Our children have had a wonderful experience at ESK. The class sizes are small so teaching is more tailored to the individual child's need. One of the best student teacher ratios in Knoxville! Academics are strong and children excelling are challenged to grow and learn more. Hands on learning is excellent....dissecting cow's eyeball in 2nd grade, projects, Mandarin, Spanish, fabulous art education and fabulous PE! So far, each teacher we've had has had a sincere interest in our child's academic and personal development. Chapel and the inclusive values of the school are a strong draw as well as the focus on giving back to the community and helping others. Families are friendly and real. Children are encouraged to think out of the box and learn various ways to solve problems. ESK is a great school!
This is our third year at ESK. Overall, it has been unimpressive academically and I do a lot of extra schooling at home. They are constantly asking for money and they give special treatment to those who donate largely. The elementary school prinicipal is inexperienced, she was previously a 2nd grade teacher at ESK. She has little social skills and appears nice until you have a complaint. She will then tell you that you are the only person that has ever complained about that issue. She must not realize that parents actually talk to each other. There is not much parent involvement, most PTA meetings have about 10 parents in attendance on a good day and it is so difficult to get any parents to volunteer. About 50% of the teachers are excellent. The other 50% do not belong at a $12,000/year school. 4th and 5th grade are challenging in a good way, but the kids are so academically unprepared for those years-it makes it very difficult for them. The middle school principal is excellent, so that is a positive. We will be going to St John Neuman next year. I would look for another school if you want strong academics and good leadership, it's not at ESK.
Academics are great and seem to really engage the kids. Also, it is a beautiful campus. There are lots of opportunities for sports in middle school--tennis, basketball, football, soccer, cross county, golf, track, trap shooting (and I am sure I have left something out). However, the school aggressively is trying to raise money and the parents who donate certain amounts of money get to name classrooms (and even streets) in honor of their children. I really cannot imagine how it is healthy for a young child to have a street named afar him or her. Also, if you are a family who is really struggling to pay tuition, be aware of the fact that the rich kids seem to rule and be ready to deal with those issues/questions at home. Also, be aware of the fact that many of the kids continue into private high schools. And so, you might have a concern about whether your child is prepared for a public high school. Also, the guidance department does not really seem set up for gifted children. If your kids' test scores are low, you will be required to pay for tutoring. If your kid is gifted, there is not support for that at all.
It could not be better. Great academics, caring teachers, daily chapel, sports. Only 12 years old--it gets better and better.
This is a wonderful school. We have many wonderful opportunities for enrichment, and have never had a complaint about the academics. I would highly recomend this school for any of your children.
We love ESK. It's a wonderful school. Our daughter has been a student there for 3 years, and we couldn't be happier with where she is academically. She is routinely challenged, but also nurtured. The only real complaint I have is that there is no athletic opportunities for team sports in the lower school, we have had to seek those elsewhere in the community. Other than that, ESK is still a great school and I would whole heartedly recommend it.
We toured most of the private schools in West Knoxville and ESK was the one that felt most like home. ESK has one of the lowest student/teacher ratio of any in Knox. The school uses a unique, self governing system called "Tribe Rules". We like it so much that we use it at home.
ESK is unlike any school we have ever experienced. The low student-to-teacher ratio means your children are not treated as a mass of faces but individually with curriculum dynamically tailored to both their individual strengths and weaknesses.The child's classwork is based on his or her abilities/potential, not the classroom's abilities.ESK openly displays the school's/children's "mission statement" throughout the school and is taught from day one.This system quickly becomes self-governing reducing negative behavior and teaching a child how to resolve issues when they do arise both at school and at home.We especially like the way the classes work together.Arts classes' projects (and even athletics) deal with what is being learned in the core classes such as science and math. For instance, if the environment is the focus in science, art projects will also focus on the environment.Visit the campus and you will understand.
What we love best about ESK is the focus on whole child development. The math, reading and science curiculums are all interelated and focus on learning independent analysis, not pure memorization of facts. The environment, while not sterile, is more wholesome than we've seen in the public schools. Love and respect for each other is taught daily. No school can be perfect and there may be a couple of kids needing extra discipline, but the number is such that the teachers can focus on teaching and not on keeping the class in line. If you're looking for a school that will develop an independent, creative, self-thinking child, then ESK is for you.
A great community atmosphere where children are nurtured and challenged.
