Covenant Christian School strives to provide quality Classical education to children. This is my family's 7th year here and all three of my children attend. Teachers create a challenging and nurturing environment. My children feel loved and safe in their classrooms. The small class sizes truly make this school feel like a close knit community. The curriculum is based on the Classical model. It is important to be aware of what Classical is and have realistic expectations of how material is taught. For example, unlike the public school curriculum, there is a heavy emphasis on memorization. My children know more about world history and Biblical truth than I do at this point! Many teachers have taught at CCS for years so there is low turnover. Additionally, most (if not all) teachers with school aged children have sent their children to CCS as well. This indicates to me that the staff and administration are committed to this school and believes in its purpose. Most importantly, though, is the evidence that the CCS staff places Christ above all. I am frequently told that my children are being prayed for. My children speak of how they pray in the classroom. School/classroom guidelines and rules are Biblically based so children learn that obedience is not some arbitrary idea, but intended to teach children to serve and glorify God. If you are looking for a solid Christian education for your child, please visit CCS to take a tour of classroom, observe students, and meet teachers and see for yourself this amazing school right in the heart of Smyrna!
Very disappointed in our experience as a parent of a K4 student. We wanted a great start for our child, however we felt the teaching styles were very rigid for a 4 year old. The discipline style was also too rigid and structured. Our child had been in a mom's morning out program prior to switching to CCS and that program had more specials such as art, music, foreign language and DAILY PHYSICAL ACTIVITY OUTSIDE. Curriculum was also taught and the program ended daily at 12 not to mention it was less expensive. At CCS it was explained that the teachers were only concerned with the curriculum but not understanding there were other areas in these young students that needed to be developed. From my understanding the teachers along with the director did not feel outside activity was important and did not like to go outside, so my child had recess inside 3 to 4 days a week even if the weather was nice. The teacher aides were wonderful and seemed to be able to relate to the students a lot better and understood the students needed more exposure and time to socialize. What I did find out as the year progressed is that the teachers were not certified/trained individuals to work with this age group but instead had been working at the school for more than 10 years. One of the teachers for K4 is considered the school tutor for various students in the school and spends quite a bit of time ensuring she is prepared for the extra money she will make after school which is one reason the students do not get outside. Homework for a K4 student....REALLY! . The students were also given numerical grades which we found to be not age appropriate. These students will have the rest of their academic career to have work overload especially if they stay there. Please pick another program for your student or stay on top of the activities they are involved in. Included in tuition was PE which was a joke. The director was responsible for teaching this and was horrible nor was she interested in it. For what they are asking in tuition for this age I would do a Public pre_k 4. Too much money not to include some of the above mentioned special classes
Girls are favored over boys because most of staff either have girls or no children at all. So if you have a boy beware! They are disciplined harshly. Physical activity is not important, students work or walk the line during recess and are given silent lunch as a punishment. Socialization is not encouraged. A lot of rote memorization. If your student has a great memory then great because the teachers will go over the math and grammar test and then take it. Students are not given the opportunity to study at home with parents. Too much bible timeline memory. The entire curriculum needs to be updated and revamped to the state standards and common core so the students will be competitive with public schools and other private schools. Curriculum is the same from when the Director of Admissions and several staff members whose children have now graduated from college. Teachers are not required to be state certified and most are not which shows when it comes to learning differences in students and how to teach mastery of a subject. Students that leave go to public schools and are challenged more academically and are behind their peers. Many students in middle school do not get accepted into IB programs and some have dropped out due to a poor math and science foundation. Middle school enrollment dropped to around 25 students(6,7,8) this year. No technology or foreign language until 5th grade(Latin). The staff member teaching Latin to middle school is the ex-kindergarten teacher that is not a certified teacher much less has the credentials to teach a foreign language. There is no gym and the play area is outdated. For recess the students play on the black top. Bathrooms are smelly(of urine) and filthy daily. Admissions process is below standard because the school accepts students that are not academically strong or have learning disabilities of some sort that the teachers are not equipped to handle. Too much homework is a constant complaint! A minimum of 2 hours or more for the lower school students to complete which is not purposeful. Certain teachers are given better students that are well-behaved and smarter. The other teacher is given the worst behaved and the students who are low performers. Office staff completely rude, unfriendly, cold and allowed to much authority to be front office employees. Not to mention they act as though they do not want to be bothered!
