This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Carden Cascade Academy5
Posted June 06, 2014
- a parent
Excellent academics, AWESOME teachers. 18 kids in class, one lead and one assistant teacher. - Good arts, music, PE, Mandarin program. My child excitedly talks abt work of great artists that he learns in arts class. - summer school. ext care open during many holidays - Extended care teachers come up with very interesting projects/arts, my kids are upset if I pick them early! seriously! School made some changes as they went from 10 kids to 100 kids in 3 years, and they have hired more staff to streamline management. I have many times walked into directors office to discuss my concern or find out why certain action was taken. I personally get very clear reasons/explanations from director on any action she takes, and have found them necessary to maintain high standard of the school I have been with this school for over 4 years when my older child started at carden, and have not had negative experiences like some other reviewers, and makes me believe those might be one off incidences. My younger one is now enrolled here too. I tour other elementary school in this area every other year before re-enrolling and am repeatedly convinced that this is the best option for my children.
My firstborn started going to CCA in 2009-2010 school year. He was in Jr.K. Over the last 4 years I have seen my child blossom these past years. The teachers are great, invested, and unlike someone mentioned below are not family members of the director. The school focuses on great values - discipline, respect, and perseverance. And they do this with adequate encouragement. Children participate in many presentation exercises, School plays and many more cultural activities that provide all round development. As a working parent, the fact that they are open all year, is a big advantage. They do have over 200 school days. They provide daycare during some holiday weeks.(~35days). They have consistently come within the top 15 % in Stanford Achievement tests. I have also compared the school Math/English and Science content against syllabus in some CBSE schools in India. They are at par or advanced. The school did go through some growing pains. I don t deny that. The school has grown 6x over 4 years. So some pricing and policy changes were made accordingly. I was always able to valid answers to my concerns. As of last year, I have enrolled my younger child too.
Our kid is enrolled in the Junior Kindergarten class at Carden Cascade this September. Normally, I wouldn't write a review yet, but since some other reviews are from parents whose kids aren't even enrolled, I figure I might have some things to add. Carden may not be for everyone, but it looks to be perfect for us. We were looking for a private school that stresses academics over athletics. We wanted a year-round school that is a small in total school size as well as class size. We believe in early reading, handwriting, and foreign language skills. And we believe that extra-curricular activities should foster cooperation more than competition. Carden Cascade does all this. We are very excited that printing the alphabet and Mandarin Chinese language learning begins in Junior Kindergarten, and cursive writing begins in first grade. We are thrilled at at class size (7-10 students). The teachers we talked to are very enthusiastic and clearly happy in their jobs. The classrooms were joyful. We both think our kid will thrive there. We encourage other parents to look into Carden Cascade for themselves. We need more manners, civility, and the stress on academics Carden Cascade offers.
We have been at CCA for four years, and while we felt good about the school at the beginning, we are frustrated with the leadership of the school. Communication about decisions and policies is generally absent. The director goes on extended vacations during the school year w/o notifying the parents or explaining who is in charge. There is much micromanaging and meddling in what we feed our kids, but not a word about the fact that our mixed-grade classroom was being supervised for a large part of the year by the director's family member having no apparent teaching qualifications. Science in higher grades is weak. The teachers we have encountered (esp. kindergarten) are dedicated and my kids have loved them. The art program is especially strong. For us, by now, the good of the staff and strengths of the curriculum are no longer enough to overcome the atmosphere created by the director.
The school provides an excellent foundation for education along with good discipline. Both my children go to this school. The teachers are really awesome! The program is individualized and every child is given the attention that he/she needs. In addition, music, art, P.E and the second language is beyond excellent, I really want to say it is awesome! Perfect mix of academics and non-academics.They do have open space at the back and front for outdoor activities. Kids do get enough time outdoors which i believe is very important. They have a lot of presentations where every student participates and presents in front of teachers/parents/the school, which definitely helps boost their confidence level. Both my children absolutely love to go to school.
My kid was prospective student and I was thinking highly of the school until I visited it. Director took almost 15 mins to find the application form and whole place appeared disorganized. So I posted a question in my company mail list expressing concern about disorganization and if I should give it another chance. Someone forwarded my email to the director as next time I called her she yelled at me for giving bad feedback and slammed the phone down. I felt it was very much uncalled for and felt this person don't know how to run business. She was extremely emotional about it. Worst part was all I asked was if I shld give the school a second chance. She didn't even realize that my calling her implied I gave it a second chance and she blew it. Totally idiotic!!!
This school is crippled by its dogmatic, controlling, overbearing director/owner. A fair percentage of the staff are friends or family of the director; those that aren't don't tend to last long. If you are parents seeking a partnership and valuing open communication with your child's school and teachers, Carden is not the place for you. Sadly, this little school's potential is being obliterated by the dictatorship that it is under. If the director could learn to delegate tasks and relinquish control over every tiny facet of the school, there might be some hope for the school s future. Sadly, that is not the current reality. Take your money and hopes elsewhere and save yourself a year of frustration. I'm giving the teachers a lower ranking than they deserve as they are under the complete control of the director and their abilities are hampered as such. Bottom line, keep looking; your kids deserve better.
The school lost my pre-registration check, did not respond to my calls and emails in timely manner, and gave me the impression that they are totally dis-organized with things. They didn t show any interest in helping out with the issue. The principal talked to me in rude and unprofessional manner. I checked with other people at work, and several came forward saying that school lost important parts of their child's paperwork. , The feedback is that the negative tone the principal (owner) takes with parents is common. I will not put my child in this school, since i believe there are plenty of other great private schools that will keep their records straight and communicate with parents in professional manner.
This used to be great school, but the administration s attitude changed the feel of the school in single year. The staff, parents, volunteers, and children are not treated kindly, shown respect, or appreciation. The attitude is my way or the highway. Parents who speak up are asked to leave the school. This treatment is taking the tall: large portion of school s small staff left the school, and so did about 10% of existing upper-grade students (that excludes the students that were graduating). Key concerns were quality of instruction, bullying that has not been addressed, outdated science curriculum (science is taught by sitting, reading textbook, and answering questions), lack of creative methods to let children learn, explore, and love STEM. Sure, most of the kids in this school show good results on standardized test, but most of the kids are also from affluent families that value education and spend lot of time working with the children. Once you take that in account, the results are consistent with any school in Bethany area. What's the bottom line? The student & staff turnover shows that this school is on downward spiral. Beware.
We transferred our son to Carden after bad experience in public school and love the school. Key benefits: => Classical & Challenging Curriculum: math, grammar, literature, writing, history, geography, languages, sciences, programming, debate, P.E., music art All subjects that are needed in order to raise well-rounded children & all taught by incredibly dedicated, amazing teachers. => Manners: the kids are taught to behave in kind & respectful manner. It is woven into the curriculum and activities, even into the language they use. I believe that this focus on respect ends up contributing to the academic achievement. The kids are respectufl and the teachers can teach. => Kids Stay Kids Longer: There are no cliques or gossip, not even in middle school. When recess comes, the kids have fun playing games (capture the flag, tag, hide&seek ). They look happy. => Focus on Perseverance and Hard Work: my son is finally challenged, has to work hard, and is rewarded for his hard work. To me, these are the most important skills he should gain at school, and I couldn t be happier with how Carden instills these values in him. All in all, Carden is truly great school and I recommend it.