The primary grades in the school don't receive any homework all (no packets coming home to be returned by the end of the week!!) In 4th and 5th grade, they begin to add homework to help develop skills the students will need in middle school. The school does encourage school-home connections.
This school has certainly had some changes in the last past years--mostly for the better. The current leadership has really helped to bring the school up across the board. The art and music program are top notch as well as the social studies program. The kindergarten and first grade are also very strong foundations for the school.
Big on arts, performance, cultures and history. Teachers mixed bag at all levels. Band teacher is awesome! Inferior gifted and talented program. Art teacher is good and helps kids win contests but given little time so has to push kids really hard.
This school has an amazing focus and philosophy, but does not deliver on it. The administration of the school has been lacking since the beginning, having gone through about 9 principals in 9 years. Students are seen as dollar signs, and there are multiple fundraisers throughout the year. They are in major debt, operating in the red with a budget that shows more debt at the end of the year. WIth the charter renewal coming, they may not even be around much longer. Do your research, check out lots of schools. My kids are now at a school in PSD with netbooks in their classroom for every student in 4/5 grade, amazing music programs, choir and drama. In addition, the teachers are stable and are not looking for better paying, better supported positions in the district.
My oldest has been attending this school for two years and I am excited to send my middle child there for kindergarten next year! I have already talked to my son's former kindergarten teacher about having my daughter next year, and she is excited. I have seen other people's complaints on this sight about staff turn-over and if that was happening in the past, I don't see it happening now. My son is getting a top-notch, well-rounded education. He has art class two or three times a week, music class twice a week, drama class once a week, and PE once a week. That is in addition to the core classes. The school also recently debuted an app, and it is great!!
My son had nothing but problems in public school and the teachers at the public schools were not willing to help, all of that changed when we started at TPAK. I adore the new principle, she was my son's teacher our first year at TPAK, so we were able to really get to know her on a personal level, she worked with my son, gave him all the tools he needed to be successful, and I have nothing but positive things to say about her, so when I found out she was going to be the principle I was thrilled. I feel like I am walking through the halls of Fame when I go to the school to pick up my son! The before and after program is wonderful and Mr. Brad who is also the gym teacher is fantastic. My son has done great while attending TPAK, and I highly recommend TPAK for teaching a different way of learning, one that works for us!!!
There are good and bad things about the school. The curriculum is not as challenging as many of the parents boast about. I encourage any parent to research Mosaica and make their own judgements on this. After leaving the school my child was tested in reading and found to be an entire grade level behind. Most Teachers don't work as a cohesive team and I am finding that when teachers do work together the kids benefit tremendously. The new principal is a wonderful and educated person, but is often spread too thin with all the responsibilities of shoring up a financially struggling charter school. I found the extra hours Mosaica requires in the classroom to be filled with fluff activities just to get through the time. This all being said, I think TPAAK is the right fit for some kids. It's a close community where parents can be involved. The smaller school provides comfort for kids who struggle in big schools. It also accommodates the schedules of working parents. Shining star students really stand out. Many teachers are right out of college and enthusiastic. A lack of classroom management skills does exist. Some love TPAAK and others are looking for more in a school.
I love the drive and the spirit of this school. I love how the teaching team collaborates. We have the common goal of providing the best learning environment possible for the students. I love that music and art are an integrated part of every school day. And most of all, I love being a teacher at TPAAK and working to help students bring out the best of their talents. This is indeed, a great place to be. :-)