop off, or worry about talking to other kids or teachers, or being alone at school for the day. The trust and confidence that this school helped him build over the past year and a half is something I can never be grateful enough for. I attribute that entirely to TCPS' focus on community, which encourages everyone to work together, and their small class sizes, which allow the teachers to spend an incredible amount of time one-on-one with each student. TCPS is the best school in San Diego.
Both of my children, who have different academic interests, found TCPS to be engaging, fun, enriching, and challenging. There has not been a single day they didn't want to go to school at TCPS. Not only have they acquired the academic skills for future academic success, but also TCPS has helped them to think critically and creatively and helped them develop the social and emotional skills for a fulfilling, rewarding life. During our daughter’s high school application process, we learned about TCPS’s great reputation with all local high schools; the entire class was accepted by their top choices!
I can't say enough about the school but here are the key takeaways:
• TCPS can be a great fit for any child, but is particularly well-equipped for out of the box thinkers at all levels of ability (not just certain types of students) who thrive in small class environments.
• TCPS is one of the few schools that actually fulfills their mission. Talking with current and alumni parents and students can give a true understanding and confirmation of the school’s ability to execute.
• Our students love the school experience and gather the academic, social, emotional tools to do well beyond elementary and middle school. The most-respected middle and high school administrators and admissions teams speak very highly of TCPS students.
After extensively researching all of our public, charter, and private school options, we toured TCPS and were immediately drawn to the school because of it's "tight knit community" feel and it's small class sizes. We saw each child getting one on one attention, and knew that is what we wanted for our daughter. We did not want her to "fly under the radar" in a large public school, but instead wanted her to be around teachers that personally knew her as an individual, rather than just another kindergartner. We were very adamant that we wanted her to learn AND apply knowledge, rather than just be bogged down by worksheets and facts that she needed to memorize. Hands-on learning was also very important to us, and we were also looking for a school that allowed the children to be creative with the arts, as that is what our daughter has been drawn to in the past. TCPS has been everything we have hoped it would be! She loves going to school every day, and feels safe and happy. The educational experience she is getting is uniquely personalized and challenging, while being fun at the same time and is far superior, in our opinion, to anything she would be getting at other schools. And no other school can even come close to having the community feel that we feel at TCPS. Every teacher on campus knows our daughter by name, and it's so rewarding to watch her interact with the older kids as well as her own classmates. As kindergarten parents we are very impressed that one school can offer everything we had hoped for for our daughter, and more. We look forward to many more rewarding years at TCPS!