My son is in Kindergarten at AKCS and so far we are thrilled! He's already reading and every day he talks about new thing(s) he has learned. Ms. Kelsey is a fantastic Kindergarten teacher and my son adores her. The school is small but not too small and everyone in the administration and staff know my child's name and treat him and me with respect. We love AKCS!
Alice King has been wonderful for all my children attending! I love the teachers, administration and curriculum. The staff are committed to providing what each student needs, and truly sees them as individuals. I am happy to commute 20 minutes each way to provide this kind of educational environment for my kids.
This school does a fantastic job teaching the average and above child. Where I feel they are lacking, is in their ability and willingness to think outside the box in terms of helping students who have academic or behavioral challenges, even when these difficulties are a manifestation of the child's disability. Generally, with typical children, their approach works amazingly well, but when faced with a child who thinks differently, their skills are sorely lacking.
Small class size is a huge plus as well as the ability to teach outside of the box. Kids can take off and learn at the highest level possible amongst peers learning at multiple different levels. It is not public school cookie cutter education. This school fosters the love of learning to suit the individual.
Based on the rating criteria that a great school has excellent teachers, strong principal/school leadership, and challenging academic programs, I gave AKCS five stars. Our daughter is in 2nd grade (her third year at the school). She is absolutely thriving. Her teachers have been effective, engaging and accessible. The school culture is positive for kids as it not only emphasizes learning, but also good behavior, awareness of others, health, and creativity. The challenges of a charter school are not for every parent. You cannot take for granted that the school has a building, lunch program, gym, etc. You have to weigh what is most important and how involved you are willing to be. The parents at this school have shown great commitment and resourcefulness overall. There are a few sour lemons but they are everywhere. The school is currently #4 academically out of all public schools in NM. The approach to learning is working! And it really is a wonderful school community. We are proud and, perhaps more importantly, our daughter is proud of her school.
My son has been at Alice King for 3 years and is about to begin 3rd grade. I am happily sending my 5 year old into Mary Kay Ready's Kindergarten class on 8/7/12. After having my child, who has some motor delays to private school with our church and feeling that the teachers, although caring and with a good pre-K program, didn't know what to do with my son who has some problems with becoming distracted, I sent him to AKCC for kinder. He has thrived. Their multi-age classrooms, and their limited amount of "seat-work", along with their wonderful teachers has helped him be and FEEL successful, where he didn't experience that before. They do a lot of projects and they still have a music and gym program where those seem to be disappearing in some public schools. They have a focus on healthy eating and living and discourage sugary snacks in their school. The PTA is so hardworking and they are very supportive of the teachers and overall well-being of the school. There's ample opportunity to volunteer in children's class rooms or on field trips. Their is a lot of parent participation and the school has a definitive plan for children who are having problems with learning or behavior
I have at children at Alice King for 5 years. I wanted to write to counter some of the more negative reviews that have been posted here voicing concerns about the school since the change in administration. I have been very pleased with the new principal and found very approachable and easy to communicate with. I think some of the negative comments stem from parents who are upset that the plans for the middle school have been abandoned. In my opinion, these plans, made by the former principal were ill conceived and not thought through. Though controversial (and painful for parents of current or soon-to-be middle schoolers) the current principal made the right decision for the school as a whole and the children in K-5. My kids have benefited from wonderful teachers and Alice King has nurtured their love of learning. They are seen and heard and are full participants in their learning.
The concept for this school as a dual grade and project base learning is wonderful. The implementation for this has become weak in the last two years with the changes in administration. An example of this would be the 2/3 grades. In the 3rd grade the SBA testing begins so the focus is on the 3rd graders and the 2nd graders can go up to 4 weeks without homework. Our family has been at the school for 4 years and I have found that the K-2 grades do well at this school. After that parents need to be very involved in the child s education to ensure that they are not overlooked. There is a reason why some teachers are leaving and as a charter school they are not required to inform the parents as to why. The communication between the administration and the parents is very inconsistent. As to being financially sound, every school has budget problems. The Foundation is responsible for the additional capital income for the school, but they are not giving the training or opportunity to fundraise beyond the parents. I too use to exclaim the virtues of this school, but I can not any more.The Singapore math is great but not enough reason to stay. Choose this school with your eyes open.
