This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Prospect Hill Academy Charter School1
Posted August 27, 2013
- a community member
Some very hard working teachers, but terrible classroom management on the whole, which is a disservice to this predominantly high need student population. The unusually high rate of teacher turnover at the elementary school is due to the nonstop curriculum changes and out of touch administrators who have no ability to hold difficult students to high standards of behavior. The school would do well to have fewer specialists and more quality classroom teachers who are looking to enter teaching as a profession rather than as a quick step to becoming a school leader.
PHA recently obtained a gold star rating. It is not a perfect institution by any means - they know that and are continually looking at their strengths and challenges. It would be easy for them to pat themselves on the back, but that is not who they are. I am a parent and I would not send my child anywhere else.
The way the Dec 31 post characterizes the afterschool options is entirely inconsistent with our experience. Note that the three campuses function quite differently, so this is one aspect in which they may vary. At the Upper Elementary Campus (grades 4-6), the afterschool program (OST = Out of School Time) is run by extremely nice and caring folks who work hard to make it both fun and enriching. My child often asks to be picked up LATER than normal so as not to miss out.
PHA is OK with academics but really lacking in anything extra like field trips, clubs, art, music, PE once a week, and limited sports. They only offer one language, Spanish, and even in high school only offer a couple electives. They spend a lot of energy practicing lining up and entering classrooms. Before 9th grade students have almost no opportunity to interact socially with anyone outside their homeroom other than at recess. Even lunch is eaten with their homeroom. The main after school activity is detention. They have five types. If you are interested be sure to ask a lot of questions. Teacher turnover is very high. The students seem really unhappy and the academics are really driven by standardized tests.
I would absolutely agree with the post from 9/4/12 as to the level of (dis)organization at the school with regard to things such as paperwork and scheduling at the whole-school level. My son is starting his second year at the PHA Upper Elementary, and I've been frustrated by this myself. That said, my frustration on that front is more than made up for by the warm, caring and consistent classroom environment we've experienced. The consistency of expectations across the school has worked extremely well for my son, and we've found the academic challenge comparable overall to our experience with the public schools.
Thoroughly disappointed...My husband and I enrolled not one but both our children here. One is in the Early Childhood Campus and the other in the Upper Elementary Campus. So far we've been given the same paperwork to fill out 4 separate times and rules have been given to students that aren't even enforced by the staff who have created them. But sadly and most devastating - my daughter who enthusiastically applied for a position in a role at school filled out an application as required and ahead of time only to go to an interview that was poorly organized, not on time, and felt ashamed for accomplishments anyone should be more than proud of. My daughter does nothing for recognition but for the innocent satisfaction in success from hard work and an honest desire to make a difference. I feel sorely disappointed in the events that have lead up to today and am already looking for another school for my children. Visit before enrolling and ask lots of questions...good luck to all of you.
As a parent of a student at the elementary school I have mixed feelings about my child's experience at Prospect. The Spanish curriculum is lacking, science equally poor, music was questionable, and the teachers hired for specialties are lacking the quality and education necessary to engage, instruct and propel the students forward both intellectually and creatively. Although the Massachusetts Department of Education does show that Prospect Hill Academy as a whole consists (or consisted of at the time) and over 90% highly qualified teacher rate, my experience with the lower school has proven otherwise. I suggest a necessary shift in lower school leadership, a discerning look at teacher quality, and a focus on improving the school to better serve the children. There are some great teachers at the lower school who go above and beyond their call of duty but it's not enough.
My son started at prospect Hill Academy in January 2011 his in k-2. I'm more than pleased with his progress academically. His doing math, reading, and more. Everyday this little man comes home with somthing new. I'm glad I enrolled him in that school, next year his going to first grade then my second son will entered k-2. Yeah!!!
This is my daugther's first year in this school. (1st grade) They give her class more than one homework per night, and that include weekends. I like it that way, because I know my child is not wasting time learning. I am very proud to see how advanced my daughter is. This school is the Best!!!