Academically the school does well where the most established programs are which include Chemistry and Math in my opinion. The shool values a conservative approach to learning which is why we haven't jumped on the Block scheduling bandwagon. In recent years, we spent money on superficial things but not to the point of getting over our heads. Many of the extracurricular programs are having a comeback as we find more effective ways to run them. The school is slow to make changes, which is common in this region. That has both saved us and hurt us.
I am a Castle graduate from the 1980's and my son is a sophomore there now. I have nothing but positive to say about this school. My son is involved in band as well as the theater program and has gained much from both. The band program is one of the top in the state. There is a high level of parental involvement and support at this school, although I as a single parent do not have a lot of time to devote. Still, my son has received exceptional guidance and encouragement from teachers and administrators there. Yes, there are high expectations placed on students academically, but I personally see this a positive. The only negative is the size of the school. If a students don't make the effort to find their niche, they can get lost in the shuffle. It is really up to the student to make the effort.
I am a graduate of Castle, and I have 2 children attending Castle. I have been extremely impressed with the school both as a student and as a parent. The academics are strong and the extra curricular programs are awesome. Wonderful athletes and scholars have graduated from this school. The school corporation and the community backs the school and the administration. The community is very proud of the school. There are many opportunities for parent involvement.
As a former student from not so long ago, I have fresh memories of all the happenings from inside. Most of the teachers go along with the whole 'popular' thing and don't try to hide their biased opinions. The band program, the pathetic excuse for a drama program, you name it. To get ahead in this school you have to be a student of a teacher or a friend of that student. Also, the insane dress code doesn't apply to them. The only room for parent involvement is when your student gets in trouble. Discipline is only for those who don't have a teacher parent/ aren't friend of a student with a teacher parent. Overall quality - this school needs to get its priorities straight.
Academic achievement expectations are high, which is a good thing. However, finding cooperation from teachers and administration alike when a student is not a high achiever is impossible. The sports programs and other extra-curriculars are very strong. The school puts so much emphasis on being 'well-rounded' that they fail to address the basics as effectively as they should, leaving large gaps through which above average children easily fall.