I think the school gets better every year, especially with regards to what happens after high school. The teachers are caring but not pushovers, and the administration goes the extra mile to take care of both parents and students. The school was in the top 50 private special needs schools in the country (according to a special education magazine). It seems the most suited to kids with Asperger's, but kids with other special needs do great here. If it's the right fit for your kid, you'll know. It feels like family to us now.
We are starting our 5th year at CA. We still think it is the best option for our child - he is strong academically, but would struggle socially in a typical school setting and even many of the 'special needs schools' because they are more focused on learning disabilities rather than social deficits. We have met with the school to discuss college goals. Since the school is still relatively young there have only been 10-15 graduates and most have gone on to college either full-time or part-time. I like that there are teachers and staff there that have known my child since he started and will likely be there to see him graduate.
I rate this school average at best. There is a very high teacher turnover rate, and most of the good ones leave after a year or two. The director is passionate, but she has no background in education and she tends to run the school like a dictatorship. Just look at the graduates and you will see that most of them have not moved on to better things or higher education. Also, the behavior plans at this school are non-existent and there are even teachers that yell at the students. There are much better schools for special kids in the Atlanta area, and many of the raving reviews here appear to be manufactured by the administrator.
My son started at Cumberland Academy last year and it has completely transformed his and our family's life. His ability is finally being allowed to shine because he is making all A's because the school accommodates for his needs. I can not say enough fabulous things about this school. They really understand and know how to teach students with any type of special need and ensure their success. This school goes beyond teaching just academics, they really develop character in the students and teach them how to become responsible, caring adults. Cumberland has been one of the greatest blessings in our life!
I worked at Cumberland for a few years and loved it. The director is wonderful and really cares about the students, teachers and staff. She is always willing to go the extra mile!
We have been so pleased with Cumberland. They are flexible and go out of their way to help students succeed both academically and socially. They are currently working on renovating the heating and air conditioning for the building, which was not possible before due to their lease. Now they own the building.
Our son is a graduate of Cumberland Academy of Ga. He attended the school for 3 years. The teachers and staff accommodated his special needs and provided him with an environment in which he could grow both academically and socially. We were amazed at the extent to which the teachers gave of their time, talents, and resources to work with the students. Each year that our son attended we watched as more educational, athletic, and extra curricular opportunities were provided for the students. The environment and support that our son received during his time at Cumberland played a major role in his success. Through the school's partnership with local community businesses our son was offered and accepted a job after graduation. We are very glad we made the choice to send our son to Cumberland Academy of GA.
Cumberland Academy of Georgia has been a God Send to my child and our family. He struggled in the public system for many years with teachers and administrators who did not understand nor care to try and understand his special needs. The staff at Cumberland have gone out of their way to accomodate his needs and make him feel like a valuable human being. In the short time that he has been there, I have seen a marked improvement in his self esteem, social skills and academic performance. My only regret is that I wish I had discovered and enrolled my son in this school sooner.
As a parent who sends his child to Cumberland Academy, I am somewhat amazed by several of the "parent" reviews indicating that this school has substandard academics and/or teachers. My child has been in the private special ed system for many years and I can tell you that THIS school can tailor a program as hard or as easy for any of their students. Might I suggest to the audience that some of these parents have unrealistic expectations for their child and / or the school. I also thought the comment, park your child here until you figure out what to do with him/her was horrific. Many parents are unrealistic or in denial about their children (i.e. they expect a LD school to fix their child and that he/she will learn/act like a mainstream student because of their attendance here). That is not reality. We have special kids, and thankfully there are schools like Cumberland that can tailor a multitude of programs depending upon the student's needs. I have never seen a more hard working group of administrators or teachers. Prospects should ask for parent referrals and one can quickly see if his/her child is a fit for this incredible school. It is not that hard.
The staff and teachers at Cumberland Academy of GA work hard in order to differentiate curriculum and understand how each student learns best. Every student at Cumberland processes information differently, therefore, we pride ourselves on creating and implementing social and academic strategies on a student by student basis. Our social pragmatic program, which caters toward kids on the spectrum, is what sets us apart from other schools in the Atlanta area. The teachers at Cumberland genuinely care for each and every student and their success.
