As a parent of five children, and a school volunteer, I get to see exactly how this school works. At first I was startled that the children call the staff by their first names, and I still am. (Will always think students should call teachers by their last names.)
The children get to take a few minutes away from the classroom, to clear their minds, or whatever. The children are given a lot of freedom, but you know what? it works! The children get to think by themselves better ways of handling things. There is lots of hands on work, which makes it easier to understand things. All the staff are very caring and show it, even the janitors and cook.
I highly recommend this school. Kudos to you all.
Teachers are constantly scolding children for just doing what children do best, playing. They are constantly emailing us whenever my son kicks a ball in the play yard too high or doesn't sit straight on the floor. Their rigid and inflexible staff is so strict I feel like my son is always walking on egg shells and can't act himself.
I really enjoy and love this school and my son loves being here. He started here in Kindergarten and has since enjoyed his schooling. The teachers are so hands on with the students and they really get down on their level. The children learn to interact with one another and they are really respectful to each other. They recently changed curriculum for Wednesday's to C3 and my son still enjoys it. I like that they are expected to actively participate and engage on all levels. They're taught to think outside the box, not just in. My child wouldn't want to go anywhere else!
Anser is terrific! It is everything you want in a school for your child. As an Expeditionary Learning School it focuses on academics through indepth and hands on projects. They also grow your child's character in a positive way.
There are much much better schools than Anser. Don't buy the line of talk about this being the premier school in the Treasure Valley. The school does some interesting things but doesn't prepare most students for the rigors of high school and college. Of course there will be the student or two or three who does well. That is to be expected in any school. My point is, it's not because of Answer. The problems with the culture of the school are very troubling. Other than individuals in the inner circle, it is a hateful, uptight place for students and parents alike.
The PR this school gets is out of control. Its spin machine tells a story much different than the reality of the school. Caution. Boise public schools are excellent, and this charter school isn't all it's cracked up to be. Don't worry if your kid doesn't get in the kindergarten lottery (most don't). Consider it a blessing in disguise.
I was a student at Anser for four years, grades 5-8. My review is, horrors! Not warm & fuzzy! My parents aren't rich, elected officials, or business leaders. I came in late. 5th grade. I am and was not weird, delayed, "special needs" or dumb, just a 10 year old kid looking to be accepted in a new school. Silly me. These students were stuck like glue together since they were 5 years old. They were superior to the kids who came later (well, the pretty and handsome kids were accepted right away of course). Their parents were elitist, too. I saw parents who came in late. Like me. They and their kids looked as left out as I ALWAYS felt EVERY DAY at this school for four years. Coming in to this caste system at 10 years of age was horrifying. Why does everyone think anser is so tolerant, warm, understanding? The teachers and staff like to think it is, so it must be. They never paid serious attention to those of us who were outside of the main groups. They never chose to do anything about how those popular kids ignored us at recess, before school, on field trips, CBC, electives (which were a nitemare for an unpopular kid so I was ":sick" a lot on those days) & at morning assembly.
I just read the other super-dee-duper-rah-rah reviews. The parents who said that they like it so much because kids are taught to respect each other. Wow. Don't you parents really see what's going on? I mentioned electives. Worst afternoon of the week for kids like me, because of how disrespectful and MEAN the other kids in my class were to those of use who werent cool or popular. A couple of parents would drive us to elective. The popular kids groaned but not loud enough so parents and teachers could hear, if they got stuck in a car with an unpopular kid like me. The minute we arrived the popular kid would bolt out to meet his popular friends. Then when we had to pair up, it was like choosing teams and always getting picked last every day. But worse. My question for Suzanne and Theresa and the junior high teachers and all the others who think Anser is so respectful is this: Where were you when these kids were snubbing the ones outside their social group? Someone will say now that this is not true. Believe me, it most certainly is & my parents have the therapist bills to prove it. I still have nightmares and night shakes when I think of having to go to that elitist school again.
We are in year 6 as part of the Anser community, and keep discovering more qualities that make us love our school. My primary reason for loving this school is that all people are taught to respect one another's gifts and uniqueness. Everyone has something to contribute, and something special to be celebrated. The academic standards are outstanding, supporting even struggling students to reach beyond average. My son is a student at Boise High School and easily transitioned to all accelerated and AP courses, and for him this was normal because of the standards everyone works toward at Anser. I would liken it to a "GATE" program for all students, where they are taught according to their skill level and learning style. It is an innovative environment, often cutting edge use of technology and methodology. Parent involvement is huge, and I love that I know my children's friends from coordinating their parent-led elective programs. My children's teachers are the parents of my children's friends too. And a great variety of people of backgrounds, except for one constant: everyone is there because they want to be.
You will read mainly glowing reviews of this school. We agree with the quality of teacher instruction, principal leadership & curriculum. However, the quality of child-to-child interaction and the healthiness of teacher intervention of negative child behavior are both substandard This school is full of cliques which exclude children. It is NOT an inclusive environment. If a child comes in who is "cute" or has popularity potential, then the child is welcomed. If the child is shy, has some type of learning disability or is not as attractive as others, then God help that child. Our children are not included in the "popular" group and have not felt integrated in the school for any of their years here. The teachers stand by, helpless, saying they really shouldn't intervene unless there is a dangerous situation. But there is. One of our children comes home in tears or with an upset stomach at least a few times a week because of being neglected or ignored by other kids. Even in these hip "CBC" classes in the community, the cliques continue. And if children feel they are excluded, they don't and can't learn very well. Anser needs to address this. It is a serious serious problem.