I have attended PKY since the fourth grade and I admit that it is a very unique school. The only problem is that there are barely any clubs and whatnot to choose from, which is why BHS tends to look more appealing. Yes, it does have a family "feel" to it, but it can also make you feel as if you aren't able to grow up and explore yourself because the people you see everyday have known you for a long time so a fresh start is almost impossible. There are some cliques but no one really cares about them because they aren't worth the time. This a good school for people who want a stable environment for their children. For people who like adventure, this is NOT the school for you.
My daughter has attended PK for the past two years. She got in a week before her 4th grade year. PK was certainly the best possible choice we could have made for her. The teachers are awesome and WANT to be there. You can tell they love their jobs and the students. My daughter is very bright and her teachera are constantly working to make sure she's appropriately challenged.
P.K. has a phenomienal performing arts program that nurtures and develops talent with the core benefit of improving the self-confidence of all its students! We love the new assured manner our 6th grader has developed - not to mention his straight A's!
My DD is entering 9th grade and has attended P.K. since Kindergarten. It is a wonderful school. She is getting a great education. The most important thing that I am proud of is the opportunities to think for her self rather than just learn facts. She is learning to question her sources of information and make a decision/theory. The downside would be their sports facilities. The coaches and what they do in spite of the facilities are tremendous.
I'm a former student (K-12). As a small school, PKY doesn't have the resources to offer the variety of courses available at the largest high schools. On the other hand, classes are small and the teachers superb. The small enrollment fosters strong student-teacher and student-student interactions. It is an excellent place in which to grow and to develop the learning skills that last a lifetime.
I'm a proud former lab rat, K-12. PK has its positive and negative qualities, but what school doesn't? PK has a great performing arts program, undoubtedly one of the best in the area. We also have a very good athletic program - we are the only school in Alachua County where middle school students can play on JV and Varsity teams. Our gym is struggling but supposedly they are raising money to build a new one. As for education, it's true that we have very few AP courses offered here and only one foreign language, but we also have an extremely high number of students taking dual-enrollment courses through SFC and UF. And the AP/Honors courses we do have are of high quality - I am now attending UF and have no problem keeping up with the material here.
I have three kids at PK and my boys attended Wiles elementary for Kindergarten. they were tested for 'gifted' in kindergarten and were told they 'were not gifted'. When they entered 1st grade at PK Yonge, their teacher recommended they be tested for gifted and they psychologist who tested them said they were incredibily gifted. Because of that test, they are now in 9th grade and doing 11th grade math. When they are in 11th grade they will qualify to Dual-enroll at UF for additional math classes. How can a parent say PK doesn't cater to the 'overachiever'. Every school has it's share of problems but all three of my kids are excited when school starts. My daughter can't wait to go to get up and go to school for both the Performing Arts and for the Gifted Classes. My kids would never leave PK.