To misquote Star Wars, "This is not the school your looking for". Years we have spent here and the promised education we have been supporting has not materialized. All my volunteer hours. Money, physical donations and time has been spent trying to make this a better place and the board has laughed in my face. Appointing a principal and head school (what's Mr. Graingers title again?) with no education degrees, and in one case, no experience. The school refuses to admit that the lower test scores might not be because of curriculum but because of a constant stream of sweet but inexperienced teachers. When I received the email this week that a group of teachers AND parents reviewed a new reading curriculum, That was the final straw. What do parents have to say about a school curriculum?!?! We should defer to the professionals but unfortunately there is no education leader here and the one they FINALLY hired will be too late for my kids. Adios Flagstaff. The $500 inactivity fees I used to pay will go for Kumon this summer to get my kids caught up for public school (oh and thanks for excluding my kids to the field trip also, it made their decision to leave much easier).
We came to Flagstaff Academy years ago with excitement. We are leaving disappointed and worried about our kids future. In a nutshell, Flagstaff is a charter school and pays the teachers lower than surrounding public school. The teacher turnover here is overwhelming (2/4 of the fourth grade teachers left within the first month of school during the 2014-1015 year alone). My kids are on their third music teacher, second science lab teacher, second PE teacher and all of them have had too many first year teachers. When looking at other elementary schools to move to, I found out that Flagstaff Academy students who have left are behind in writing and math. The math program here is sadly behind most other elementary schools in Longmont. They employ a system that is neither scientifically sound or logical. They are making it up as they go along and our kids suffer. They also enacted a system this year where only certain kids are invited to go on field trips. Remember your "activity fees" go to pay for field trips, so if your student isn't selected your money goes to pay for others...no refunds. My suggestion, work within your neighborhood school don't waste your time here.
It is sickening to see the administration of FSA continue to lie to the parents. They recently sent out a message about how great the children are doing in math. What they are not telling you is that they are teaching all the children the same low curriculum. What this means is the GT kids and the advanced kids are being taught to the same level as the lower learners. The GT level should be at least 2 years ahead and the advanced level should be taught at least one year ahead. If you compare the number of children that scored advanced, FSA does not rank as high as the other schools in the area. Not because they are not capable, but because the school is flat out refusing to teach them. All the other schools in the district are teaching to their level. If your child plans on going into any STEM career, he or she will not have the proper foundation, not from this school and they will be two years behind, Your only option as a parent is to either ask the school to get back on track or move your child to a school that will teach them.
Flagstaff is a WONDERFUL school. We have been at the school for 6 years now and have 2 children enrolled in the school. It's a great school with wonderful teachers and a good administrative team. The test scores speak for themselves so anyone saying the academics are slipping don't have the data to back those comments. My children are growing and thriving and have been the entire time we have attended Flagstaff. Additionally, as the kids graduate past 8th grade and move into the surrounding high schools they are resoundingly top performers and leaders at their new schools. Flagstaff is growing amazing kids in our community! I truly believe it's the best school we could have our children at. I'm happy to see Flagstaff rated a 10 out of 10 on great schools, and the middle school is rated #1 in the state on Colorado School Grades. That can't happen by chance. There are a handful of very noisy unhappy parents, which probably happens at most K-8 public schools of similar size. I truly wish these drama-seeking toxic parents would get out of the way of the great educations that this school is offering to so many kids.
Flagstaff has taken a terrible turn for the worse!! An Inexperienced ex-cop runs the school and it will be interesting to see where tests scores are in a few years. But more importantly the entire vibe of the school has become negative. To the last comment perhaps the admin should do something to quiet the negativity. From experience this extreme negativity is NOT what you find at all schools. And you are correct - time has been spent this year trying to quiet the problems and not spent teaching kids! Teacher morale is at a low and I will not be surprised if some of the best teachers the school has leave. It is not fun to work in an environment where neg articles are being written. Something is broken and needs to be fixed! Sometimes the grass is greener - you just have to be smart enough to walk over and take a look!!!
Our daughter is thriving at the school. One of the things we love about Flagstaff is how hard the staff works to make sure your child is getting what they need. In our case, our daughter participates in a 504 plan which provides accommodations for her mild disability. The 504 team is responsive, open to feedback, and truly wants to work to make things right for our child. Another thing we love is the way the staff works to place kids into the right ability groups (e.g. math) and the right classrooms each year.
We left another Longmont elementary school for Flagstaff because of their rating and reviews from other parents. However, after 2 years, we are less than impressed and looking at a differnt school for 5th grade. The $240 annual fee is supposed to go for field trips, which my child's classes have never taken, extra activities, which my child never experienced, and classroom supplies, which we purchased out of pocket at the beginning of the year. This year, we're not paying the fee per a discussion with an employee of the St. Vrain school district office who states since the school is public, they can't impliment the fee, especially if you disagree with where they say it goes. Looking forward to a new year at a new school.
While I agree Flagstaff is in terrible shape I have to laugh when people seem to say a former administrator who is now employed in St. Vrain was so wonderful. This person hired and fired a lot of people and stirred up a lot of controversy. One of his worst hires the Dean of Students is somehow still there and I don't think he would hold on to well under close scruitny
Flagstaff is not the school it advertises. There is dissatisfaction within parents. Families are leaving. Curriculum is slipping. Morale is slipping. Administration is getting bonuses. They prefer to bring the kids academics down so they can improve the growth numbers and wow everyone with high scores. If you dare speak up, you are blackballed and called a trouble maker and they ask you to be quiet. I have heard leadership talking badly about parents and airing information that should be confidential. What a shame. A once great school now has an article in a newspaper regarding corruption, people driving around with degrading messages about the school on their vehicle and bad morale. Not for me, not for my kids.
We visited 7 different schools in the area, including our assigned school, Niwot Elementary and 4 private schools. I am under the sense that many parents have recently become unhappy with the school because their input no longer carries the weight that it once did. Colorado is finally implementing the Common Core Standards that most other parts of the county have been using for years. Because there is a new curriculum, state and federally mandated, input from teachers, administration and parents will not have the weight that it once did. If children do all of the assigned homework there is plenty that is age appropriate. Parents can always add homework as they feel their own child needs. Our only complaint is regarding the classroom size, 27 is too big for many teacher to adequately control.