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San Jose, CA
Students enrolled: 504

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730 Camina Escuela
San Jose, CA 95129

(408) 213-0083
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Map of Challenger - Strawberry Park address.

October 26, 2015
I'm simply stating our family experience. Almost the first day my child came from Challenger, he was a different child - no fighting about homework, more appreciative of our (parents) effort. In about 1.5-mo's I noticed that my son has learned something in school vs. previously everything he knew I taught him (I work and I'm not a teacher, so that was not a long-term solution, especially after 7 hours in school). Language Arts program is excellent. Math is so-so. It is still MUCH better than in most public schools, but I feel that there are better programs that have more methodical approach and achieve better results. I do however have high expectations for math - everyone (no need to be gifted) can learn calculus in 9th grade successfully. I've seen programs that teach millions to do just that. Science, History and other subjects require to listen in school. There is very little homework given. If child can listen in school, there is one hour of homework Mon - Thur plus 30 min reading every day. On the weekend, there might be another hour needed. I feel that Challenger program can work for "super-stars" as well as poor students. Both will greatly benefit. Contrary to many opinions, I don't think that Challenger strictly "selects" good students only. My child doesn't belong to "A-student" category and he greatly benefits from the program anyway.

- submitted by a parent
Grateful to: Staff member
October 26, 2015
Mr Robinson and Mrs Bowden are two people we interacted with; they both made a great difference in our experience; for the first time (on 5th year of schooling) I feel that my child learns something in school and excited about something other than kicking ball during recess

- submitted by a parent
Teacher effectiveness: Very effective
October 26, 2015
My child went to a different school for 4 years before coming to Challenger. I head almost everything - behavioral problem (Does your child have good hearing?), academic problem (Intervention is needed). Challenger teacher says "we don't have time to misbehave". My child says "the day has gone so fast; it seems like I was in school for 3 hours only".

- submitted by a parent
Amount of homework: Just right
October 26, 2015
The amount of home work is between "Just Right" and "A little too much" depending on a week, however it is NOT like children should have no life to do well in this school

- submitted by a parent
Develops honesty: Strongly agree
October 26, 2015
The values are Honesty, Integrity, Self-reliance. What I see as a parent that some subjects ask questions like "Will character XYZ be a good Challenger student? Why or why not?" The child should describe the characteristics that should support Challenger values

- submitted by a parent

October 26, 2014
Good School who are focussed on academics. Some of the teachers are good and not all of them but good for beginners. The school emphasis on discipline, cleanliness and good manners which is fine but less time for extra curricular activities.

- submitted by a parent

June 07, 2014
You may think that this school is tough, but think of all the great things your child will be able to learn and do after all the experience of reports and tests. Also, your child will have better concentration. I know, for I am a student there. The school also has great teacher, and the headmaster, Mr. Schiffner, is excellent. I am positive that your child would be able to be as happy as I am at this very safe and fun school!

- submitted by a community member

October 15, 2013
A very demanding school with unrealistic expectations. I liked their pre-K and K programs. However, I've been very disappointed with their 1st grade. They have about 6 - 7 tests every week. With a teacher to student ratio of 1:26 or 1:28 (corporate policy), they can hardly expect the kids to get much attention from the teacher. So, a parent has to spend 1.5 - 2 hours per day after school to prepare the kids. Science and Geography requirements for a first grader are ridiculous. Sample questions from tests conducted in the first month of school: Geography- What is a popular industry in California? Answer - Computer Services. Your first grader needs to write this out and explain why this is a popular industry. Science: What is weathering? What is erosion ? How can you prevent erosion ? These are not multiple choice questions; Your 6-yr old to write out 3-4 line answers. Unless you are a parent who wants to dedicate 10 hours a week of after school tutoring, I wouldn't recommend this school. The fun part of education is lost... testing is rigorous and a parent has to sign off on academic progress reports if the child scores below 75%. I don't think any 6-year old deserves this.

- submitted by a parent

September 02, 2013
Excellent school! The curriculum is demanding and well balanced. The Kindergarden program builds a strong base for reading, math and science skills. The teachers are passionate about teaching so that kids actually learn and understanding the concepts they are studying. The higher grades are great as well. This school requires plenty of homework and additional special assignment. The program is accelerated, so this is a great school for children, who are highly motivated and looking for getting challenged learn. The School also puts effort on arts and music teaching as well as promotes creative writing. We have new principles and they are highly professional as well as friendly.

- submitted by a parent

May 22, 2013
My daughter has now been attending challenger since Pre-School. She has been at this campus for one year and we are going back next year, I love the staff, the teachers and the school we have seen nothing but great results, Yes there is homework and lots of test but she is in First Grade and loving it, She actually wants to go back next year. I think you should talk to parents at the school to see what they say!

- submitted by a parent

February 15, 2012
Very rigid management techniques with the belief that the school is always right. The teachers and management do not follow the very principles of honesty and integrity they are trying to teach the students. Baring the few dedicated teachers most are dictators and use intimidation techniques to control the classroom and the management backs them up. The school seems to have the policy of overloading the students with homework, tests(average of 6 per week) and book reports(2 per month) with no emphasis on the all round development of the child. Highest rate of students leaving mid way because they did not make the 75% for their so called academic standard. Definitely not a school if you want you child to be a well rounded and successful adult!

