We are in our second year at this school and agree with the following: It is an elitist atmosphere, not all children (nor families) are treated equally, some teachers are great - others brag about their high failure rates, there is very little diversity and it is blatantly obvious. Even though it's a free charter, money is constantly required for projects, books, uniforms, etc. leading to lower class families and minorities not being able to stay at the school. Teachers do not talk with parents (there are no parent conferences because "teachers don't have time"). The only way to communicate is through e-mail and most often teachers do not respond. Overall, we think this school believes they are doing a better job than they are. On the fence about staying. Class sizes have increased as well.
Finally, Albuquerque has a true IB prep school that is focused on helping kids find their way in the world, to give back with community service and to become open minded caring individuals. Our boys have experienced bullies at their previous schools, now they feel comfortable and safe in this environment of learning, no bullying or disruptive behaviors so that the teachers can actually spend time teaching and not being constantly distracted.
The road to "success" at this school is paved by exclusion of diversity and over exploitation of staff.
A lot here to offer the motivated student but CCPS continues to struggle in some areas. Our student completed the IB program, a grueling but comprehensive prep for college. Overall it was a positive experience for our family but we feel lucky. Unfortunately not all diploma candidates went into this spring's exams adequately prepared to pass. Most teachers were wonderful, but we experienced wildly fluctuating administrations/philosophies and extreme teacher turnover. During the critical 2 yr IB (11th-12th grade) program, our student started over with 4 new teachers out of 6 classes. Many teachers left the 1st 2 yrs too, sometimes mid-semester. Now that CCPS has moved to the new campus, hopefully the focus will move from fundraising back to academics. If your student is considering IB, I encourage you to first talk to as many former IB students/parents as you can so you'll know what to expect--it's absolutely not for everyone. I agree that the the social climate at CCPS can be quite insular--unfriendly to some parents and suffocating for students. A peculiar level of attention to things like the draconian dress code was frustrating with more important issues falling by the wayside.
While I agree with others that have stated this school is difficult to get involved in as a parent and somewhat clicky with the adults, my son's educational experience overshadows this. He has gotten into trouble in previous years at his elementary school with other students and admin. Here he is excited about learning and is taught that he is responsible for his own education. I appreciate the way that the teachers do not belittle the children but treat them as young adults, which they are. I am very very happy about the education he receives. I do have to say I am disappointed by feeling a lack of community and trying to get involved and feeling like I can't be. Thus the reason for a 9 instead of 10.
CCPS offers a very good liberal arts curriculum. If you want anything more than that (computer applications, technology, well-equipped labs, etc.), this is not the place. If your child is an over-achiever or your family can afford to donate mega $, she ll be treated like royalty. If not, she ll still have access to a good education but as a second-class citizen. Teachers are well-qualified. Most are wonderful, but some are clueless when it comes to relating to adolescents. The school seems to be losing sight of its mission and becoming extremely institutionalized. Instead of encouraging children to be individuals, they are forcing them to fit into a very restrictive mold. Students are encouraged (and even threatened) to snitch on their peers, over the smallest infraction. While this may aid the administration in keeping the upper hand, it fosters deep resentments among the students. The administration consists of bullies who have no respect for the students as people (unless they fit the mold). The teacher turnover rate has been alarming. As I said, most are wonderful, but I think they get fed up with the small-minded, elitist, control freaks in the administration.
My girls are finishing their second year. Classes are small, teachers care and are engaged. Unlike other schools my children have been in, class time is not wasted on disciplining other children. The girls seem to be challenged but not stressed or overwhelmed.
Our family homeschooled our children before sending our children to Cottonwood. their commitment to academic rigor is top notch! The popularity and name recognition of the school grows daily and I am proud to tell my friends and neighbors my children are educated at CCPS!
The people running Cottonwood are elitest, uncompromising and rigid who do not want anybody at their school who might not be the ubiquitious shiny pennie. News for Cottonwood Staff: people like Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchhill and Thomas Edison would all have been rejected by this school if they had been judged by their early endeavors. But, if you think education should be oppressive, grueling, boring and ordinary, this is the school for you and your kids.
It is an amazing school where everyone gets a great education. The school has a wonderful IB program, although it is rigorous, it will truly be of help. The school is close and in the beginning I knew everyone in the whole school but since the school is quickly growing in students you only get to know your own grade. If your child is problematic and drama occurs much you might what to stay away due to the fact everyone is too close-knit to ignore each other. Classes are good and small but sometimes the schedules have problems at the beginning of the year but soon they will fix it. Throughout the years the school has been growing and the IB begins in 11th grade (All other grades are in preparation for IB). This year has been our first Homecoming and we're looking forward to the school's new campus and newest additions. Though many people have complained about our school- the school is continuously growing and learning how to be a great charter school. Our school is one of the top schools SAT's etc etc etc.
