My kids have attended since preschool. They have flourished here! Their writing skills are excellent. They do math that is several grade levels ahead. Challenger teaches young kids to critically think through history and literature at a high school level or above, but none of it is above their heads. This school has taught my kids to be logical and analytical thinkers. Their science program is the best in the state. Both years that my kids have competed in Science Olympiad, this campus has won the state championship, but this has been going on for years! I'm glad my kids have been a part of that wonderful experience. My kids love the way they teach at this school. Everyone is always having a great time. The teachers are caring and creative and take the time to give each child what he needs to thrive. I'm only sad that they don't have a high school. After Challenger, it will be hard to find a place that will keep my kids challenged. They are so far ahead of their peers from other schools. Every year, my kids have ranked in the 99th percentile on the Iowa national standardized tests. I wish we could keep them here until they were old enough to go to college. We love this school!
In reading these reviews, it is clear they were not written by Challenger students simply because, if they had been, they would not contain grammatical errors. The students at this school get a superior education and have skills better than those of most adults. The thing is, this school is for people who are committed to being the best. Evidently, any unkind words seen here are from those that couldn't cut it. However, most kids thrive because Challenger guides the kids with the tools to be successful, independent, and happy. The results don't lie; the average Challenger student ranks in the 99th percentile nationally. My kids are hard-working, rational thinkers because of the skills they are gaining here, and they will be ready to face any challenge in high school and beyond. I can't imagine a better investment I could have made for my kids. Don't be misguided by the questionable comments shown here. If you are really interested in finding the best academic program in town, schedule a tour and see for yourself how much fun the kids are having!
I am sick, tired, and depressed from this school. I have no social life because on the weekends all I do is homework and write reports. That's not all. The teachers there (mostly elementary and middle school) have no concern for the kids at all. A student can't have a normal conversation with a teacher, unless that student is extraordinary smart. Me and my friends who are doing average at school, or my friends that are a different race, get completely ignored by the headmaster, principal, and most of the teachers. The teachers hate talking to parents and have no connection with them. My previous teachers aren't even kind enough to say hi to me and my family. If you need help on a certain subject, they will give you a stack of "focus" homework. I receive all A and a few Bs. I am friends with everyone in middle school and we all cannot wait to get out of this school. Believe it or not some students are depressed because of pressure from the school and personal family problems and these kids get good grades. Get scolded for not having a functioning printer or no ink. I highly acknowledge you not to go the school unless all you want to do is study and be humiliated for not being smart
I have been going to Challenger since Kindergarten (I am in 8th grade now), and I have loved it. The experience is truly great, and my future will be bright (as the school sets you up to succeed in the lower standard public high schools). Many of the previous graduates of the school tell me that their freshman year is just a big break from school. However, the 8th grade is a big jump from the 7th grade, as twice the workload is added. The math goes from Algebra I in 7th Grade to Geometry in 8th grade, and it can be tough. We 8th graders have to balance between Ayn Rand's Anthem Essay Contest, Science Fair (mandatory for all grades [only individual for 3rd grade and up; below is collective]), and a book report. Sometimes I have felt lasting sadness because of the work (but that's more laziness than the school itself), but it's still great. The views on individualism that are held there have taught me to avoid the wants of the collective and be my own person. Though there is a heavy workload, this school is a good consideration for your child.
My son has attended Challenger for two years. He takes swimming and piano outside of school. English is his second language. He started reading 2 weeks into the preschool program. He's matured into a very dedicated and responsible student. Last year he scored in the 99 percentile on the IOWA test and received four awards. We are very happy with this school. However, I can see why some parents/students might be frustrated with the school. It has a very strong academic emphasis. If students don't perform they are asked to leave. They have spelling bee, geography bee, math, writing, speech, robotics and science competitions. It's a big deal! Students know the names of the winners. My entire household revolves around my son's academic performance so it's great for us. A philosophy that has helped us is, that we see Challenger, or any school for that matter, as a partner in educating our son. Thus, at least half of the work must be done at home. If you enroll your loved ones in this school, be prepared to do the work and try to anticipate instead of reacting when a bad grade (80% and below) comes home.
