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K-8
Private
San Jose, CA
Students enrolled: 209
 

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19950 McKean Road
San Jose, CA 95120

School website
(408) 927-5771
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Map of Challenger-Almaden address.

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January 23, 2014
The Alamden Mckean campus is very nice. The teachers are excellent but the supporting staff is rude. I have heard of instances where kids have been yelled at by the staff and administration does nothing. This mostly includes the staff that watches the kids at lunch and also in extended care. This staff also teases the kids. Nothing is done by administration and no monitoring of this staff at all. My child goes to this campus.

- submitted by a parent
June 15, 2013
I have a middle schooler at this school and I am extremely satisfied. Small classes, very rigorous academic curriculum, Students that have good morals and standards of behavior. The teachers care, assignments are hard, but that is what you would expect from a good private school. It is out of the way, but it is one of the best middle schools in the Bay Area.

- submitted by a parent
August 21, 2012
I have spent the first 2.5 years of my child's life searching for a place to put her during the day but, was not satisfied with the level of service until I came across Challenger. I waited till she was 3 and placed her in the preschool program at this location. When she turned 4, first day of school there was a complete change in the administrative staff to where I knew no one, the teacher in the classroom also changed. No forewarning, no announcement. The 'deal with it' attitude has been progressively present with the new headmaster. There is no transparency. When my daughter started Kindergarten, again there was a change in staff. so you will always be disappointed from the excitement that a teacher you know your child will love and look forward to having will not be there. Isn't that what makes the successful child, a great teacher? I have not gotten that since she was 3. Academically, you can go to any campus and they have the exact same cirriculum across the board. When there is nepotism, and unfairness it is something that parents should not tolerate. I have moved my child to Harwood campus eventually moving her out of the Challenger system all together.

- submitted by a parent
November 16, 2011
We moved our child out from a highly regarded public school (Williams) to Challenger. What a huge difference! Challenger provides a much better teacher-to-student ratio, teachers who provide positive encouragement to the students and supportive administration. My child is making leaps and bounds in studies at Challenger. Finally, we are saving our sanity because we can finally get rid of the constant bombardment of volunteer and funding requests from the public school.

- submitted by a parent
August 13, 2011
We've had a tremendously positive experience with Challenger Almaden. The class sizes, family feel, teachers, administration and extended care staff couldn't be better. Initially I was concerned that this school would be purely academic. I was wrong - my 1st grader couldn't be happier with the music, speech and art program. I recommend this school to anyone that will listen. No, parents don't have daily in class involvement. But, I feel that parental involvement inside the class room can just as well be a hinderance rather than a help. I know that the teacher, principal and staff are very open to communication and will let me know if anything is amiss with either of my girls.

- submitted by a parent
July 16, 2011
We recently put our children in Challenger and so far the dedication by the staff and headmistress has been outstanding. They have helped acclimate our children to the Challenger curriculum with extra support. Our children have made significant progress academically with the Challenger curriculum and I feel confident they will continue to progress. We were previously at a very highly regarded public school and another private school and were very concerned about their core reading and basic math skills. But now we feel confident that they are on track to perform well.

- submitted by a parent
June 27, 2011
We have been at this school for the last 8 years. Last year has seen a significant change for the better. The new middle school teachers are exceptional. They were willing to mentor the kids even if this was outside of the normal school time. The educational standard is fantastic. Kids from last year were addmitted to all prestigious schools in bay area: Harker, bellarmine, mitty, Saint francis, presentation, Valley and not only that but they got into Algebra 2, Honors for English and History... One of the strong points of this school is to teach the children to be independent. and this means educating the kid to take his homework home, to speak for himself at school, to not be afraid to speak in front of others.Our kids have achieved that. Do not be discouraged by the smaller class sizes. It is a benefit that there is more time for the teachers to pay attention to your kid. We considered leaving the school last year but since the new principal and group of teachers joined the school we are very happy with the direction this school is going. I wish the school would spend more effort publicizing the great academic results they are getting. Btw 5th grade teacher is fantastic!

