I am overall very happy with our school! My children are very different academically and I am so pleased that they have ability grouping. The one thing that I am not happy about is transportation for student field trips. I believe that the students should be riding a bus to a field trip not in someone's parents car where I have no idea what their driving record is like or whether or not they are texting (especially if the student is 7 or younger and should still be in booster). Other than that it has been a great experience for us!
Sadly this school has changed so much in the past few years, for the worse! Since the current head of school (can't be called principal because she has no background in education and forcefully pushed out the principal who was loved) took over the school has lost sight of its mission. Love of learning is gone. Now it is just like a military academy. The disciplie is unfairly administered and children are intimidated openly when not completing the hours and hours of homework. Parents are asked to volunteer - but only in certain areas like the lunchroom and playgroud. They are otherwise banned from the classroom stating that they are 'a distraction' Class size is actually between 28-33 (16 is listed on this website). Teachers and administration are not held to any dress code yet students are written up for not wearing a belt or having the wrong colored hair rubberband. If a student does not fit the exact mold for the straight A student who doesn't want to be involved in any other activity other than school and homework they are treated like they just are not smart enough. If parents are not donating thousands of dollars yearly students are singled out and not treated well.
This school tries their best to push out children with special needs. They ignore bullying issues and favoritism lies with the children whose parents contribute the most money to their fundraising. The principal does not have any education background and does not bother attending IEP meetings- nor does she advocate for students struggling when teachers don't follow the IEP. The students come from upper income households for the most part and many of the kids hold an elitist attitude due to this. The school makes it apparent who has money and doesn't, as their library barely has any books and kids need a Kindle to check out books (online). They also are discussing each parent buying a laptop for their student as part of the school fees. Our other child was placed in a group that didn't match her ability and was left to flounder for weeks until we finally were able to get her reevaluated. We were told that evaluations are only quarterly, so she would be stuck until then. Often, she comes home with 3-10 worksheets a night to complete- yes I said 10. Their policy for field trips is to not pay for buses, so they let any parent that wants to transport the students do so. Unsafe.
Stay away from this school if you have common sense. The teachers assign worksheets non-stop instead of hands-on, involved teaching. My daughter in kindergarten comes home with 3-4 worksheets a night for homework in Math and 1 hour of Reading worksheets, as well. The work doesn't get graded in a timely manner- her last graded paper was 1 month ago. When you reach out to the principal with concerns, she reminds you of the chain of communication- aka: Don't bother me. We are moving on and will be returning to our neighborhood school. One more thing: They let everyone park all over the the school grounds- blocking people in at the end of the day so you can't leave. 2013 school year can't come soon enough!
My family was so excited for our children to attend this school due to the excellent Core Knowledge Curriculum, Uniform/Conduct Standards, and Ability Grouping. These aspects worked for our students. The homework can be excessive but does prepare them well for time management issues in High School. The downside is it can create family stress. The teacher turnover is high and the administration will not admit it. More than double the percent last reported. There does not seem to be a plan to correct this issue. The conduct standards have been inaccurately and unfairly used against some students in the Middle School. There has been a large issue with the Middle School boys. It seems better with the girls. I your son is very bright, inquisitive, and challenges any the rules in Middle School (Ie , noise in the lunchroom, uniform rules etc., recess rules,study hall rules) this may create more resentment from your child . While the academic standards of the school are great the structure is such that you may run into problems with the administration or teachers. There is often no way to resolve these because the board and administrators are protecting each other.
Think long and hard before accepting enrollment to this school. It needs discipline, hard work, focus, respect and high expectations of oneself - and is obviously not everyone's cup of tea. Most of us parents don't pay any attention to this during the open house and also do not pull our kids out of school when it does not suit them - so the easy street is denial and criticism. In the last four years my daughter is thriving and we love it here - although we are not connected to any school committee. The myth about zero extra curricular activities is also incorrect since some of the other kids are state swimming champions and doing fine in the school at the same time. The school is not perfect but for my kid it is a great blessing. You have to make the right call for your kid since no school is perfect for everybody and can please everyone all the time. From what I understand, hard work pays. And the consistent results from this school shows. But what I like most is how it prepares kids for the future. Hats off to the many dedicated and unsung teachers, administrators and amazing PTO.
Think long and hard before accepting enrollment to this school. If you and your children are Type A personalities than you will survive the very, very rigorous academic structure and pace. Academic pace starts to increase noticibly at 3rd grade level and by the 6th, 7th and 8th grade levels, count on 3 1/2 - 4 hours of nightly homework. The culture at this school is bad, very elitist . Your children will be squeezed out if they do not fit into the culture and it's "invisible" parameters...you will beg for your neighborhood school to give your child back their spot...as AA has now become your "home" school. Leadership is marginal. Special treatment for kids whose parents are connected to the school. Problems with bullying. Have a happy family life and stick with your neighborhood school, your child will recieve a very good education and be well rounded and well adjusted. This school looks great from the outside and on paper, but it is rotten on the inside.
