As a parent of a 2 children at Collinswood Language Academy, I must say how happy I am with the quality of education. My children love the school and love learning Spanish. It is truly amazing to see how my children, who come from a family that only speaks English, are excelling in speaking, writing, reading and comprehending Spanish. It is truly speaks to level of instruction at the school. The school also has engaged the students in being wonderful citizens and helping others. This is evident in all of the various community service projects completed. For example: Kids helping Kids, Malaria no more, Thanksgiving food drive, and various other projects. In addition, the school's test scores are wonderful, which is amazing within itself, since they are taught half of the same topics in Spanish, but take the EOG in English. In addition to all of the wonderful things that happen at Collinswood is the celebration of different cultures. This is truly evident all yearlong. One my favorite yearly events is the International Parade. During this event students, parents and staff dress up in authentic clothing from various countries. There is a huge parade where an announcer gives information about each country and the participants parade around the school grounds. It truly gives the children the understanding that all cultures should be celebrated and are important.
I attended several Open Houses in Jan. The Collinswood presentation was very test score heavy - it's all they talked about! Other schools' touted their community / family approach to the whole child. Standardized tests carry less weight on how a student actually performs academically & teachers are deterred from "teaching to the test." The WORST part of the presentation was when an Administrator got up to speak on second language acquisition (as if he got the Cliff notes) - he proceeded to tell the audience how Common Core is the curriculum they follow. If you didn't catch that - Common Core is NOT curriculum - it's standards and standards are used to create curriculum. If you're in the education field (as he was)- this is an egregious error to communicate to potential parents. Finally, I randomly met a teacher from Collinswood at a social gathering - I told her where my child was attending school upon her inquiry and she literally gave me a disgusted look and said "that's too bad." If that's the attitude from faculty - who wants their child to learn such rudeness and arrogance? The one positive is the students and current parents I spoke with and met were happy for the most part.
A past student. I attended collinswood back when it was just an elementary school, but as the only non-parent to post so far, I feel compelled to share my experience. My teachers were all fantastic; most of them were from Spain or Colombia. Student body wise, they were more than 50% native spanish speakers, but I had caught up to their level by the first grade. After heading the the old continuation of collinswood, my class was united with other middle schoolers. And the collinswood students were the best prepared, the best writers, the most outstanding students. After that, the majority of us went the usual pathway, heading over to the continuation of the language immersion at south Mecklenburg, and as a senior there, I am thankful for the strong foundation collinswood provided me. Nothing could have been better. Ivy League class of 2018! (I won't specify which)
In our third year at Collinswood. FANTASTIC dual-language Spanish Immersion program. The 9:15-4:15 school day schedule is a bit tough for our family, as is fitting in homework around that, but otherwise it's a great school. The VIF program that brings in teachers from Spanish-speaking countries is especially exciting.
Last year was our 1st yr at Collinswood. Kindergarten was a great experience. My son loved it!!! Of course it was not easy, but with the commitment of the teachers, school and the involvement of the parents. Now he knows how to read in English and Spanish, still work in progress, but it made a world of difference. We are very happy and looking forward to another year. Gracias Collinswood!!
I have a chil in 4th & one in 1st. Both of my kids have been at Collinswood since kindergarten and we love it. Although our primary language is English both my husband and I had some Spanish in college which helps a lot with the homework. I'm very impressed with how fluent my kids are with the language especially my 4th grader. Sure some parents have issues with different teachers but you'll find that at almost any school. The method they use to teach these kids is amazing! I was nervous at first but the kids catch on so quickly...again the method they use has a proven track record. Last, as far as parental involvement goes, I feel they give several opportunities for parents to get involved. It's up to the parent how much they choose to do so.
I wish that the parents who chose to leave this school wrote their opinion as well. There is little support for the parents who are not spanish speaking to help support their child at home. Compare the demographic of this language immersion to others across the state and you will see an imbalance from the start. Unfortunately too little parents complain to the prinicipal, so nothing changes. I (who was a teaching professional and administrator for over 10 years) have never seen such poor parental support. As for the comment of lack of parental involvement, that is most likely (and I have spoken to other parents) because this school does little to inform parents/support them (it is almost lost after 2nd grade). For children who need help just by the nature of them being immersed in learning a new language (as many ESL students do), they are all too quick to lable children as having learning problems. Those children who were labelled as "learing problems" they have flourished in other schools. Before coming speak to parents and ask for the non-PC opinion. There is more of a drive to keep their scores up and funding, than really teaching a foreign language.
I am so expressed with the quality of education my daughter receives at Collinswood. She is not only taught NC curriculum through both English and Spanish, she is given experiences that help her appreciate diverse cultures. Even though my daughter is a native English speaker due to the amazing teaching practices of her teachers, she now speaks fluent Spanish. I am so fortunate that my daughter will be able to stay at a school where she feels safe, supported, challenged, and loved until the 8th grade. She is also looking forward to her 8th grade study abroad trip to Spain.
My son is in 1st grade at Collinswood Language Academy. I have to say that having him in Collinswood was one of the best decisions I could have made for his future. This is not just an elementry school. This school is a Language academy that teaches Spanish this is k-8 so by the time your child leaves it they wil be college level spanish going into high school. Also the fact the test scores are amazing check out their progress report in the CMS website. Its not just that makes the school so amazing it is the people the staff they are so attentive to your child.