Both of our children attended AK and they loved it. In addition we as parents enjoyed the experience WITH our children as they were very involved.
Principal Switzer and school staff do an excellent job in motivating and educating all students in this phenomenally growing district. Their care to encourage and incorporate every family to enhance a student's growth is second to none.
As a parent of a current student and AK graduate, I am extremely pleased with the leadership of Principal Switzer and his top notch teaching staff. The curriculum is challenging and there are extensive opportunities for students to get involved in extra curricular activities (sports, clubs, community service). The student body is diverse and includes a large Exceptional Children's program. Teachers go out of their way to assist students achieve their academic goals. The school is extremely safe. Parent involvement is encouraged. Communication between the school and parents is excellent.
I just moved here and attended as a new student at Ardrey Kell last week. Honestly, everyone is so unwelcoming, the classes are too long, and the whole school looks and feels like a prison. Sure, the staff may be nice but the kids are so judgemental and materialistic and it's difficult to make friends since everyone's already in their cliques. The homeroom schedule is extremely confusing and they don't have many elective classes to offer. I can't stand the thought of attending school here for 3 more years, I have no idea how this is the "Best School" in all of Charlotte. You're better off homeschooling or moving back to where you came from.
Ardrey Kell High School is without a doubt the best school in Charlotte Mecklenburg. The school is always in the lead in academics and test scores. We have a diverse and confident student body. The athletics at Ardrey Kell are OUTSTANDING. The school has won the Wachovia Cup Conference (now the Wells Fargo Conference) 4 years in a row! This is an award for the All Around Best Athletics. The actual school is wonderful, it is one of the newest in the county. The Exceptional Needs program at the school is fantastic also. I have experience with this area and it is really hands down the best. The principal and staff at Ardrey Kell are unsurpassed. This is sometimes stressful to the staff due to expectations but they do deliver. Earlier principals did not achieve these high results/scores as the current principal. He is demanding of the students and staff. He accomplishes this thru strength of belief in a great education, fairness and compassion. He also shares a love and enjoyment of his students and they of him. There is a lot of team spirit and closeness amongst the students, parents and staff. I couldn't be happier with the education my 2 kids rec'd from Ardrey Kell.
My school is best because... # any and every teacher sends reply to all our questions even when it is midnight, they send us from documents to suggestions at that time of day. # school has very active clubs to keep the students from pursuing their interests. # our music and band teacher Mr. Butler is so excellent that he takes time and helps us play every note for various instruments per kid very patiently. # debate team is another great area a student can excel, and football team is perfect to play and enjoy a game own Friday night. # my counselor is too good that I shoot him a mail and he gives a detailed reply to that, I am only a freshman and am surprised to find teachers and staff this dedicated to improvement of the student that not even a elementary or middle school has done so far. # we do have something called Knights program in which the student can take time with a teacher and revise any topic that they need or be in the class in which you are weak yet. Therefore my school is the best!
I'd rather my two kids attend AK than nearly any other CMS school (and they, in the main, like it). The vast majority of my kids' teachers have been caring professionals. That said, some aspects of its culture are bothersome: a huge push to take AP/Honors courses that may not fit everyone's needs/abilities (and a tendency of many students to be judgmental of those not taking AP Everything); excessive homework; a principal who purports an open-door policy but is often inflexible and oversensitive even to constructive criticism; exorbitant fees for many extracurriculars (an assumption exists that every AK family has deep pockets); a growing drug/drink problem; lack of response from administrators/counselors when you contact them with an issue (but who interrupt dinnertime at least twice a week with ConnectEd calls); overloaded special-ed case managers/general counselors who often do not respond to multiple emails. As for its size, my kids' point of view is that this actually discourages cliquishness, but they've also complained that it can be difficult to get to know people, particularly since homework makes socializing outside of school difficult.
This school is very concerned with how it looks on the outside, and very UNconcerned with its students. The principal outright favors wealthy families, and lets kids with money get away with a lot more than the kids without. For example, when dealing with the issue of drugs and drug using students, the student with the parents who are willing to pay to keep their child from getting in trouble is quickly reprimanded and brushed under the rug. Whereas the student with parents who aren't able to make a big donation to the school is suspended. This year, they have introduced the "name tag". Although pictures of professional IDs come to mind, the true picture is a childish plastic sheet with a paper inside with the student's name on it. This is deemed a factor of safety, and if the student refuses to BUY it, along with a yearly agenda, they are at risk of suspension. Although the school looks were polished and wealthy on the outside, I am telling you from the inside: not all is as it seems. The money is leeched from the students and parents, and the teachers care more about their tenure and paycheck than they do about a student's success. Also, scheduling keeps kids from taking APs.
Found Principal to be condescending, aggressive, unprofessional, emotional when trying to solve simple issue. Very type A. Disappointed.
Not helpful, careless management! There is a lot of bullying in this school. Teachers are good, but environment is not.
