The teachers failed to address the needs of my special needs son. The school may make claims that they accommodate special needs children, but when they were actually faced with a relatively-minor challenge from my special needs son, they failed miserably.
Again, we did not have the ability to experience this, because we had to withdraw our son. We refuse to keep him in a school that doesn't want him there could risk physical harm to him by authority figures, because they don't know how to handle autistic children.
My review describes the experience of how my special needs son was mistreated. Even if your child is not special needs, do you really want to send him or her to a school that mistreats special needs children and parents this way?
They obviously don't care about "fairness" because they only want non-special kids needs enrolled. Perhaps that's how they got their rating so high.
My son is very high-functioning on the autistic spectrum. Most people cannot tell he is any different – he is very intelligent, sociable, and expressive, but he does occasionally have meltdowns. The school was aware of this, and there was some discussion with my wife of the accommodations he might receive.
The second day of school, I got a call from the dean saying, “We need you to come pick him up. We can't get him to calm down."
Having a child on the spectrum, these types of meltdowns happen occasionally, especially during stressful times, and the beginning of the school year starting kindergarten in a brand new school can be very stressful for a five year-old.
We came to learn that they had evacuated the whole classroom, then sent a police officer in to try to restrain my son, and then the principal restrained him.
They told us he was throwing desks. I can assure you my 40-pound five year-old boy is not capable of even lifting one of those desks, much less throwing them.
And why is a police officer restraining my five year-old?!! How much of a threat is a five year-old that an armed officer needs to be involved at all?
Several comments were made to my wife that were alarming. The Principal, Janet Kearney, told my wife, “I almost took a shoe to the head, and I’M NOT DOING THAT FOR ANY KID. I DON’T GET PAID ENOUGH.” Take note, CIL Parents, that’s what your Principal really thinks about your kids, and she said it directly to my wife without any hesitation. Also, she made it a point to tell my wife that I had been “rude” to her Dean when she called, but perhaps they have trouble discerning a parent’s concern for their child from rudeness.
It was obvious they were implying that they no longer want our son there. Comments were made like, “We’re not saying he shouldn’t go here, BUT…" They said everything they could to my wife to dissuade us from keeping him there without actually saying they don’t want him there, because they’re not allowed to. We don’t want our son at a school that doesn’t want him there, so we made the decision to withdraw him.
Choices in Learning does not want children who have special needs. They may have accommodations for them, but when they were actually faced with a challenge of my special needs child, their true colors showed -- they did everything in their power to get him out of the classroom and then out of their school.
The problems at this school are not with the drop off/pick up procedure as some former posts have suggested, but with the administration. Yes, there should be rules, but schools need to remain flexible to a variety of learning modes and not center all learning around a "group" approach. If you are interested in turning your child into an automaton, than this is the appropriate school. However if your child craves a bit more free expression and exploration of knowledge I would look elsewhere. There is a lot of teacher and student turnover every year and this should be a huge clue.
Ten bucks says the principal and her mob squad are the ones writing the 5 star ratings. As for us, we voluntarily left the school 2 years ago and have much happier children and much more pleasant administration at our new zoned school!
I whole-heartedly love and support this school. My children have attended Choices in Learning for over three years. They are excelling academically and socially, and they are looking forward to starting up the new school year again. My children love their teachers, love their classroom experience, are continually challenged and engaged. All along the way, the kids' teachers have been excellent, are attentive to the kids' individual needs, have been open and responsive to parent communication, and have always met with us whenever we've requested.
It is true: the administration runs a tight ship. However, as with any well-run organization, structure and rules are in place for the students' safety and best interest. Students are held to high standards, which is what I as a parent want of, and for, my children. There may be a small group of disgruntled parents, but in my experience, and as another reviewer wrote, these tend to be the parents who seem to want special accommodations made for their own convenience (and unfortunately, you will find those groups in every school and environment). In our experience, however, the broader Choices parent community is very friendly, positive and supportive of this school. Clearly, the parents have made a choice to have their child(ren) attend this charter school because they believe in it.
My children are very proud to be Choices in Learning students and part of this special community. The scores and results speak for themselves. We highly recommend this school!!!
My child will NOT be attending this school. There seems to be a closed door policy when it comes to parents accessing the school. It concerns me they have something to hide by not allowing us to tour the school. We were unavailable Jan - March, which are the ONLY times they allow outsiders in the school. We found out my son had a spot in kindergarten the day AFTER orientation & there will not be a make-up session. The only opportunity we have to look at the school is open house, Friday BEFORE school starts. How is this acceptable? If I am trusting you with my child, than I need to feel that you are able to effectively communicate. I was also told that due to testing, we would not be able to disrupt the class. Funny, we're touring an A/10 rated, public school on Monday. I am appalled that anyone would send their child to a school that is so closed off & guarded, & not in a way to convey safety, but in a way that they are ashamed what they have to offer. The word "safety" was never used. Lastly, I was informed by the school last year for Kindergarten, the wait list was 150. By Dec, they had gone through the whole list. Sounds like other parents have the same thoughts.
This school is Amazing. The negative reviews on this site seem to be a small group of friends who couldn't control the school. If you want your kids to be safe and actually learn something than this school is it.
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.