As a former CMS teacher, I was knowledgeable about the different schools and programs available. We chose Collinswood over our top-notch home school because it provides all of the things that are important to our family - academics, character development, diversity and global citizenship. Our oldest is now a bilingual 2nd grader who is also a part of the TD program - and we could not imagine being happier at any other school. The staff is caring and involved (we have had a couple of extraordinary teachers already). When the previous principal, Ms. Grant, visits the school she still remembers the kids' names and whose parent you are! Can't wait for my youngest to attend!
Love the diverse student body, Spanish immersion, great test scores, code of conduct, dress code, high expectations.
Don't like the lack of teacher support and notification when your child is deficient in a subject. They are quick to give poor or failing grades. They keep test scores up by suggesting you might be better off at a non language immersion program if your kid is performing poorly. I know of several kids who were asked to leave for this reason. If you are not willing to be VERY involved in your child's school work, do not send them here. If you are willing, definitely send them here. It will be worth the effort.
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!!