My two children attended Flagstaff Academy. One from grade 3-5 and the other grade 6 only. I got to experience all three principals at this school, including the founding principal, the second principal and the current principal, and found the current principal to be the best leader, although younger than the other two. The curriculum in content rich. The teachers are less well trained that SVVSD public school teachers, but usually do a good job. There is some politics and bullying but not tremendously worse than Longmont public schools. The music program in the middle school is not as focused on performance as the regular public middle schools. The middle school math curriculum pushes kids ahead too much, without considering what the local high schools offer for math. Still the content in art and music for elementary school is outstanding. There is a bit too much discipline and homework for some kids, especially K-2, but we were at a different school for those grades. There is some politics with board member children that tended to affect how discipline was enforced in the classroom.
A charter school is parent -run. That is the beauty of it. So if a couple of "pushy" parents join the school board and start demanding accelerated classes, ability grouping, STEM, and a balanced budget, than more power to them. I am so proud of the successes I have witnessed at this school. FA students are grade levels ahead in Math, Reading, Writing, Science and History. We certainly don't do their homework. What an insult to all of our children who work so hard. The Principal works long hours. He is smart, kind, and committed. The teachers are so dedicated to FA, they send their own kids there. The teachers and students appear happy. My children transferred from a private school 4 years ago. My perception was the private school principal favored wealthy parents. The private school held my children back. They had to work alone in workbooks, while the teacher taught to the lowest level in her class. This doesn't happen at Flagstaff, where they are grouped with other students at their level, even if it is a grade up. I genuinely believe the teachers and administrators care about our children. They do care when a child is bullied. The discipline policy is fairly enforced.
My 2 kids attended Flagstaff for 2 years. We moved to another state so we had to leave this wonderful school. My experience was very positive. Most of the teachers are wonderful, one of them was a bit inexperienced, but still pretty good. They have an excellent science focus and ability grouping across the entire grades for math and phonics. The teachers we had were very good, enthusiatic, motivated and caring. There was great parent involvement and there were parents volunteers every day in the classroom (And several of them!). The people at the front desk are friendly and have an amazing memory, they know the names of all the students (just amazing). Great communication from the principal through their website, email blasts, and lots of email from their teachers. Some of the teachers would email the parents mailing list every day with news about the classroom. The new school we are in is quite average, and now we realize how wonderful Flagstaff was. Kudos to Flagstaff and I hope they are able to maintain and improve on their already amazing performance.
The teachers are enthusiastic and love the kids. My kids are challenged and are doing well. What more could I ask for? Prior to Flagstaff they attended private school and they are now getting a superior education! All the teachers I have had contact with have never been anything other than courteous and professional. As for the school constantly losing pupils? Try telling that to several of my friends who are on the waiting list! Safety issues? I personally think the businesses are being unrealistic and have obviously never driven by any school at end of day! The 'Flagstaff kids' are no worse than other kids, they're kids!
This school really is amazing. The CORE knowledge curriculum is fantastic, and yes, the expectations are high for students, but the work put out by the students more than surpasses work I've seen at other schools. My child loves this school, the teachers, the atmosphere, the curriculum, the activities- it is a fun and enlightened place to learn, and I am sorry we wasted years at another high performing school in St Vrain Valley (Niwot Elem). FCA does have its share of bullies and bad behavior, as does any school, but the way it is handled is light years ahead of the previous school we attended and is absolutely not tolerated. There is no pressure, whatsoever, to contribute money or be a member of the board. The elitism spoken of in previous reviews is completely unfounded. You can volunteer as much or as little as you want with no reprecussions from any parent, staff member or board member. The thing about FCA is that people WANT to be involved- it is that kind of community. I highly recommend this school for an active and involved learner with a family who wants to be a part of a school community.
Look long & hard at this school. Ask questions about the anti-bullying policy. If your child is a special needs child, ask what services will be provided and what won't. Know what you're getting into & don't just buy into the bells and whistles of the school. Our daughter spent four years at FCA before we realized we were *never* going to get the support from the admin., the "special ed. dept.", or from the teachers, that we were initially (& every year after) told she was going to receive. In four years, social and academic progress were at a snail's pace & 1/2 of her teacher's were out of line & spoke to her with disrespect, bordering on contempt. (I wish we would've recognized it at the time). This school is probably okay if your child falls within FCA's "norms". If not, look elsewhere.
I am a parent of a student who attended Flagstaff for all three years of middle school and just finished the first semester at a St. Vrain high school in honors classes with a 4.0 average. I have to save the success in high school is despite the terrible 8th grade year (2009-2010) when the administration and others in charge appeared to be totally unbalanced. At Flagstaff in the 8th grade year my child was belittled, bullied, accused of ridiculous misbehaviors, excluded from many activities, received grades obviously lower than what others did for the same work and I was treated with rudeness and contempt when I tried to address these problems. Sad to say the same administration remains in effect at Flagstaff. I've been amused to read about the publicity stunt that was staged with parents supposedly camping out in the cold in December to make sure their students were able to enroll for next year when the reality is Flagstaff is spending money in ads in local papers this January begging parents to enroll their students.
