This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted December 03, 2013
- a parent
I love this school! I love that my child has friends of all different abilities and has learned to be compassionate and kind to all. My child is shy and Exploris has offered him the space to bloom. The teachers make time to talk to individual students about their own needs and goals, which makes all the learning very personal and real to my child. The students get real world experiences, by doing volunteering out of the school on a weekly basis. Field trips are a regular occurrence and the students seem to feel connected the the downtown community. I love it!
Good: loved the teachers, as in our public school experience. Inclusive environment for those with behavioral issues, disabilities. Estimate to 2/3 of students in my child s class, likely have diagnoses. Liked recreational sports. Our child is happy, settled. Have not seen any incidents of bullying. Racially diverse, not economically diverse. Bad: academically, our child has declined significantly. EOG dropped 40 points for reading (compared to every prior year in school). Safety: 0 out of 5 stars. No routine background checks on staff until Sept 2013 when the law forced this change. There are no checks, policy, or monitoring at all for volunteers (any adult can drive/coach, no drivers license, insurance proof, no monitoring). Charters do not have buses so parents/volunteers drive the kids to everything. Your child is placed with people you do not know, at times you do not know. There is no policy/guidelines for absence due to illness, making up homework, sign in/out for appointments. Very basic standards/policies to run a school are not in place. No centralized planner to follow (like Blackboard) on what is due when. Would not have chosen Exploris, if we had to do again.
Exploris has been a wonderful educational experience for my child. Teachers set high expectations for the students, and create support systems to help students achieve the expectations. Skills learned in core classes are reinforced with theme projects which students work on as a group, and as an individual. I love the fact that community services and being a citizen in a global world is emphasized along with critical thinking. Giving more children an opportunity to experience this type of education would be a great improvement.
I love going to Exploris. The teachers are there to help you, and they are there to talk to you. The students there are so nice and accept you no matter what you like or what you wear. Exploris is all about learning hands on and working together. Almost every week all the crews/homerooms will get together and work on something that will let the students get to know each other better and give them a chance to talk to other people. Exploris is not the type of school that get students ready just to pass a test, but they make sure that their students learn and take what they learn with them.
I have two children, an 8th grade boy and a 7th grade girl, and I have volunteered a lot during the years my kids have attended Exploris. Our family love the atmosphere of the school. Th teachers are great and are exceptionally on top of what is going on with the students. I have see a huge improvement in my children's academics and I consider the quality of the teacher and the attention they pay to be the driving factor in that improvement. I also love the pro-active approach the school takes to eliminate bullying. My son was bullied in elementary school despite the best efforts of the school's staff. He has experienced zero problems at Exploris. We also love the fact there is a dog at school and the incredible opportunities for cool field trips and really interesting service learning. Exploris is really just the coolest school I know. Not so great points.... The building isn't ideal. It would be wonderful to have a quieter, larger space for the students.
Exploris is an overall great school. I enjoy going there every day. It is so unique in the way it teaches and shapes its students. The teachers are so much fun and involved with their students. They offer excellent academics. This is a small school, with a small student body. It is so much fun because you become friends with everyone. The only tiny flaw I have noticed (coming from a regular public middle school) is that there are a few gaps in the 'social studies' and science curriculum. The classes are different from a regular school. :)
No school is perfect and Exploris has its flaws but it is better than most schools and does a lot of great things. They need to learn more flexibility and trust students with more freedoms. The hands on learning experiences have been great. My son really learns best by doing rather than sitting and listening as he has ADHD and he is certainly exposed to more active learning at Exploris than he would be at a WCPS. He still isn't that happy with the school because he desires more freedom and flexibility in expressing himself, for example being able to quietly talk to friends before school or wear a hat. On the whole, it has been a much better fit than a public middle school. And there is a dog there everyday, which he thinks is really cool!
When my first child got into Exploris, I was delighted.Little did I know that he was in for one of the greatist experiences of his life. We have been blessed to have been part of this unbelievable, hands on, caring, no nonsense environment. The teachers are wonderful,energetic,and on top of all that goes on every day. The kids learn by doing, by walking around town, by being encouraged every day to ask questions and to always look at the big picture. They engage the kids in all kinds of activities and trips during the entire year. They promote community service from the moment the child enters the school. They prepare the children for real life situations. I am grateful that my second child now attends this school. We will always be grateful for all that this wonderful environment has done for our kids.
I've never seen a team of teachers so involved in the student's success. They do an amazing job of getting kids to work with their strengths. The school is also connected to the community in many ways. Interviewing citizens for a wisdom project and choosing citizens from every demographic of Raleigh; volunteering with the Natural Science Museum, walking to the capitol and listening to our lawmakers. In so many ways they are learning to become responsible, connected citizens as well as great writers and thinkers.
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