The principal is someone you can easily see that the students respect. She has said that the school is great for every child, just not every parent. It's so true. i think mainly because the school & our principal, Summer, emphasize independence & that is not something you find in the public system.
The fact that they do not give a lot of homework is true for K/1. My child is I. 3rd grade & does receive homework & dos for 2nd grade. The school had emphasized that the homework is done in class with the lessons so that the students can effectively learn the lesson rather than have a parent 'help' them through it at home. Also, they subscribe to the need for our Elementary children to go & Play, after school has been studied & proven to be what helps their development, not doing a huge amount of homework at these young ages.
My child has been at the Elementary school since its inception & not only enjoys going to school but has learned to be a critical thinker & motivated student. My husband & I are so pleased with this school & its staff & leadership.
My daughter joined the newly formed Exploris Elementary School and now has completed 1st and 2nd Grade. Her learning has been IMMENSE. They cover all the basics- reading and math performing well above grade level, but they take it much further. They team them about community, making a difference in the world. Design for change. Project Management and Presentation skills. While doing this they are having FUN. Awesome teachers, awesome school, awesome administration. A school with a a community feel. Our family is extremely grateful to be a part of this school.
Many of the teachers are wonderful: particularly the 6th grade team and most of the 7th grade team. The seventh grade has struggled with significant teacher turnover in the past three years, which makes team teaching difficult. The of educational experience of training of some teacher make them less able to reach some students.
There is almost not homework. If the student is one of the lucky few to get in advance math there is a little more, but only in math. A few years ago the school started making the kids do their homework at school (taking up class time). Teachers commented that some of the students were working too much with parents to complete the assignments. What homework there is now is busy work using online tools.
No, the school is significantly based on group projects and it is common for good students to contribute more of the work while others coast. The teachers don't provide enough team management, project instruction or supervision so it's impossible to tell who contributes to the end product. When students are dishonest they learn that nothing will happen so they continue to do as they please.
The school doesn't have the basic resources of a standard public school: no text books are used, just internet based research with little or no teacher guidance. The kids are learning math with online tools like Khan and Think Through Math. There is no attention given to advanced students. Often the resulting work product contains scientifically invalid evidence because there is no effort to build from core principles. Students learn that they don't have to work hard because they will just be given a retest as many times as they like to get the grade they want. The STEM and NC Green school distinction is baseless because they don't implement the programs on which these awards were founded.