Horrible administration...the children are learning things that are not developmentally appropriate. Sure your child might be able to diva math worksheet but they will lack social skills when they get into elementary school. Children at age 2 should not be doing worksheets. Children should be learning through play. There is only a 15 min recess in the morning and the "center time" is always the same thing. The front office, including the owners don't treat the teachers with respect. I know there aren't many options in the area but your best bet is to try a church school or Montessori.
This was our first experience with Cranium and I have NOTHING but good things to say. My daughter has excelled this past year, both academically and socially. She is SO excited to go to school every day and comes home talking about all of the fun things she learned. The staff and leadership team do a great job with weekly email communications, hosting special events for parents to come and participate in and the teachers/student ration has been perfect. I love the attention given to creativity and art, as I know that some schools are doing away with this. My daughter has so interested in science and learning why things are the way they are - it makes our weekends together quite interesting! I love this school, this environment and I am so glad we chose it for VPK.
We can not believe how wonderful Cranium Academy has been for our kids and friends. It amazes my husband and I how academically gifted both our children are and we know it is because of Cranium. All of their teachers have been wonderful and we love the warm, loving, family environment. I just wanted to say thanks so much and be ready because my younger sister's first child will be enrolling for next year and already walks around the place like she owns it when she visits with us. M.Patel
We have just been so happy at Cranium so far. Our best friends youngest child is in their preschool, and it is amazing what their daughter is learning. She is using a critical thinking program called explorers, which our son used last year. This month she is going over literature with topics such as plot concepts and fiction vs. non-fiction writing……and SHE IS IN PRESCHOOL – LOL.
Our boy is in their K-5 preparatory school, and we are amazed. His classes’ core reading and math curriculum is at one full grade level ahead of all standard public and private schools in the area. This allows all of the kids in his first-grade class, including him, to get second-grade level reading and math curriculum. We have felt that the issue must parents have with elementary school aged students who are advanced or gifted is that all of the standard public and private school curriculum is way too easy. Cranium solves this for us!
Our son also gets a custom learning path for reading and math, which has allowed him to accelerate beyond Cranium’s advanced levels.
The elementary tuition was actually lower then other schools we toured and none of them were using advanced curriculum like Cranium. We also like his exposure to their creative music, art, science and social studies programs. I guess they have partnered with the city, and the preparatory school gets to have PE over at the soccer and ball fields at Braddock Park.
We love the community feel of the school. The parent participation is awesome, and the PTA and management put together various field trips, spirit nights and parent/school events. The teachers have always been amazing and it is so refreshing to be a part of a place where everyone is so engaged and happy.
CON: The one issue I can possibly see with Cranium is if a parent wants their child to move over to their elementary school from another public or private school. Since the curriculum is ahead of these other schools, I would ask how they place and teach a child who is not as advanced as the kids in Cranium. We have not had to deal with that ourselves, but I think it is a question that should be asked, just to make sure a child does not struggle too much.
- Cranium is a great school and the curriculum seems to be equivalent to other local schools.
- The administrative staff seems to care a lot about the children and the children feel safe.
- The small classroom environment is a huge plus.
- My child is happy in the small environment and feels safe. Her self esteem seems to be high.
- My child liked her teachers.
- I think it's better for the younger crowd than the K+ grades because they fall short on anything extra curricular such as fine arts and sports. The children don't get to experience that and I feel that having the arts and sports experience is just as important as curriculum. They claim they don't have a budget for it however, they are charging almost $10,000 a year per student for elementary so I can't understand this.
- My child always seemed to be behind her public school friends on curriculum as far as what she was learning. I feel this is because of the mixed grades and the teachers not being experienced enough to teach more than one grade at the same time.
- Most of the teachers they hired, except for a few, all seem to be fresh out of college and very inexperienced. I am not sure how a teacher with less than 10 years experience and a masters could be qualified to teach multiple grades at the same time.
- I feel like they have budgeting issues and are not putting enough back into the school program to justify the money they are charging to the parents.
- They don't encourage parent involvement that much. I always felt like I was imposing when I would come in to help. I wish there was some sort of PTA in place.
I feel the teachers are effective but again, I feel they are just not experienced enough to teach multiple grades at once and the older children end up having to spend more time re-learning the younger classmates curriculum instead of learning new grade appropriate stuff.