Paideia Academy is a great school. In the past, it was criticized for having high turnover of directors. Now there is criticism over teacher turnover. As a veteran Paideia parent, I have seen many changes and challenges within this school, but what has remained consistent is the high quality of staff, the strong sense of community, and the commitment of the administration towards helping each student excel. I have two adult children who attended and graduated from traditional district schools. I also have two children who have graduated from Paideia Academy and are attending a district high school. Without a doubt, my current high school students were more confident and prepared for the rigor of high school than were my older sons who did not have the benefit of a Paideia education. Moreover, my younger children who are currently at Paideia are thriving, even in the midst of change, maybe even because of it! Additionally, we are thrilled with the administrative abilities of our current director, and we appreciate the rapport she has with our children. For our family, Paideia Academy has fit like a glove these past ten years, and we are excitedly looking forward to the next ten!
My son started at Paideia in the 5th grade when the new Director started. Over the past 3 years, she has destroyed the school mission, values, teacher base, and parent base! You question her, you will feel her wrath!
25% of the staff has quit over the course of the year as of today. think twice.
Apparently, there had been some inconsistency with directors in the past, causing a high turnover rate with staff. With new leadership, this has changed. The teachers are passionate, caring and excited about teaching. We have a bright, creative child, who also happens to be on the autism spectrum. He feels supported, and we feel he is getting the education he deserves in a smaller, academically rigorous, nurturing environment. He feels successful and full of hope. That is high praise from a middle school student! This is our first year at Paideia, and we could not be more thrilled.
We love this school! Helpful teachers and staff, small community feel, many opportunities for involvement, small class sizes, art, music, Spanish programs, and uniforms.
As a parent, the aspect I enjoy the most about Paideia Academy Charter School is their organization. Because of their parent engagement hours, 50 per year, they attract highly motivated parents. I was especially impressed that they got out the electronic directory within weeks of school starting this year. Also- a facebook page for parents was set up for each grade to ask those last minute questions such as- is tomorrow a relaxed dress code day? Did everybody else get homework this week but my child? It is so helpful! The office staff is personable and professional. The kids are just the sweetest. One time after I was finished volunteering, seven students were in a line, one child dropped his pencil box and the whole line swooped in to help him clean it up. You can definitely see their anti-bullying plan in action. This school lives their mission.
We started our daughter in kindergarten at Paideia in August. Our entire family has loved our experience! Her teacher has been with Paideia since it opened, and has been fantastic to work with. We appreciate all the staff working together to help students learn at their own level, and are very quick to answer parent questions and communications. The director greets the students almost EVERY morning! What a wonderful way to stay visible and connected to the student body! Encouraging parent involvement has been terrific for getting families more involved. Most important to our family, is that the school doesn't just focus on test scores, but on building character in our children. As a family we would much rather have our daughter grow into a well rounded person rather than just a good test taker. At Paideia, we believe she will do well in all areas. We are so happy to find a smaller school that fits our families needs and wants.
Paideia Academy used to be an incredible school, but it is a shell of its former self. The wonderful teachers that were passionate about teaching are gone. They were either forced out by the Director or have quickly gone elsewhere. The teachers left in droves last year and now so are the students. It was a wonderful school but unfortunately the "vision" the current board and director have is drastically different than it used to be. I will be surprised if it is still an active Charter School in the next few years.
I have to strongly disagree with the last couple of posts. My family has been at the school since 2007 and prior to the last couple of years it was a great experience. However the atmosphere has changed within the school. It has become a revolving door of teachers leaving during the school year. A 2nd grade classroom had at least 3 different teachers last year and so far this year there has been 3 different teachers for the 5th and 6th grades math classes. And that does not cover all the changes for the special education teachers. I would not expect this current state of affairs at a public school, much less a Charter School that is govern at a local level. However, the saddest situation about the school that the only group of people that can correct its current direction are unwilling to consider that there is anything wrong.
Paideia Academy has set a high standard of learning for other schools. Our 8th grade student transitioned into Eastview HS honor classes without stress. We recently moved to another state. The transition again went smoothly. The other three are ahead of their fellow students; a grade ahead in some classes. The staff at Paideia are knowledgeable, professional, and kind. The atmosphere of learning created by the staff and families of the students is beyond compare. I highly recommend this school to any family who wants an exceptional learning experience for their children.
