This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted February 02, 2014
- a community member
The academy at lincoln for non - VSN students is not great. Especially in sixth grade ! My daughter is superb in language arts. The teacher does not teach advanced language arts. It's the teacher shouting her lungs out to get the kids attention in her class. Most of these kids in my daughters class don't listen . They have very bad behavior. My child feels like the kids are being treated like juveniles . She feels that she is being dumbed down. Some teachers on her side as they call it are lazy. Some teachers have very bad attitudes and tempers. Some of them are chill. The principals are always on her side. My daughter wants to be challenged , she comes from a very nice home. She has a bright future. The VSN side, is free nice and smart. But there is some friction between them. But there are something's each side non VSN and VSN are better at. I feel some kids on the non VSN side are only there because of race and first impressions. But at the end of the day your learning. But all I know is my daughter is not going back to lincoln next year.
Both of our kids have attended Lincoln in the VSN program in grades 4-8. We are extremely grateful to the school for contributing to the development of 2 strong independent-minded students with superior study habits. Are all teachers equally stellar? No, but all are engaged and some have been "Golden Apple" quality. The band and theatre programs have been huge assets as well. While it may not have all the opportunities of a $10-20K/year private school, the experience of being in a group of like-minded students from an early age is invaluable. The friends my kids have made are exceptional people and they are extremely comfortable being smart together. There is occasionally talk about friction between the general students and the VSN kids, but if anything it toughened up my slightly sensitive children and exposed them to a wider range of students than the would have been at a private school. Plus, many of the non-vsn kids are stellar performers in their own right, as seen clearly in drama and musical performances, which instills some needed humility in the VSN crowd. The front office and counseling staff have been absolutely superb as well. Would not hesitate to send them back.
My daughter recently joined the 5th grade VSN program at Lincoln. She was invited to the 4th grade last year, but I didn't feel that she was ready for such a demanding program. At first the transition was really overwhelming for her. She needed levels of commitment and organization that vastly exceeded those of her prior school and the learning curve was quite painful for both of us. However, with the considerable help and understanding of her many teachers she has navigated the initial rough waters and is now doing quite well, with her performance on a continuing upward trajectory. So, what are our observations? As others have said it is not for the faint of heart. No grade inflation to be found here, no near automatic As. Mediocre work is greeted with comments such as "this is not VS", and low marks. The teachers have high expectations, but provide tremendous support when needed. Homework is extensive and demanding. School days are often 12 hours in total. It's a throwback to an earlier age of education where self esteem is earned not given, and where learning transcends all other aspects- an unexpected gem for those who want the best academic experience for their children.
We've been at Lincoln for less than 2 full months and I am already counting down to next year when we can move my child back to our zone. I knew this was a rigorous program which would require extra school work but I had no idea the ridiculous nature of some of it. My child spends hours & hours doing homework and her previous straight A's are now C's. She's exhausted and overwhelmed. It's not that my child isn't smart enough - it's that she' s a perfectionist and there is so much emphasis on "VSing" assignments (meaning doing more than the status quo) to get an A that she's killing herself in trying to make her work look perfect in every way. Communication is so "good" it's bad: a 3 page weekly newsletter combined with countless notes home and papers to sign are more than I have the bandwith to sort through. And the school might be publicly funded, but there are plenty of other small expenses that will nickle & dime you to death (we've been asked for $$ weekly). The drop-off/pick-up line is atrocious (I was spending 2+-3 hrs a day on drop-off/pick-up) - so we switched to the bus which is worse. My child spends 2 1/2 hrs on the bus/day - that's a 10 hr day start to finish!
Lincoln is not for the "faint of heart"! VSN has been placed in a school where disadvantaged children, and possibly a community,does not recognize the value of education. Should VSN be somewhere else? Should VSN not be used to boost school performance to ensure testing for the state scores is acceptable? The answer can be different depending on a lot of factors. However, 5 years at Lincoln resulted in A student that still loves to learn Teachers and administrators that nurture and care about the children A student that is confident and respects the differences of others A child that realizes that everyone doesn't have the advantages in life that she does Lifetime friends with similar values An opportunity to attend Early College at Guilford in the fall None of the fears a parent could have in that part of town ever happened in our 5 years Things that did happen were no different than a Kiser or Northwest Daily support for our child from all the staff and a commitment to our student's success from all that interacted with her Lincoln takes a family commitment and an open mind. There is no academic program offered that we could find that could match the VSN program at Lincoln.
My son just graduate from this great school and he is going to ECG. What can I say about the Academy at Lincoln? Wonderful teachers, outstanding education and hardworking kids. The learning experience had been extraordinary for my son and on many different levels!
I have a child in the VSN at this school. I am scared to death to see my child go on to the middle school part of this school. Why is this school a "9", what a joke. The county should be ashamed of themselves for putting these VSN kids in this location. Many of these high IQ kids have social and emotional issues and to put the pressure of this school on them is just wrong. My child has already been bullied by older kids as they continue to try and intimidate the VSN kids.. When the VSN kids know to "walk in pairs or groups" to protect themselves, there is a MAJOR problem. This is not "normal middle school issues." The school is just run down and full of many kids who don't value education. This is not the type of place the VSN kids should be in.
I am a current student (for now) at Lincoln. I have found that it is not all it's made out to be. All the teachers and staff make it sound great, but based on my experience, it's not. I have found that the teachers and staff divide the VSN program from everyone else more than we already are. For example, we will be in class and they will say "OH my OTHER class could NEVER do this!" and, "I know YOU can act well, but the other people here are...". This makes most of the VSN kids more pompous and obnoxious about their knoweledge then they were before. However, some of what the teachers say is true; this school is VERY ghetto. Kids smoke and do drugs, and we even have a "gang". You can be at your locker and people will kick your stuff saying "Move your stuff you stupid loser!" (Actually they say a LOT worse). So far the only teacher I've thought was worthwhile, besides my 6th grade math teacher, is the drama teacher. That is one positive at the school; the drama program is very good. Overall, however, I would reccommend not going to Lincoln.
As a recent proctor at Lincoln (having proctor experience at 2 other schools as well) I was amazed how well these kids handled the whole testing process. Lincoln made their students feel calm and not stressed about taking EOGs. As a result the kids tested, very carefully made sure to go back and check their work, and then sit quietly and patiently while their classmates took whatever time was needed (never more than 2 hours) to complete their individual tests. How could you not be impressed?! Lincoln VSN is fantastic and well worth the drive! Parent of 5th grade student who looks forward to returning to Lincoln next year!