This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Cleveland College Preparatory School4
Posted October 02, 2014
- a parent
The special education program here is great. They have a close but separate building for individual and small-group instruction for students with learning disabilities. The instructors treat them with respect, are patient, and know when to separate them from the "normal" classes without making them feel different or isolating them. Expectations at this school are high for children, but they are given the tools and positive support to meet them regardless of learning styles and abilities.
My kid has been at this school almost 2 years now and I feel like he isn't learning anything. He has had so many different teachers since he got here. I have never heard of so many changes in teachers in a school in just one year. It is really quite sad. His class sizes are very big making it hard to gain personal attention. Its a shame.
This is the time to become a teacher at I CAN SCHOOLS... morale went through the roof with the salary increases for the upcoming school year. With teachers starting at $40,000 minimum it finally feels like the compensation matches the expectations. The changing conditions show in the teacher retention... if you're willing to work hard here you are going to be compensated and given the sort of opportunities you won't get at a Breakthrough or CMSD. At the end of the day, I'm here for the kids and the mission, but constantly improving climate helps.
This has to be the most unorganized organization in the city of Cleveland when it comes to charter schools. HR is constantly lossing teacher paperwork such as BCI & FBI background checks, teacher licenses & certificate, transcripts etc. In addition, there are many teachers, deans & principles who work here that have no ideal what they are doing, most of which are not even qualified to work in a school. The leadership team is a joke with no real structure. The expectations of the teaching staff is unreasonable and unrealistic for $28,000 or $30,000 a year, even if you are just a first year teacher. Both Co-Founders party with staff members in such away I feel is unacceptable and degrading to their organization. If you accept any position with this organization more than likely you will quit, if you are not fired first by their horrible leadership team. Overall your productivity will be down due to the lack of support from the upper management & the stressful poor working environment in the schools. I don't think this organization will be able to sustain overtime.
Never work at an I Can School. The expectations are unreasonable and are designed for teachers and staff to fail. Administration has inappropriate relationships with their bosses and staff. You will be treated like a child and will never be appreciated. It's very unfortunate, beacause ultimately, the kids are the ones who suffer. The turnover is remarkable and from the very beginning of the school year, multiple staff members were searching for other positions. It's a terribly designed BUSINESS. Pay teachers below a living wage and overpay the upper administration.
If you're a parent researching I Can, and you came this far, then research Breakthrough Schools and compare the two networks. Also consider the high performing CMSD schools. I Can is a network that treats their teachers terribly. They have a big turnover problem and your child might see five different disgruntled teachers before the conclusion of the school year. Don't let I Can fool you with their college bound rehtoric, I taught there four years ago. My class was rediculously over crowded. And yes, I was making very little money and had impossible expectations placed on me. I had to quit after two months and I sold insurance which was heaven compared to working there.
I worked for I CAN Schools. It was a nightmare. I have a master's degree in special education and they were barely paying me a living wage. To top it off, the expectations were ungodly. No lunch time, no planning time, oversized classes, more lesson plans due than were required in college and the leadership was AWFUL! Teachers are a commodity. After our staff dropped to less than half-staff the principal made the threat, "Gossip needs to stop. I don't care if we are half-staffed, I am not afraid to go below." Nothing was done to help teachers. The I CAN charter schools are not good for students with disabilities. I was once told I can't pull students into a small group at the back table because that is not the I CAN standard of inclusion. Personally, it's about the kids, not a blanket of expectation that does not fit. THANK GOD I left that school. I loved the kids and the families, but I do not miss the poor treatment of the staff and the ridiculous expectations.
I am rating this school with 5 overall. The teachers seem to do better than average. I am not too impressed with the staff overall. I think much improvement is needed there on my fronts. Their seems to be a stereotypical pattern for the hiring of some of the staff. Appears to go a little to the left. At least this school offers a quality education, I guess thats all that matters. This school is probably similar to a military school for those who find that approach suitable. I'm am no longer bragging parent of the I can school no matter how many new locations they offer. I was turned off by the second year.
Wish I would have saw the teacher review before I fell into the trap! Teachers plan on working 12 hour days including weekends, turning in 3-4 undergrad lesson plans to 2-3 different people, eat lunch with the students in the classroom, and possibly 1-2 planning periods a week if there is a specials teacher. Plan on the 1 copy machine breaking and not being able to print and copy the 5 pages of curriculum for all the subjects you teach (for your 30 students).