This is my honest personal opinion of SAS as a parent who's child is in attendance there now. SAS is a fantastic school for saving money because the students are given a chance to earn an AA degree while completing high school completely free of charge. This however makes it a very demanding program due to the heavy workload they have to carry for two years. It can become very stressful and overwhelming for the students. The teachers and administrators have so far been fantastic. That has all been a great credit for the school. No complaints there. The classes are all at the college campus and as such the students have a lot of free time in the morning. So the student must be mature enough to handle being given all that freedom. On the downside, SAS is not a typical high school. That means the students take classes with adults and some students must take evening classes although its not mandatory. They also have to give up the summer between junior and senior year to take college classes in order to have enough credits to graduate with their AA by spring of their senior year. Since SAS isn't a typical high school they don't have any sports and although they do have clubs I don't think they are well organized or meet with any regularity to make them interesting or any fun for my teen. So her first year there has been all academics and not much else. So my advice is for any students or parents considering SAS is to go only if the students really wants to take on this challenge and is mature enough to handle it. If the student is already in a good school or in a good magnet program then leave them there if they are happy. Cause SAS is no walk in the park and I think it has forced my teen to grow up a lot faster. Although SAS is a great option for students that really want the challenge or looking to save money and time if I had to do it all again I'm not sure that I would have chosen SAS for my teen. Just think about what you're giving up in high school for what you're gaining at SAS and decide if it's really worth it.
My son is graduating from SAS this year (Class of 2016) with not only his high school diploma, but with his AA degree. Classes at SAS were academically challenging, but appropriate for high achieving students. Although there are no sports, there are many clubs of interest which students can take part in. My son took full advantage of them and enjoyed them a great deal. All of the teachers are very knowledgeable and truly care about each and every student. The leadership is the best MDCPS has to offer. Dr. Monteagudo, the principal, has done an outstanding job. In my opinion, SAS is "the #1" high school in Miami Dade County Public Schools. I could not have asked for a better experience for my son.
This school is the best academic decision I've ever made. I've grown exponentially as a student with the mass amount of opportunities the school itself and MDC have offered me as a high school student. My fellow classmates have been exceptional friends and inspirations, all an ambitious bunch. I have made lifelong friends and fully prepared for my college education. At times the workload might seem overwhelming but those types of obstacles are what characterize an admirable, responsible student. I graduate in a few months with much pride knowing I graduate from the best school in Miami and 2nd best in Florida.
This school is very stressful, doesn't have a lot of diversity, and has no prep rallies, sports, etc. Or maybe it's just my campus that is like that. Not a warm family environment. I'd be having more fun and opportunities at my old school which gives you the option of both dual-enrollment and being in two prestigious magnet programs at once, plus they have sports, more diversity and etc. So why did I go to SAS? I came to be surrounded by smart kids and to get my associate's degree. But even though when I got there I was surrounded by smart kids and was given opportunity to earn an associate's degree I 100% do not believe having my experience at SAS was worth it. And I've noticed there are several ways of getting whatever SAS offers without being in SAS. So for students thinking about applying, just look at all your options first.
I CANNOT thank Mr. Lindsay enough for recruiting my son! He impressed me the moment I met him! My son's life changed the moment he was accepted! All of their students and their parents are so fortunate to have found SAS and literately won the lottery for having their children enrolled in such a fantastic program. There is no better! Especially here in Florida! As a concern'helicopter' mom, I wish ALL of Dade county's schools would follow SAS footsteps! Thank you so much for believing in my son while giving my him a great opportunity to soarer in has academic future! Sincerely, A proud single mom