Leadership wants more schools. Cannot even keep their website up and operational. Disappointed with admin. Teachers are good but turn over is high. Parents are VERY involved with school. Lots of homework for the kiddos.
We had a horrible experience with this school and I would never wish what happened to them to happen to any other children. My children were not welcome as new students and there was no attempt by the teachers to give them any guidance or support - it was sink or swim. I invite any parent reading these reviews that has had an unfavorable experience to band together and report their offenses,. There is power in numbers and this school needs to be held accountable.
American Academy is a fantastic school with amazing leadership. The American Academy Board of Directors and current Head of School are some of the most passionate, dedicated and effective individuals to work in public schools. American Academy offers an extensive educational experience for their student population as they foster the next generation of scientists and world leaders. This is a school that cares about and provides support for all members of the student population. They have amazing teachers who are constantly going above and beyond for their students and the overall school community. There are many extracurricular options that help to create the culture that makes this school different from the other options available. The teachers are excited to teach the administrators are enthusiastic to lead. American Academy is the best!!
This school is as good as it gets for our area. If you want to sit back and enjoy the ride think again about enrolling your kids here. Parents are required to put in 40 hours per school year. The academics are definitely rigorous and the culture of the school is composed of "intense" predominantly "type A" personalities. If you are looking for a more laid back and relaxed school then I would not recommend it. This school has an amazing fine arts and music department. There are a multitude of extra curricular activities including Spanish, typing, writing workshops and robotics to name a few. A big improvement for this year will be in- house special educators including speech, psychologist and social worker.
Great STEM school with a great curriculum! Students, parents and teachers are all very involved in a rigorous environment. The uniforms keeps everyone on task.
My husband's and my favorite part about AA is the flexible grouping system. Students are tested all year long to gauge their current ability levels and to identify learning gaps. For example, my son, an early reader and a quick student, had fallen behind this last year in comprehension skills. Instead of keeping him in the advanced group, he was moved to the standard group for more support. He's getting the attention he needs at the level he needs right now, and he's doing great. Maybe next year he'll be in advanced again, maybe not, but he's being taught according to his NEEDS. How many schools can say they identify and then address and accommodate each student at that level of detail? Not many I imagine. We are thrilled by the school's determination and ability to make "challenging each student at their level" a priority and a possibility.
Our kids have attended a few others schools, public and private and though I never have been one for uniforms and a lot of structure, I have to say that it really works for my kids! They are learning at such a fast pace and doing extremely well at American Academy, I just can't beleive it. I love my kids teachers (and they do too!) and I feel like they really care about educating my kids. The school managemnet is extremely effecient and I feel like the school is runs like a top. The communication from the school is wonderful. We feel like we are informed about policies, fundraisers and all of the extra cirricular activities that are offered (which we love as well).
My children have been going to this school since the oldest was in first grade (she is now in fifth) and it is an amazing school. Is it perfect? No, bu then again, what school is? However, when I see the quality of education my children are getting, I have no complaints. The teachers are excellent and dedicated, the new principal is doing an excellent job, and there are more than enough challenges to keep my children interested.
I have been very happy with American Academy. The teachers here are dedicated to making learning fun and interesting for all students! I can't believe what they are learning! My 4th and 6th grader are learning more advanced Science and Math than their high school aged cousins! Truly amazing! Great school, great community feel!
Phenomenal school with phenomental teachers! I love the curriculum and the challenges that the teachers provide. The leadership is wonderful and supportive.
I thought this school was better than it actually is. The homework load for the middle school students is excessive for no reason. The Math department is ridiculous. The ability placement is a joke because children don't move up and are often placed in the wrong classes. Two of my children were incorrectly placed and thus NOT challenged. I had to argue to have my children placed properly.What could be a Great school is only mediocre due to it's math department and homework load. Hours of homework do not make a child smarter, the teachers do. Teach the children how to do the work! Educate! I'm really disappointed.
I have two children at American Academy and they absolutely love it! We left our neighborhood school in search of more. The ability grouping for math and reading is fantastic! They have science and social studies everyday, not rotating the two like our old school. Carpool line takes some getting used to, but is to be expected in a commuter school. I will take a little hassle for a quality education. You really feel you are getting a private education for free. I have no idea why or how people are posting negative reviews when their child never attended the school. Bizarre!
As in many charters the literacy instruction is outdated and faulty. There is a negative attitude towards students who struggle or who have special needs... "This school might not be the right fit for your child." Meaning- they need CSAP scores. They have a board that operates as friends do- not as a school leadership team.
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