This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Pine Lake Preparatory1
Posted January 30, 2015
- a parent
Tour school; pay attention, students look like hollowed out versions of children. As reward, children may ride 2nd-1st floor slide, BUT instructed not to make noise, example of PLP's warped sense of children. K students confined to classrooms most of day resulting in high frustration levels. No behavior warning system, children get sticker or not, not knowing when hammer will drop; signals PLP doesn't understand child development. Principal advertises having worked in Kuwaiti schools, school has that vibe. 'Academic Partners' is a misnomer for teachers here. Communications mostly one-sided, once difficult question posed, communications cease or issues skirted. Teachers/admin cliquey. The 'library' is ~8'x10'; if focus is academics, why not build a library before gym or turf field? PLP 'prep' in name only. Philosophy of strictness, humiliation & insensitivity equals 'prep' to PLP. Actual prep schools have tried/true 'educators.' Confidence-building, exploration & encouraged growth are true cornerstones of a prep school education. PLP relies on false sense of quality surrounding charters w/ attitude 'if you don't like it, leave.' Look deeper past phoney 'prep school' facade.
My son started PLP in 1st grade in its inaugural year. He is now in 8th grade. My other son started at Kindergarten and is now in 3rd. Overall, I really like PLP. I like the small size and community feel. My older son is doing quite well at PLP and I feel that he is getting just as good (and perhaps a better) an educational experience as he would at a public school. I just prefer that he not be at a massive school with all of the issues that come with that situation. I most likely will continue with him at PLP until graduation. My younger son is a different story. He has a gifted IQ, but has diagnosed issues with focus and impulsivity. He does not qualify for any special accomodations because he is making good grades, but I am not confident that the grades are a true reflection of what he is actually learning. As a public charter school, PLP has the necessary components in place to support accomodations but it is a college preparatory school with an accelerated learning program. If your child struggles with any sort of educational disabilities, this might not be the school for you.
I have twin girls who were lucky enough to get into PLP last year for first grade and then their older brother got into seventh grade this year. The teachers took the time to get my son acclimated to seventh grade and they have all emailed me and kept me updated on his progress. We never got so much attention at Bailey with over 600 sixth graders. Pine Lake is like one big family and they all look out for each other. The lower school teachers have been just as nice to my daughters. We pay for Olympic transportation to pick my three kids up every morning and take them to school and then we use the buses at Pine Lake to bring them home. There are ways to alleviate the headache of drop off/pick up, but you have to look for them. A Pine Lake education is worth it to me. We could not be happier!
Pine Lake Prep. is a good school with a safe environment. The other community members who reviewed Pine Lake never attended the school and these reviewer's could use some work on their grammar. For a school system that receives only 2/3rd of the funding the public schools get, we manage very well. From a parent who has children in Pine Lakes elementary, middle and upper schools.
While my child was at pine lake, I believe it was an okay school. The rumor I would always hear before she entered hight school was, "Don't let her go to public school, it is not a good education." Me and my husband decided to pull her out and transfer her to public school due to moving, and has the same work load, tests, lessons and projects as most of her friends who still attend Pine Lake. I believe pine lake creates a fear of public school that is irrational. One of the teachers questioned my friends daughter on why she is transferring and how it is "detrimental" to her education, which is extremely inappropriate. Not satisfied with this "college prep" level school.
We live just a couple of miles from Pine Lake Prepatory. I have had two sets of parents who took their children out of then Private School my children attend to go to PLP. Within 6 months they were back at our school. They indicated the education was lacking and did not meet their expectations of where their children where originally at. Yes, I am sure PLP offers a much better education then public schools but does not compare to the education your child would receive at a private school.
If you are listening to the following comments about the End of the year tests then LISTEN. The grades decreasing is an overall trend across North Carolina. Look at any other school in the state and they are experiencing the same thing, except we still maintain an average much higher than the states. Yes the fund raising never ends. Yes the arrival and dismal is very badly planned, but if those are your reasons then you don't care enough for your child to get the best possible education.
Why are the issues not being addressed by the administration? Why are the test scores dropping so dramatically and nothing is being done? The only content parents are those in favor with the administration because of the vast sums of money they give to the school to assure their children do well. I was hopeful that some of the issues were going to be addressed after so many students left last year but no one seems to care. My children will be leaving at the end of this year because of terrible teaching, disorganization, and the disaster that exists in just trying to get them into the building safely. I just cannot imagine how long it is going to take until someone does something about the severe problems at Pine Lake.
We have two boys in school at PLP; one in 10th grade and the other in 7th grade. Both started at the school eight years ago as the school began, and we were delighted to be able to move them from the lesser quality neighborhood public schools in northern Mecklenburg County, that have their share of drug, behavior, and other problems. Our experience has been overwhelmingly positive, even as we experienced the growing pains of building development and construction, a change in head of school, and yes, periodic fundraising to build new facilities. Today, the school has expanded to include an arts center, athletic practice field, and athletic building, and planning is underway for a full-sized athletic field and a STEM building. We are very pleased with the quality of education our children are receiving, the level of engagement and talent of most of the faculty, and the atmosphere of "community" that is fostered there.
PLP is a great school. As with any school, or anything in life, you are always going to have problems. There are always learning curses to be experienced in anything. However, some of the reviews on this site just seem to be people who have had a bad experience and want to whine about it. I currently have three children at PLP, two in HS (one is a senior) and one in the LS. I can absolutely tell you that my senior is thoroughly prepared for college and that her teachers have went above and beyond what is expected. Do I think that my child could have obtained her 4.8 GPA elsewhere? Absolutely. Would it have been as hard and enriching as the education that she has received at PLP? Absolutely not. I rest assured everyday that my children are in a safe and nurturing environment and know that the teachers and administrators care about each and every student.