Paideia has been a terrific choice for our children's education. We have been with the school since its opening in 2005. No school is perfect but the great thing with Paideia is that it strives to be the perfect educational option for families seeking an alternative to the large, cumbersome district schools. Being a charter school has given Paideia the flexibility of trying new and innovative methods of teaching. The early release of teachers, one day a week, allows them to collaborate with each other on how to better help their students so they do not fall behind. Implementing data driven instruction, to find those learning gaps has been a part of the teaching model at Paideia for a few years now. District schools are just now starting to consider it. We have also appreciated the Olweus Bullying Curriculum being taught to our students. Children, while needing to understand reading, writing and math, also need to know how to interact with the world, and the Olweus program, plus other character building curriculum taught at the school, prepares our students for life. We've appreciated the intimate school environment where parents can get involved on many levels.
Paideia Academy approaches the special needs of children with a can-do attitude. The school strives to challenge the academic abilities of all its students, not assuming that children with special needs cannot excel. In my experience, school staff also work hard to partner with parents. Currently, five of my children attend Paideia and I have one Paideia graduate who attends a local high school. Four of these six children have or have had IEP's. Paideia has provided quality special education services to my children. Three years ago, my 17 year old transitioned to high school from Paideia with a special education evaluation that communicated well his very unique needs. This year our 11 year old daughter struggled greatly with some difficult behaviors. Paideia staff, including special education teachers, school administrators, school counselors, and even the nurse and secretary worked hard to create a plan that helped my daughter achieve success and effectively eliminated her negative behaviors. Access to special "wiggle seats" also help my younger children to stay focused. We appreciate Paideia's small class size and look forward to our childrens' continued success.
I have to agree with the prior comments. We have had struggles throughout our time. School is too focused on letting teachers get out early on Wednesdays every week and diversity and bullying classes instead of teaching kids spelling, math, organizational skills, assistance with homework incorporating study hall, etc. The school is not interested in sharing the results of all the surveys we complete , so how can the school become better when it ignores the problems that face it.
I have had kids at Paideia for 9 years(since it opened). The first couple of years the school was building itself and it's identity. Even though turnover at the Director position has been frequent for the whole nine years, the school was consistently getting better. Until just over 2 years ago. A new dDirector came in and started the decline. Now, just 15 months ago, another new Director came in and was given free hand to turn the school into everything that a parent or student wouldn't want. The culture and identity of the whole school has now been erased and it has been turned into a simple daycare facility focused on studying to pass the MCEA tests. Avoid this school until significant changes are made in the Director position and special education leadership. If you want the same teachers from year to year at the school, this is not the place.
Great Spanish program, small class sizes and year round education. Carpools available to help with bus issue if live out of apple valley.
Paideia Academy is a great school. Paideia's curriculum is above par. My child was very ready for high school in District 196 after graduating from Paideia, and the younger children still at Paideia are thriving, both academically and emotionally. An awesome school option!
We have been at Paideia for 4 years and have gone through 2 directors and a current interim director. Kids need consistency, not rules to be made and have changed and not enforced by the interim stand in. Paideia is a great school with great teachers. We just need a director that will stay longer than 8 months and be be the rock that Paideia needs to succeed. T
My daughter has been with Paideia since day one - in her 7th year there now. As a new school, there have bee a few hiccups, but overall I give it top rank. We have never regretted choosing this school and wish there was a similar option for high school. As to the comments about the director, she has left and they have chosen a wonderful interim director.
Regarding the 9/4/2011 comment: The curriculum is under review (along with several other potential curricula) and has not been purchased. Additionally, the staff has not been trained in the curriculum as it has not been purchased.
Paideia is a good school working hard to become great. They finally have a focused purpose and meaningful 3 year plan. The majority of the staff is wonderful and work hard even though they are paid less than regular public schools. They do it because they love to teach. No school is perfect but as long as a school is working to get better, the closer to perfection they become. I like Paideia a lot. My kids love it. The new director brought in some much needed changes like new food, friendliness, and better training for teachers. I'm happy that a number of really negative people have left the school. Everyone needs to remember that Paideia is a school of choice. No one is forced to stay here if tthey are that unhappy. I do wish more parents were involved, especially those that sit back and complain and don't ever offer to help improve the school.
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