This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
International Academy of Smyrna2
Posted March 25, 2015
- a parent
I have been at IAS for over 5 years. I have watch a school full of growth and potential be flushed away. The teacher turnover is horrible. There are more teachers in and out of the school it's like a rotating door out front. The current administration is a joke. It's sad when a parent doesn't even know who the principle is, and even worse when a student doesn't. I too have seen the "classy" picture of the leader of our school, and it saddens me that this would be put up by someone who is suppose to be a role model for our students. This is the first year I have seen any repercussions of student actions be addressed. Things need to change, the new parents coming in do not know what they are in for. I know ALOT of parents that are ready to pull their kids if things don't change soon.
I am completely & utterly shocked & offended by this, the latest blunder by the current "Principal" at IAS! I received word yesterday from several other parents that she, the Principal, posted on her own public profile page on Facebook, an absolutely inappropriate & borderline lewd photograph of herself sitting in the lap of a male stripper among a group of male strippers at a night club of some sort! I know this to be true, because I saw the photograph myself & have saved a screen shot of it! Of all the things I've heard about & witnessed from this Principal, this one takes the cake! I'm sure by now, she has taken down the photo, but thankfully, it's gone "viral" as the kids say & there are several copies of it circulating about! Is this the type of leadership we want & need at our school? Does this set the proper example for our students? Is she an ethically & morally responsible person? Obviously, the answer to all three questions is NO!!! This woman needs to be reported to Cobb County & the PSC. In short, she needs to be fired immediately! If she is there next year, I know for a fact that my family & several other families will not be returning!
We have been at IAS for five years and am very pleased. I feel like its an extension of my village. I am active in the school which makes a difference in knowing teachers and administration. Additionally, they have a strong PTA which really helps support he programs. The current principal that is there now, has passion and doing a fine job leading her administration.
i rated average only because i am hopeful that things will change at this school, otherwise it would have been 2 stars. many parents are lost with their new grading system and new no homework policy. lack of communication between parents and teachers, wrong information many times is given to parents about their children's grade, assignments, etc. too many parents are looking for other options for schooling instead of trying to stay at ias because the administration is going down hill. i hope they are not trying to set our kids up for failure. they want parents to be involved with their kid's education through volunteering and fundraising, but what about with their school work? i think ias needs to worry about their kids more- not just on how much money they are bringing in.
I currently have 3 children at IAS, and this is our 2nd year. I have nothing but great things to say about IAS it's administrative staff, and the teachers. My children are excelling and every teacher they have had challenges them to reach higher achievement. For instance. my kindergartner could barely write his name, but he came out of kindergarten writing, reading and a honor roll student. He is now in 1st grade an a straight A student. Our 5th grader is reading on a high school level, a straight A student, CRCT scores were from the 890's to the 900's, and flourishes in the gifted program headed by Mrs. C. Bush. Our 3rd grader struggled in school and was in EIP (Early Intervention Program) and when the school was preparing for the CRCT the school offered free after school tutoring and Saturday tutoring. We took advantage of this and our 3rd grader passed the CRCT without difficulty. In my opinion the a lot of the problems come from the lack of parental support.
This school has so much potential but it has become a mess. Administration is not trustworthy and I believe their act will be exposed soon. The turn over rate of teachers is high, which exposes faults from the top. They need to revamp the whole formula and get people who truly care, that's what charter schools are all about. Get people in there who do it for the KIDS.
There's a TON of new teachers every year, the current principal (beginning 2013 school year) is seemingly clueless. IAS is on a slippery slope; this year they extended enrollment and asked the parents to refer IAS to families -JOKE! My family is disappointed in everything about IAS.We followed all rules:dress code, car pool, and volunteer hours. In return we got new teachers who can't catch up and provide educational instruction expected from an IB charter school and a principal who won't return calls/emails pertaining to concerns you have about your child's educational growth. It's almost comical how she dances around or ignores questions-except for it's real life. If you are looking to send your child to a place where the principal is clearly there to get a check and not qualified to run a school (qualifications is more than a picture frame with a degree), a higher teacher turn over rate that I've ever seen (less than 45% of the staff returns) and when you get more communication of what the SCHOOL needs (volunteers and MONEY) than educational needs of the children then this is the place for your family!
The review below from the former IAS board member is probably the most honest yet. I am a former IAS consultant, volunteer and parent. Yes, the elementary division has good educators and some good parents, but 200 families didn't post ANY volunteer hours last year as required- in writing. Parents and teachers do not attend Board meetings either. And, yes, the current principal and male VP are not qualified to do their jobs, struggle with basic tasks, are never seen in a classroom, and just aren't good people, period. Yes, IAS is under-funded, the teachers often lack basic instructional materials and the school is a financial crisis or two away from shutting down. Yes, the middle school is a hot ghetto mess with the worst test scores in the district and too many bad acting and even violent students (who are never expelled) and incompetent educators, which are allowed to return year after year. And, yes, you are literally taking your life and that of your child in your hands, if you have to walk thru the carpool/ parking lot in the morning. To be honest; IAS is the struggling, poorer sister of Kennesaw Charter and should be a lot further along after 8 years. God help this school!
This is our 2nd year at IAS and we were very happy with our experience last year. I recently asked our child what she thought of the 1rst grade. Her response was "it's fun, the teachers are nice and the kids are nice". I am not on the board nor do I work behind the scenes, but I do volunteer a lot and can tell you that Principle Schrock and her staff are very hands on. There is constant activity for the students and tons of volunteer and networking opportunities for parents. While the school is not perfect, I see them making an effort. I love their IB approach, I love the fact our 6 year old talks to us about being "principled" and "reflective". Our child is learning Spanish, goes to P.E., music, art and seems to be excelling in her class. There are many changes we would like to see with the school but I believe that will come in time. I cannot speak for the middle school since we are not involved with the program, but we can tell you the elementary school staff is great. The parents I have volunteered with are very committed- it's my hope more parents will step up and bring about positive change to this school.
I am a former IAS Board member & parent. The building is nice & bright and there are some good educators. Aside from that, IAS is a very dysfunctional, grossly underfunded, underachieving school where almost 50% of the nearly all Black student body is low income. The Middle School has had the lowest Math & Science scores in Cobb for three years, fighting is rampant and my child was bullied so badly, he resorted to hiding in the restroom at lunch. Although I was on the Board, the current principal, VP and middle school teachers would not respond to my requests for meetings or help. The efforts of the Governing Board to carry out its duties were compromised by the current management company, operations manager (a founding board member) and the current principal and male vice principal. The management company and operations manager conspired to offer the current principal and male vice principal contracts for the 2014-15 school year before the Board had an opportunity to discuss their status and possibly vote to terminate them. In almost 20 years in the charter school movement, I have never seen two people more unfit to lead a school. Real talk; IAS is a charter school in name only.