One teacher in particular is very mean! This teacher has little to no personality and should not be teaching children that have ASD.
My biggest complaint with this school is, like others have said, substandard academics. But what are you looking for? A respite from the bullying, the hostile public school environment your child has thus far endured? You'll find that here. They do get an A for bravado and a B+ for effort. Here's my other complaint: Their ambitions are bigger than what they can deliver. Nothing wrong with having a great attitude or being preternaturally optimistic. But they don't have everything. They simply don't have the resources to offer higher level professional input. It mostly feels like a place to 'park' your ASD kid while you figure out what the heck to do with them after high school. Most parents here aren't optimistic about their children's prospects post-high school and mostly they're just grateful to have a welcoming environment for them in the interim. I think it is a great place in many ways, but i would never see it as an endgame or a solution for my child's future. They want to promise you everything. They do. The staff is great in many ways. It just feels more like a great daycare than a school to me.
Other reviewers have talked about the substandard academics , so I will comment on the social and school environment. The HS is almost all boys, not the schools fault, but I think it is important for people to know. Most of the boys are nice, but some have serious behavioral problems. I've heard the boys call themselves "freaks"! Where did they get that idea from? Nobody wants to hear their kid think that way about themselves! Also, despite the expensive tuition and massive fundraisers, the teachers were bringing space heaters into the classroom during the winter. The open areas were drafty! My kid was wearing coats in the classroom! Even public schools turn on the heat when its cold. Unless you have no other options, inquire carefully before you enroll your child in this school. Most important, ask for referrals. If you choose this school, make sure spend plenty of time at the school advocating. And if you are lucky enough to have your kid in your carpool or other off campus meetups, pay close attention to what the boys say about their school experiences so you can take action on your child's behalf if you need to. If I had seen this coming, would have left long ago.
I rate this school average because they do try to do the right thing. Academically and in some other ways they are below average however. There is a clear lack of organization and academics are weak - as someone else mentioned in their review. Some great caring teachers...and some not. There are better options in Atlanta area.
The review from Feb 2013 is right on. This school is very weak academically and many teachers don't understand kids. Some are not special Ed certified. Graduates not attending college or moving on to big things.
Cumberland Academy has been a safe haven for my child for over 5 years now. Since coming to Cumberland he is not only learning academically but is learning social skills that he would never have gotten at any other school. He has made friends and is blossoming into a wonderful, social young man. I would recommend this school to any parent with a child on the spectrum as a safe and exceptional learning environment.
Although the school claims to be specialized in teaching children on the spectrum that could not be further from the truth. The do not know the difference between a behavioral plan vs. an academic plan. They do not pay attention to a child's IEP or Psychological report in lieu of teaching your child. Children on the spectrum are so different and so it is difficult to meet each students' individual needs if a school only focuses on one (or two) aspect(s) of the child or has several students with various diagnoses (something will fall short). This is one of those instances. There is no individualized teaching as they would lead you to believe and class size is 10-12 students. The head of the school had the best of intentions in developing a school by hiring the best but the teaching staff is sub par and academics are lacking as well. I would encourage you to proceed with caution if you are considering placement of your child with this school. Perhaps the flaws will be fixed over time if they hire more experienced teachers with specialized training.
Our son is now completing his second successful year at Cumberland Academy. I cannot say enough good things about this school! It is truly a one-of-a-kind environment, where children with social and educational challenges can thrive. We are so happy to have found Cumberland!impressed
We are a young school striving to improve academic skills and interpersonal skills of students that weren't successful in traditional school settings. We consider our school a family and strive to teach on a personal level for all our students.
I went to visit the school in April 2008 and then visited it again. I was so impressed that I had my 8th grade daughter come and visit, and within weeks, she was transferred in to Cumberland Academy. The teachers and staff are great, the facility is great, they schedule lots of interesting activities (Young Chefs, team building trips, etc) and they have a growing program that gives equal attention to academics as well as life skills/transition to life. I highly recommend that prospective parents come visit the school.
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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.
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