This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Mater Grove Academy5
Posted March 26, 2015
- a parent
My son entered in Kindergarten for the 2014-2015 school year. Like most parents I wanted to choose a school that would not only allow him to expand his mind but that would also challenge him along the way. The kindergarten teachers have done that and more. They're very organized, on top of all things, involved in every single aspect of the kids' day, and more. The Kinder teachers are in one word amazing! The only thing that worried me in the beginning was the amount of kids in the classroom but they do have 2 teachers which allows a ratio of about 18:1. You probably wouldn't even notice the amount of kids in the class due to the attention these teachers show to the individual student. Communication with parents is great, we get emails for everything that is going on and also responses fairly quickly to any concerns. Does every school not need a little improvement? Yes! But I'd say for Mater Grove its a more cosmetic one, the school staff is excellent!
MGA Review Part 1 - Those not familiar with Mater Grove Academy should know that it is a new school with "growing pains". They are limited with space at this time and student enrollment has increased, resulting in crowded classrooms and increased teacher workload. There is unconfirmed information that additional classrooms (a new building) will be added by the 2016 school year. It is true that the student mix in the classrooms seems to be a difficult task for the teachers. It is unfortunate that at this time there can't be separate classes for less and more gifted students but they can not accomplish that at this time. Don't blame the teachers if you feel they are dedicating more time to the less gifted. Attention to those with the most need would be a teacher's most important task. Unfortunately most parents there probably can not afford private tutors. As to the complaint about the more gifted students being "bored, with nothing to do" and "dumbed down homework." My view is that you can not expect teachers to do everything for your child. It's your job as a parent to take up the slack.
My son has been in MGA since day one. After 3 years of private, traditional pre-school, we were concerned to transfer our 5 years old to a recently open public school. It was the best decision we took! For the first time, our son is motivated to go to school every day, he has become a honor rol roll student and loves his teachers. Principal and teachers are totally devoted to the school and the kids. They are always open to talk and have a smile for you. You can see they love what they do... And we love the school. As several people complained before, there are some issue that must be corrected ASAP. 40 kids in one room it's not the best scenario for learning; definitely not when the students are from 5 to 10 years old. Even with 2 teachers per class. Hopefully, MGA will solve it soon.
I belong to MGA from the beginning, I'm a mother who has always been aware of what happens at school, I really enjoy being active and helping one hundred percent as I could. Next school year we're not going to MGA, for location reasons, I will be going to a school that is 5 minutes from my house. I do not understand why so much negativity towards a service that we receive as parents. instead of complaining about so many things, why not act and do something for the school, take action, do something positive for the school. The school is always open and they let us help, and they need our help. I'm tired of so many complaints! please! instead of giving complaints, ACT! Diana Lozano
Part one of my review: The one thing I don't like about these sites is that they are anonymous. My name is Aracelly Martinez and I have 3 kids in the school since the first day it opened. I don't think the problems some parents see with the school is a Mater Grove Academy only problem.I think it is a community, school, system and a nationwide problem (specially in South Fl).NO school is perfect (private, charter or public) and they all have room for improvement.As far as the previous review on June 11th, I agree 40 kids 2 teachers is not the best scenario and might not be the best for every student, but in general it has worked.I think the review was a bit generalized as far as the teachers not working together and no homework at the end and the testing.I often saw all my teachers working together in groups and or individually with the kids.My 6th grader had a big project due the last day of school, tests and homework for my 4th grader until the last week.Maybe that didn't happen in every class but I think in most of them it did. Tutoring after school is privately done and that fee is pretty reasonable.As far as the school always needing money, what school doesn't? to be continue
part 2# if me giving $10 or $5 or $20 every time my school asks and in return every child in the classroom will have a laptop, new books, nooks, new lunch tables, art supplies, online educational programs to use in school and at home, free tutoring during FCAT season, and much much more.... let it be. Teachers leaving: yes, it is sad to see teachers leave but I think a fresh start for everyone is always good. The online school supplies are an optional buy. Many parents loved the idea and asked for it again. If parents received their kitz imcomplete or late last year was because the school was taking orders WAY after the deadline to accomodate and make everyone happy. In life, in school, in our jobs it is almost impossible to make everyone happy but I am happy to know that parents, teachers, staff and administration are willing to work hard to make every year at Mater Grove an even better experience for our kids. Sorry for the long review but the same way some parents see all the negative, I see tons of positive.
I have been with the school since the beginning. Many things have changed, and have not been the best for the students. Two teachers per class, 40 students. If two teachers per class, they should be interactively participating with students while the other teaches. This doesn't happen one teaches and the other teacher is doing something else. Homework is not checked daily nor it's reviewed.. And of course students are given tests every week, and 80 % of the time no review took place. Kids with misbehavior have no consequences, and other kids are learning this. When FCAT testing is done, there is no homework and basically the school year has ended. The Art show should never take place somewhere else but the school. The school is always in need of money. Also lots of teachers have left the school, which concerns me. Lastly the supply kit is a mess, you don't receive the kit on the first day as promised. This means your child will be missing stuff the first week. Last year I ordered the kit, i had stuff missing for weeks, and the sales rep promised me an extra lunch box. But the school kept it. Teachers also offer tutoring service at a ridiculous rate of $35-$45 per hr.
After reading a few negative comments on here, I thought to myself that I would be doing a disservice to my kids' teachers and school if I didn't review them. First, I would like to say that "the Secretary" as everyone likes to refer to her (including her daughter), is an asset to MGA. She's courteous and when asked about anything school related, she is always very helpful and knowledgeable. Ms. Gonzalez, the principal, is incredibly accessible and when speaking to her, you can tell right away that she loves what she does and that MGA is her life. She's always looking to improve the school, which has grown tremendously over the last year. I understand that charter schools have teachers who may be ESE certified, but I also know that if I had a child with a severe disability (learning or otherwise), I would get them into a specialized school that would accommodate them. My kids and I are very happy with the school and their teachers. This is the closest you'll get to a private school setting, without having to pay astronomical tuition fees. The school may not be perfect, but it is perfect for us and we are very happy to be a part of the MGA family!
I'm the daughter of "the secretary" & have been privy to the inner workings of this charter school "business" for all 3 yrs. I also just withdrew my son (5th grade). His grades & behavior have worsened progressively with each passing year. The larger class sizes have contributed. When a teacher, who has had a student in her class for 2 consecutive school yrs, does not know how to spell a student's name (common name & spelling), she clearly has too much on her plate. Additionally, the nepotism for staff children was out of hand, & I say that with my son as a recipient! There were no repercussions for my son's poor performance or behavior in the school, being continuously rewarded instead. Ultimately, we withdrew him because of the way Academica (school's parent company) openly discriminates against disabled students by using loopholes like not employing school counselors in order to deny admission or support to special needs children, be it a severe disability or just dyslexia. Our 2 yr old is disabled and we push her every day to look passed her limitations & we could not keep sending our son to a school openly telling people that children with limitations have less worth.