I have been attending this school since I was in 9th grade and am now going to be a senior after summer. Overall, AK is a great school that gives students a competitive atmosphere so students will keep trying and strive to do better. There are drugs and partying within the school among students just like any other high school however most kids put up a really great facade and if you don't want to be involved in this scene, then you really don't have to because this school is so big, there is always somewhere you can fit in. Although AK is not very 'clique-y', it's very easy to be lost at the school. Not just physically because of the size of the school but also because of the number of kids. More than half of the 2000 kids who attend this school take AP courses and score well on ACT and SAT, it is just very hard to stand out. Many times people don't remember you or many times even teachers don't remember you. AK has a good academic atmosphere and is overall a good place to attend school but a lot of kids are overlooked by teachers due to how smart all the kids are at this school.
I am a parent at AK and know that high school is never an easy experience. I believe that a great majority of the administration and staff at AK have what's best for the students in mind. The High school can be the best years of your life or end up not living up to what you always hoped it would be. There are health conditions and issues that can affect attendance and in some situations, the students feel, not necessarily at AK, that they are being blamed for being sick, and they get frustrated. Knowing that there are people at the school who are there to support them is key. The nurse at AK is incredible and is always looking out for the kids specific conditions and/or needs. The attendance/office staff in my experience has been there to listen and help out when they can. The kids just need to know they are being treated for their individual situations whatever the case might be and they can feel more at ease.
I am currently a student here at ak. I just moved to Charlotte this year. Ive made a couple friends but overall kids are not welcoming, they arent really mean simply not welcoming, you have to talk to them. There is a "must wear this" I guess it is a little snobby but that's not really a problem in this school. I just think there should be more activities in the classrooms so students can know each other!. Its not fun to sit alone in the cafeteria or to feel really bad! Like I said Im new so i dont know if with time i will make more friends etc I hope I do. The teachers are really nice and the staff the same. I rate a 3 star because not everyday I feel happy here but I think once you find your group of your friends you are set! ( I hope) There is not really a "popular" crowd probably because its so big. It really is! And I don't think gossip is a problem either. I'd like to repeat how nice the teachers and staff are they really are! As for the other good schools in Charlotte I'm pretty sure the problems would be the same. Oh! there is also a lot of school spirit which is fun! and clubs are also really really fun!
I too used to go to ardrey kell, and i loved it there for the most part. Some of the teachers were really good and some were really bad. Like most students i did get picked on but i sucked it up. Then there was one which made me question why she was hired in the first place she couldnt control the class, didnt follow through on punishment, and i almost flunked because of her. Now i have learned that her teaching style just didnt mesh with my learning style.
We have one child that has graduated from AK and one sophomore currently attending. We have been extremely pleased with the school and the overall experience. It is a challenging school that has required our kids to put forth their best effort and we have appreciated that. Our college student has been well prepared for the requirements at the next level. The faculty is caring but is always is focused on the business of educating our kids. Both of our children are involved in athletics and the athletics at Ardrey Kell are run at the highest level.
Ardrey Kell is a fantastic school. My child has had an excellent experience. I know he will be more than ready for college when the time comes. Yes, it is a competitive school, but that in itself is a plus point.
I would just like to say, from my own personal experience, that most of the teachers at Ardrey Kell are amazing and are excellent at their job. However, there are some teachers that are terrible and should have never been hired in the first place. During my freshman year, i took a required course of cms... I ended up failing, and so did more than half of the students taking that course. It wasnt our fault they were a terrible teacher. I realize that life is unfair, but it's just completely ridiculous that over half of the students of that course failed and have to live with it on their record for colleges to see. I studied my butt off and completed every homework assignment of hers that took 2-3 hours every night... and all it got me was a failing grade and to retake the course this year. go knights...
I am reading the reviews here and I am stunned. I have had two students graduate out of AK and one currently attending. It appears that the "integration" of students doesn't appeal to a lot of the parents who are commening on this site. In the real world, there is integration. In the real world, some people succeed and some people fail. In many cases, those students who are failing merely don't give a crap. If they did, they would succeed, regardless of the "teachers" or the "front office." How any fair-minded individual could rate this school poorly leaves me baffled. Quit blaming the school for your child's failure. Take a look in the mirror and start blaming yourself.
horrible! This school is a joke. Not only was my child crudely neglected by staff and teachers, but I was treated with indifference also. I understand the lack of teachers in this area recently, but for Ardrey Kell to keep horrible teachers who can't even teach is unacceptable. They are irresponsible, cannot do their jobs properly the first OR second time. Horrible school.
This is a first class school with a wonderful principal and dedicated staff. AK as we call it is the envy of all high schools in the greater Charlotte area. This is not an "inner city" school as some reviews claim- far from it. This school is in the suburbs in Southeast Charlotte outside of the 485 loop. This is the best High School in Charlotte come and see it for yourself. The kids are respectful and well mannered and involved in the school. Ardrey Kell academically and athletically is the best overall choice and more challenging than most privates schools as well. I encourage those that are looking for a quality education for your children in the nicest area of Charlotte to come to the "CASTLE" and see this first class facility for yourselves.
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