- submitted by a parent

August 25, 2011
Horrible Headmaster - Julie Blackwell In the very same handout that bears her name, it asks parents "Please be patient the first week of school as parents new to Challenger learn the routine". Yet, on the third day of a new school year, she is heard outside at the drop-off area, yelling at and demanding pre-K parents that only drive-through is allowed. She is simply being unreasonable about parents' unknowing mistake of wanting to walk their kids to class and maybe have a quick chat with the teachers to make sure everything is OK. Did I indicate that these are pre-K parents who are sending their kids off the very first time? She may be successful, but so is DSK (Dominique Strauss-Kahn) - head of IMF. Challenger may be strong academically, however, it fails to teach kids moral value and common decency. As an educator and example to the kids, her behavior is shameful.

- submitted by a parent

January 25, 2011
Please don't send your kid here. This is a terrible school for preschoolers. They have strict schedule for teachers to follow. It is more like an army-camp than a school. Creativity is not appreciated here.

- submitted by a parent

November 20, 2010
Terrible preschool teachers. They don't care about the childs needs. Can't understand how preschoolers think. They've got a f**ng schedule to follow and thats all that matters. Dealing with preschoolers requires a level of maturity which they don't even recognize.

- submitted by a parent

September 02, 2010
If all you care is about academic, then this is the school for you. I sent my daughter to this school and one day i got a phone call from school to pick her up because she was not learning in the class. This really confuses me... I was not sure why i am paying expensive tuition to the school and i have to worry about she is not learning. This is suppose to be teachers' job to encourage and stimulate the kids' learning at school!. The reason i got was that her slower study will affect progress of other kids. This really shock me how this school is ran. I raised this issue to the school master and got ignored. I withdraw her from this school at the same day and register at local public school where she is happier and learning more than ever. This is a terrible.

- submitted by a parent

May 23, 2010
Good neighborhood, preschool program is great, administration and middle school not so much. As a preschool, a good, if expensive, choice.

- submitted by a community member

March 01, 2010
Challenger School has a wonderful preschool program. My daughter is having fun learning there every day. She is one of the first students to come to school and does not want to leave at the end of the day. She has learned many things there: insects, space, dinosaurs. She reads and writes with joy. There are plenty of opportunities for her to show her creativity, she brings art projects home every day. Teachers are nice and friendly. Challenger school provides their own training for their teachers and they teach according to Challenger philosophy.

- submitted by a parent

August 21, 2009
Where do I begin? Some teachers are very friendly and fun to be with, but most are rude and strict. My kindergarden son is scared of both his teachers. That is not the relationship I want to see developing between him and his teachers. My son, after 1 year, is no longer going there. It is more of a one-way teaching from teachers to students. My son, who loves to ask questions at home, rarely gets to question at school. I feel sad watching him doing math and reading all day in classroom.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
May 07, 2009
I had my kids in this school for seven years. They probably are more senior than any faculty in the school! Highest turnover of teachers and staff, some leaving mid way through the school year. Very rigid management style. Do not take any inputs from parents or students. Seem to have a philosophy that overloading the kids with assignments and homework is an acceptable alternative to classroom teaching.

- submitted by a community member

March 03, 2009
The teachers are not well trained, the management ( espeically the Director) doesn't take feedback from parents (instead they penalize folks who give feedback). Overall we are quite unhappy and going to remove our over-achieving kid from this school.

- submitted by a parent

January 24, 2009
In-experienced teachers. High turnover. No speciality teaching. Very rigid/rude administration who doesn't like to take any feedback. Don't know how to truly challenge/motivate kids who are well ahead of the curve.

- submitted by a parent

October 31, 2008
Most of the teachers in Pre-school and Pre-K lack the basic knowledge of how to deal with children. They treat and expect the kids to be puppets with no personalities .... Some of the teachers are very rude to the parents and to the students. Management is not good at taking feedback from parents and making changes or correcting the teachers. Please avoid this school.

- submitted by a parent

November 19, 2007
Great staff! Leadership and curriculum does not allow for freedom of expression for the students and parents. My kid is of pre-school age and I felt that the school program and policies does not encourage development of creative thinking. It's a good place to learn reading and counting but I was expecting the curriculum to encourage right brain development as well. For example, the art artifacts are usually copies of what the teacher examples. Leadership also does not encourage flexibility in curriculum. For example, for Halloween, the school had only 1 activity and there was no alternative for children who did not want to participate. It's a popular school but I am seriously thinking of taking my child out of that environment.

- submitted by a parent

November 02, 2007
My daughter went to this school. By 4th and 5th grade the curriculum levels at par with public schools. Attitude of principal is bad. Teachers offload responsibility to parents if kids are not doing well. Does not inspire self-learning. You are better off sending your kids to good public schools.

- submitted by a parent

January 22, 2007
My kids go to preschool and I am happy with their program

- submitted by a parent
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Last modified: October 26, 2015

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Challenger - Strawberry Park
730 Camina Escuela, San Jose, CA  95129
(408) 213-0083
Last modified Challenger - Strawberry Park is a Private school that serves grades K-8
Challenger - Strawberry Park Rating: 2 out of 5 based on 31 reviews. Top