This is our first year at CCPS. We are wonderfully pleased with most everything. A sum-what minor thing we have some difficulty with is that they are not very welcoming & although they try to be a community they don't quite pull it off. Somewhat cliquish amongst the adults. If they do not know you they are not very out going & treat you very hmm stern I guess. Want to immediately see your ID & will not allow any body beyond the desk. I understand safety for children but come on there is a happy & safe balance. Maybe we were spoiled at our old school where there were almost 200 students but yet the staff knew who you were, often by name, & families knew each other. This also made volunteering so much easier. Other than that we are very happy.
This school is very unethical. I won't be enrolling my daugher again next year. Most teachers are great! PE teacher is cruel. We are happy with the friends she has made this year but we will be seeking a school without nepotism.
I really couldn't be happier. My kids have GREAT friends, the classrooms are small, academics great and the bar goes up every year. I really feel confident my children will be ready for college after CCPS. That is what it is really all about.
This has to be my favorite school of all time: The classes are small, at about 14 to 20 students in each, so that after one month, you know almost everyone in the school, teachers and students. The classes can be quite difficult, but that's what makes them fun for us, and of course, anyone is willing to help you with as much as much as they can. I love that there is no cafeteria, because we get to sit outside and eat on the unique and beautiful campus, which is right next to the bosque (we go inside during bad weather though). Our classes are just awesome, with great teachers that can teach according to everyone's needs and accommodate anyone that may have fallen behind, or challenge the most advanced students in a way that keeps them learning, no matter their level. The students are respectable and kind, and you would never see someone discriminating against another person for any reason. If someone is being inappropriate or discriminate to another, a warning is given, and with another offence, depending on the severity, they are usually taken from the school and asked not to return. Our principal situation has been shaky over the years, but we are currently at a great one.
Our family is very, very happy with CCPS! Our son is in his third year there, and is learning and growing in his analytical thinking skills, writing abilities, and knowledge base by leaps and bounds. We are so pleased, too, with the fact that the school is a welcoming place for students who might be a bit different from the 'norm,' or who have differences in behavior or learning abilities. Diversity is appreciated and celebrated, and that is something we value tremendously. The school's new director is outstanding, and we couldn't be happier with the job he's doing thus far! Excellent hiring decision!! Overall, a wonderful school, and a wonderful experience for our family.
My son is in his fourth year at Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School and we couldn't be more happy on all levels. Our son always struggled with focus, being still, and being respectful of the teacher's efforts. In the last three years at the school, he has found his voice, confidence, and now respects the role of the teachers and adults at the school. He went from being sent to the principal's office every year of elementary school to being 8th grade class president and getting good grades. We thank those who dedicate so much to the students of CCPS and look forward to our future with them.
My child will be in 7th grade after completing 6th grade at CCPS. He has never struggled until this year. He realized he had to focus on his work, pay attention to detail and spend the time to complete projects to the best of his ability. This school does not accept mediocre attempts which I love! Yes, there are bumps, but the potential of this school is there and I'm willing to put the work into the school to make it the very best school for my son.
This has been our first year at the school. Very challenging for our children but they have risen to the occasion. The vision of the school is amazing and they way the students learn is even more amazing; padeia, IB, Socratic discussion. Really making the children think and use their verbal skills. The school is very new and predictably has had some changes and growing pains but my children are happy and I am happy and we plan on continuing at the school. Worth looking into.
We have been at the school since the beginning. First year my student struggled (having been APS trained), second year was a turning point, and now this year he is rising to the top. I am so incredibly proud of him, and honestly feel we made the best decision. I am undoubtedly certain he will be ready for college, and will be very successful. The school has been through some bumps, is currently going through some bumps. However there is a very strong group of amazing teachers, students, and parents that are the backbone of this school and will pull through.
We have been at the school since the beginning. Despite the chaos, we've stayed because of the other children and parents. The academics are good and in the third year, better than they have been. Teachers are better than ever. But we must face the reality of leaving the school because the math and science in the HS will not be what we need to get our child into a top college of choice. The IB program isn't yet up to par. I wish we could stay, but like many other families, we will have to leave and finish the HS years somewhere else. We aren't leaving because of the academic "rigor." It isn't an incredibly challenging school at all. We just wish there was more attention paid to really challenging math and science classes. We also wish the school were more welcoming to parents in ways other than having them come and do work at the school.
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