This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Lee Academy For Gifted Education5
Posted May 04, 2014
- a parent
We are extremely happy with our children's personal and academic development at Lee Academy. We had experiences at a higher profile private school in Tampa before coming to Lee and I don't see how my kids would be where they are if we had kept them there. Their confidence and sense of belonging has just flourished. And they thrive on the academic challenges. Of course you have to make sure the school fits your family's needs and expectations. No school is perfect and every teacher is different. But, for us, this one pretty great school!
Lee Academy has had a tremendously positive impact on our son's academic and developmental success. Their philosophy is unique, grouping children by ability level not by chronological age, ensuring that each child is being challenged appropriately. The campus is beautiful, nestled in a charming wooded area with a lakeside view, allowing the students to be in touch with nature on a daily basis. The outdoor classroom areas and community garden provide lots of hands-on learning opportunities for all grade levels. The faculty members provide a safe, customized learning environment, and the small class sizes cater to lots of individualized attention. We feel so fortunate to have found this hidden gem.
Lee Academy is a fantastic school! Our daughter is enrolled in their Early Childhood class and we are very impressed. The class sizes are small and they are able to accommodate varying levels in various subjects among the children very well. They are great at encouraging problem solving and creativity in addition to core learning. They provide a great community of support and offer an amazing amount of enrichment throught various projects like their community garden. As to the other reviewers, everyone is entitled to their opinion but to post that "most of the students have some variety of Asperger Spectrum Disorders" is incorrect, ignorant and inappropriate. I would encourage any parent with a gifted learner who has not yet started school or who is struggling in their current school to check out Lee Academy. We love it there!
I was displeased with Lee Academy's failure to provide for my child what their website and staff promised. My child's first year was great but after that, the administrators made decisions that were more financially driven than child driven. My child was not appropriately challenged academically despite their philosophy of individuation. One teacher was horrible - lazy and complacent - teaching what she had always done rather than what was appropriate for the group of children. Despite the owner and administrator talking with the first teacher about changes, she quickly reverted back. Having talked with other parents, I understand that is a pattern ongoing for several years. Another teacher was condescending and controlling. Multiple teachers have left and/or were fired over the past three years, showing poor hiring/selection as well as poor management. I know at least two of the teachers left because of their dissatisfaction with the direction of the school ($ driven rather than educationally minded). Other parents have had similar concerns and I have seen many families leave the school in the past three years, as we did.
So far, we've been extremely impressed with this school. The teachers are supportive and have great communication with the parents. They work hard to best fit the needs of each student and they have experience in approaching gifted children. My child is being challenged and blossomming without feeling pressured. The school runs smoothly even if the owner is not there everyday as another poster commented.
My 16 year old old is a senior this year, dual-enrolled at honors college at USF. I ve watched her blossom under the guidance of Lee Academy since 2008. I d actually known about Lee Academy since she was in my womb, but mistakenly thought it was out of Tampa Bay. In 2008, I drove down Twin Lakes lost on the way to a client consultation. I saw a vinyl sign with the ship and the name Lee Academy hung on their gate. I jotted down their number and prayed there would be a space for her. Thankfully, there was. Parents of gifted kids understand how easily our kids get bored because a standard, non-gifted-specific curriculum is not built to showcase their inquisitiveness, their intelligence, their individuality - that incredible uniqueness. Our gifted kids need a school that understands and nurtures these special talents and abilities as well as helps them with their deficits. Lee Academy challenges our children and teaches them to be self-motivated, a skill desperately needed in college and in life in general. I highly recommend Lee Academy, its teachers and staff for anyone seeking a school that welcomes parental involvement and will feel like a second family to both you and your child.
My daughter just completed her first year in Lee Academy and we could not have been happier with or choice. She is already looking forward to going back in August. I am very pleased with her overall progress - academic and personal growth. Being with older children raised her independence and self esteem. Her accomplishments motivated her to do her best. I think that it is very important to "hook up" children on learning as early as possible. If you are looking to motivating and challenging environment for your advanced child then look no further. Lee Academy is your place.
Lee Academy is one of the best kept secrets in the Tampa Bay Area. It's been around for nearly 30 years, and is considered one of the best private schools in Hillsborough County; however, most people learn about Lee Academy either from another parent, school psychologist or pediatrician. It's one of a few schools in Tampa that offers accelerated learning from preschool to 12th grade, all in a nonthreatening, beautiful, lakeside environment. There's very little staff turnover, and both the teaching staff and administrative staff are stellar. One of the truly remarkable things about Lee is that students are not separated by age or grade, but rather by their ability to successfully do the work. Many students who have completed the curriculum or "graduated" from their neighborhood Montessori schools transition easily to Lee Academy because they are self-motivated and accustomed to a unique learning environment. Lee Academy is a private school but tuition is quite reasonable. By comparison, tuition at Lee is comparable to a parochial school versus a day or preparatory school, and students leave there more than prepared for college and whatever else life may bring them.
Lee Academy is indeed a very unique school and my child has attended there for the past several years. I find the teachers to be excellent, using Singamore Math, a Language Arts program developed by Nancy Atwell, and the GEMS program from the University of CA at Berkeley. Other classes such as World History, Geography, Latin, Spanish, and Computer Design are equally engaging. Physical Education is also an important aspect of the daily schedule. Each student is given ownership of his or her own educational progress. The administratioon at Lee adheres to the educational philosophy of the school, willing to listen to parental concerns with an open mind and make necessary adjustments if possible. I have found that the majority of students are happy, interactive, and motivated to learn. The environment at Lee encourages a positive attitude toward learning. The "whole student" is important at Lee!