I pulled my daughter out of Friendly Hills middle school (8th grade) because of bullying. I spent most of that year going to the school to comfort my daughter and to complain with no change. Her first year at AAHS was completely different! She liked going to school, began to get good grades and in fact progressed 3 grade levels in math - her least favorite school. She will be starting her 10th grade year today and is looking forward to going back. This is a small school by design so doesn't offer all the bells and whistles available at Sibley but it does have very dedicated teachers who have the ability to identify and use the learning style that works best for each student.
My comments are directed toward Academic Arts - it is not River Heights at this address any more. Academic Arts is not a traditional high school. If you're looking for conventional settings and typical honors classes you should look elsewhere. What it offers is a relaxed, community structure and a project based workload that allows students the ability to tailor their studies according to their own needs and interests while meeting state graduation standards. The staff is eager to help students succeed and honors level work is encouraged. Project based work isn't for everyone and isn't the right fit for some. For others, however, it gives the flexibility to succeed academically where other schools have failed. Some students have social or medical issues that make conventional classrooms a challenge. Others simply like the ability to customize their education to their own interests and career/college plans. Either way, Academic Arts provides the flexibility and guidance necessary for kids to succeed. Project based learning, smaller schools....not for everyone. But for some people they make all the difference in the world. Give it a fair look.
A truly terrible school. Not even a school. There are a couple teachers that are good, but they are not supplied with the resources or support needed. The director is completely lost and has no knowledge of how to run a school, or a classroom. This school's existence is further proof that charter schools are not the answer to any educational problems our nation has. Project based learning is another way for saying "no learning." Students do not know what they need to learn, and these students seriously need education on how to do research, write, think, and speak. The system they use is out of date, vague, and ineffective. I blame the charter school system, but also the school's director for being such a terrible leader.
I've been a student here at River Heights Charter School for about 6 months now. I'm very happy with the education I've recived here instead of the mundane tasks you'd perform at a regular school. They really Inspire you to learn here instead of being just one in a crowd. The teachers here help every individual with there own needs. Every single Teacher and Student here are awesome individuals and I'd encorage anyone to come to this school.
I've been going to River Heights for two years now and it had improved greatly since then. Some parents refuse to have their children come to this school because 'they won't get an education.' I will admit that during class time we don't learn as much as a traditional high school, but the project based learning makes up for that and gives you the opportunity to learn things that actually interest you, and will help you with your future carreer.
I like this school because it teaches you a lot about self independence and self-responsibility. You can work at your own pace, slower or faster than the average kids from any normal traditional schools so you don't feel so restricted to what they have to teach you. There's a lot of expertise in the field of what we want to learn here. This school showed me that if I put my mind to the test, I will succeed. I've gotten nearly all of my credits to go to PSEO when I entered 11th grade.
This school lets student get ahead and graduate early, even a good pseo that allows them to get farther ahead. The only thing is that students need high self-motivation to succeed in the sortof do-whatever-you-want enviroment