This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Saratoga Independent School5
Posted January 26, 2015
- a parent
As parents, we love SIS! Our son cheers every morning when we arrive to school. Some of the things we love are: multi-age learning, tailored teaching to individual needs, and hands on education. The classes are small and the teachers are dedicated and loving. We couldn't feel any better about where our son spends his day or how he is educated. SIS is hands-down the best school out there!
My children have been absolutely THRIVING at Saratoga Independent School. Rather than focusing on test taking and/or 'teaching to the test', they teach to the child and focus on the process. The kids don't just learn lessons, they learn HOW to learn. They learn to be responsible, organized, diligent students. The focus is on each child's personal best, and there is great pride in their own achievements and celebrating the achievements of the other students. I love the way they work together, help and support one another and truly thrive. The teachers really know each child and how they best learn. I also love that there is continuity - the same group of teachers have known my kids since they started at the school, and rather than having to start at square one each fall, they can pick up where they left off. And the teachers are absolutely wonderful - from the ones who have been there for years, to the new hires that merged seamlessly with the team, you could not ask for a better, more qualified staff. My kids LOVE school, and are truly happy to be there, and I find it to be worth every penny we spend to keep them there.
I have happily signed a contract with SIS for 5 years now. I feel bad listening to parents whose children are in the public school; we simply do not have those same conversations regarding ranking, testing, tenure. We discuss our delight over our children's vocabulary, the fun they had in math class (?!), the ever increasing extracurricular opportunities ( such as running in the morning before school!), and the dedication of the faculty and staff. There simply is not a better elementary education program in the Capital District.
As a parent of two students, I am very pleased with the opportunity that has been offered at SIS for my kids. The high quality and integrity of everyone involved with the school has been important to our family. From the educators and students to the administration and board, the community goes above and beyond to make you feel welcome. Our kids are challenged every day and are excited to learn. They are energized by what is offered. We considered the options available for our kids in the Saratoga Springs area, Saratoga Independent School is the best choice for us.
My daughter turned eight last week. When asked what her perfect day would look like, she said " We,, I would start with an hour of math, then have an hour of language arts. I would definitely have art after recess and an hour of music and gym. Would there be more time or could I go to aftercare?" This was certainly not the response I had expected, but it goes to show how much she loves going to Saratoga Independent School. I am so grateful.
Be very careful if you sign up to go here. If things do not work out and you leave, you are on the hook for all the money! We started our daughter here in the preK program for the afternoon. Almost 3 years old and we are told the kids here can take a nap. After a week of crying and acting up and falling asleep as soon as she got in the car, they say that she never takes a nap and that is normal. All the kids in the morning class do take a nap, however those in the afternoon class don't. We put her back in her old program where she is doing well. We signed their contract and are on the hook for all of the money. $1000 per day! They say they depended on our money for their budget, so cannot give a refund. We did not sign up until the tail end of August. They don't do budgets until the end of August? Horrible school with horrible business practices. Beware!
Saratoga Independent School will tell you anything you want to hear to get you signed up. Really take the time to find out what you're getting into, because once you sign on the dotted line they are ALL ABOUT THE MONEY. If the school does not work out for you or your child for ANY reason, you are obligated for the entire tuition. We found the school to have a disjointed school/daycare option for working families. If a child is there for an average 8-5 day, they will find themselves in a whirlwind of 3+ different programs to make up for that time. The school is out of touch with what preschoolers and parents need. In their words, "the parents really end up bearing the brunt at the end of day with an exhausted child that sleeps in the car on the way home as there is no way for us to accommodate for a rest period during the day." We withdrew after only a few days and enrolled in a program with continuity, nurturing and some clue about parents and preschoolers. When we went to the school with our family's concerns that our child was in distress there, SIS immediately brought up our financial responsibility and the legal action they would take if we did not make good on the tuition.
My daughter loves this school! During weekends she will ask when she gets to go back to school. This is our third year (two years in Pre-K and now in Kindergarten). The school is small and I love the fact that my daughter knows all the kids in both K classes and most of the Pre-K and K-6 students since learning is multiage and the school has a great community feel. The school is growing (additional building being planned) and in the meantime space is tight in the parking lot and in the school, but it is a necessary growing pain. Administration has an open door policy and there are many avenues for parents to provide input and be involved in helping to make changes.
You will not find a better school than this! The teachers are amazing, class size is small, lessons are geared towards individual learning styles. So much of what they do is hands on, and emphasis is placed on individual responsibility (at age appropriate levels) from the beginning. Even more than that, there is an incredible sense of community.
We moved our daughter to SIS after 3 years in public school. We were concerned that once she made it to a certain level in a subject, less attention was paid to her educational needs. At SIS, she is challenged everyday and teachers provide frequent and detailed feedback on her progress. It was a difficult decision to remove her from public school where most of her friends went, and enroll her in a private school where we had to pay for her education. She has made a lot of new friends, and her focus at SIS is learning, not socializing (although there's still plenty of that too)! As far as paying tuition, it is a great value for the level of education she is receiving and financial assistance is available for those who need it. Don't let cost deter you from pursuing SIS - it is truly worth every penny! The staff at SIS cares deeply about the kids, and is passionate about making every student succeed educationally and socially. They provide a stable, fun environment where my daughter is thriving. I give SIS my highest recommendation. Our only regret is that we didn't enroll her sooner!