This school. My whole family went here and at first it was headed in a great direction. But then, I got into middle school and it went down from there. Once a kid gets into the middle school their whole perspective will change. The only thing I appreciated during my 7th-8th grade years were honestly the teachers. I also saw behavior in my peers that was not taken care of to a suitable amount or taken way out of proportion (i.e. bullying and other things that a student should absolutely not have to experience or getting a discipline note for not understanding something). But, middle school aside, my experience in elementary was good. The principal bribes the parents in emails with prizes for good reviews. If I were you I would not bring my kid here.
I had been at this school for practically six years, 3rd-8th grade. It was a great school when it first opened. My education was valued and the teachers seemed to care quite a lot. I was most always listened to. Though, this all changed once I hit middle school. The teachers were awesome, don't get me wrong, but the academics in 7th and 8th grade became less challenging, and less Montessori like. Also, unlike lower and upper-el, our views as middle schools students weren't taken seriously by the rest of the school. Because we are teenagers, we were given the stereotype that whatever we would would do would most likely be up to no good. Besides the two major field trips for the middle schoolers each year, there wasn't anything else for us to do as a middle school community. Yes, there were school dances, but they were definitely not ideal for middle schoolers as most of the children were ten and the atmosphere was mediocre. We as a middle school overall seemed to be not cared about or taken seriously.
Overall, this is a good school, just not the ideal place for your child to be going into middle school. The plus sides about this middle school is again, the teachers are great. Even though it seemed like the rest of the school didn't care about us, they did. Also, there was a lot of diversity in the middle school, but we still all managed to get along. It was like we were all a family. There was little to no bullying what-so-ever. Now if you want to enroll your child into a school that has above average academics, sports, and more opportunities for your child, (after school clubs, orchestra, band, etc) then this is not the place for your upcoming 7th and/or 8th grader. The after care program is awful. Besides one teacher there that was excellent. It was just awful for anyone over the age of eleven. I would love to put at least three stars, but the principal of this school is a joke. She only cares about the numbers and what's her paycheck at the end of the day. Once they get rid of her, then maybe this school will excel.
My teachers seemed more like friends to me, which some may view as a bad thing, but they got their job done, and they, and myself both had fun along the way. I'm not fond of the school, but the teachers are people I'll never forget.
Yeah, I'm that one kid that always wants more homework. Math was the only thing given out as homework. All work had to be done at school, unless you didn't finish, then it would be given as homework. Which I do believe is a good idea, debut some days I actually wanted some work to do after school.
It is important my children attend a school that nurtures the WHOLE child, and we found such a school in Four Corners. Their teachers care about them as people, respecting their academic, social, and emotional growth. FCMA's focus is on creating an independent learner, and I appreciate the care and attention my childrens' teachers put forth in helping them grow each day. This is a humble, caring school with a staff that is highly committed to students. With regard to the negative comments here, I would urge parents who are looking into FCMA to come to the school and see if it is a good fit for your family. Many of the negative comments are simply untrue, or based on a perspective that illustrates the school wasn't a good fit. And, to clarify, the head of school lead a campaign to encourage parents to write reviews on this site, but said nothing of what types of reviews to write. It's simply not her style. Four Corners is a very special school, one in which my children thrive. I am grateful!
We love FCMA! My sons are heading into 1st and 2nd grade, having started there in pre-school. The teachers are dedicated, both leads and assistants, the head of school really cares about your child and their success, not something that is evident in all schools. The school requires a minimal amount of volunteer hours, on any day you will see parents in the school helping, it is a very involved community, which we love. There is emphasis on character at this school, something that is tough to measure on a test score. While the school lacks sports, it does have after school enrichments like band, cooking, dance classes, etc. While you pay for field trips, my children have been exposed to ballet and the DSO, which have been cool experiences for them. Ultimately, what you and your child put in, is what you get out of this school.
In theory a tuition free Montessori is an opportunity that should not be passed up, but unfortunately if you're experienced with other Montessori schools, you'll see Four Corners does not measure up. All you need is a little online research, like Great Schools, and you'll see how poorly Four Corners measures up in test schores and student performance across the board. Their teaching methods are the loosest translation of Montessori. They rank way below all the public schools in my area, and the success of my kids is the most important thing to me. I think we'll be going back to public school, which offers more in terms of sports and extra-curricular clubs. Yes, the office staff does not seem to want to be bothered with questions, but that's no different from the public schools my kids have attended (unfortunately).
I am disgusted by a principal that offers incentives to bribe parents to write positive reviews! My child encountered bullying from older children that seemed to be attending this charter school because they were no longer permitted in public school! It was frightening! The staff is short and cold, and difficult to talk to. Most importantly, the curriculum is laughable. Instead of encouraging the brightest students to excel, they are kept at the level of the lowest in the class. My child is in upper elementary and this is just not tolerable. And lastly, once a week art is NOT ART, plastic flutes is NOT MUSIC, there is no LANGUAGE, NO SPORTS, not even playground equipment! It's crowded, unorganized, filthy and institutional-feeling. It's absoultely uninspiring. This school is a disappointment.