We have had our daughters in Casady school for a year and are very pleased and transferred from a highly rated public school. As parents who are actively involved in our children's education we know the difference in education in public school and a private school such as Casady. Yes, more is expected of the student in all spheres especially middle school at Casady but they really have the opportunity for learning in depth their core subjects. Learning is through multiple ways including projects, hands-on labs, and class discussion which is a more effective way of learning than simply through lectures. The online resources allows us as parents to keep track of assignments posted and submissions as well as grades. It's an excellent tool for the student to develop good study habits. Teachers are very easy to access for questions and supportive of education and certainly my daughters feel they are excellent in all regards. My daughters love going to school. I think that Casady is frustrating to those who are not able to commit the time needed but like anything in life effort is required for good results. Without some involvement of parents, I think it would be challenging for students in their formative years to learn the principles of learning. Our daughter in lower division doesn't have very much homework. For the one in middle school there is a fair amount of homework but if they manage their time well a fair bit of it can be done in school and 1-2 hours at home. Her time management skills continue to improve. Studying for tests may take up extra time and weekend homework has been minimal so far. I think kudos go to the Casady administration and teachers to keep the standard high and focusing on creating well rounded students.
Students that are more advanced are given special material to learn. There are extracurricular activities such as MathCounts and Science Olympiad provide other avenues to explore for the motivated student.
I exited Casady as a miserable 7th grader, and am now am a very happy sophomore at another OKC private school. I will say this about Casady: the teachers work very hard, sometimes too hard. They are stretched very thin, and cannot always provide for the students. Some are unstable, but my complaints lie mostly with the students. Each child is in a stress-filled environment the moment they walk into 5th grade. Lower School teachers are wonderful, but fail to provide for the students in their transfer to the unreasonable transfer to Middle School. I realize that Middle School gets a bad rep, but 4 hours of straight homework a night, in Middle School, is not fair for the students who must complete it or get detention the next day, or for the teachers who have to grade 60 or 70 long assignments each day. At one point, Casady may have been a good school, but it would need to be completely rethought if anyone wants to save it.
Casady has an Honor Code and logical consequences are carried out if the Honor Code is broken. The school fosters a spirit of community and the students are taught empathy and sympathy through reminding them to follow the Golden Rule.
My daughter transferred from Heritage Hall to Casady at the beginning of her fifth grade year. At Heritage Hall she did not feel like she fit in with that group of children, and our family was ready for a change. Casady has nurtured her already strong work ethic and has fostered her individual growth while encouraging her to find areas of interest in which she could thrive. She has had opportunities to play sports, sing, play cello, act in theater productions, work on the yearbook staff, volunteer her time to teach advanced math to younger students, join various service learning clubs, and a multitude of other options. She has a lot of homework, but chooses to finish quite a bit of it during her study period, and that helps her have less homework time at home. She has two or three close friends because she realizes that high school is just a stepping stone to college and to her career. The Casady parents are kind and supportive. They come from many different backgrounds, but are all willing to pay the tuition and fees because they believe in Casady. They seem very comfortable in their own skin, and I don't see a lot of nouveau riche behavior. The teachers know her and communicate well with me as a parent. The board and administration have worked hard to make sure that Casady lives up to its mission. I look forward to the positive growth and change that continues to happen under their tutelage. In some of the other less than favorable reviews, I see comments about the academics being less rigorous, and I disagree. My daughter has learned how to work hard, write well, think for herself, and has taken (and passed) many AP courses and tests. This allowed her to earn college credit for basic classes so that she will be able to graduate from college earlier. Obviously, Casady is not the school for all families. I have friends that have their children attending three different schools in Oklahoma City, including Casady, because these other fine schools, both public and private, were what their children needed.
(Cont.) The school is also very welcoming to new families with a variety of social gatherings (coffee dates, volunteering, etc) and also parent educational events (including a growing parenting resource network...where counselors lead thoughtful discussions on parenting). We volunteer our time and resources to this school because we believe whole-heartedly in its mission: "Casady develops excellence, confidence, and integrity in students and prepares them with skills and knowledge that serve as the foundation for success." ...educating the mind, body and spirit is also the best investment I want for my children.