I am not here to write a review on SA Cobble Hill because this is not the school my child attends(my child does attend another SA school in Brooklyn). I am merely writing the the person who wrote the review on SA Fort Greene - please be considerate and post your review to the correct school so that potential parents can make an informed decision based on CORRECT information for that school. SA Fort Greene is NOT SA Cobble Hill - every school in the network has the same framework but different school culture and it is important for parents to know this and to go and visit the schools they are applying to.
I took my son out of SA (Fort Greene location) after 5 months. They were obsessed with discipline and spent much of the day correcting behavior and creating an atmosphere where kids always felt like they were doing something wrong. Kindergarteners should not be expected to sit up straight with their hands locked in front of them for long stretches. They need more chances to move their bodies and have a chance to process their thoughts. They are constantly being told where to stand, sit, and what to do and say. They kept kids after school for not keeping their hands locked properly and for not getting 100% on a spelling quiz. There is a strong focus on test prep when young kids should be learning through varied activities, projects, and exploration. The only feedback from teachers was a daily behavior chart and a trimester report with a few numbers. Absolutely nothing that shows the teachers know anything about your child. This place is not good for children and is not following a curriculum or philosophy that is based on appropriate child development. Parents beware.
My daughter goes to Success Academy (now in second grade) and we couldn t be more satisfied. First off, we want our daughter to like going to school and learning. While she sometimes complains about certain elements of her experience, on balance, she likes her teachers very much and she has formed many friendships with other children, all of whom seem very sweet. The curriculum seems well thought-out, almost obsessively so. I appreciate that they do not rely on rote memorization or taking shortcuts. Rather, they cultivate a child s critical reasoning skills from number stories in math and science every day to chess. As other have commented, there can be an adjustment for new students to the behavioral rules. However, my daughter, who started in 1st grade, adapted in a couple of weeks and these rules are now a complete nonissue. A Success Academy education easily matches that of an expensive private school, but with the added benefit of real diversity. Although Success Academy might not be a perfect fit for every child, it is an excellent option for those who are not zoned for a district school of equal or higher quality.
If you are lucky enough to be in this school only then will you know what this school is all about. It's a gem, it's a world class education, it's fun, it's better than any private school or G&T program out there. The principal greets every scholar at the door every morning with a smile before entering the school. It's such a diverse school and surprisingly they all do great. They have hands on science that is tought 5 days a week, chess, arts, sports, magicians visiting, museum trips, field study trips that are so frequent. Every child in the world deserves a superior education like this school offers. It is an example of world class education and parents should demand more schools to be just like this one. Trust me you will hit the lottery if you get a spot in this school! Good luck!
From a former parent. Our son entered the first grade in August 2012 at Success Academy Cobble Hill. We were hoping for academic rigor. Instead we found a school that was overly strict, cold, and insensitive to the overall needs of the young children entrusted in their care. My son wet his pants for the first time since he was three years old because the school did not let him go to the bathroom when he asked. The school was incapable of recognizing that he had also developed anxiety around going down the hall to the bathroom. He was suspended (!) from school twice for playing around in line or during class. We were forced to show up the day after his suspension at 7am (!) so that he could get a fresh scolding from the principal before re-entering the school. The school does not care about parents' concerns. They arrogantly believe they know best, even though the Success Academy brand has only been in existence for a handful of years. Our son has had no behavioral problems or bladder problems at his new school. (Yes we took him out of "SACH" over Christmas break, as did about four other parents in his classroom.) He scored a 95% on the G&T test. Don't send your kid there.
SACH has a great community and school environment. I would have given it a 5 star for the staff and community if that were the only indicators of a great school. Also, undoubtedly Success provides preparation for college in a holistic way that i have never encountered. However, with that being said Success Academy's is very demanding, high paced, and competitive starting right in Kindergarten. Long days filled with academics, urgency, stress; and more often then not the joy and enjoyment of education lacks. The Success Academy Charter Schools is a business; do not let them fool you. They are out to prove they are the best school and earn high profit margins and putting their teachers through high stress and demands for a less than mediocre pay is the prefect example of this; look at the turn over rate! If you are going to enroll your child just be prepared, educate yourself, and be very involved. Your child's education is of the upmost importance and so is raising them in a great community and environment that will foster/build their character and prepare them for Success. Success is different for every child and can be achieved without Success Academy.
We entered this school with some trepidation because of "stories" we heard about strict discipline and intense academics but after going to SA meetings ourselves and getting the info first hand we decided to take the leap. And thank god we did! We could not be happier. The discipline is tight but not in a military sense. It is run very professionally and respect for others is of the utmost importance. My son has such a curiousity about the world now and absolutely LOVES his friends and teachers. At SACH, each individual student gets the attention they need emotionally and academilcally. I highty recommend touring a SA school. The only way to really understand SA is to see it for yourself. In between wiggle breaks and dance parties, there is a very high standard of learning going on that is truly impressive.
SACH is not your traditional school. They care for each scholar, they are new so somethings are not in place, but if you really sit back and look at the bigger picture you would be amazed at the great things these young students are learning and accomplishing...I wonder why former parents are not stating why the SACH and them are were not a great fit??. Its one thing not to work for you and your family, but just cause it did not work for you does not mean you should BASH or discreated the school and others that agree with it..Future families should really take the chance that others have and understand the importance of a great education..failing schools is not an option in my book, and sitting around and waiting for the DOE to figure it out is and was not, nor ever should be an option...
Zoned for a sub-par school, we literally won the lottery after my son was offered a kindergarten spot at this lottery-based school. He is excelling by every definition of the word -- academically he is thriving, he has built a great new group of friends and he enters school every day excited to learn. The staff as a whole is extremely professional, enthusiastic and invested in the school and our kids! The curriculum and teaching process is organized across classes at each grade level. Students are consistently challenged in a very supportive manner to strive to reach their personal best and achievements are joyously celebrated via a cheer from fellow classmates or a phone call home to personally share the news. The school day is focused and academic but is broken into chunks of learning, each separated by time to allow the kids be free and have fun through in-class dance parties and sing-alongs or the many assemblies such as visits from theater groups, magicians, etc. Beyond the school doors the children celebrate the local Brooklyn community and visit notable NYC sites such as MOMA, the circus and more. A+, thumbs-up, a very satisfied parent. Come and see for yourself!
I am giving SACH a 5 star rating because this website will not allow me to post a negative review, but the truth is, in my opinion, they deserve one star. My child and many others have been mistreated there. Four of 26 in our class left the school midyear and more will be leaving at the end of the year. If you insist on enrolling your child in this school I highly recommend that you get involved in a big way. Most of the staff is teaching for the first time. Although SA has been around for a few years, this new school is extremely unorganized and constantly making excuses for their inability to keep children at grade level. SACH is not able to fulfil the promises that the SA website promotes.