I was at this school from 4th grade to 7th grade. from 4th through 6th (Elementary) It was alright, quite strict but helped a lot in preparing for middle school... Or so I thought
The Middle school here is a disaster. Stuck right in between elementary and high school students in quite a confusing time can lead to hell. The teachers never stayed for more than a few years. And the ones who do stay are very rarely decent teachers. The school itself is clean, but almost depressing. white everything. The kids at the school either make it or get chewed up like a bone. Please don't go to this middle school. I would prefer Silver Hills, Rocky Top, or Westlake. Public school outweighs this school by a mile.
Although the school instructs the parents to allow the students to be responsible for their own success, there is little to no interaction or direction. In the end, the board would rather focus on teaching to the tests than teaching for the student. Definitely, not a fan.
First and foremost: UNSAFE!!!! Anyone can walk in and walk out of this building almost any time in the morning and in the afternoon unchecked. THEN: huge class sizes so almost no individual attention. Horribly crowded cafeteria, terrible food. Complete lack of supervision in the hallways during junior high and high school passing periods, lunchtimes, before and after school - pushing, screaming, knocking into others, roughhousing, throwing items. Library one of noisiest ever seen - very few books, no comfortable places to read, no current magazines. Few and small bathrooms for student use. Part of recess areas totally unsupervised. I am a prospective parent who walked in one morning unchecked and got a visitor pass, spent the morning walking around and saw it all. You couldn't pay me ten thousand dollars to send my kids here.
When students are allowed to behave the way they do in the classrooms, in the hallways, in the cafeteria, outside after school, and at athletic events without any consequences whatsoever.....absolutely not. There will have to be a huge overhaul to get these to exist in this 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.