This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Pine Lake Preparatory5
Posted August 29, 2014
- a parent
I have two girls, one in lower (3rd) and one in middle (6th). We have been part of this school since the new campus was built in 2008. PLP not only offers exceptional academic opportunities, it is a true community where most parents are involved. Passionate teachers and parent involvement is why PLP has 3500 students on the wait list. This school is a model for other schools and does it all with 13% less funding than a traditional public school. PROUD TO BE @ PLP!
Traffic Mess/disorganization! One week in school, and school emails abound trying to issue damage control to their inefficient student drop-off planning. After 6+ years on the new campus, it's clear between the Admin planners and school structure, there is no relief in sight. Parents are impatient, confused, LS students take the sidewalk down from US, often coming w/in inches of cars. The sidewalk is narrow and so close to traffic. Student's are leaving already for other schools. Admin needs to change! Poor communications and disorganization!
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.