My school was Cornerstone Academy was great during preschool to 5th grade. The teachers spoke Chinese so my Chinese expanded greatly. I also learned a lot because the teachers were experienced and acknowledged every individual student's needs and talents. Middle school was totally different though. My locker was rusting, had dents, and if pulled hard enough my lock would unlock. The teachers gave us zero freedom. While my friends in other schools had no uniform, a privilege to go home by themselves, and free time I had none of that. My teachers would always tell us that they wanted to treat us like adults but two minutes after that they would treat us as if we were preschoolers. I had my locker on the third floor when most of my classes were on the second floor. The other kids had their lockers on the ground floor when their classes were on the third floor. One of my teachers was a complete control freak. When there was free dress she would forbid us from wearing sweatpants, shorts, and for girls she would forbid tank tops, leggings, and and anything that wasn't "kid-friendly." I remember that to go to my first class in the morning i had to walk up six flight of stairs.
I enjoyed my time here at Cornerstone Academy during my elementary school years. However, middle school was a different story. The textbooks they provided us with were worn out and outdated (I remember some were printed in the 1980s). The desks and chairs were deteriorating. The lockers were rusting. I remember the carpets and some rooms smelled. Many of the classrooms didn't have heaters that worked well. When I was there, there was not a variety of sports teams to join (only volleyball and basketball). I also noted how incredibly small the high school classes were (I clearly remember that there is roughly 20 students each grade). I thought I was fine, but once I left for high school, I was amazed. Cornerstone had nothing, but my new public school had everything. New pool, new outdoor basketball courts, a baseball field, a soccer field, a track field, sturdy desks, and up to date textbooks. Not to mention, the teachers at my high school were much better than my middle school ones. The school even called families if the student was absent or for announcements.
My daughter attended Junior Preschool(JPS) and Senior Preschool(SPS) from 2009 to 2012. Let's say I am impressed with how much she has learned thus far. JPS - She learned how to be independent & built a strong foundation of learning both Chinese and English. SPS- By the June 2012, she is able to recite all phonetic sounds, writes in lower & upper case A-Z, counts and write to 100 both in Chinese and English, knows rhyming sounds, opposites concepts, understands directional words, months of the yr, days of the week, four seasons, body parts, shapes (draw & recognize), colors, practice good health, hygiene, & manners, draws human figures, perform weekly show and tell, catches/throws ball, observes rules/follows directions, etc. An added bonus is tuition includes two hot meals and two snacks/day. It's peace of mind to know that she is well fed each day. As a parent, what more could you ask for from a school?
I attended cornerstone from Kindergarten to the 8th grade. K - 4th grade was great all around. Once I hit 5th grade, my social life went up and my academics went way down. You start to form a little community with the friends and people you meet at this school. If you saw someone outside of school, you'd be able to pick up a conversation with them easily. I had a lot of fun 5th to 8th grade but I didn't learn ANYTHING about ANYTHING. Middle school here is so strict. You MUST have your parents come pick you up/sign out of the useless "sign out" sheet before you can leave. C'mon they are in middle school. They can take care of themselves. We weren't even allowed to leave after school unless we had permission from our parents. My friends and I would plot forever just to sneak out to get an after school snack. Don't get me wrong, I had a lot of fun with my friends here but once I attended a public high school, everything changed. Everyone is so independent whereas I was just a lost sheep. Cornerstone didn't prepare me for the real world at all whatsoever.
Horrible, worst times of my life. The school offered zero freedom and was strict on the most petty things, a very close-minded school. It's excuse for its strictness and close-mindedness is religion. You won't survive in the real world if you come here.
Worst times of my life. The school was very strict and close-minded because of its "religion." Very strict on the most petty things when it should have focused on other areas, such as teaching their kids to behave rather than sending them home for an untucked shirt. You won't survive in the real world if you send your child here.
This is a great school for my child. We enrolled her to this school because the school teaches Chinese, and the teachers are caring and disciplined. We are so glad that she is there. Within three months of pre-school enrollment, my daughter could translate Chinese / English back-and-forth. She is also learning a lot academically and socially. More importantly, the teachers give her individual attention, encourage her to continued to do things she enjoys, and provide consistent feedback to us about her performance in school. We live by West Portal Elementary School District, and we had a chance to discuss its chinese immersion program with the teachers during a Open enrollment discussion night at the West Portal School. We were extremely disappointed about the communication skills of the teachers. We plan to keep our daughter at Cornerstone as long as we live in SF.
We came from South East Asia and the Schools over there are known to be focusing very much on academic rather than sports and character-building. Due to my husband's work committment, we have to leave our country and settled in San Francisco. We enrolled our kids in Cornerstone Academy. We are so glad that we did that. Cornerstone Academy is a very good private Christian school. They are both good in academics and sports. Most importantly, they teach students moral, responsibilities and discipline.
I am an alumnus of Cornerstone Academy and am very proud to be able to say so. Cornerstone was did an amazing job of putting me ahead of my peers by thousands of miles. The curriculum was far more advance than the local public school system, and the teachers and faculty sincerely cared for us, their students, and all took extra steps of love to motivate us and keep us on track. Some nitpick about diversity and segregation. My class had a couple Latino students, both of whom I am still friends with, and they will both tell you that they never felt like outsiders at Cornerstone. Cornerstone provides an excellent education and instills the morals required of outstanding students and citizens during the younger, more vulnerable years of the students.
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