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GreatSchools Rating

Choices In Learning Charter School

Charter | K-5 | 681 students

 
 

Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 5 ratings
2013:
Based on 6 ratings
2012:
Based on 10 ratings
2011:
Based on 2 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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55 reviews of this school


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Posted January 30, 2014

This is my third year at CIL, academically is a great school but with really strong feelings about who we as a parents are treated and some times our kids. My little one has no problems with her current k teacher, but my oldest one has been very cautious about her teacher, she says is very moody and she doesn't now how is she is going to be next day (young teacher). My daughter was crying at home one day after I requested her to say something to the teacher that she was being encouraged not to....she was so afraid of her possible reaction she burst in tears. Why I did not go to the school to repot? I am tired of how many things I've tried to discuss and definitely they don't care. The last thing the want to now is your opinion. It's deaf ears. Also you can see how principal has her "favorite" teachers, and my daughter's is one of them. You also perceived how many teachers feel pressured, restricted and unhappy.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 29, 2014

Really BAD experience with this school. Please get informed before sending your children to this school. I am posting my opinion just for the benefit of the children and families in our community. Please get informed.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 23, 2014

I believe this could be a great school again one day if they could just change the administration. I know many parents who have pulled their children out of Choices in Learning within the past year or two, due to the current administration. However, there is a culture of fear among the parents and staff to stand up to the current principal, board and pto. Most are too afraid of retribution to report the problems, don't see any hope for change, or their complaints fall on deaf ears. So they just leave the school and the problems continue. Please do your research before enrolling your child here. You could be happy here, but just please go in with your eyes wide open regarding how the school is managed and you will be less disappointed. There are still good teachers and families here. I hope the Board can do the right thing and make the necessary changes so this school can return to its full potential. I say do your own research, because I don't believe this website truly reflects the varied opinions on the current state of this school. Some posts that parents take the time to write regarding their honest, but negative opinion have a way of being taken off this sight. Sad but true.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 13, 2014

Totally unsatisfied with administration & the lack of the board's concern to what parents are telling them. Staff & students have a high turn over rate.... taking our kids out - several friends have already left. Another friends is pulling out of 5th grade this week. That is not a decicion easily made to remove your 5th grader. She's not the first one to leave in the middle of the school year. Parents do not make these choices lightly, and verbalizing our concerns is not welcomed here. They want to make it all about test scores. There is more going on here that we can not put in writing because people don't want to hear the truth.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 12, 2014

I am a bit shocked at the reviews I'm reading by parents. To be honest, it seems they are more focused on being inconvenienced during drop off/pick up than they are about the quality of education their children are receiving. As a parent of two children at Choices, I've been quite happy with the fact that my children are held to high standards, given goals, and required to think critically. My concerns with parking and inflated gossip about administration (some remarks seemed to hinge on braking the Terms of Use agreement) are not even close to being a second consideration. I think it might be a good time for parents to reflect on why children are education. Is it for your convenience or your child's future? All in all, I am very happy with my children's bully-free, academically challenging, and safe environment provided at this school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 29, 2013

I lot of parents are very unhappy with the principal, and today a lot of us witness how the principal was bulling the parents. The situation is very unfriendly. Please board of directors we want the principal to be remove. Please look for a real professional , friendly substitute. I think we all believe this school can still be a great school , just fix the problem. There are still very good things about the school , the teaching etc. Thank you.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 1, 2013

Two kids at CIL. Good to excellent teachers. (Some are outstanding!) Have attended board meetings myself and felt like my concerns were addressed. It's a strict campus, but I appreciate that. For example, assigned seating on the buses. My only complaints are that there are waiting lists and lines often for example to become a bus rider (because so many people are interested in the school) and that, as a charter school, my kids spend an extra hour at school each day. Some things are more expensive at CIL too like uniforms (must be their seller) and school lunches, etc. I really like their curriculum though. I have lots of open communication with teachers via email. I feel like they listen and respond when I have problems/concerns. Lots of fun activities and events during the year. Tons of parent involvement. Maybe they have changed the front staff since my kids started at CIL, but I think they are all great. They recognize me and seem to know my kids too.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 29, 2013

Excellent school, top FCAT scores every year, attendance is outstanding, high parent involvement. Yes, it is run in a strict manner and administration is serious about rules, but this is what kids need at this age to grow, and year after year, test scores prove that this is a top- notch, A rated school. CIL is lucky to have an outstanding Principal, Dr. Kearney, who makes a difference, a wonderful Dean, staff is excellent and professional, and students are well behaved. This school is worth the wait. I would be hard pressed to find another school like CIL for free in Seminole County. Keep up the great work, CIL!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 10, 2013

My son has attended Choices In Learning since second grade, currently going into fifth grade and each year has had an excellent teacher. We have had nothing but the greatest experience at this school. The schools rating speaks for itself! Every child should be so lucky to have the opportunity to attend this school! Thank you Choices in Learning!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 27, 2013

