I think most of them are there because it's an easy job and they can't get a better one any where else or they are first year, many are first year, and they are still trying to get work somewhere else so this is just a paycheck for them. There is not only a lot of student turnover but teacher turnover.
The school is like a factory -- they send the students through with minimal instruction and no creativity in the classes. The elementary teachers/classes are average or above, but once the students get to about 4th grade, it goes downhill quickly. The new principal reminds me of a politician. She will talk and sort of listen, but she doesn't really care what you say. There is little oversight in the classrooms, so if your child falls behind or is ahead and bored, forget about help. The teachers are lazy. The English teacher seems to have a limited knowledge of teaching writing skills and literature. He uses the same stories over and over and doesn't allow the students variation. His taste in literature seems odd, as he uses mostly newer books and no classics. They put a lot of emphasis on appearances and nonacademic classes, which I guess could be good, but it's more like a break for the teachers because the other classes don't really teach anything either. Talk to parents who have had kids there before you commit. The upper grades are very small and it's because people get disgusted and leave.
Students are unique exhibiting creative and intelligent thinking well beyond their years. Unique perspectives are encouraged. TCAPS: Incredibly low levels of stress for both educators and students in comparison to other. They were all highly prepared and there is no "teaching to the test". Faculty: I've yet to find a group of educators as caring and encouraging as the group at AA with the keen sense of how to challenge students appropriately. Teachers are open to concerns. We feel comfortable going to teachers knowing that they are willing to make positive changes for our children all while teaching them respect and boundaries. Diversity: The Headmaster and Dean have gone beyond the call of duty in fostering a truly inclusive and secular educational institution where families of all religious/racial/cultural backgrounds are celebrated for their diversity. This truly inspiring to see so much diversity working together to learn from one another respectfully which is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Thank you Ashley Academy for teaching our children that there is a vast world out there waiting to be explored and holding their hands while doing it.
This is an amazing, unique school! It is probably not for everyone - it's very small and the classes are tiny - but if you want your child to learn HOW to think instead of WHAT to think, this is a wonderful school with a strong sense of community. Students are challenged and receive VERY individualized attention. My child was bored and miserable in the public system. We are new, so I can't speak to the changes over the past few years, but we are incredibly pleased. It's refreshing to find a diverse private school without religious indoctrination. They've had guest speakers in world cultures/religions and the families were invited to join in tasting traditional cuisines from all over the world. This semester, there was a guest speaker from the Storytelling Festival, the older grades served meals at a soup kitchen and volunteered at an animal shelter. These kinds of opportunities can't be found at huge public schools. The teachers are dedicated, passionate about teaching and they are developing bright students who are excited, challenged, curious about everything and love learning.
AA has gone through a few transitions over the last year, these transitions were only moving the school towards a much better educational system. With a new Headmaster at the helm the NEW AA atmosphere is loving, welcoming, fun, challenging, and inspiring. Current teachers care for each student in a way that is familial while focusing on them as as individual, unique and creative thinkers, helping enrich their strong points while strengthening their weaknesses. We are very pleased with the new related arts classes (PE, Health, Music, Art, Spanish, Character Development and Library/Technology). Field trips are practical and FUN! The school cares about the environment with a "Green" atmosphere. The Academic Dean is understanding and caring and all employees work as a solid team regardless of whether or not a child is in their class. Students express excitement/love towards the school and classmates. This year there is a strong focus on caring for one another in a non-judgemental way. Thank you Board, Faculty, Headmaster, Dean and all employees for this amazing new well put together team of professionals and the warm welcome/smile that greets us in the front office everyday.
I am very disappointed in this school. The teachers seemed overwhelmed and don't focus on the individualized attention that I thought my son was supposed to get. The curriculum is terrible and seems to easy for my child. He comes home bored and upset everyday. Providence is looking better and I wish I made that choice.