This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Albany Academies (The)3
Posted November 17, 2014
- a parent
One of the more recent reviews was totally on mark with their comments: "The extra money paid for tuition does not buy any more attention, greater quality, service, or get students into any better colleges than going to a good public school where there is more diversity, opportunity and options for career planning."
My son and daughter attend The Albany Academies. It has a wonderful character based education that creates a fantastic community atmosphere for all our families. I would highly recommend this institution to anyone.
My son has attended AA for the past 5 years and he adores his school. There were times that I had to battle a teacher or two but I always had the support of the administration. I believe that all schools need to work on communication from teacher to parent and AA is no different but at least they are working on it. The issues that I see at the school are not school issues but societal issues. The wealthy kids stick together (usually their parents are friends) and the every day kids stick together. The school cannot control how students and parents form relationships. No place is perfect but at least I know if there is an issue it is addressed and my son has been supported and nurtured. I think the school should show more interest in what parents want to see change and all administration should have the ability to communicate with all parents not a select few. Thank goodness I deal with the people who have the ability to understand the real world and not just the wealthy one.
While small and steeped in tradition, the middle school certainly caters to wealthy, mediocre and unmotivated students who can influence the way teachers teach. It was obvious at a recent moving up ceremony that students from multi-generational families who have been their financial backbone for decades receive all the awards and recognition. The extra money paid for tuition does not buy any more attention, greater quality, service, or get students into any better colleges than going to a good public school where there is more diversity, opportunity and options for career planning. Extracurricular activities are constrained (music program) and athletics are concentrated to a few big sports. Small size has its advantages but it is also a limiting factor in that they have to make it a one size fits all program due to limited staff and resources. Our overall experience was good until some recent experiences proved that what our child is looking for is just not there. If you want a classic education with mostly young and inexperienced teachers willing to make the parents and students happy (reduced workloads, relaxed requirements), then you have found your place.
I have gone to the Academy for most of my life, and am now a sophomore there. All i can say is, there is no other place like it. The respect and equality you are given by the teachers is unmatched, and you know you learn as much from them, as they learn from you. Classes are not conducted by teachers standing in front of you and lecturing, but instead with them sitting next to you in a desk, and engaging in thoughtful conversations. With class sizes ranging from 10 to no more than 17 (the largest size I've ever been in). The school spirit is outstanding, and the replacement of the cadet battalion with the house system (like Harry Potter) was pure genius. The new head of school Dr. North is taking Academy to places it's never been, and as it gets more and more selective, it can only get better. If you have any opportunity to come to Academy, jump on it. It will be one of the best decisions of your life, and never once will you regret it. And, in closing, I will quote the words of the Big Red student section: "Go AA!"
The schools reputation of a community based support system is great. I went to this school for 14 years and can attest to the fact that it has prepared me for the challenges that I have faced since leaving.
This is a great school in every aspect. I am a former student, and while it was very, very difficult to give up the single-sex education that drew me to the school in 9th grade, I now see the benefits of combining facilities and academics. The only drawback really is that now the girls' school was forced into a higher athletic division, thus limiting ability for all to play a sport, and damaging students' self-esteem as they strive to play and continually lose.