I have been at this school for the last three years and have loved it for the most part until this last school year. Unfortunately with the changes in administration, this has done more damage than good for the school. When you go to voice concerns to the principal, she turns everything around and becomes the victim. I have never been treated so unprofessionally before. My child has gone through three different teachers due to issues with administration. I have also come against the special education area and found discrepancies within their system. My child has lost their love of learning and comes home many days upset. The teachers overall are phenomenal but the administration is picking and choosing who will be there the next year. Unfortunately special ed dept. is not. I was also on the PTA before and found it highly difficult to get parents involved. It is so sad to see where this school once was to where it is now. I will be leaving the school this year and not returning. If you are a parent who likes to be very involved this school may not be for you, if you can turn your head the other way, then it will be fine.
This message is not a review since my child is on waiting list for the 2012-2013 school year , for 4th grade.The reason I am writing today is because after reading the last 2 reviews , I am very skeptical about it.Could someone please let me know if this is a very bad idea to put a child in this school or are there still some good points that can still play in its favor ? With many thanks in advance.
I wrote the review on 8/29/11... However, I have to agree with the parent who submitted their review on 5/9/12 regarding their statement "I can no longer in good consciousness recommend this school. It has lost it's way." The teachers that my kids have had at this school are amazing, but the administration is lacking. I've been very disappointed in how things have been going the last few months. I hope things change, but it is really disappointing as I think the teachers are outstanding, just think that the administration has lost their way.
My child has gone to this school for a few years. The change over in leadership this year has been disappointing. Commitment last year to extend into a middle school is not occurring. They seem to be flying by the seat of their pants. Two teachers recently left and numerous parents are having issues with the special ed department and their children not receiving proper services. The project based curriculum is monthly instead of quarterly which greatly dilutes the learning process. Multi-sensory and multi-intelligence learning that was previously in their mission statement is fading fast. I used to boast at how wonderful the school was and how much my child enjoyed it. I can no longer in good consciousness recommend this school. It has lost it's way. The Foundation, which is charged with fundraising for a permanent location, has not been able to raise enough funds to extend into a middle school - I suspect they won't be able to raise enough funds for a permanent site any time soon. There has even been a request for families to donate $200 each on top of the supplies already given in order to help with equipment repair. They don't seem to be financially sound anymore.
Alice King is such a sweet, nurturing, academically stellar learning environment. I was concerned that the current principal is retiring (Fall '11), but her replacement, Connie Chene, is also wonderful. Connie has been effectively serving as the Vice-Principal, so it's very fitting that she'll now take on the role of Principal and I'm sure that this school will continue to blossom and thrive. This school is fantastic!
On the positive side, this school has very good teachers who are dedicated to their students. We chose this school because of the small size, multiple grade levels, and project based curriculum. My children have learned a great deal during their time at the school. On the negative side, the curriculum and delivery mode are constantly changing due to the principal's indecisiveness and every changing ideas. The principal is a nightmare. She has no integrity, empathy, or cares about the students. I would give this school 5 stars if it were under different leadership. We are leaving this school because of the administration. Turnover at this school is over 75% for staff. This is not a good sign of strong leadership.
While the school had a great start, the past few years were a disapointment. Unhappy parents pulled their children when other openings could be found. The teaching staff was unhappy enough to have left as soon as they found other employment and often the students were left without proper instruction/supervision resulting in the students paying the price of the lack of studies. Expectations and promises were not met by the administration. I stopped recommending the school the second year.
The school has a very good curriculum,and some very talented teachers. The principal is difficult to communicate with, and sometimes has challenges listening attentively if there is a differing view point presented to her. The best hing is the small class size and dedicated teachers.
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