Nope - this is a school of have's vs. have-not's at all level and depending on what your last name is, what car you drive and how much money your parents donate to the school determines how you're treated. And the administration does NOTHING. They are the stereotypical charter school that wants to be a private school.
This school values those families with the deepest pocketbooks more than those who chose it because their home district options are failing. The 'sense of community' pertains to the wealthy families. There's a small group of them who have taken to bullying and shaming those who either disagree with them or upset the harmony of their days online, and the school refuses to help. We pulled our child after being a family here for several years; the students (at elementary) are just as cruel as the parents, and if your Mom and Dad write a big enough check, you can get away with anything. This is NOT why we chose the Academy.
After being an Academy family for years, we are moving our youngest elsewhere. The school is overcrowded and is too focused on meeting the needs of the wealthier, more influential families at all grades. They say they have zero tolerance for bullying, but when even the parents are allowed to bully others over social media, then what sort of example are they setting? Little to no support for academic clubs. Total focus on PARCC scores at all grades and no problem or inquiry based learning (so it's all rote memorization with little application to real life situations.) Too many high dollar fundraisers (do we really need a high priced ball drop or parents-only gala in addition to a 5K?). Let's stop focusing on the wealthy parents and get back to educating ALL kids, regardless of income level!
My child started the Pre-K program and I have been very impressed. My son has been able articulate and discuss subjects like Hellen Keller and MLK. In addition, he is only 4 and is starting to read. The other wonderful thing is "my child loves going to school and looks forward to it". It has been a great experience so far, and I recommend it.
My child goes to the half-day Pre-K program at the Academy. We absolutely love it. My son has a fall birthday, so this is actually his 3rd year of preschool. He has gone to a different preschool each year (plus the Goddard School back when I used to work). I have to say that I have been amazed at the quality of this program compared to the other preschools that he has been to. There is plenty of time for play but also a strong focus on learning. It is obvious that a lot of thought has been put into the curriculum for each week. The kids don't do worksheets; they learn through art, activities, music, guests, games, etc. Every week the teachers change out all of the toys at each center to go along with the theme for the week. They even do tongue strengthening exercises to help with their verbal skills! The teachers also emphasize discipline and independence. The kids are taught to resolve their own disputes. I wish the rankings for the Academy were separated out by Elementary, Middle School and High School. My experience so far with the elementary school is that it is a top notch school and feel very fortunate have my son enrolled here.
This school is not all its hyped up to be. They rely on their reputation alone and do not care about the students as individuals. All classes are filled to maximum capacity (29-30 students per class, 3-5 classes per grade). It is a joke trying to attend a school event as the school is so overpopulated that parking and finding a seat to sit is impossible. Furthermore pickup at the main campus is a zoo! We withdrew our children from this school after dealing with rude teachers and a snobby principal for over a year. Not recommended! (Referring to Elementary, we have heard that it only goes down hill from there once students move to Middle & High School.) Look elsewhere, much better options available that provide students with greater attention and educational support in order to help them succeed.
This school needs lots of improvements. Most teachers quit there and got fired, all the high school teachers are young. Im just telling you about high school, and the stop light to the school is horrible. You'll wait at least 15 minutes when school starts. They alot of times shut down the school because of the recent conditioning problem (2-3 students passed out) and they closed down another time because of a leaking problem. There once was a flooding. They also had all the lights shut down a couple of times. Its just going down. I mean the staff are great and friendly but the school itself is horrible. there money is going low and they cant print alot of stuff. There also was 2 homeless teachers there!! They need to start fixing these problems. but otherwise a great community. Just needs improvement.
My daughter is in the afternoon pre-k program at the academy and she loves it! I have volunteered in the classroom so have seen a full day from start to finish. The teachers are kind and invested in the students but firm when need be. The expectations for behavior are high, but with the direction of the teachers, the kids do very well meeting those expectations. There is a good balance of academics, free play and outdoor play. I am impressed. I also should add that the parents of the children in the classroom are wonderful people. We are looking forward to kindergarten next year!
Alright, as a student you expect me to say that this is a horrible school. But, I'm not going to say that it's horrible. I'm just going to say it needs a lot of improvements. First of all, it is a great school if you are looking for an elementary school. Other than that don't even try. This year students/ parents have been battling the administration constantly about changes that need to be made. One of their big things at The Academy is that they are always improving, making it a college prep school, always trying to help you, promises promises promises... Yet they have about only two A.P. classes, the honors classes are just a name nothing more, and they focus more on test scores more than the individualized student. Also, class sizes are about 30ish students. I was in a classroom with 40 kids and a lot of us had to sit on the floor for about a month because they didn't have enough desks. The school is honestly not big enough to have a 3-12 grade campus. We have too many traveling teachers because there are not enough classrooms. I can list some many other things. However, I don't have space. All I'm saying is if you want to be constantly frustrated, I got the place for you.