We did Challenger for four years. No more! My issues? 1.Teacher:Student ratio. Supposed to be 1:14. It's been 1:24 since 1st grade. 2. Total lack of accountability on the teachers' parts. My son aces his home assignments but struggles in class. I ask for in-class materials to be sent home so I can help him. I'm told no, he needs to do better in class. How can I control what happens during class? That's the teacher's job, but she's busy focusing on 23 other students. 3. Study materials are notes taken during class. Well, he's 7 and the notes are, expectantly, lacking. When I ask for textbooksto be sent home I am told that the they won't be any help to him. They are no good so she pulls from other resources. Why doesn't he have proper textbooks? 4. My son was bullied. When he told his teacher that he was being made fun of, she said "Don't tattle." 5. I have a BA in English and I constantly correct spelling and grammar mistakes made by the TEACHERS when grading tests and assignments. 6. "Challenger isn't for everyone." That's their response to these issues and more If all that matters is the prestige of saying "Challenger, that's my school!" then go ahead and empty your pocketbooks.
Ok , so I am a Challenger Student , the studies are great but I am interested in art. There is no art program for the advanced artists. It is very strict and is very hard. Homework usually takes 2 hrs or more . The teachers are ok but push you very hard to the point where it isn't fun anymore. They don't listen to the students protests, and students get no voice. When a Challenger Student thinks about everything there, it is against what they are teaching of freedom and independence. With all of this, this might lead a student to depression. It is sad and I know a couple of my classmates in depression. I would reconsider taking your kid there.
The absolute worst school (or even place of business) I have ever dealt with. Horrible communication, zero organization. Zero professionalism. I don't know how people can take there kids here, unless it's purely for academics. Lot's of room for improvement, even just a website that gave you some indication of who the teachers are and what is being taught.
My son attended the 4-yr old Tues/Thurs all day program. He sings constantly, and seems to be learning things without realizing he is learning. There is no homework, but brings home his activities he's worked on every day so you can see what they are doing and track development. His teachers in his class are wonderful (Miss Joi, Miss Roxanne). The day is highly structured in terms of activities and expectations for behavior, but within that structure, the atmosphere is very loving and nurturing. When I pick him up, he is happy to see me, but has a glow about him. All his "lights" are on, if you can imagine what that looks like. If your child does well with structure,and does not tend to be shy, he/she will do well here. The only reason I gave it 4 out of 5 is that there is a sense of distance between the staff and the parents, but I was prepped that it would be like that. It is a huge school, with a small admin staff. They do not know who I am, nor exactly greet me with overt enthusiasm. But they do run a very efficient and effective organization, and it's the kids' experience that trumps it all. I will be sending my other son here for preschool once he's 3.
We have had three children enrolled at Challenger for several years, and we have never been happier than we are now. While the academics have always been excellent, Challenger seems to have done a particularly good job of hiring teachers in the last couple of years. We had considered leaving, but we are now so glad that we stayed. My oldest son is having the best school year of his life.
I have worked at Challenger School since 2010. I have never worked for such an EXCELLENT company that genuinely cares for their employees. When I go to work, it really feels like I'm coming home to my second home. I love all the students and I have grown and learned so much as a teacher there. The public school system made me feel like I couldn't be a teacher because I was bored and didn't realize it until later. The Challenger School system believes in every teacher and every student that they can and will accompish their goals. I have met the most caring and patient teachers at Challenger School. I really appreciate my job and I love the students so much!!!!
My daughter has attended pre-school at Challenger and is currently attending kindergarten. She is thriving in Challenger's academics based cirriculum and she has been blessed with very caring and attentive teachers. She already reads and can do basic addition and subtraction while some of her peers in public school are just learning their letters and numbers. As a parent, I value the fact that Challenger 's philosophy embraces the rights set by our country's Founding Fathers and teaches lessons from history based on facts, not politics, unlike public schools. I am also pleased that they teach independance and responsiblity even at an early age. I believe that students at Challenger can achieve academic excellance while learning to be good citizens. My satisfaction extends beyond the classroom to her classmates' parents. My daughter frequently attends her classmates' birthday parties outside of school and the parents that I have met are all very supportive and engaged their child's best interests. I don't trust my child's future to just anyone which is why Challenger is the only choice for me!