The school has suggested teachers take a seminar in the Orton-Gillingham Method(training in learning disabilities particularly students with dyslexia). Interesting because the school does not support students with any type of learning issues. Due to the decrease in enrollment the director of admissions and Headmaster are using this as a marketing tool to sell to parents to increase enrollment. She will advise new parents to try the school for their student and as the year progresses the student is lost in the curriculum and failing because the classical model/CCS is not the right fit for students with learning disabilities. The untrained teachers become frustrated in how to help the student because they lack the training to do. Do not let CCS experiment with your child because it will affect how they feel about school and their performance. There is a difference in having a certified and trained person in the area of learning disabilities on staff to specifically work with and accommodate students with these issues than having teachers who have taken a seminar in Orton to say our teachers have taken the class, but do not use/teach the Orton method. More than half of the teachers are not certified by the state of Georgia to teach or if they were, certification has lapsed. If your student needs any type of extra help because of issues such as ADHD, Dyslexia, reading issues, ect. you would be better off sending them to a public school so that they make get the desired help needed(IEP) or to a school that supports kids with disabilities. Additionally, please do not send your students to CCS if they have poor self-control and need a lot of re-direction. They are sure to get scolded harshly, miss recess time, sit in the hall, sent to the Headmaster's office(frequently for much of nothing) and get placed at the silent table for silent lunch. All curriculum is out-dated and students leave the school and go to public schools and find out they are behind their peers in academics and are not even eligible for the gifted program. So sad when you are paying money for education. School is out of space and are making any kind of space to call it a classroom. Please think before sending your child here. There will be comments from the board, PTF and administration behind this comment to refute this review or other past reviews!!!! It is all true.
Same students usually win or place in competitions which one happens to be one of the office staff employees or if your parent is very active at the school. Parents are concerned with their student getting A's to get on Headmaster's list but not concerned with mastery of subjects. Enrollment has decreased dramatically due to quality of education and quality of students admitted. School appears to be admitting whom ever to keep doors open. Tuition increases yearly and there are rarely changes from year to year. Not a fun place for elementary students that need grace, love, nurturing,exposure and fun while still learning. School needs to work on diversity sensitivity considering there are more African American students enrolled. The only teachers that may teach anything regarding Martin Luther King are the African American teachers. Students are not taught history but rather bible history and Bible times lines. Not good when students need to also know regular history for standardized testing. Most field trips are religious in nature from 3rd grade up. Never are there trips to Jimmy Carter Center, King Center, Civil Rights Museum, ect. Students need more of a broad view of the world if we are really calling ourselves a Christian School. Website is so deceiving stating the kids are scoring above grade level. They teach Saxon math a grade above in each grade level however, when the students test(Stanford Test) they test on the actual grade level they are in. There are some of the worst behaved, disrespectful and low performing students there now. Administration will not get rid of them because of low numbers. I will say these students are definitely a disruption in every class they attend. Not sure if the staff are really Christian as they say or if they just want a job in a Christian environment without having the proper credentials. Might want to look elsewhere to spend what they are asking. Consider a public option for this
I was very disappointed with our experience at CCS. The homework load is excessive and the actual material covered has no practical value, for the most part. I have found that many children who leave CCS in the middle grades are actually BEHIND their peers in academics. What bothered me the most was the lack of love, care, and grace shown to students that I would have expected from a Christian school. The children are definitely treated like robots are are not allowed to be children and enjoy their experience!
Our three sons have all attended this excellent neighborhood school; we are going on seven years at CCS. The fellowship among parents and teachers has been such a blessing to our entire family. We love living in Smyrna, and are thankful we don't have to leave the area to find a first-class Christian education and preparation for high school for our sons.
My oldest son attended from K4 - 8th grade. I currently have a son in 4th, who has also attended since K5. I cannot say how much of a Blessing this school has been for our family. My sons have been challenged academically and have excelled. The school has worked with us in the growth and development for our children and has helped equip them with a loving and kind spirit, a love and concern for others and immeasurable gifts to share as they continue to become valuable contributors to society. I cannot say enough about the school, the staff (and we have had just about all of them), and their devotion to the children and their commitment and concern for the parents.
This school is not what it once was. From unequal treatment of students, discipline issues and several harsh teachers the school lost its way. The math curriculum is antiquated and rather than propelling your students ahead they are in fact falling behind. The grammar is top notch and our students are able to perform well in language, spelling and writing, they are excellent orators and can speak and recite well. The failure is the math and science, both are deficient at best. In all fairness the school provides a strong foundation in the early grades but beyond that there are hours of homework, constant rote memorization and a disconnect from valuable basic knowledge. The nightly homework often extends to working on memorization over breaks, holidays and weekends. Tons of information is poured onto the kids each week, much of which they are tested on the same week, yet months and weeks later they can't tell you anything about what they have learned.
There are a few pros. We have encountered some really great teachers. CONS:The homework load is ridiculous. They spend 8 hours in school and 3 hours on homework. There is no time for your family. The students are studying things that will not benefit them in the future. Much of the curriculum is outdated and needs to be reevaluated. The focus is on memorization of history time lines but the students don't really learn about the what happened during the various periods. Everything is rushed. There are many discipline issues that are handled poorly and good families are running away. The teachers don't get the support needed with discipline issues or children with special needs. Some teachers are great at managing their classes while others have no clue. The classes seem to be imbalanced. Between grade levels, one class has all of the smart well behaved kids while the other has just the opposite. This school has lost sight of what is important.