- submitted by a parent
March 30, 2011
I have had a son and daughter at this school, we have been there for about the last 7 years. Over that time the school has really gone down hill. Too much corporate interference has changed a fun exciting school into the sad place it is today. Many parents obviously feel the same way as the number of children at this school has plummeted. For us the final straw came when all the middle school teachers left last year and I was one of 9 parents to withdraw my child. My child was in a class of 11, there are now 2 children in 7 th grade at this Challenger. We moved to Stratford, San Jose Middle School and WOW! what an improvement, I cannot praise Stratford enough - I wish we had moved sooner. I have one child left at Challenger, in 5th grade, the teacher is not great and I was very concerned. Unfortunately I was right to worry and now I just can't wait until we can leave. There are some great teachers at Challenger ( 3rd & 4th) and some very poor ones, as there is only one class per year it makes a huge difference. The new principle is doing her best, but the damage has already been done and it will take a while before things improve.

- submitted by a parent
March 10, 2011
My kid has been here for 7 years. If you read past reviews across campuses, Challenger went through some changes in the past few years, driven by Corporate and not well received (or even well communicated). We stuck it out (after checking out public school and other privates) because we believe the curriculum is excellent, and at our campus, our child has had excellent teachers. This year, we have a new principal (aka headmaster) who is NOT new to Challenger. She is well organized and works hard to ensure that parents and the children are happy and that kids are successful. She is responsive to all my questions. She doesn't come across as warm and fuzzy, but she can manage the school well. Administratively, changes have been positive and rules made by Corporate in previous years seemed to have lightened up. Challenger provides a solid academic education. Each campus has a different feel...this one is small and has more of a family feel to it with all the kids and teachers knowing each other. I gave "parent involvement" 1 star only because there isn't really volunteer opportunity - but as a working parent, that works for me.

- submitted by a parent
January 08, 2010
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
June 23, 2009
The school administration does not care about parents' ideas or concerns. This past school year, the two second grade classes were merged into one (about 27 students). Also, the two third grade classes were merged into one (about 29 students). The merging of classes was done without informing parents of the change. This is only a small example of the many changes that the school administration implements without informing parents. This school truly has a take-it or leave-it mentality.

- submitted by a parent
May 12, 2009
The school is pretty good and all, it has good academics and great P.E. and art programs, but the music programs don't allow children to show their acting ability, just singing. Also, many awards (especially Scholarships) are given out based on favoritism, which is how the school is based. But, this school has good teachers and a great academic program!

- submitted by a student
February 22, 2009
Teachers either didn't teach or just gave the students recess. Come test day, all the students failed and the teachers would yell at us as to how we could have failed when the teacher 'spent so much time teaching' us. The management was quite rood, and students whose parents complained were treated harshly (grades lowered for no reason, etc.). Bias is very blatant, and socially the students are horrible. Students put down each other based on 'popularity' and even the teachers seem to play along. Overall it is a total waste of money. I came into high school completely unprepared.

- submitted by a student
September 23, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
no rating September 16, 2008
My sons have been going here for several years. i believe that they have both benefitted tremendously from their exprience at Challenger. Sure, the school has high expectations, but why waste time at a school that does not? I wanted my children to be prepared for the world out there, and the school has definitely met that expectation. The children are confident and enjoy their work, their teachers are great, and they have had fun while learning.

- submitted by a parent
May 04, 2008
This school is fantastic. I have four children here, and they all have great teachers, and they are all very highly motivated by the approach.

- submitted by a parent
April 28, 2008
I love this school, specially their preschool program. All three of my kids went there, I wouldn't sent them any place else to get a real education. Challenger takes students, education and fun seriously.

- submitted by a parent
February 05, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a community member
August 02, 2007
I know Challenger may not have the best teachers, (public schools have credentials for their teachers to meet) and that has been a huge problem. Once the new campuses like Harwood and Shawnee get settled, they'll start coming up with new teachers. Our beloved Mrs. Hamstra left us. I know Challenger is probably the safest school around. In my opinion, it's just a matter of how hard they push and not the teachers. Although Challenger pushes a little too much, it makes it a hell of a lot easier in high school. I think it's worth keeping your child in for the rest of middle school.

- submitted by a parent
February 15, 2007
Our daughter is in Pre-K at Almaden and will be starting K in fall 07. We could not be more pleased. We compared Williams and Graystone (via class visits, tours, research, etc) before making this decision. We are pleased that the majority of students are of color and that the level of graduate education amongst parents is very high. These were two key variables that factored into our decision. If your child is focused, likes structure and you expect them to excel academically, then this school is for you.

- submitted by a parent
June 11, 2006
the academics are good,with a well rounded art,music and sports program available year round.parent involvement depends on the individual teachers.

