The teachers are inexperienced and that leads often to children roaming the classroom with little guidance, structure and instruction. The culture is not supportive of children self-esteem and bullying is often tollerate by the administration and teachers and considered something that is normal amongst kids. Children are not properly supervised during recess and lunch times and that leads to imbalance in the playground activities and bullying among some of the kids with strong personalities and behavioral issues. Mixed grade classes lead to numerous kids being left behind because teachers do not know how to manage age difende and adapt the curriculum and support.
Teachers do not have much experience and very often are not trained to work in mixed grade classes with Reggio/IB/immersion combined curriculum. Teachers are not in sync wth the administration and it is very difficult to get a clear understanding of what is happening in the classroom. teachers cannot offer support for parents and become defensive and negative with parents and children of challenged.
Kids with learning difficulties or differences are pushed out because the school does not have any support for such students and their parents. These kids are marginalized in the classroom and not supported. The parents of kids experiencing difficulties are left to themselves and when they ask for help too often receive the same response: "I don't know and I don't know how to help".
The administration does not have educational background and experience and seem to be making up stuff as they go along. This is an issue when problems or issues need attention and prioritization. Also, lack of experience leads to turn over of personnel and lingering culture issues. Random people are asked to teach in the classroom for. Time to time without real training and background in teaching and this leads to loss of time, strange curriculum structure, kids acting wild in the classrooms and ineffective instructional time.
The homework seems to be an after thought that is not necessarily linked to what the kids are doing in the classroom. My child never recalls how the homework was addressed in the classroom or the topic ever discussed.
My son has attended La Scuola for three years and is currently in first grade. He started at the preschool when he was four, and at first we were a little worried because he didn't speak any Italian and most of the other kids in his class had been at the school since they were 2. He loved it from day one, and it was like he didn't even notice they were speaking a foreign language. The teachers are so skilled at engaging the children and bringing the units they are studying to life. Our son never felt left behind, and today he speaks the language fluently.
The social-emotional skills that they foster are top-notch. Children at La Scuola are confident, curious, and they demonstrate an incredibly high level of empathy for such a young age. Our son loves going to school every. single. day. We have never had a battle or tears in the morning—not once in three years—and most days he does not want to leave, even at 5pm in aftercare.
After one year of preschool, we did not even bother applying to any of the other Kindergartens we toured. Nothing comes close to the level of education, the quality of teachers, and the thoughtfulness of the curriculum and philosophy at La Scuola.
One last thing I love about the school are the extra-curricular activities they offer in addition to music, art, environmental/garden studies, and digital/coding. Students and parents can choose afterschool programs in soccer, chess, theater, capoeira, Italian language, coding, hip hop and more on a rotating schedule. SO helpful for working parents to not have to drive your kid all over the city!
We just moved to San Francisco from Rome, Italy, where our children, aged 10 and 7, were attending an Italian public school. Their transition to La Scuola has been seamless thanks to the warmth and intelligence of everyone who works there. It is a first-rate place run by wonderful staff and teachers that offers a welcoming environment of an international community coupled with small-town friendships. From the language immersion program to the IB curriculum to the emphasis on thinking "out-of-the-box" creatively, it is the kind of place parents dream of for their child and the sort of school the kids can't wait to return to after a holiday. I honestly cannot praise the school enough. Run don't walk to this school.