May 31, 2015
We chose this school because our student was advanced academically & this school seemed to have the academic rigor we were seeking. We were thrilled art & music were required, emphasizing a well-rounded education.As the first year went on, we were dismayed that students were freely & frequently given detentions for very minor infractions (forgetting a book/pencil, having to use the bathroom&late to class).One former student later told us she was frequently reprimanded for blowing her nose/sneezing when she had severe allergies.Art wasn't the creative experience we envisioned, but emphasized perfection over learning--erasing& repeating over&over until the instructor was satisfied.Similarly with music, the instructor would become angry if mistakes were made, leading to students having anxiety about making more mistakes.At the "recital", she even stopped students performing to berate them in front of the packed audience&made them restart (happened with several groups/individuals).I was shocked& asked a friend whose children have been in band at another classical school if she had encountered such things, & she said "NEVER" & she was shocked by what I had told her.This school does have single-gender classrooms, which we thought would be beneficial & we agreed that students shouldn't have displays of affection in the common coed areas, but we were very surprised to find out that even taking with girls/laughing with girls at lunch was met with detention.This was extremely disappointing because both my spouse& myself had each experienced wonderful, totally platonic opposite gender friendships in school.We found communication with the teachers to be very frustrating.Either they didn't return calls/emails or if they did, they were vague about addressing our concerns or were downright rude/condescending. Only 2 of my student's 6 teachers would I classify as being excellent.Also of note,many of the teachers do not have a degree in teaching or for some,even in the subject that they are teaching.We liked that the school was non-denominational, but we really didn't realize that it is affiliated with People of Praise group, in which most students & even instructors are members. So this school might be what some parents&students are looking for, but if your student is a creative,sensitive individual who is prone to perfectionism, you might want to take another look.
- submitted by a parent