I receive the updates not this school as we are currently on the wait list. I must say part of me is wondering why we would even contemplate this school, after reading some of the reviews. I think we parents get caught up in the idea of "winning the lottery" and "getting our kids in a charter school" we forget to really do some real research on what the charter school stands for. This particular charter school appears to be suffering in many areas, and although we are high up in the lottery (top 10 for our grade) we will be declining a spot. There is more to school than winning a lottery and I feel confident this school is not going to meet our needs.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to the parents who have had the courage to post honest reviews on this site! I have felt for a long time that someone needs to shine a light on the serious issues at Pine Lake. The test scores alone should be reason enough for a total makeover of this school. To understand the mentality at the school one only has to read the post accusing those who post negative reviews of the school of being bullies. No, we are not bullies, just concerned parents who are appalled that action has not been taken by the school board to change this school. It is a daily nightmare with the traffic problems at the school, unending requests for donations, the inability to communicate with teachers and the other issues previously mentioned. Forget everything except academics which should be the first thing anyone looks at when choosing a school. This school is failing miserably and earns a grade of F. We are happy to be moving our children to another school next year.
We have been at Pine Lake for four years with three children. We have been very pleased by the small class size and the caliber of students and teachers that are involved. We have seen firsthand teachers and administrators that care about kids and families. We appreciate that the academics are difficult but that there are ample opportunities for students to receive extra help, if needed. There are many ways to get involved. Overall, there is a sense of family at this school. Some of the older reviews are disheartening. It is sad to see a few people choose public forums to complain instead of rolling up their sleeves and trying to help where they see a need. The negative, anonymous posts (jabs) on here certainly show that bullying starts at home and it does't always stop when you become an adult. If you are considering PLP, do your own research and see if it is a fit for you and your child. This is a place where you all can find a spot to grow. We have been very happy and when we have had issues, we have been able to share our feedback in an appropriate way and help work towards a solution.
Before determining if this school is acceptable for your children LOOK AT THE SCORES on end of grade tests. They are dropping each year at Pine Lake and took a nose dive in 2013. For example, 53% of 8th graders scored as proficient in math on the 2013 end of grade test. This is unacceptable and should be a reason to examine pulling the charter for this school. We as parents are left to wonder what in the world our kids are doing all day because they are not learning. Young and inexperienced teachers struggle at this school and over half of the teachers won't be back next year. This is our first year at the school and I almost pulled my son out in the middle of the year but decided it would be too disruptive to him. He learned little this year and will be taking remedial coursework over the summer to be ready for next year. The constant stream of emails from the school is ridiculous, this is not a school it is a fundraising organization pretending to be a school. We are counting the days until we can leave this school. Hopefully my son has experienced only a temporary setback and no permanent damage has been done.
The teachers are all new each year so there is no continuity surrounding the instructional methodology. The recent publication of scores posted here on Great Schools . Org sent shock waves through the school but just confirmed what most parents already knew : Pine Lake is not providing an adequate education to our children . All scores dropped dramatically. The fundraising from the administration is out of control and pressure to give to the school is intense. Teachers struggle with posting grades correctly through the online system , so if your child attends Pine Lake , plan to spend much time each month emailing to beg that your child gets credit for work they turned in. We have made the decision to move our children to a different school next year and cannot wait for this year to end.
If you will note the date of the positive reviews, they are all on the same day or day after. This was done per a request of the Administration to try and drown out the negative reviews on here. I agree with previous post, most parents think because it says "prep" in the name that is indicative of college prep and we have found that to be untrue. PLP middle and high school is completely geared towards the arts and spanish and unless your child has a definite talent in these areas, they will not pass and the low grades received will pull down their overall GPA. Pretty much every student who tries out for sports teams in middle and high school, make them, very few if any cuts. Quality staff? Most all of my children's teachers and administration have very little if any experience. Check it out, ask hard questions before assuming you've won the lottery by getting into this charter school (Common Core is taught as in traditional public). Lots of great families have come and gone, this is our last year here, and there have been many more before us. Lastly, high student turnover has always been a constant at Pine Lake unlike other Charter's in the area.
I agree with the previous poster. Safety seems to be a non-issue, which is definitely a positive characteristic of this school. But other than that, I think many families are fooling themselves if they think the students are getting a quality education. Granted there are some great teachers at Pine Lake, the vast majority are weak educators. Just because it's a "prep" school or "charter" school, does not automatically make the school a high educational institution and I think people forget that. There's more to a great school other than it's title. Just because you were chosen and "won" the lottery to get in, doesn't mean you also hit the educational lottery. My kids will be heading elsewhere.
