This school just keeps getting better! Challenger has always been known for its academics, but this campus also offers so many activities that there is truly something for everyone. They have things like ballet, chess, piano, orchestra, football, robotics, choir, and basketball. With so many clubs and after school activities, the kids can really be well-rounded. The academics are challenging yet attainable. I've never seen a better program.
Our daughter attends Challenger preschool and all of the staff are great. She is learning something new each and every day. Before she attended Challenger she was behind. Now we feel she is ahead of the curve.
As an African American parent, I felt same and had to transferred my kids to the lutheran school next door. It is unacceptable for any child to be discriminated because of the color of their skin and worst of it, these are happening in our schools. What are we teaching our kids? I will make sure the media investigate what is going on with this school.
Parents, this school has a beautiful campus and great teachers willing to help the students excel. The school culture on non white students is terrible, as an Indian parent, my children were constantly discriminated against and I felt like they did not belong to this school. The administration constantly made us feel like bad parents. Please take your child to a school were they will feel accepted and will wouldn't develop psychological problems down the road.
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.