Challenger is a wonderful school. My oldest daughter has attended Challenger for the past 5 years and my youngest daughter started pre-school last August. Although Expectations are high for the children-The teachers challenge their students in a supportive and nurturing environment. There is an emphasis on character development which I really appreciate. The kids treat one another with kindness and respect. The focus is on matters of importance--academics, the environment, social responsibility--and not overly focused on pop culture. It has been a great fit for my daughters and well worth the money we pay.
This review is for the Silverado campus. All of my children have attended for PS-3 through K. I honestly have nothing but praise. Both my older girls are excelling. My youngest is in PS3 and already can ID all letters and sounds and is reading small words. My 5 yr old is reading at a 3rd grade level. If you are looking for a school to coddle your child, this isn't the one for you. They are strict, which my kids needed. No, there is no library, computer room or sports, but that's where parent involvement comes in. I found all teachers to be open, the office staff, not so much. But my contact with them has been minimal. This school is the best jump start you could give your child.
My daughter went to Challenger Silverado K- 5th grade. I chose it because it is close to my work and the curriculum in the lower grades was good. I finally took her out in 5th grade because the teaching quality had declined and I noted what many other parents did about favoritism. I also didn't want my daughter brainwashed by teacher's personal political views. The teacher actually asked a class of 4th graders whether they were democrats or republicans! She then went on to deride members of the other party! I also noted that the kids who received the awards were the same every year and had smiling little Caucasian faces. I said enough is enough and now I drive across town to send her to Meadows. Well worth the extra money and none of the racial bias.
The school has definitely changed and now has problems with enrollment. I think, as other reviewers have said, that the problems can be traced back to the headmaster and administrative staff. We have seen some pretty preferential treatment for kids of friends of the headmaster/staff. Let one of these "special" children walk into the class and the teachers ignore the other students or any other parent in the room. In the Pre K school, I have to say that Sarah/Carol's room has got to be about the worst. I am not very happy and I am going to start investigating other schools.
The Challenger curriculum post-Kindergarten is one size fits all; they do not account for different learning levels, and it is not well-rounded. There is no music class, no gym for PE, no art class, no program for social growth, no science lab. Very formal setting, limited social interaction not much time to be a kid, at school or at home. Challenger lacks greatly in communication. If you have a question for the teacher you must call in and leave a message and wait to have your call returned. Handful of times I have popped in to use the open door, it was closed and I had to make an appointment. There is no online access, nor can you email the teacher or call her/him directly. You can email the elementary director, but sometimes hard to get a reply. Parents are discouraged from coming into the school and all but forced to use car line. The reason we left was because Challenger placed my daughter with an unqualified teacher, twice. Teachers are mostly uncertified and several of them lack teaching experience. Staff is not an ally in learning.
I absolutely would not reccomend this school. They Brainwash the kids into "thinking" they are free thinkers... And that they teach the constitution , however not once you're their. None of the teachers actually enjoy working their and the staff is the most un professional. The head master sits in her office all day and does not like to communicate with parents. Soooo many parents have left as a result of the head master. The lower schools teachers have barely a high school degree, no college degree required and None are certified. My daughter didn't get an academic award because I'm not a staff member there either. Hopefully after review, they won't ask a teacher to write their own to "UP" their score on here, just as a few have been asked. Don't get sucked in!!!!
While the first few years were an excellent experience for my child, this year's has changed quite a bit. My child has not been challenged by the well rounded curriculum that is advertised and I feel that the administration change has a lot to do with it. I am glad my child will no longer be attending this school and will be given a chance to be a thinker and not a follower.
Challenger School has a mission to teach students to be responsible citizens, to be honest and respectful of others, to love and respect our United States, but most of all they educate and do so very effectively. Children leave the 2 !/2 year old class reading, and dedication to teach is priority. This is not a day care, a play day, or mayhem in class environment, it is not a Drama, Arts, or Performing arts school. At the same time watching my Grand-daughter perform beautiful winter and fall shows, seeing Art and music incorporated in her curriculum each day and watching her grow in each of those classed along with her other classes makes me so proud of her own effort and determination to succeed. Twice a day she has recess. The curriculum at Challenger School is well rounded and balanced. Not one time has my Grand Girl received unfair treatment and the teachers are always willing to help her if she struggles. This type of dedication is obvious in the environment of the school reflecting directly on the Head Master, Directors, and the Teachers.
I have enjoyed working as a teacher for the past few years at Challenger. I love that Challenger starts teaching phonics at three years old in the preschool program and then continues to build on that foundation well into the upper grades. As a teacher, I have enjoyed watching my students' confidence grow as they excel academically.
The administration people are awful especially the headmaster. They will make you repeat classes just because of shyness or because your son is active in class. they want kids to be robots. Thank God I'm not in that school any longer. Just don't wait your money, if you want your kids to be early reader just take them to Kumon. My advise is don't waist your moneyyyyyyy