This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted August 28, 2014
- a parent
My son is entering the 3rd grade at Corbett Elementary, where he has been for several years now. The teaching staff at Corbett are dedicated and experienced. He has some good friends at school, and we are very happy. I just found out that he'll be taking beginning Band this year, which is great. The multi-age classrooms have also been very successful with our son. We live outside the district (in Gresham), and entered through a boundary exception. We don't regret the decision at all. The schools are high quality. There is some (minority) political animosity in the community about the district serving students from outside Corbett, although because of the way operating funds for students come from the state with the student, I believe the district is much stronger for having the transfer students. We are considering buying a home and moving to Corbett in the future, as we'll have two kids going through school there; I mention that because I suspect that having the high quality schools with some out-of-district students helps property values in the Corbett community.
Corbett has an excellent math and science program as well as a fine music program. The English department could use improvement, spelling, grammar and creative writing are true weaknesses within the student body. The school offers meager opportunities for students who are interested in anything other than college prep- the art program is nearly non-existent and no technology classes are offered. There is a general mind set within the school that people who work with their hands, people who enter labor industries or who choose not to go to a four year university are somehow inferior. This was the experience of my child, and I found it very frustrating, and rather snobbish. How much better to encourage intellectual growth while recognizing that not everyone is cut out for academia, or even wants to enter those fields. Why not have an automotive technology class, couldn't intellectuals benefit from understanding an engine or how to change a tire? There seems to be only two groups, those who think Corbett is perfect and those who hate it...I suggest that Corbett does many things well, but could, and should, improve.
I had heard about the Corbett school district's reputation and moved to this wonderful town so that my kids could benefit from the education offered here. From what I've seen through helping out in the classrooms, I am absolutely astounded at what these teachers are able to accomplish. Although many have reservations about the mixed age classrooms, I have had nothing but a great experience. My little boy is a total spaz, and the mixed age room works very well for him. As a kindergartener, he had older kids around to act as mentors and role models. Now that he's the "old kid" in the class, he mentors the younger ones. And I can't say enough about the dedication that the teachers have for these kids. To the critics, I would recommend that they spend a few hours helping out in a classroom and see what these teachers do. Although I may be a bit biased, I feel that the teachers here are a truly special group of absolute pros at what they do. The students are treated with respect and the education of the kids is highly individualized.
Why is this a nameless non-accountable rating system? This is very suspect? If you would like to speak to me about our experience and the horror stories that I have investigated, then contact me. Corbett Charter is not for everyone. If you have a self-motivated child (home school children, I feel would do ok) or just a plain old 3.5 to 4.0 type child (smart kid) then you will probably do fine. If you experience anything that you feel should be questioned, you will loose and then be intimidated (you and your child) eventually will be pressured to change schools. The District School (if you become a new resident) will discourage any form of Special Education because they don't really think it works, so you better not have any problems with your child. The claims of freshman year of college being paid for because of AP courses? well, far and few and the list is short. It is closer to a "pie in the sky" selling point in my opinion. If your child is really smart in the middle school, he or she will be teaching the others. Contact me and I will be honest. Your chances are better paying for a private education than going through Corbett Schools (for the average child it's not the one.)
Just in case someone is using this resource to get accurate information, please consider that "too many horrors" has posted a very unbelievable comment. There is only one married couple on the teaching staff (their implication is that there are many); the teachers are highly "seasoned" (which I define as having a great deal of experience on average); and it is virtually impossible for a child to complete 3-4 Saxon math tests for over 6 consecutive months. This would mean that they have essentially breezed through 3 years of math curriculum in that time, in addition to doing 5 lessons at home each night. (There are about 24 tests in each year of Saxon math). This post is either by someone who has an agenda to mislead people intentionally; is quite confused about which school their children attend (Corbett School and Corbett Charter are completely different); or is hoping a few sensational false claims will bolster other complaints.
My son goes to the charter school. He loves it. He has only positive things to say about the supposed dictator and the staff at this school. He said most of the students feel the same way he does. He will be a senior next year. He and I both wish he could have attended a mixed class early in life. I think it would have been beneficial for him to be challenged earlier.
I am a teacher at Corbett Grade School. The fact that I rate my own school "excellent" is a testament to the incredible colleagues I know so well. The previous comment must be by someone who spends very little time in the classroom. There is a clear pattern that the parents who volunteer every week in the classrooms are the same people who are very positive about the school and supportive of the teachers. It's quite unfortunate that the previous poster feels there's no instruction going on in the classrooms. If they shadowed a teacher for one week, seeing the energetic pace we keep up, addressing children as individuals and enjoying preparing lessons on the our own time, I believe they'd retract their statement. There is a lot of instruction going on. I love the teaching environment in Corbett, where we don't hand every child the exact same assignment, scripted by a textbook publisher, and reward them with a percentage when they finish. Our children celebrate their own growth, not how their momentary performance compares to others.
The silent majority loves the school? Well they must not vote.... We just replaced two more board members. There are some GREAT teachers - but for the most part it is a huge experiment with "Imaginative Education" and the Charter. This school is multi-age, self paced, non-graded, self directed! If your child does well without instruction - this is the school for you. If not, ask questions.
My husband and I are alumni of Corbett, We are also longtime property owners and parents of children in K-3. We are very pleased with the education our children are receiving. The blended classes have given an opportunity to excel and be challenged beyond the traditional age based classroom. The use of the Columbia Gorge as a springboard has given us new things to talk about and investigate while exploring our own "backyard". We look forward to Middle School and High School where the bar is set high, not to exclude, but to challenge. The teachers and administration, of both the district and charter, deserve ovations for their commitment to our children.
Believe the few detractors, or the silent majority. If you expect the school to raise your child and be a surrogate parent, go somewhere else. If you want a school that cares about your child's success educationally and developmentally, Corbett is the best! My child will graduate next year and be able to skip most of his Freshman year of college saving us nearly a year's tuition. He can speak Spanish comfortably and is very competent in Calculus, English comp, and Physics. He can perform music at the level that is in keeping with Corbett's standing as the State Music Champs. Don't look at the Emperor, look at the citizens!