This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
The Classical Academy Charter3
Posted January 30, 2015
- a parent
I can only speak about the Elementary schools. I would not put an average or below, child at this school. I have had children in different campuses and other Dist. 20 schools. For TCA you must educate yourself and not be "led" into this. Each campus has different leadership styles of "how" they choose to administer the TCA "Values", which is why some of the reviews are varied. However the curriculum is the same and what is attractive for this school. I do not recommend the curriculum for everyone at all. It is an advanced mindset and typical "play/fun" is NOT part of the school. I would look at all three campuses website and see which would fit your family style. East leadership is the most strict with little activities, compared to North and Central.
TCA-East: We thought Military style as well but then we met with the teacher and more was explained: 1. Line up by number: Number corresponds to child's last name for lunch due to special meals. Many students could not spell their last name so they switched to numbers and practiced lining up. 2. Hand shake instead of hug: We prefer hugs but they started with handshake, greeting, and look in the eye in the AM to instill confidence in the student and to model how it is done in public. Teacher will give the choice of hugs later if the student wants one. 3. Group punishment: Teacher admitted it was a mistake and her mentor said it was not used as a standard practice. Since then, kids got to go to recess early if they stayed on track and finished the assignment instead of the whole class missing out. Overall: Order/rules vs. warm environment is a bit of a balancing act. Too far one way can cause rigid and strict environment and the other way can classroom chaos. Most schools due to their philosophy lean one way and it helps for the parent to be involved in order to bring balance.
We have a kindergartner and so far, we have been nothing but pleased with TCA north. We followed their recommendations on what age our child should start and she loves school and is excelling. Academically she has made huge improvements in handwriting and math and has been reading for a few months. She loves the special subjects especially art class. However, the most important quality to us as parents are the virtues she is learning at home, to be respectful, kind, loyal etc. are being reinforced at TCA. When the class is disrespectful they are expected to apologize and sometimes miss recess. Her teacher is kind and loving but at the same time expects the children to behave at their full potential. And bonus points for rejecting Common Core so that teachers can continue to do their job to the best of their ability.
my niece is going to this school - she is telling me every time I see her how much she wants to be home-schooled - the reason? Bullying is common among the girls - this school seems to suffer from " mean girl syndrome" through most grade levels - even in elementary! The teachers are too busy to cope with the curriculum and testing to care much about the happiness of the students. My nephew left the school last year because he doesn't exactly fit their description of " normal" - he was struggling with spelling due to dyslexia and the recommendation of the school was to put him in a public school as they don't have the resources to deal with him - maybe that is how they intend to keep their test scores up? He LOVES his new public school and the teachers have only good things to say about him- he finally has friends and feels accepted- nobody understands why he was labeled difficult! We will be taking my niece out after this school year - she hates to go to school every day!
My child is in first grade and she is having a terrible experience with her drill sergeant teacher. I have asked her to show more love to my child (as she cries every day about school) but the teacher says "she'll adjust." Finally I talked to the principal, and asked for her to be moved due to incompatibilty. This was also unsuccessful. The principal has a loving personality, but as he explained "His hands are tied." TCA has small classes so they can micromanage the way the child holds a pencil, holds a book, tucks in their uniform, correct their posture and in the case of my childs teacher, requires them to say "yes, Ma'm." None of this is improving my child's reading but it is making her sad and nervous. My child spent 4 years on their "wait list" and I wish we hadn't wasted our effort.
Our oldest daughter was accepted into TCA at Central in 5th grade. It was one of the biggest blessings in our daughter's life. TCA opened their arms and wrapped them around our little girl. The principal and staff are absolutely phenomenal. Our daughter "lost" a year while in public school but the staff at TCA worked with her to catch her up and by the time 6th grade was in, she was caught up. The principal knows everyone & is always willing to chat with you about your student. The kids absolutely love him! The staff is amazing, sweet, and unbelievably generous with their time and talent. I cannot say enough about this amazing school that has done so much for my daughter. You cannot find a better elementary school in Colorado Springs. I know, we've looked. Trust your children to TCA. You will not regret it!
My child was bullied here by the children and the principal did not do anything about it! School is supposed to be a safe place for children. Also the school food is repulsive. I will not be coming back.
Both my children have been at TCA in Colorado Springs for years. They both started out in kindergarten and are now in upper elementary. We have been at both the East and Central campuses. The education and personal attention that our children receive at TCA is excellent. Their class size would be so much more in a public school. The fact that all the elementary classes have a tutor/helper at least part time is a huge benefit. Many parents volunteer hours each week to assist the teachers and administration. The parent involvement is almost unparalleled with other schools. I know the wait list can be lengthy to get your child in to TCA. Your chances are best if you live in District 20 and get your child/children on the list as young as possible - but I tell you it is worth it. The teachers not only are passionate about teaching - but passionate about your children. I've always said that TCA is like getting a private school education & personal attention without the enormous cost - and also without the "sheltered" viewpoint that many private schools can have.
As with absolutely anything in life, one must put heart and mind into the experience to genuinely glean the most out of the adventure. Am I right? Most definitely. I graduated from TCA in the class of '09. I now maintain a 3.0 GPA in college, and I honestly attribute this success to the definite way this school views education. Education is a challenge that takes heart. BUT I see compliance in parenting killing the success of child education. You, parents and guardians, HAVE GOT TO let your kidos know that the challenge of education is to be welcomed. It is to be welcomed, because you let your child know, "Yes, you can do it, and yes; I am here to help you, because I care." Empower your little scholars, because the world is out to let them know they are only one person, they aren't amazing, and therefore, they amount to very little. The student who challenges is that is the one who has a solid support system at home-one that encourages the challenge and encourages the student. So, good job to the people out there doing it right. - thanks mom and dad.