My son is a special education student. The classroom teachers have been amazing! They have been teaching him where he is at in his learning and he has increased his reading skills faster than we ever thought he could. They have helped him to feel good about himself and to believe in himself. I know they really care about him. All of the special education team communicate with me regularly and I am thankful every day for them.
We love CSA! Our childrens' current and past teachers have and maintain great relationships with each of our children and really know them and how they learn best. The staff is welcoming and the teachers communicate with my husband and I frequently about the progress and learning that each of our children make throughout the year. We know that if we ever have a question or concern we can contact them and our questions or concerns are addressed quickly and honestly. We know that the education our children are receiving is fully preparing them for the life experiences they will have both academically and in the "real world" through college and beyond. Our children are happy and love going to school and we are happy too! We love CSA!
Our experience has been a hostile environment. Our first grader has had to deal with multiple negative comments from peers in short amount of time.
For example: Their whole group told our child that they "didn't want them at CSA and to just go away." This is just one of five negative instances in 3-4 months.
We are currently enrolled (but probably not for long.) this is our first year. Over the last 4 months of school, there have been 5 incidents of bullying and hostile behavior within our child's 1st grade class. From students threatening to kill our child (yeah.. I know... That sounds crazy right?! And the comments were made out of anger, not playing. ) to pushing at lockers. To slapping our child in the face. And when our child reports these to an adult, it sometimes just gets a "talking to" with both parties and a speech about how we are all friends. And other times our child is dismissed and told.. "Oh.. So and so is just joking." Oh, and the slap in the face was the last straw... Our child defended himself and guess who was written up? Not the instigator!
We've attempted to address the issues and work with the staff in charge of the disciplinary process. We've sent emails to the principal only to have her ignore them. The teachers as well. Principal is too busy to meet with us in a timely manner. When we do get a meeting..asking simple questions was greeted with hostility. Even the school stating they "need our lawyer present before we can continue."
It's important to understand that if your child is special needs in anyway, you have to put everything in writing and be VERY direct with the school about your expectations. Do not expect them to guide you through their process. They will make you jump through hoops and they will dodge around issues that regard special services, IEP, Evaluations. They prefer to communicate verbally because it doesn't leave a trail and hold them accountable. Be wary of that.
Staff will also tell you to not use "labels" that they feel are negative. Those labels include "Autism, ADHD, SPD, etc..." When I asked directly about why I was told not to say those things.. The Special Ed director could not answer why they feel so strongly against the "label". However, gifted is a label. And the school actively promotes their gifted program.
Before we made our decision to come to this school, we came into this website and read a ton of the reviews. We were a little wary of the negative feedback. But since we have a few friends in the school, we decided to give it a chance. I wish we would have followed out gut and listened to the complaints.
It is strange that every time a review is posted that is in any way negative, there is a 5 star review to follow?? Or 5 or 6 excellent reviews?
There are positive things about CSA if you have a child that specifically fits the model. I am happy to say that my children do not fit the model. My advise is to look beyond the pretty colors and fancy videos with all the special buzz words and make an informed decision. Check to make sure your student will have every service available to them and their civil rights are honored. Proper services are not available to students in the same way public schools provide for special circumstances . If you need a 504 plan or IEP , think about taking an advocate with you to get the services your student is intitled to by law . The administration will tell you that these special plans are not needed. Make sure you have a documented plan that CSA is held accountable for.
I could not be more pleased with my experience at CSA! My children are thriving and love going to school. I am surprised by some of the negative reviews as this has not been my experience. I hope those who have had a bad experience have brought it to our new principal's attention. My experience with her has been extremely positive. She is approachable, listens well, and is eager to address any concerns. She truly cares about the students. She even has lunch dates with them! No school is perfect, but I can honestly say this school works hard to meet the needs of every student and to develop a partnership with parents. While this school may not be for everybody at the end of the day I'm glad I have a choice in where I send my children. CSA is my choice!
I am a former student of the high school, and I have to say it is the worst school I have ever been in. I used to be a straight A student, until my parents made the unfotunfortunate decision to move here. Here, I developed an anxiety disorder from the amount of stress they put on us to succeed, and I know many others who have had the same stress. While the school may advertise about "educating the whole child" and "academic excellence", it's the complete opposite. Most students barely pass assignments and classes (if they do at all)... Why? Because of this so-called "mastery", where a student has to get an 80% on and in everything. That sounds fine, right? Well, the teachers also allow them to turn work in at any point, even months late. This doesn't give students the discipline to get work in on time, nor the ability to accept failure. I moved to Hartland High this past year, and the transition was difficult (training myself to study again, working harder to get work in), however I felt a huge burden off of my shoulders; my anxiety had left, and by the second semester I was achieving my regular grades again.
In conclusion, please DO NOT give this school your money or support. They have sketchy leadership, a horrible academic program, and do not prepare your child for the real world.
This school is truly wonderful! I have been a parent at CSA for 5 years. I love that this school addresses the whole child and that all children can move at their own pace. The entire staff is warm and welcoming. I highly recommend this school!