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/ / / School Profile

K-8|Private
198 students
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School principal icon 130x130 140902

School Official Point of View

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

Review topics

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36 OVERALL RATINGS

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This school has an effective approach to homework:
Strongly disagree
Disagree
Neutral
Agree
Strongly agree
Currently, most people answered Disagree (3 responses)
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Teachers at this school are effective:
Strongly disagree
Disagree
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Currently, most people answered Disagree (2 responses)
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This school develops strong character in its students, like integrity, compassion and respect:
Strongly disagree
Disagree
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Strongly agree
Currently, most people answered Strongly agree (1 response)
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Leadership at this school is effective:
Strongly disagree
Disagree
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Currently, most people answered Strongly disagree (3 responses)
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This school effectively supports students with learning differences:
Strongly disagree
Disagree
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Strongly agree
Currently, most people answered Disagree (2 responses)
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This school effectively deals with bullying:
Strongly disagree
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Currently, most people answered Strongly disagree (3 responses)
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There are 58 reviews about all of the school topics.



- a
in our experience, the first two years of elementary were great with the 2011-14 principal and they had some awesome teachers - two stars for that. But since 2014, after the old principal left and even those teachers no longer worked for Challenger, its been only deteriorating. We lost the interest as the teachers replaced were dishonest, the new principal and the program director incompetent in communication and managing core issues. We are happy to find a much better public school than Harwood where we paid tuition for their internal problems and incompetence to resolve it effectively. Please avoid enrolling in this campus, save your kids, time, energy and of course, money!!

Teacher effectiveness: Strongly disagree


- a
Teachers are completely business minded. They don't care if the subject matter is understood while expecting kids to memorize and put it on the stereotype tests every week. Throughout the elementary in our experience, the teachers see it as a waste of time if more explanation is asked but hurry up to cover the subject as overall topic enumerated in their binders!!! If questioned, for example, the 4th grade teacher denied not only explanation but also parent teacher conference.


Amount of homework: Disagree


- a
Homework is assumed to be undertaken by parents and especially at the upper elementary, they dont care to check it individually. Its superficial rather than making the student understand the concept through homework assignments.

Handles bullying effectively: Strongly disagree


- a
They clearly do not deal with bullying at all. They do not have any set protocols for the kids to deal with the bullying situation. They themselves deny it as bullying terming it as a behavioral problem so easily to stay away from even addressing it. The kids are discouraged to make friends, report bullying incident and help tell the truth. If anyone sees pushing, kicking, mean talk, name calling including the teachers and the lunch staff, they do not care to report and resolve.

Supports LD students: Disagree


- a
They set the same goals for all students regardless of their learning differences.In fact, the teachers are unwilling to even to acknowledge if there is a fast learner or someone needing help. They run their class like running a horse race curriculum without caring if the students ever have learned from what they get from their lesson binders.


Effective school leaders: Strongly disagree


- a
The new Principal is incompetent in making fair judgements. The regional director brags about his expertise but unable to resolve social issues when it comes to issues involving teacher's bully kid against parents.Meetings with him are one sided, no discussion rather a bullying style approach saying that if you do not agree with what I say then I will release your agreement with us, without addressing the issue to the root cause level they are better off rid with the situation by getting rid with the parents than pack n parcel contract with the teacher. The program director treats parents as if she is allergic to have them visit campus while she does report untrue incidents to parents claiming that she is always on campus and was in the class!!!!

Develops character: Strongly disagree


- a
They treat kids as robots. They will have the kid sign their comportment code but in reality name-calling, disrespect towards one's belongings, stealing items, dishonest investigation, teachers communicating false incidents to parents, disregard and utter disrespect towards stay at home parents are all acceptable.



- a
Sharing our most recent 4th grade experience on this campus. A general observation about Challenger's method of education is the emphasis on memorization, rather than knowledge. Cramming curriculum with content from higher grades and lack of real teaching, does not raise the bar at all - you breed students with shallow depth yet seemingly good at reciting the memorized information. How do they teach Science? The teacher reads out content from a binder and writes notes on the board. Students copy the notes into their notebooks. Occasionally they will have demonstrations in class - one day the teacher brought pieces of sponge of varying sizes, and dipped each one in water, showing that the bigger sponge had more absorption than the smaller piece. On another occasion she got different types of rocks to show them to the class (but didn't feel it necessary to pass them around for students to see closely or touch). This is the quality of so-called science demonstrations - really lame. Compare and contrast to a public school (Guadalupe Elem) where groups of students themselves built a roller coaster track in the class using card paper and tape, as an experiment to learn about potential and kinetic energy. In Challenger, the same topic was only read out by the teacher from a binder and wrote notes on the board. Think again - in which environment will kids enjoy learning science ? (my daughter recently changed from Challenger to our public school and we are finding that in many ways, the public school is better). The public school had a field trip to Monterey Bay aquarium to learn about ocean's ecosystem too. I also want to clear up any myths about the science fair in Challenger - this is an exhibit of individual experiments done by students and their parents - teachers do not teach or contribute anything in this. You pay so much money to put your kids to Challenger to raise the bar, but your kids are not enjoying to learn and are only becoming good at memorization. History - again, teacher reads American history from her binder and writes notes on board, that students copy. Teacher will not bother to explain concepts such as tax, governance, etc. When you see words such as "entrepreneurship" in your kids' notes, be assured they have no clue what it means. Math, English are ok. Arts and PE are a joke. Overall, incompetent staff and especially bad management.


Handles bullying effectively: Strongly disagree


- a
Bullying is the reason why we ended up going away from this school branch. The management did not do anything to resolve it - they blamed it on us, parents, for being "helicopter parents" and getting too involved in kids's complaints about bullying !!

Supports LD students: Disagree


- a
We didn't see any specific efforts done by the school staff to support students with difficulty in learning some specific subjects.

Nearby schools

Last modified Challenger - Harwood is a Private school that serves grades K-8
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