This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted April 23, 2015
- a parent
My son went to pre-K here, and I was disappointed at how un-academic the year was (for a really large price tag!) He was already reading and could add and multiply - and they did nothing to offer him something academically enriching. The program is fine for the average to above-average student, but if your child is truly gifted they will tell you that the child has to conform to their curriculum rather than having the curriculum meet the child's needs. If you want a good school for your above-average student, this is a reasonable choice.
We chose Elgin Academy for our son and have been glad he has been given the opportunity to experience the Elgin Academy difference. He started in Pre-School and has grown in so many ways. He is able to interact with students as well as teachers of very diverse backgrounds. He has a great choice of electives. His academics are taught in a way that makes learning fun. It is a great feeling as a parent to have your child eager to get to school and awaiting what new experience will unfold. The class sizes as well as student to teacher ratio is great. Once he gets into Upper School he'll have individual attention for college placement. Students are involved in a variety of Community Service Programs-reinforcing the importance of giving back to society is very important to us. A great fit for our son! He's been at Elgin Academy for 9 years and looks forward to graduating from Elgin Academy.
We are very pleased with the progress of our four year-old daughter so far through preschool and pre-k at Elgin Academy. She is building self-confidence and maturity while maintaining curiosity and excitement about school each day. By starting with French class in preschool, she is getting a jump-start on learning a second language which we never had and she just embraces it as a normal part of school. Experiential, hands-on learning of both small and large motor skills are a favorite daily part of the curriculum. Separate music, library and art classes from dedicated, specialized teachers also rounds out the excellent half-day pre-k program.
Elgin Academy is a place where my children have been challenged academically and given the tools to succeed in life. Not every child will be capable of getting straight A's, but every child will be given the opportunity to do their absolute best. Students are given the opportunity to participate in various sport teams, school musicals, school clubs, and outreach activities (soup kitchen, PADS, trip to Nicaragua / DR to volunteer at local orphanages, etc.) Families with more than one child will see how the school allows children from Early Childhood through High School to interact through Big Sister / Big Brother programs as well as occasional all school musicals and / or choral presentations. We never would've had that experience anywhere else but EA. Tuition may seem like a lot, but the school is not "money hungry". 80% + of faculty have MS degree or higher and they work there because EA is where they can teach their best. The majority of the tuition goes to faculty / staff salaries & benefits. The remaining $ goes to keep up a school that is 175 yo and growing in technology & services every year.Working to keep tuition affordable is a goal of their Board of Trustees every year.
Elgin Academy, the high school: My son started there his sophomore year after bullying at the academically good high school he left. He graduated from Elgin Academy. The very small class size was outstanding, my son flourished academically and socially. He also picked up golf and tennis there, something he'll use all of his life. He found U of I at Champaign, a top college, easy after the training he had at Elgin Academy. The school works hard at getting students into the colleges they want, with a teacher advising them throughout the process. My son is now working in a college, and getting his masters as well. The teachers at our community high school were tops, 10 out of 10 in school grading. Elgin Academy teachers were good, and the personal attention and school class size that really made the difference.
Great school! My son is in the high school and daughter graduated a couple of years ago. Solid curriculum, great teachers and a very supportive community. My daughter is excelling in college thanks to the preparation she received at Elgin Academy.
I am a parent of 3 students at Elgin Academy. I have one in each division (lower school, middle school and upper school). Obviously I see the value in sending my children to Elgin Academy. Academically, they are all challenged at a level above what they would be in public schools. Socially, they all get along well with their peers. I have wanted to post something on this site for awhile, I get Great School emails almost daily. Something happened this weekend that I thought would help demonstrate a small reason why we love EA. My lower school child was at a classmates birthday party and her teacher showed up. I asked her why she was there and she told me, very matter of fact, that she was invited by the student. I know that she loves and cares for each one of her students but this was way above and beyond. She left her own home and family in a horrible snow storm to be with her students on her day off. The teachers spend almost more time with my kids during the week than I do. I know they are loved, cared for and are being molded into responsible, well educated independent thinkers. At EA having a good teacher is the rule not the exception.
Elgin Academy has been a great school for both of my children to learn and grow. I currently have a child in lower school and a child in middle school. Both of my children are academically challenged in a positive nurturing environment. My daughter, who is in 5th grade, is independent, confident and caring due to the great influences she has at Elgin Academy. My son, who is in 2nd grade, is academically strong, caring and well liked by his peers. The kids at Elgin Academy are exposed to all forms or art. This exposure gives them the confidence to try drama, chorus and visual art classes at the Elgin Academy after school program. At every level, Elgin Academy encourages their students to explore the arts, excel academically, become strong public speakers and evolve into confident competitive leaders.
EA was the biggest disappointment. My daughter's teacher was excellent and I would give her 5 stars! My son's teacher was awful. All year, I asked her about his reading and her continued response to me was, 'no he is fine.' We soon discovered that my son has dyslexia. It was a wasted year!! They tout small class sizes and individual attention, don't be fooled it is not true!! The administration is just money-hungry and tried to take money that our children's grandparents were paying for tuition and apply it to the 'general fund,' as if their tuition payment was a 'gift' to the school?! They live in CA!! Why in the world would they EVER gift thousands of dollars to a school they had no previous knowledge of?! After being called 'liars,' we provided all the paperwork regarding the tuition and they said, 'oh, you're right,' but never once did they admit that they were wrong/sorry for what they said to us. Be sure you research/ask about how many families have left the school in the last two years. They will never tell you, but it's astounding. They used to have two kindergarten classes, but now it's just one?? Why? I would highly recommend NOT choosing Elgin Academy for your children
We have two kid at EA middle school and we are very happy. We will be staying at EA through highschool. We've spent several years at other private schools and very much appreciate the focus on academics while developing well rounded individuals by incorporating projects that build their confidence (which make them comfortable speaking in front of groups. In our 4th year at EA, we've found that the teachers and administrators actually like to be with the kids (we didn't find that to be true at other private schools) and genuinely care about each kid succeeding in classes that seem to not have more than 16 kids or so. The families are not pretentious and school teachers/staff are friendly and inviting.