Middle School is HOT MESS! - Dean of Students' is Degreed in Zoology - if your idea of quality in education is having your Middle Schooler treated like an animal, IACS is the place for you
Staff Bios on school website are very interesting read
If Wait Listed, no matter what # your child may be, not to worry, consistently high student turnover and increasingly decreased student interest/applications ensure your child will be offered placement sooner than would be reasonably anticipated
For the most part, Teachers are caring & effective - as in any school, there are some that have no business interacting with children, nevermind educating & bearing responsibility for them - that being said, Teachers are not a major part of the problem -they suffer to a significant degree themselves due to weak, ineffective Leadership and the failures that come with it
I very much agree with the parent who said the school falls short on teaching the fundamentals to the students. Comparing the education 4 children in my family are getting, the 2 who attend IACS are getting short changed. It would seem that the school is overly focused on an "out of the box" structure and is failing in teaching the core competencies that colleges are looking for in incoming freshmen. When comparing IACS to the other local high schools, it's almost impossible to do so when you have no way of knowing what colleges IACS seniors have been accepted to, or graduated from. Additionally, USNews.com and other reputable sources don't have the numbers to provide comparisons to other local schools regarding the College Readiness of IACS students because the school is lacking in AP courses that other high schools offer. That are only some of the academic short comings. If your student excels in any type of sports, then don't even consider IACS, as their athletic program also falls short and your student won't have any shot whatsoever at getting athletic scholarships.
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.