The school bills itself as a homeschool co-op, so the amount of homework is higher. I love teaching my kid, but I just reached the point where it upset me that I had to do it when they came home from school and were already tired/cranky. Why was I paying so much for this when I was doing a lot of the work myself?
They follow Core Virtues Literature-Based Character Ed. Each month has a virtue-of-the-month, which is nice. It is mostly up to parents to keep up with this and talk/read about it at home. In the classroom, I feel the teachers are fair with the students and encourage these traits. However, I am aware of on-going bullying that was never fully addressed.
After 8 years at this school, we finally made the decision to leave because the academic needs of my middle two children were not being met. I had talked with teachers and the administration repeatedly for over a year, and very little was done until they realized I was looking elsewhere. I became most frustrated when, at the beginning of first grade, my child's reading level was assessed to be at half of the level she was at by the end of kindergarten, and no one noticed. I had to point this out to them, at which time they offered to reassess; but with such a small class size, why is no one paying attention? It is true that the teachers are caring. And I loved the "family" atmosphere of the school, but when all was said and done, my kids were not receiving an education that measured up to public school standards. My straight-A eighth grader was behind when she began public school this year, particularly in math. She placed in their lower level math class and is struggling to make C's at this point. Her confidence has taken a huge blow, and it has been hard to watch. The foreign language program is nice for exposure. The kids develop a natural accent. However, they do not learn more than what they would learn in 1-2 semesters of foreign language in middle school. Overall, they do an ok job at the elementary level, though they do not consistently live up to their claim to "meet your child at his/her level." They use terms like differentiation, etc, but it is not done effectively. And the middle school curriculum is below average at best. It does not prepare the students for success once they leave the school. This was certainly not the private school education I thought I was paying for.
I think they are as effective as possible in their environment. They often run out of time to cover material in depth. Ideally, the parents can fill in this gap. But the reality is that we don't know what gaps to fill in. NC State Standards are being missed by very capable students whose parents aren't teachers and don't know what to look for.
They make the outward appearance of developing these traits. However, in the middle school, the kids were allowed to call another student trailer trash, and tell her she needed to go to rehab, etc, without ever getting in trouble. But the student who was frequently picked on got in trouble because there was a conversation where she may have used a curse word. I am not condoning cursing. But my child heard almost all of the middle school students curse while she was there. It should have been addressed as an issue within the entire middle school, but it was not. And no one should have been allowed to treat another student the way she was treated. Huge double standards exist.