This school teaches that "trying your best" is all a kid has to do. I can't count the number of breakdowns my student has that now involve "I tried my best, but it's just too hard" over the most basic household activities! Teaching that just trying is good enough is a big big mistake. As is rfusing to acknowledge the importance of failure for students in developing heathy attitudes and goal setting/reaching behavior!
Homework is optional? That's essentially telling children "here's a rule but you don't have to follow it." Homework policy here allows children and their parents to wholy abdicate responsibility for themselves and their education!
My child has received more lack of education at this school than education! Currently, my student is three grade levels behind in math, language arts, science, and social studies, failing standardized tests every year, and each time I request information and detailed progress / assessments from teacher I am put off or referred to school leadership. School leadership, as the 2013 review stated, has been arrogant and condescending and has outright refused to provide educational information as required by federal law. If you just want your kid to feel good, be the delight of the classroom, and hang out with their buddies, by all means choose this school. If you want an education or even professionals who understand what IDOE grade level requirements are, run far away from here!
The Project School has made my children such confident learners. They feel empowered to ask tough questions and then research the answers. Some of the class sizes initially seam large but with 2-3 certified teachers plus a teaching assistant, it's down to an approximate 20:1 ratio. The staff is caring and genuinely concerned about the well being of their students. This school runs on a P3 curriculum which is very well balanced. School lunches are very nutritious -- not the run of the mill gunk at most public schools. The meals are provided by FoodWorks/Bloomingfoods. My only concern is there is no gym.
The teachers at this school are amazing, very inspiring and truly kind. They treat each child with dignity and also provide an amazing amount of communication to the parents. From what I've observed, The Project School has an overall attitude of belief in the goodness of each child and provides a very nurturing environment. Parents are always welcome to volunteer at the school or simply visit their child in their class. This school strives to teach to the whole individual by focusing on so much more than the three R's--social values are given a lot of importance, the arts programs are wonderful, and the "passions" sessions help children to explore topics that interest them. My daughter started attending this year as a first grader in the 1-2-3 class. She was hesitant to leave her previous school, but after just a short time here, she really felt like she was a part of the Project School community. She loved being able to write creatively quite often and also loved that she was not confined to a desk much of the day. She has learned so much this year and is excited to learn even more next year.
Our family found a great fit at this school. Our 2 children attend the 6/7/8 class. There are 92 students- 4 teachers in 3 classrooms. One classroom is larger, but has 2 certified teachers (av. 23 students/teacher). Communication has been awesome. The teachers send a group newsletter out each week with what kids are learning and important dates to track. Homework assignments are consistent and predictable and focus on reading, writing, and math. The staff is extremely accessible, supportive and easy to work with -never had a problem. The kids receive a progress report rather than a simple grade. Included in this very personalized report are goals the teachers would like to see the child strive for. I have observed my children as they beam when read their report and watched them strive toward goals. Our oldest child graduates from the school this year, and we feel he is well-prepared for high school. This is a school with caring teachers and my children are content there. Reading, writing, math and science are strengths. A weakness might be the time spent on grammar & spelling, however, the focus on writing and editing daily helps correct those issues as they arise.
The Project School has been a profound disappointment to us. Inexperienced teachers, unresponsive and arrogant school leaders, poorly structured and incomplete curriculum, and large classes (40 or more to a classroom). Communication between parents and teachers is also very poor. The teachers do work very hard and parental involvement is high; unfortunately, this just hasn't been enough to make up for the school's many problems.