My son is in the 2nd grade at CIL and we have been there since Kindergarten. We originally decided on Choices because of their supposed hands on teaching style (as opposed to sit down work etc) and supposed focus on *learning* instead of FCAT drilling. We are still on the fence as to whether this is actually the case or not, but we are leaning towards those claims being exaggerated. Unfortunately though, we have run into problem after problem with administration / board of this school and it really leaves a sour taste in your mouth. Teacher/staff turnover at this school is high, and the principal is just plain unreasonable. The front office staff is less than friendly and parent concerns re: many "school policies" are ignored and even mocked by some teachers. It is made very clear (but of course not an official policy) that children in need of special accommodations are not welcome at Choices, and that again goes all the way to the principal. If you are considering this school for your child, please research the USDOE discrimination investigation against the school and allegations of the principal deleting emails meant for the board. Those two issues in themselves speak volumes.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 13, 2013

By far one of the best schools in Seminole county!! I am so pleased with this school. The teachers are serious about teaching, but friendly as well. They really care about the students learning and well being. FCAT is a celebration of what they have learned instead of a tragedy like other schools. they encourage the students to show off what they have learned throughout the year! I really love this school!! The only thing that I wish it had a better art program and more fun family activities, other than that it's perfect!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 28, 2012

The expierience in the past is missed-the present needs to be addressed. Teachers that have been w/ this school more than 4 years are begining to show frustration w/ the current leadership. Comments that are made in classroom & around campus by staff R not going unheard by students. The nurturing & encouragment is slipping away. Not much of a personal touch anymore being felt by children. If you have kids at this school, suggest you ask lots of questions about their day, especially if you work full time. Think you will be suprised at what they don't freely tell you on day to day basis. The things I'm hearing &seeing are that of a millitant school environment. Kids feel they R constantly repremanded for even a whisper in halls. I used to appreciate professionalism amoung staff& administration - Not pleased w/that since August 2012. The scores R great, approach, very dry, & too structured. Newer teachers appear to burn out quickly. Board is complete waste of time- limit parent input as 2 not answer/address issues. Students & staff turning over is ignored. Hoping someone will fix 4 future. No accountability here- Wish best 2 those who stay. U need new board & administration!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 30, 2012

So far we have been pleased with Choices in Learning. The school has quality teachers and curriculum. The only complaint I have is that some of the front desk staff are very unprofessional and have even brought a parent to tears for asking a simple question. This is very strange considering the rest of the staff is very caring. If you have any questions, you are much better off emailing the teacher.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 19, 2012

I have two kids here, both since kindergarten. Teachers are excellent, there is turnover, and the teachers are mostly younger, but we have seen this as an advantage, as the newer teachers sometimes bring creativity not thought of. Recently problems seem to have started with the new principal, and the move to the new school. There has been an increase in traffic, and an unwillingness from the administration and board to work with parents. Most immediate problems seem to be related to the board and administrations inability to consider the schools needs as it moved to the new location. The board is poorly organized, and seems more comfortable working as removed from scrutiny as possible. Their rules on how they operate don't seem to exist and information to parents is sketchy. Their meeting agendas are not published, nor are the minutes, the chairman usually arrives with them in hand. If it weren't for the teachers, and the excellent teaching program, my kids would move...and still might. Talk to people before joining this school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 14, 2012

We are so excited to be at Choices! I am very impressed with the school, the Principal, its teachers, the philosophy and the overall environment. Education is of utmost importance, and it is such a great alternative to public school without the cost of a private education. It is very well run, and I am impressed with how involved the parents are in the school. Uniforms are great and the new building is just wonderful. I highly recommend Choices in Learning.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 9, 2012

The person who posted on June 11, 2012 is completely misinformed and ignorant to all of the hard work and dedication put into CIL by the teachers, principals, and positive parents. Any person involved in our school knows that that review is inaccurate. No child has ever been discriminated against based on race, culture, or religion. Racism is NOT taught or modeled at our school and you are obviously a negative person who didn't get accepted (out of a waiting list of over 400 students) so you feel that you need to get revenge in a very childlike manner - 'claiming' to be a teacher at CIL and posting a slanderous comment. As a teacher at CIL, I know first hand that we put our heart and souls into our profession and spend unlimited time focused on the achievement and success of each student in our class. Therefore I am offended that you would make such a ridiculous comment when in actuality, this school has a positive environment for children with high expectations for students of all abilities. Please focus your energy on your child instead of spreading negativity.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted June 9, 2012

I have a family filled with teachers and we have all been impressed by my daughters progress at CIL. Ms Dickerman was a great teacher and we can't wait to go back! The extra activities available after school were run well and very reasonably priced. The only drawback was being on the wait list until we could get into aftercare, but once my daughter was in they did sign language, spanish, the older kids helped with homework, etc.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 4, 2012

Wow- some of these reviews are a little harsh. I guess it's all what you make it. I love this school, the administration and the teachers. My son has been attending since kindergarten and I am thankful he has such an amazing enviornment to learn and grow. His teachers have been extremely caring and set high standards. I'm responsible for raising my son, not the school. The school is responsible for his education. They teach with passion and excellence
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 27, 2012

