This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Southwest Charter School4
Posted September 26, 2014
- a parent
We really wanted our neighborhood school to work, but our kids were getting lost in the large class sizes and masses of worksheets. Once we switched to SWCS, they thrived. The classrooms are fun, engaging, and the community is very strong. Yes, it is charter which brings financial challenges that require fundraising (but isn't that the state of all schools?) but here we can definitely feel like our kids needs are being put first.
Everything I'd like to say has already been said by the other 1 and 2 star reviews. In short, SWCS did not provide the alternative education we expected and wanted for our child. Philosophies boasted on the schools website fall short. Once you are in the focus is on raising money for the school. That and everything already stated in the other low reviews.
My child is very happy at SWCS. She is excelling academically and much more engaged and challenged than at her previous school. While this school may not be a great fit for all children, an independent learner who benefits from full integration of creative and intellectual endeavors will do well here.
My daughter came to this school in 6th grade and stayed till 8th. During her time here she broke out of her shell, made many friends and bonded with teachers. She is now going into highschool full of confidence. Academically she is right where she needs to be thanks to the awesome teachers at SWCS! My son also attends this school and has come a long way socially fitting in and making friends. He is high functioning Aspergers/autistic and SWCS has helped him learn the social skills he needs. Academically he is excelling according to all the state testing, so thank you SWCS! You have done a wonderful job with my kids! They both love this school!
After a few years at Southwest Charter, my kids were not where they needed to be academically to fit back in to the mainstream school system. They had fun at farms, rivers, plays and museums during their time at SWCS, but are missing chunks of learning that have left them struggling now. We are spending a lot of time and money getting them caught up to where they need to be in all subject areas.
My son has autism. We had two wonderful years with this school. School placement is always difficult with special need children especially when resources are limited. We love this school because teacher and staff have the right level of flexibility, open-mindedness, positive attitute, sense of humor, and willingness to try new things. We met the most wonderful teacher and children in this school and we learned a lot from them. Education is a shared-responsibility between school and parents. We feel grateful that this school gave us an opportunity to successfully intergrate my son into the neuro-typical world. It is actually quite creative to effectively use public facilities to save costs given that charter schools are receiving much less fundings compared to traditional public schools.
Our child attended SW Charter School for three years. We chose SWCS as an alternative to PPS. We thought the 'Place-based Learning' approach and emphasis on natural science would be a good fit for our child who had struggled in a more traditional learning environment. Although there are a few individuals at the school dedicated to providing a supportive, engaging education following this model, we were mostly disappointed. SWCS is anti-academic (i.e. garbage collection = science!), has unaddressed bullying issues and very high teacher and student turnover (The 3 teachers we had have all left the school. The class rooster was @ 20% revolving door, with a significant drop by the end of the year). There is no library, computer lab, gym or grass play areas, and a general lack of the basics. Our experience (not unique to us) was that important educational decisions concerning a student were dictated by the administrator (with disregard for parental input) and non-negotiable. For our time there, SWCS did not deliver a quality alternative education option. Additionally, they were counter-productive in bringing child, family and school together for good educational outcomes.
Southwest Charter School was working hard to change the education system the first two years they were open. Since then, the school has hit a downward spiral. They're prime concern is with survival and it does not leave them time to focus on the needs of the students. Over the past two years, I withdrew both my children from SWCS. If your child has special needs of any sort, that is not a priority at SWCS.
We have been a part of SW Charter for going on 2 years now. We currently have all 3 of our kids in K, 2 and 4th grades. It does take some effort to get the kids to the school, but if your kids are important to you, I can assure you, that once in school their time is well spent. The staff and teachers, and smaller class sizes allow the education to go where the kids are and light fires in them. No DOUBTS from us, hearing our KINDER kids crying because she wants to go to school FULL DAYS never happened in the local neighborhood schools. At SWC our kids are learning, and learning more by doing. IMHO it's an effort that's well worth it. PS ---> Get in NOW while you can with the new location it will be FULL again soon. Nothing is worse than knowing where you want them to go and not being able to have it happen.
Our experience with SWCS has been fantastic. The school focuses on community-building and encourages critical thinking. Science, history, and art are skillfully woven into the core curriculum. The cllass sizes are small so everyone gets the attention they need and deserve. Every single teacher seems dedicated to quality teaching. This school is truly a gem and we feel so fortunate to have found it.