This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Innovation Academy Charter School1
Posted August 12, 2014
- a parent
The IACS high school is below par as compared to most traditional public or private high schools in the area. This assessment is not based on the fact that IACS high school has graduated only 3 senior classes to date, offers a very limited course selection, and no advanced placement courses at all. The bigger issue is the fact that in their clumsy attempt to copy the teaching methods used in elite private high schools, they are losing focus on teaching the fundamentals of key subjects adequately to the students, in particular in math and sciences. The school has neither the resources nor the proficient teaching staff to successfully implement the project-based teaching approach it claims to follow. At IACS high school, students main source of learning is either the Khan Academy website or their parents, rather than their teachers or textbooks. My advice: if you have a talented student with ambition to attend a good college, consider sending him to other high schools in your area, public or private.
Innovation Academy Charter School (IACS) offers a stimulating learning environment. Students learn the value of community membership - contributing to the development and betterment of their community - which is practiced by students, teachers and parents. Students also practice project-based learning. They work together as a team, problem solve, and develop the art of doing presentations. They practice effective communication and are conscientious and respectful towards others. Students are encouraged to practice self-direction a critical skill for staying focused and completing tasks on time. I could go on and on about IACS but I'll end here by saying that they are successful as a community because they effectively communicate the value of collaboration, partnership and teamwork in accomplishing successful outcomes. They are a great example of what happens when parents are actively involved with their students' learning -their children accomplish much more and are successful.
We have a gem of a school for both the children and the parents. The kids are taught to think "outside the box" and not just the traditional way. This allows the kids to think and solve problems using their brains, with minimal help from teachers or parents. I love that they "mentor" each other, not only within their classes, but with students above or below their grades. The teachers are second to none! Not only do they know the students as students, they know them as people and help nurture their individual potential! The communication between teacher and parent is great! Have a question, send them an email! There is a very "family-like" atmosphere here, from the facility workers who go above and beyond to the Principals and everyone in between. They ALL know the kids. The growth of the school over the last year has been amazing. From a state of the art track and field, updated Science rooms, to a brand new 5/6th grade building to accommodate the increased demand of applicants. All mostly done through fundraising! IACS kids are happy. They are community oriented and from the start, are continually groomed for the "real" world. It's the best decision my husband and I ever made!
This school is all about the student. Not only is the concern on an academic level but also in the areas of Community Membership, Problem Solving, Effective Communication and Self Direction. By concentrating on these five areas, the students become well rounded and mature much faster than traditional schools. By the time my son gave his first Quality Night presentation in the 5th grade, he was addressing strangers, making eye contact, controlling his speech fillers and reading cue cards as if he had been doing it all his life. The transformation was extraordinary an it sold me on the school. The student to teacher ratio is more than adequate and there is help at every turn for the child that has a challenge. I would recommend this school to any parent/guardian who is looking to strengthen any of the areas listed above. It was was I applied, you should too.
This school gave me the best four years of my life. The teachers care so much about their students and although they can be tough, there are always other teachers you can go to. As an establishment containing lots of teenagers, there will always be some bullying. However, the school has an environment where the other students and staff will not stand for it. The problem solving skills of everyone in the school are phenomenal. Asides from those social aspects, the honors work works well with the project based nature of the school and throughout one's time there, they are likely to gain wonderful presentation skills that will be incredibly helpful for their future. This school is a challenging one, however, there is extra help available every day from teachers and contact with them is super easy through the school's email system. An important thing is that you have to be motivated at IACS. It is tough but the results are fantastic.
Fantastic school. I have 2 children attending and they are both excelling in the small school environment. The teaching staff is second to none and always available to meet with parents. It's all about the kids at this school.
There are some wonderful teachers. There are some bad teachers. This school is like any other school in that regard. The project-based curriculum is a step above a typical public school. The overall focus seems to be on expanding the high school, and the middle school gets overlooked. This is not in any way the same school of even 3 years ago. When they expanded to a larger school, they lost some of the magic of what made them special.
This school needs improvement. They are dismissive with bullying issues, and leave them unresolved. They will choose to simply not respond to parent suggestions for improvement if they do not agree with them. They have little support for advanced learners. They asked parents to give up coffee and cable tv to support their expansion when the middle school is already over-crowded. They are not expanding the middle school building, they are building a track and field, a gym, and expanding the high school. Some athletic programs start so early in the morning that it makes it impossible for some children to participate. Drop-off is a time consuming challenge. The lock down procedure is questionable. Although some (not all) of the teachers at this school are excellent, the school lacks strong administrative leadership. The project based learning structure only supports strong presentation skills and children with behavioral issues who cannot learn in a conventional setting. This environment is disruptive and unsettling to a well behaved child.