The teachers are first rate, curriculum is varied and challenging. However the administration is worse than absent, and seems more concerned in covering its own rear than in its schools. I agree that the bullying (mostly verbal) is rampant and unchecked. My student is unacknowledged when bringing up bullying, and is contradicted and rebuked for pointing out the bullying.
I had a student at FAIR Crystal. 2 years, and we left running. For my child the academics were a challenge however I think most children would struggle to feel challenged. My child had good teachers most of the time. There were a questionable few. Main complaint is lack of communication unless there is a academic issue, which I had to come forward to address outside of a p/t/c conference. Often I was reminded about the child's negative behavior but not given "this is what your child is doing well in!" As for the administration. I got nothing. No support, no help, no compassion. We had a number of "kids being mean" issues that went unsolved. Finally there was a real case of real bullying. To date nothing has been done or have not been informed of the schools actions. We were never offered the schools bullying policies by either the Principle or the Superintendent. They informed us there was nothing they really could do. The Principle also hung up on us during our phone conversation re bullying. We removed our child because they did not feel safe around some students as child "told" on them. This issue was continued in school and was/would effect child's academic learning.
I have an 8th grader at F.A.I.R. Crystal. My child has been there since 4th grade. My main complaint is the lack of attention to bullying issues. There are kids there that have to be removed by police. We have had to follow through on an assault charge against another unruly child in court. My second complaint is the academics. My child has skated by for 5 years!! They have never facilitated summer school when needed. Never tried to help figure it out, always passing my child along to the next grade. We put my child there because of the artistic opportunities. They are hard to find in a "regular" public school. But it is very hard to recommend this school, because of the other issues. My child is ill prepared to go to a "regular" high school. I won't be sending my child to Downtown.
I have substituted in most of the areas schools and have not seen a favorable comparison of the FAIR schools relative to public schools. The teachers truly wanted to be able to educate these students but an inexcusable lack of classroom management resources leaves them spending most of their time dealing with disruptive students who have absolutely no respect for their teachers or peers. There are no consequences for bad behavior and most of the students roam the halls during classes. There are students who want to learn but they have to deal with the same disruptive behaviors of those students. I believe in testing students with respect but it is a two way street and the disruptive students get away with making the rules for the school. The concept of the school is admirable but the execution is horribly lacking. These students are not being prepared for life after school...
This school has the potential to be great (small class sizes, a diverse student body) but has been terribly disappointing. The academics are subpar and do not challenge certain students and won t prepare them for most area high schools. Having a principal in two separate locations delays the communication and action of the principle when you need his input/guidance on an issue. If your child is getting harassed by another student and teased; apparently it s acceptable. There is a terrible bullying policy that basically does nothing unless the bullying gets physical. Some of the teachers are great and very helpful but this school is poorly run and needs to work on letting their students know that any kind of malicious behavior-physical or not, is completely unacceptable.
FAIR School is a fantastic school for those who prefer small class sizes. My daughter has attended FAIR since 8th grade & she's now a Senior in HS. She's always loved FAIR and so have we. It encourages students to explore their creativity with drawing, dance, theater, writing, you name it!. Above all, the teachers and those involved with this school, who have made this school and the students such a success, are exceptional and great leaders for our children. I guess you could say I highly recommend FAIR for your family.
I remember when the MacPhail Suzuki Department used to practice here, orchestra, group and note reading classes every Saturday. When the School changed from IDDS to Fair, the incoming disallowed a valuable partnership with one the flagstaff music schools in the country. The bureaucratic irony of that for an innovative arts school was not lost on many.
My daughter goes to this school, and it really stresses the needs of being creative while at the same time making sure that the students are gettting the education they deserve and need. A fantastic school!
This is an awesome school! My 8 year old has attended since kindergarten. The curriculum stresses personal responsibility and civic mindedness. The teachers really seem to care for each student and the principal always has her door open even though she currently is the interim principal. I can not say enough about how committed the staff is to the individual development of each student. Unfortunately though there isn't much of an opportunity for extra curricular activities for the students before 5th grade and there are no athletic opportunities as the school is located in downtown Minneapolis and space wouldn't allow it.