The school is safe and the academics are generally good. Some of the administrative staff has some issues and they have promoted people recently who should have been fired long ago. Parents (mostly mothers with no life besides their kids) with money whine and create non-stop controversy and will stop at nothing to insure their kids are pampered or treated favorably inside the classroom and out. It's not a fun place to be as a parent unless you are rich and do not get involved with the bulletin boards. On the bright side, the high school seems to be producing successful college students and I guess that's the point if you can tolerate all the other noise created by parents who act like they are still in high school themselves and if your kid can get there.
Pine Lake is an excellent school. This being said, no school will please everyone, and no school has ever been perfect. Check the facts before relying on websites such as these. SAT scores, percentage of certified vs non-certified teachers, graduation rates, EOG scores etc are all available to the public. There is a low turnover rate of teachers (teachers who have been there 5 years or more is in the 85%+/- range) and I have never seen such a supportive environment for educators and students alike. When consisting your choices for schools in the area, keep in mind that your child may fit in at many schools, or may need a more specific fit. The saying "if you don't like it, you are free to leave" is both positive and negative in connotation. It is positive because you are a part of a charter on your free will and if it is not in your child's best interest to attend, you are welcome to choose another option. It is negative in that, without further explanation, it appears the door is being opened and you are being shoved out, which is never the case. Most employees will do whatever it takes to encourage success in all areas of a students life.
My son is in the LS and we have had a great experience. He has really excelled well beyond my expectations. The new head of school has really listened to the parents and has been working continually throughout his first year to make improvements. Communication is always a challenge (there is always a group complaining there is too much or a group complaining there is too little) but they are constantly working on trying to find the right balance. I do feel that if you go to a charter school you should contribute in some fashion by financial donations and/ or volunteering (which there are endless ways to contribute your time which include activities that can be done on nights and weekends), that is the only way a charter school can be successful. I also agree with other posts, if you are interested please read the basics of the charter so you know what the school is all about.
Where do I start: Lower School. Does the new administrator know any of the teachers in the lower school? Has he made any effort to get to know the teachers, students, and parents of the lower school? NO! I think there is way too much demand on parents volunteering. Way too many requests for teacher gifts, lunches, subs, and supplies. Teachers need to be consistent in their classrooms. Teachers need to teach and not give busy worksheets The tag-team teaching in the lower school I heard was a disaster but they are doing it again this year!!! The leadership in the lower school is weak I had to pick up tutoring mid school year and continue throughout the summer! Instead of the tutoring assisting with learning she is back to teaching the basics. When I submit requests to the leadership I am given flat out NOs with NO discussion. Those parents that volunteer 5 days a week are worshipped by the staff and leadership --- there are those of us that do have to work and when we cannot volunteer we are viewed upon negatively. Teachers to do carry the appropriate certifications!!!!!!!! All the $$ into new buildings....and for what? And the EC department -- SHAME!!!!
We have children at PLP in the lower school and the only reason I give PLP one star is because they seem to be getting a reasonably good education, although the new policy of only 20 minutes of homework until grade 5 seems ridiculous. I could understand in K but not in the upper levels Let me touch on a few areas: 1) Administration: This is one of the problem areas. Parents complain that adminstrators don't listen and nothing ever seems to get done at PLP. Problems are pointed out but not solved. . Also, there is so much turnover on the Board of Directors that I bet most parents could not name 1 member on the board. 2) Fundraising: Although some parents have money, asking Grandparents to contribute 10K to sponsor a room in the new athletic building sets the wrong tone. The fundraising group seems to be a group of self-picked elitist snobs who think everyone should give 5K or more to the school, even if you are a single parent 3) Communication: As mentioned before, if you asked most parents where they get their information, they would say from each other or from the parents Facebook page. Parents are often very confused and not told what is happening
We love PLP find some of these reviews laughable. With our new Head of School in place this past year was the best year ever! Trust in Administration, something seriously lacking previously, is quickly improving. The SAT comments are completely false...the most recent data shows that PLP is ranked FIRST in the Lake Norman area in SAT scores. Community Service hours have always been a part of our Charter and students and families are made well aware of the requirements if they bother to read the handbook or Charter. I love the uniforms and can't comment from personal experience about what happens if a student is not in compliance. However, I am certainly supportive of repercussions of some sort because there is no excuse for not wearing the appropriate uniform other than defiance from either the child or the parents or both. I'm sure you will find frequent requests for supplies, money, etc. at any school because unfortunately all NC public schools, especially Charter schools, suffer from lack of funding. Teachers are caring and nurturing and our children could not be happier. We love PLP and have complete confidence that our children are receiving a top notch education.