My son will be going into pre k this year (his second year at challenger) I previously had him in a few days of daycare for playtime and interaction. He used to cry and beg not to go, his first week at challenger he was skipping to class. He had 2 of the sweetest teachers, as well as a educational environment. My daughter has attended 2 other private schools, and I can say I love that Challenger isnt constsntly down your throat for donations. Do they keep parents out of the class durning scool, yes! They eliminate the entire clique of moms that basically "run" the school and the favoritism to their children. Every child is an equal, id rather have my kids in a school where its not about how much you donte, or if your mom is helping out & doing favors that determins your childs treatment. There are several Las Vegas private schools that are run that way!!!!
My 3 year old just started the summer program today and before that attended for a few months M-F half days. She is learning so much and wants to go to school even on the weekends. She loves it and when I asked her who loves her more than anyone, her answer (which was supposed to be mommy, but she said her teacher. I love that she is learning and feels loved at that school. Well worth the tuition.
Hi! I'm a student at Challenger, and in the eighth grade. Challenger is very fun, but it's also very academically challenging, hence the name of the school. I have a lot of friends here, and we study for tests and hang out, mostly as a class. I wanted to debunk one myth. Challenger now has a separate teacher for music and physical education, and added half an hour more music and P.E time! For prospective students and parents: be sure to go to Challenger for fifth grade and middle school. Those grades are definitively the best, especially fifth grade, but email me with questions, if you have any! :D
My daughter attended preschool here and it was an awful experience. The regime is very odd, the teachers and principal are not approachable or supportive of the children, there is only the system! This is not a nurturing environment, particularly for young children. Academically speaking, my child excelled much more at a good public school where there were checks and balances. Any class is only as good as the teacher and mostly these teachers are below standard, just following the inflexible methods.
Wanted to address the "too much homework" that many parents seem to stress in the lower ranking of the school. My daughter has never (in 7yrs) had more than 1.5hr in homework...and 1.5 is huge load of her science project, or other major assignment no different than any school. Average homework per night is 40min. She is an A/B student. A few C's. Most of the parents who stress about A's only are the ones pushing for the 2-3hr homework. My daughter is smart and catches things quick. My 2nd grader is all A's and takes about 40min as well. So the many many hours of homework I have found over 7yrs as a challenger Mom is mainly based from the stress of the parent...not the student. Just something to think about.
After 2 years of Challenger Lone Mountain and amazing achievements of both of my kids I feel like contributing in this forum with a few words...I was a bit skeptical in the beginning, as the drilling, homework and testing was quite different from the liberal preschool they used to go before. But the kids accepted it without a problem and really love everything about their school...great teachers so far, every single one we had, great school direction, great facilities, great studying environment. The missing sports facilities. other parents are complaining aren't a real issue in preschool and elementary school, as they go outside everyday to do their sports program, presidential fitness program and during extended care they offer sports activities too. My main complaint is the missing Spanish or other language in their curriculum, that should be standard in a private school nowadays. This is the only reason why I can't rate this school excellent! I guess the obviously far-right political orientation of the school goes along with this attitude that a perfect English should be enough language knowledge for a great American citizen - I totally disagree...
I love Challenger my daughter has been going there since she was 2, she is five now and so much more advance then other five year olds. The school is also very new and if you child has a accident they have clothes and shoes on site. I'm very happy with this school .
Both of our daughters have attended the pre-school and we could not be happier with the experience or the results. We have seen such growth, both socially and academically, since they began and it is absolutely due to the outstanding teachers and staff. They have created an environment that makes learning fun and the girls cannot wait to go school. The school curriculum encourages independent thinking and develops confidence. We are moving overseas and our daughters are now prepared to attend any international school. We would particularly like to recognize Miss Ashley, Miss Julia, Miss Caryn, Miss Christa, Miss Suzanne, Miss Brenda, and Miss Diana. Thank you so much for everything and we will miss you.
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