I am glad to see so many positive things being said about our school on GreatSchools.com. I will use this space to clarify a few points. 1. We are focused on high level academics at Challenger. Our average student scores in the 95th percentile on standardized tests. We are proud that we set the bar high at Challenger. 2. P.E. during the school day focuses on physical fitness, but after school we have many activities to include, but not limited to: soccer, basketball, softball, art, chess, martial arts, science, and Spanish. 3. We have a rigorous screening and hiring process ruling out most applicants. Once hired, we have a comprehensive training program that teaches the new teachers the Challenger curriculum and teaching methodology. Once placed in a class, we have continuous teaching training that hones and refines teaching techniques.
September 12, 2011
This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Please avoid this campus. The admin is terrible. The elementary director promises you things but never follow up on them or does anything. There is a new headmaster and that woman thinks she is the maharani (Indian queen). She said that she's been sent to Harwood to save it and bring it to greatness but she is driving people out by her behavior and attitude. She is loud, aggressive and brags too much but she doesn't do anything much. Most of the experienced teachers are gone and there is a bunch of new young teachers who do not know how to teach well or handle kids properly. There is a new preschool director and I have heard scary stories about her too.
These teachers get the kids to follow the rules and they get the kids to LOVE it. My daughter is learning so much. She learns faster and she is far more well behaved at school versus at home. Her teachers also help Amelie feel quite special and safe.
The school is actually built around character development. It's the primary value of the school. The family has to sign a form agreeing to an honor code at the school. The teachers hold the students accountable for their responsibilities from day one.
I am so thankful for everything that my daughter learned at Challenger School at the Harwood campus. My daughter loved going to school every day, and I attributed that to her caring teachers. Her first grade teacher helped my daughter to develop a strong sense of independence and responsibility. For instance, my daughter does not like to getting up in the morning. It was a struggle to get her out of bed, dressed, and fed in time to leave. As the school year progressed, she was dressing herself and making her own breakfast by December. My daughter also has shown some amazing responsibility. We bought her a fish. She continues to care for him. I credit her independence and responsibility to her education at Challenger School. Academically, I know that a lot of people feel that Challenger School is all about math, grammar and science, but my daughter also enjoyed writing, singing, and music. My daughter was singing her Spring Program songs every night as we drove home. Socially, I watched her develop great friendships last year. She also learned to deal with interpersonal conflicts with maturity and confidence. Simply put, I love Challenger School.
My child has been attending Challenger since the beginning of the year and I have seen a great improvement in her ability to speak, convey messages but particularly her critical thinking process. I know this progress is a culmination of the standard practices and curriculum from Challenger. The staff is friendly, the school is impeccably clean. I look forward to sending my 2nd child there as soon as she is of age!!
My daughter attends the preschool program at Harwood and she LOVES it! I can't believe how much she's learned in such a short period of time. When I pick her up, she always tells me that she wants to stay. When it's the weekend, she begs me to take her to school. No matter what time of the day I enter her class, I hear music and see happy children. Yes, this school teaches phonics and math as early as 3 years old but that really doesn't matter to me. My child is safe, happy and well-cared for when she's at school which is great because when I drop her off, I need to have peace of mind. If I don't have peace of mind when I drop off, what's the point of sending her to school? I might as well take care of her myself. I also like that the demographics of the students at this campus because it is so diverse. I only wished Challenger offered programs to younger children because I have a son who is ready to go but is still too young to attend.
Fifth grade for my child has been going really great so far. I was horrified to read about everything that went on in the fifth grade class last year. I was almost going to withdraw my child out. On visor card day, we were really happy to find out that one of the most respected teacher will be my child's teacher in fifth grade this year. This teacher is knowledgable, kind, dedicated and very organized. She even called me to discuss my child's progress on a weekend. My child is loving school because of her. I am glad that Challenger takes parents' concerns and act on them.