We moved our child to ESK during the second year of middle school (mid year) and we have been quite pleased. The opportunity for daily foreign language, the inter relationship of history, language and literature, and the opportunity for all kids to participate in sports is a true plus. The teachers we have encountered are sincere, creative, and truly see each child as individuals. We did not find that to be true in the overcrowded public schools. Communication is prompt, assessible, and thus no need for Parent Portal. The kids have on line access to assignments and information. Our child is learning accountability through positive reinforcement, but discipline is handled professionally when needed. All kids are different, all kids have similarities. ESK has worked for us and is definitely worth looking in to.
We have been at ESK since Kindergarten and our daughter is now in 3rd grade. We are so pleased with so many different aspects of the school. The enrichment classes are amazing! The teachers are commited and caring. It has a real sense of community. Our favorite thing, though, has to be the innovative teaching techniques. They definitely encourage children to 'think outside the box' and do not buy into 'teaching to the tests' as so many of our public schools are forced to do!
My child has been at ESK since kindergarten and is now entering the 5th grade. This school values children and focuses on academics, culture, community, faith and citizenship. Excellent teachers are personally committed to each student s success and maintain a connection with them through the grades. The small student population provides a unique community for the children as well as their parents. Because of the smaller class sizes, teachers adapt instruction and learning based on student abilities, strengths and weaknesses. I would highly-recommend the school for anyone who is searching for an environment where children are encouraged to grow and excel academically and socially.
We have had a very positive experience. Our child is more confident and mature since he's been at ESK. The middle school teachers are involved, nurturing and challenging. It has been the right fit for us, and we are so thankful for all the wonderful people who help our son every day.
We have been at ESK for the past three years and could not be happier with our choice! This school achieves a rare and valuable balance of excellence in academics, character, spiritual growth, and individual attention. The teachers are exceptionally well-qualified and committed to their students and the school. The environment at ESK has been nothing short compassionate and supportive in all areas. We have been impressed with the leadership of this school and the long-term plans for its growth. Our child is challenged and happy, seen as an indiviual and recogized for his own potential and worth. ESK is a school that recognizes the whole child and educates each student for a future that values not only academic excellence, but integrity and faith as well. We are blessed to be a part of such a unique and extraordinary place. Thank you ESK!
I have placed my tow children At Esk after the overcrowding at Farragut became unbearable. We have had a very positive experience and my children have thrived. I have been impressed by the faculty and the attention given to students. The curriculum is very good and we are very pleased.
My child has attended ESK for 5 years and has enjoyed each and every year. Every grade has provided new opportunities and benefits which have been carried through to the next year. The teachers and support staff have always been helpful and courteous to the parents while maintaining focus on the children. ESK definitely keeps their eye on the ball which is educating the up and coming generations of leaders. Not all people are compatible with all enviroments but nearly 200 kids appear very happy, content and bright every day on campus. Previous negative postings sound more vindictive and disgruntle than objective. I hope anyone interested in ESK will take the opportunity and visit the campus to see for themselves the enviroment and opportunities available for their child's education. Regarding the price tag of the education, Money well spent.
The children are offered no discipline as there is no one in charge. This headmaster offers no leadership. The lack of grades keeps parents from tracking their child's progress, not to mention what the teacher is or is not doing in the classroom with academics.
We were very unimpressed with this school. The academics are average at best. We found that neighborhood children attending public schools were much further along in academic material covered. There just doesn't seem to be a strong academic plan or curriculum in place. The best attribute of the school is its low student/ teacher ratio. There are some good teachers, but it seems to be hit-or-miss. As mentioned in an earlier comment, the headmaster is uninvolved and hands-off. Discipline issues seemed to be fairly common and were never dealt with in a strong enough way to prevent the behavior from re-occurring. Well-behaved kids don't really benefit from low student/teacher ratio because of the discipline problems. Although this school might be a good choice for someone looking for a small school with a non-stressful academic program, the pricetag of more than $10K per year seems awfully steep.
After a promising start, our 5 year experience of ESK came to a frustrating end last spring. I would agree with the comment of July 2005- our child is just now starting to demonstrate some grade level proficiency after a semester with a new school. Our child was bullied by classmates and when our concerns were brought to the teacher and counselor little was done to improve the situation. Classmates were allowed to select the classroom seating assignments every month and to 'settle' their own disputes- giving bullies ample opportunity to intimidate. Children with serious behavior problems were allowed to remain at the school far longer than should have been tolerated. I truly wish we had removed our child sooner. Although the Middle School headmaster seems to be competent, the Lower School headmaster was a hands-off manager rarely seen in the classrooms. Some teachers are great, but some are sadly negligent.
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