I love this school! The staff is incredibly dedicated to educating children, as our test scores have shown. We strive to be the best school we can be by challenging our students, motivating them to do their best at all times, and by having them set goals for themselves. We educated children from all walks of life, including those with disabilities, second language learners, to gifted and talented. CIL is a wonderful place to work! It is a school of choice and many parents choose to send their children there because of its record of success.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted May 12, 2012

CIL used to be a great school, but over the last 1-2 years I have not been pleased. Not just me, but my daughters have not been pleased. They are a prime example of "too smart/organized" for thier own good!" So glad my daughter will not be returning next year. Their rules are just way out of hand and they are not friendly. It's a shame a school with so much promise lose what matters most....care!! I would like to name one teacher in particular who is EXCELLENT...Mrs. Thompson...I wish more teachers were like her.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
Math

The state average for Math was 58% in 2014.

110 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
94%

2013

 
 
86%

2012

 
 
88%

2011

 
 
88%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 57% in 2014.

111 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
91%

2013

 
 
85%

2012

 
 
82%

2011

 
 
84%
Scale: % level 3, 4, or 5

About the tests


In 2013-2014 Florida used the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT 2.0) to test students in grades 3 through 10 in reading, 3 through 8 in math, in grades 5 and 8 in science, and in grades 4, 8, and 10 in writing. The FCAT 2.0 is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Florida. The FCAT 2.0 has 5 achievement levels, with level 1 being the lowest and level 5 the highest. Florida considers scores of level 3 and higher to be on or above grade level. The goal is for all students to score at or above level 3.

Source: Florida Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 63% in 2014.

101 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
81%

2013

 
 
89%

2012

 
 
89%

2011

 
 
81%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 61% in 2014.

101 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
86%

2013

 
 
82%

2012

 
 
86%

2011

 
 
75%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 53% in 2014.

99 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
72%

2013

 
 
100%
Scale: % level 3, 4, or 5

About the tests


In 2013-2014 Florida used the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT 2.0) to test students in grades 3 through 10 in reading, 3 through 8 in math, in grades 5 and 8 in science, and in grades 4, 8, and 10 in writing. The FCAT 2.0 is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Florida. The FCAT 2.0 has 5 achievement levels, with level 1 being the lowest and level 5 the highest. Florida considers scores of level 3 and higher to be on or above grade level. The goal is for all students to score at or above level 3.

Source: Florida Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 56% in 2014.

80 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
96%

2013

 
 
90%

2012

 
 
85%

2011

 
 
84%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 61% in 2014.

80 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
84%

2013

 
 
88%

2012

 
 
89%

2011

 
 
81%
Science

The state average for Science was 54% in 2014.

80 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
85%

2013

 
 
88%

2012

 
 
79%
Scale: % level 3, 4, or 5

About the tests


In 2013-2014 Florida used the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT 2.0) to test students in grades 3 through 10 in reading, 3 through 8 in math, in grades 5 and 8 in science, and in grades 4, 8, and 10 in writing. The FCAT 2.0 is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Florida. The FCAT 2.0 has 5 achievement levels, with level 1 being the lowest and level 5 the highest. Florida considers scores of level 3 and higher to be on or above grade level. The goal is for all students to score at or above level 3.

Source: Florida Department of Education

Writing

The state average for Writing was 81% in 2012.

92 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
100%

2011

 
 
100%

2010

 
 
100%
Scale: % scoring at or above level 3

About the tests


In 2011-2012 Florida used the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) to test students in grades 4, 8 and 10 in writing. The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills needed to progress through school. The FCAT writing exam is scored on a scale of 1 to 6. The state considers a score of 3 or above as meeting state standards.

Source: Florida Department of Education

  • In 2011-2012, this school received a grade of "A".
  • In 2010-2011, this school received a grade of "A".
  • In 2009-2010, this school received a grade of "A".
  • In 2008-2009, this school received a grade of "A".

About the tests


Florida uses School Grades to measure the overall performance of a school each year on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). Each school is assigned a letter grade (A-F) based on three criteria: the overall performance on the FCAT, the percentage of eligible students who took the test, and whether or not students made progress in reading and math. The School Grades are calculated by adding points earned from each of the performance criteria listed above.

Source: Florida Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school
White 61%
Hispanic 23%
Black 6%
Two or more races 5%
Asian 4%
Source: FL Dept. of Education, 2013-2014

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Male 46%N/AN/A
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 28%N/AN/A
Female 54%N/AN/A
Source: FL Dept. of Education, 2013-2014

Teacher education levels

  This school District averageState average
Bachelor's degree 88%53%61%
Master's degree 12%N/A36%
Doctorate degree 0%2%1%
Other degree 0%N/A2%
Source: FL Dept. of Education, 2012-2013

Teacher credentials

  This school District averageState average
Classes taught by non-highly qualified teachers 0%N/A5%
Source: FL Dept. of Education, 2011-2012

This school has not yet provided program information.


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1100 East State Road 434
Winter Springs, FL 32708
Website: Click here
Phone: (407) 302-1005

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