This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Capistrano Connections Academy5
Posted June 02, 2014
- a parent
We enjoyed our time with this school. The lessons are structured, yes of course you have to supervise especially elementary students. Some days we feel that there is a lot of work, and others we have time to explore subjects deeper. We are able to regularly visit our library taking our laptop (school) with us. My only issue is the attendance chart is very inflexible, we are honest about our attendance and if we decide to take Friday and explore an issue and take the online lessons on Saturday we are unable to check in for attendance. I was told that they can't do it any other way, but to me is seems homeschooling is all about flexibility. The teacher was always available and able to answer our questions/concerns. We have not figured out how to "socialize" with other students, the school picnic for example is more than an hours drive for us and wish there were announcements for folks who live in other cities/towns. That is small stuff though, all in all we had a great time and looking forward to another great year. This is all what you make it, teach your child a sense of responsibility and be a part of the educational process.
I have 3 students enrolled in Capistrano Connections. My oldest is absolutely thriving in their middle school program. A lot of his work is independent and the lessons are designed so that students are able to have clear instruction and directions they can understand. My middle child started here unable to read, despite her previous schools efforts as well as ours. Only a year later, she is not only able to read, but the books she selects are advanced for her age and she loves reading now. But the real test for us was my youngest child. My youngest child has several issues that have made school extremely challenging for him. In his first week of school, the process was started to get him on an IEP. The testing done was very thorough and the team was able to determine that my son needed extensive services to meet his educational needs. Not only has this school provided the therapy he needs, they also provided the equipment he needs to be able to succeed and are supplementing based on therapist recommendation. I have never seen a school so willing to truly provide an individualized educational plan like Capistrano Connections has.
This school has a very bad staff specially the principle and counselor, that have no concern for a student's well being and progress. I am a tutor for a student who suffered from severe illness. According to the law, Capistrano should have attended to the student's need and cooperated but ended up expelling the student when the student was not able to submit work due to the illness. The stress and worries put on the student is worsened now after suffering hemorrhages, and she is now having difficulty overcoming the mental and physical trauma. When the student NEEDED the counselor, the counselor ended up deleting all her work and not understand the status of the student's health. Emails from the student to the counselor and principle where not responded to and all other teacher of the student were told to cut contact from the student. The student has been studying independently on her own using books, videos, and numerous online resources. In reality that is what students do a Capistrano.....they do their work with minimal teacher assistance.
Capistrano Connections Academy is a collection of inconsiderate counselors, mindless staff, and an uncaring principal. They implement students needs very minimally -- especially those requiring a 504 Section. For those students who are healthy and have no situations hindering them --- this school is great simply because Pearson/Glencoe textbooks are very elaborate and self explanatory. The teachers barely teach, and are often not present. The overall staff are NOT understanding at all! I do not recommend anyone going here -- you are in for serious educational difficulties! Poor educational quality -- during the weekends, the website is always under construction -- and not available when you need it. The staff are careless. I wouldn't wish this school on anyone. I endured too many negative experiences here.
My greatest concern is getting my son in on the best education. Capistrano Connection Academy offers this. When it was time to select a particular teacher for a nomination; they are all wonderful. I was unable to choose just one. Each and every teacher responds immediately, even if it is a Sunday. They treat my son with respect and a heartfelt interest in his personal achievement. They are always there for each and every student, with: math labs, one on one tutoring, assignments that develop the students skill. If the is unable to do an assignment they are there to walk him through. What I love the most is Capistrano keeps me informed of all the academic details of my son's school activity. I really feel included. The curriculum is brilliant. Each lesson plan is clear and easy to follow. After each assignment, you can check on the teachers thoughts, input or direction by clicking. I have easy access to assess any area or material enabling me to help my son.... and coach him. When I get too busy: they tutor, the one on one contact is awesome. Field trips are organized so that the kids can socialize. The live lessons make my son laugh having fun.
This is our 2nd year with Capo and my kids LOVE it! The teachers are so supportive and really take the time to make sure that each student understands what they are learning. My daughter struggled with reading before coming to this school, and they immediately put her in supplementary reading courses and now she can read and loves to read! Every day is a new adventure and we have found that the kids WANT to do their school work because the lessons interest them, the work excites them, and they are retaining the information! I would recommend CAPO to anyone!
My son has been in Connection Academy Capistrano for 3 years now. It has been very successful for him -- measured by his results on the standardized state tests, where his scores have improved by almost 50%. However, this is not a program for everyone. You need to have strong parental supervision and involvement in ensuring that assignments are completed on time, and that the student is learning. There is lots of feedback from daily quizes and tests to do this. But you have to stay on top of it - every day. You have to be moderately computer skilled. This includes scanning in handwritten or other work, using word processors, using web conferences for live courses delivered on line with the teacher, etc. If you don't know the difference between a word processor and a spreadsheet, you will have problems. The school provides some help, and you (parents and kids) learn fast -- but it can take a bit of time to figure it out. And yes, its obvious some of the new teachers are learning this too. Compared to the school our son was in before, this is a much higher quality learning experience for him. But its not "turn on the computer and walk away" as some think.
Overall did not like this program. It was our first experience with virtual schooling and it was a nightmare for us. The language arts is all combined into one class and most of my kids were not able to finish the work daily. As others have mentioned, grading was done daily and very stressful for the kids. Sometimes there would be errors in submitting the online assessments and so the kids would get bad grades, in part, due to that. I feel like the kids were just going through the motions and not really learning. I did like the Glencoe books that were used, but I just don't feel there was enough time allotted to each lesson/topic to make sure they mastered the content. The kids felt overwhelmed. Most of the classes had what was called "discussions," which I thought were lame and of little or no value as far as I could see. Students had to respond to a prompt given by the teacher and respond to the response of what two other students had said, but it really wasn't a meaningful exercise in my opinion. What they called labs for my 8th grade for science were ridiculous in my opinion. There is not a lot of flexibility in the scheduling either as there is with our current program.
Great school! Great program! Great teachers! I love the program! I have been an educator for over 25 years. It is my professional opinion that this program has the rigor necessary for success. If the parent is committed to success for their child, this is the program!