- submitted by a parent
no rating June 04, 2006
This is definitely a great school! They really take care of the academics and in my opinion that's most critical part for any child during this development stage. I will sincerely recommend this school.

- submitted by a parent
May 25, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a staff
May 06, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
April 28, 2006
Both of my children have been going to Challenger since they were 3 years old. They love it. They are in first grade now and the academic load is really noticable for my child that works slowly. However, for my faster worker, the homework is no problem. I really love that they focus on academics and don't waste time with any political or social programs. They do, however, instill a sense of patriotism and kindness to others through songs and reading material. They also study art, computers, music and afterschool programs. The atmosphere at school is friendly, but strict. Every day when I drop them off, they are greeted by name with a hug from a teacher. They are not allowed to talk while eating lunch. Lots of drills with fun music. They always come home happy--but exhausted.

- submitted by a parent
April 09, 2006
Only focus on academics.Nothing else there

- submitted by a parent
March 06, 2006
The best thing about the school is that my kids have learned a lot in reading, writing, singing. My kids like the school, and they enjoy the learning. I don't think I have enough chance to meet other parents.

- submitted by a parent
March 04, 2006
very happy about the Challenger school program, both my kids attend the Harwood campus and I am planning in keeping them there until 8th grade.

- submitted by a parent
February 23, 2006
This is my daughter's second year at Challenger. She started there when she was 3. The program is pretty academic. Last year she was working on learning her letter sounds this year she is learning to add and subtract small numbers and to blend sounds into words. The quality of the teachers seems uneven to me. That is last year her teachers were great, this year not so much. This may be because there was a large enrollement for her age group. I wish the program were more creative or flexible, but I don't think she feels pressured or anything. She has plenty of time to play with her friends and enjoys school and what she learns. Singing and music are a big part of the teaching process. The kids learn songs that teach them about dinosaurs, volcanos, presidents, etc. I hope they do more with rhythm next year.

- submitted by a parent
February 19, 2006
Exemplary curricula and leadership. Glad we moved our 4 year old is enrolled.

- submitted by a parent
February 19, 2006
Lack of diversity and extreme emphasis on competition as early as age 3 make this school unworthy of its' high costs.

- submitted by a parent
September 24, 2005
I would highly recommend this school for anyone with preschool and elementary aged kids. My kids started here and the teachers have this 'gift' of opening up the kids minds and make learning fun. The atmosphere is happy and the kids really love it here.

- submitted by a parent
July 20, 2005
I would not recommend for you to send your child to this school. I have sent my child to Challenger at two other locations. I was not pleased with this school. Some of the teachers are not very friendly or professional. They arent willing to work with your child. It's always about homework and competing for the best scores putting too much pressure on the child. If your child falls behind then that is too bad. There is no help in sight. You are on your own. As for the principle, I was not impressed with the him either. You pay Challenger so that you end up doing the homework/projects for your child. Why? The homework they provide is so unrealistic thus the name Challenger. Also, the grading is biased. Your money will not be well spent here.

- submitted by a parent
July 15, 2005
This is the worst school I have ever seen with worst management.The management is very arrogant. Teachers either lacked the teaching experience or remained abscent for many days during school year. The substitutes were so bad that they would just come and sit in the class and do nothing. There is too much favoritism in every aspect of school life. It is very demoralising to the young mind of your kids if he/she is competitive by nature. We felt that we wasted our hard-earned money and on top of it were treated badly.

- submitted by a parent
June 16, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
June 16, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
June 15, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a former student
April 14, 2005
Great for academics. Not much for social, emotional,or extracurricular activites. Not very diverse.

- submitted by a parent
March 21, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
March 21, 2005
This school is one of the worst amongst the challenger schools. It has very few students in middle school, and has constant changes in school teachers. There is also a lot of boosterism, with certain parents unduly influencing their children through constantly working with teachers and biasing them in their evaluation of kids. I would not recommend any parent to send their kid to a school where teachers do not fairly evaluate a student, and are influenced by parents. This bias is obvious and very open, and other students see this behavior and get very de-motivated.

- submitted by a parent
March 01, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a former student
December 02, 2004
Located in an excellent location and teaches far more than even the best schools.

- submitted by a student
November 02, 2004
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
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Challenger-Almaden
19950 McKean Road, San Jose, CA  95120
(408) 927-5771
Last modified Challenger-Almaden is a Private school that serves grades K-8
Challenger-Almaden Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 43 reviews. Top