I couldn't expect any more from a school than what my children and our family has received at PLP. There are many people and families that are not happy anywhere, but much like life itself, PLP will take what you give (positive attitude, kindness, thanks) and return it in spades. My hat is off to Chris Terrell for being open minded, grounded, and full of both ideas and wisdom as to how to continue making Pine Lake better and better. Our history and performance speaks for itself: There have been CONTINUED ACADEMIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS, improved financial stability, streamlining of talented and credentialed APS (firing and hiring), improved athletic programs, and improvement of the grounds and facilities. And as for my children and the many other students that I know, they simply could not be happier. When my middle school son gets in the car and says "I just love school", I know that we are at the right place. For those families that aren't happy, consider becoming part of the solution if you have a problem, or finding another one of the great area schools to attend. We have a looooong waiting list who would be thrilled to become a part of our positive, thriving community...
In reference to an earlier comment, if you would like to check PLP's SAT scores, they are available through the state on a public website. The link is: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/accountability/reporting/sat/2012/satreport2012.pdf I believe PLP is found on p. 44 or 45. From what this shows, PLP scores are higher than Lake Norman Charter and the other local schools that I looked at. I have 2 middle schoolers and have been at PLP since the start. While it is not a perfect school, we have been very pleased. Please remember to fact check when information is thrown out in these comments!
Our family feels very blessed to be a part of such a wonderful school. The children are challenged and very well prepared. In speaking with other parents that have children in area public schools, PLP children seem to be working at least 6 months ahead of grade level. It is a caring, nurturing environment and my children could not be happier. The one time that we had an issue, we met with the lower school head and she quickly and efficiently handled our situation with a positive outcome. I feel very confident with my children receiving their education from this school. They are receiving a top-notch education and making life-long friends in the process.
I'm surprised at some of the negative remarks; while certainly not perfect, I think some negatives were people expecting a utopia of education, not a charter school experience. We've been at PLP for 4 years. I can see where some feel "maybe this is not the right school for you" is stressed by some teachers -- having a special needs child, I did initially feel this way by one teacher. I feel because it's a charter school, I had to "look" for resources (rather than have them handed to me) but they are definitely there, just like in public schools. We have NEVER felt ostracized for not being "perfect" like one review insinuated in their post. And I think the teachers are fabulous! Even when I disagreed with one, the head of the lower school willingly met with me and all of my child's teachers to correct personal issues -- I certainly didn't have to camp overnight to get a resolution :) Curriculum expectations, service learning hours, uniforms, no cafeteria, etc. are all laid out in orientation & when deciding to place your child here. If you don't agree with the curriculum or guidelines, don't choose that charter school. Each charter is different; find one that fits your family.
We have been at Plp for 5 years, been at lower, middle and upper schools. We love this school and would not ever change! My kids have thrived here; the faculty and staff are incredibly caring and expect the best from their students. The administration has always had an open door policy. No school is perfect but this is as close as you can get. My US kids will be more than ready for college!
My school is Pine Lake Preparatory We were fortunate to have started 1 of our children into the school during Pine Lake Prep s second year of existence with the other 2 following the yr after. It has been a great experience and I have been overwhelmed with how the teachers have always been extremely kind and helping every time we have needed to interact with them including field trips and after school activities. After seeing some of the other reviews, this seems to validate that people always get what they are expecting or allow into their experience. Maybe if something negative happened one time, others just expected it after that and then kept on looking for it. We will continue to expect only the best out of this school, and I am sure our children will get that experience as well as ourselves. My only concern has always been the parking and arrival/departure headaches, but it is still worth enduring that for this school. Now that the activities building has been completed, I am also hoping to see a cafeteria add on to compliment that structure and expect to see that soon for continued campus growth. This is a blessed institution and we feel blessed to be a part of it.
I am shocked to see any negative reviews at all! My three children have been at Pine Lake for 5 years now and we couldn't be happier. Of course, it has had it's ups and downs. However, I am beyond thrilled at the level of education my children receive. The atmosphere is phenomenal for students and parents. It is a close knit family and I have made many great friends here myself because I am involved. I have felt completely free to speak with any of the Heads of School anytime I have ever had any concerns. My concerns were met with serious thought and discussion and always had a positive outcome. They have been very accommodating with any issues that any of my children have had. We truly hit the lottery when we got in. I can not even imagine having to send my children anywhere else!
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