As a parent of an eight grader, I am very disappointed with my daughter's education in 8th grade. As a 7th grader she received inspiring and dedicated instruction from a knowledgable, competent group of teachers. My daughter came home from school interested and excited in what she was learning. As an eight grader, I am concerned that her science teacher is not literate and conducts himself inappropriately. Her other teachers are not much better. The 7th grade teachers were much more involved in my daughter's learning, sending home progress reports, communicating with me as a parent, and encouraging my involvement in my daughter's education. I have severe reservations about sending my younger son here after seeing what happens in eight grade.
My family just moved to Des Moines last June and we a bit apprehensive about the schools because we came from the Iowa City, IA school district which is very strong. We have been much impressed by Callanan! The teachers are excellent and have high expectations for academic performance but also provide hep whenever students need it! Our daughter has always struggled with Math and this year she has absolutely blossomed in this area because of the excellent teachers at Callanan! There are some issues with students fighting and such, but no more so than any of the other schools in the area and the teachers and staff are very quick to squelch these types of behaviors and stress the three core principles of the school--respect, responsibility, and pride!
Callanan is a wonderfully diverse school that places a high emphasis on academics. Our experience here is one that replicates 'real world' to the students - one that rewards hard work and deals with difficulties with the resources available. I strongly encourage prospective parents to visit the school.