To the parent with the bully problem....my immediate reaction was if you are going to gossip to other parents about your issue instead of working on it yourself and if you are going to elevate to the Supreme Court without allowing one of the three administrators Flagstaff has on hand to help, then it sounds like the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I am a parent and a volunteer and I have seen the numerous events and programs FSA has brought in or created themselves. My child has talked about the program(s). All schools have this issue and most if not all work hard to address it. It is parents like you who instead of helping be part of the solution, gossip and become more of the problem. How many other parents have you "discussed this with?" How much time have you offered up to facilitate any kind of program, event, playdates etc? Furthermore, most parents believe their child is NOT capable of being any part of the bullying, only the recipient. I am here to tell you that a word, a gesture, a look can contribute to a situation. And there are two sides TO EVERY STORY.
If you want your child to be challenged, encouraged, and praised for their unique abilities then this is the school. My children have been challenged to do their best and yes that does require that as their parent I put in time and help them to keep up with the standards of the class and the teacher. I think this school expects all children to be able to compete with other top countries in all areas. I have no problem with that and I know that my children will rise to that expectation and possibly exceed it.
My son today learned that the bullying at flagstaff will go continue as he was the victim and the child that was picking on him was resued when he got upset. A parent suggested that I make a claim with the state of Colorado department of education and St vrain Valley School District.
I can't really speak to Preschool - 5 at Flagstaff but the middle school is horrible! The work is way too difficult for many students so cheating is rampant with parents often doing the work for the kids. The teachers are not at all objective in their grading but seem to grade according to how much they like the student and that seems to depend on how much the parents donate or how close they are to certain board members. This carries over to the discipline of students with a certain select few getting to do as they please while others are harshly punished for the silliest transgression. The Dean of Students has no public school experience and all the administrators seem to toady to what ever parent or board member they fear most. Check out how the middle school CSAP scores fell last year!
I am very happy with Flagstaff. It has a lovely campus and a strong philosophy. I like the technology that my child has been exposed to. I think the school has strong leaders and good teachers. My only concern is the large amount of homework my child struggles with.
This school is horribly run!! We had our children here for four years thinking that the administration and the teachers would get their act together but unfortunately it has gotten worse. Their policy of ignoring true student and teacher issues is appalling. They are more concerned about their image than students! Next year we are moving our children to TPCA. Sorry Flagstaff but you had your chance and you blew it! We will never recommend your school to other parents.
Flagstaff is amazing. We live in Niwot and our kids attended that school for a few years - what a disappointment! Niwot, like some other district schools, is so CSAP focused. Flagstaff's curriculum & instruction is rich and focused and lasts even after CSAPs are over. We have a middle schooler and two elem kids - all have had outstanding experiences and one son left Niwot reading below grade level and finished his first year at Flagstaff above grade level and has excelled every year since. The leadership is what you would find in any innovative school or company.
I'm the parent of 2 kids attending Flagstaff. I enrolled one of my children with very high hopes that he would be able to overcome some issues he had been dealing with at our local school. Our local school didn't seem to care or want to help him at all. After attending Flagstaff for 2 years these issues are no longer evident. I now have a very happy child who gets great grades and loves learning and being challenged. Flagstaff seems to have a very talented staff of teachers that care so much about each child and every special situation. With such great staff and a beautiful new building, parking issues are a problem I can overlook. As far a fundraising, I will gladly donate to a school that works so hard to prepare my child so well for their future. I don't feel obligated at all.
I am a 2nd year parent of an elementary student and a middle school student. I am very pleased with the curriculum and the staff. My children are challenged academically and the teachers also seem to be aware of and working on all of the difficult social issues for these ages. I would highly recommend this school.
We have three children in Flagstaff Academy and they have attended for two years. We are very happy with the challenging curriculum and hands on learning experience offered to the students. The core curriculum is developing a solid educational foundation. There is such a positive energy from students, parent, and especially the teachers. The teachers are focused on the students and show a strong desire to help the students develop a love of learning!
My children have been at Flagstaff since day one. I have found that Flagstaff's programmings is strong and relevant to the different levels of learning of both my children. There's always assumption or accusation around ANY charter school board or administration, and the need for transparency but if parent would just go to all the meetings (board, pto, parent coffee, etc). The information they want is there and on the website as well, not just with Flagstaff but with Twin Peaks or any charter school in Colorado.
This school is a joke! They push and push for more $$ in donations and fundraisers but you never seem to get a completely clear answer where the $$ goes, and when you do its for dumb stuff like a teachers espresso bar or the advertising/PR budget. I also like how the school is trying to downplay the legal suit from their HOA about their parking issues. Any parent who picks up their child knows that the school completely flubbed up the parking!! There is something seriously wrong with this school!!
Last year my husband and I moved our family to Longmont and enrolled our son in Flagstaff. When we took the tour we felt that we were making a wonderful choice for our son but learned shortly after what a mistake we had made. Teachers were showing 'The Patriot' in english w/o parent permission and thinking it was alright; classes were being skipped or moved around constantly; kids were sneaking out of the building and hanging out behind the school; bullies were never reprimanded in any way... it was the worst year academically that our son has ever experienced because he was taught so little and by unexperienced teachers and staff. This year our son has attended TPCA and I have to say that it is like night and day. I beg any new parents to look around... don't drink the kool-aid from this school!!
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