I am a teacher at ACE and a parent. My children attend in the elementary and high school groupings. Two of my children qualified by Wechsler testing and our other child was previously in a gifted and talented program at another private school. To comment for the high school ... Our son has received college-level instruction in history and writing mechanics, and daily tutoring in geometry (for free). The one-on-one in Latin instruction is superb. The fledgling debate team this year was a fantastic experience. The music/drama instruction at all levels is (I believe) the best in the city. Our son has adored Shakespeare at Winedale as well as being a lead in the school play this year. Staff assisted him daily with learning his lines. Our middle child has received outstanding one-on-one support from Tabitha Molett, the head of the Middle School. Her writing and grammar proficiency have jumped leaps and bounds under Tabitha's expert guidance. Our youngest child has developed a love of journalism and photography in the elementary photojournalism class. ACE has been a wonderful experience for our family.
Could you please provide more info about the private school your child goes to? We are looking for a good school for our child who is also gifted. Thank you!
As a staff member at ACE, I have to say that I've never seen such a brilliant and dedicated group of people. This is a school pioneering into a neglected and underserved area of education. The program that is being built is at once groundbreaking, unique, and deeply sensitive to the individual needs of the children, reaching far beyond the "norms" to join research validated best practices for instruction with our own innovations and programs. The leaders and teachers are filled with the greatest passion in their work and compassion for their students, and are blessed with the support of dedicated and engaged parents. The classes are active and high energy - for a reason. It's how our students learn. We don't believe in straight rows of desks and worksheets; we believe in depth and creativity. I'm proud to work at ACE Academy, I'm constantly inspired by my coworkers, and I dearly love my students. Their happiness and development is my highest priority. That's the philosophy at ACE: we live to serve the social, emotional, and academic needs of our special group of kids. It's thrilling to be a part of this venture; we aren't just workers, we're builders and we're LEARNERS ourselves.
Our first year was wonderful. Incredible teacher, challenging but fun classwork, made some good friends, etc. We were willing to disregard the lack of organization, some unprofessional teachers, and lack of communication until this year. Most of the teachers are both young with little experience and have little or no training with giftedness. Though some teachers are extraordinary, there are also some who are untruthful and unprofessional. I witnessed a teacher yelling and mocking a parent, and another teacher misleading the Heads of the school so she would not have to take responsibility for her lack of communication with said parent. Heads of school are so busy "growing" the school they do not seem to care about the concerns of parents and students already there. There is obviously a need for GT schools, and that is why there is such growth. However, the unprofessionalism(Heads and teachers), incredible disorganization, lack of communication(teachers/Heads with parents), and lack of any template for curriculum(even gifted kids and their teachers need some guide) make this school inadequate. What is the rate of returning students versus new students?
Our daughter is having lots of fun and enjoying the change of pace from traditional schooling.
Disorganized, Disorganized, Disorganized! The main reason we chose ACE was hoping it would provide a better education and environment for our gifted child. But we became more disappointed. Administration and co founders have troubles in communication skills, customer satisfaction, one of the co founders focusing on the punishment by ignoring the parents if she does not like one of them it s very clear that she has lack of behaviors. So they settled for less to expend school to the size they wished for do not know what it is doing and tends to get defensive. *Disorganized, chaotic*. Not worth the money at all!! Many teachers are parents without much of teaching experiences. School functions are not organized. Not a nice learning environment for gifted. Need a new administration and principles but since that would be impossible here. We hope another well educated co founder s start opening a new gifted and talented school in austin based on high quality and mission statement.
We are new to ACE this year and in the pre-K class. My daughter loves school, loves her teachers, loves getting up in the morning to go to school and loves all her friends in class. We are very happy and feel it is the perfect fit for our daughter. We were looking for a place that was very nurturing & where the student/teacher ratio was low. I'm unclear what the other reviewers are referring to regarding the communications issues. I experience the opposite. The head of the school sends out weekly emails. It is a very personal type vibe at the school with an open door policy to speak to administrators anytime. My only negative is about the holiday schedule. ACE observes AISD scheduling and also observes Jewish and Christian holidays so with all that there are many days off of school.
We were happy with ACE before the current school year, but things have unfortunately been going downhill lately. The problems with communication and organization, which have always been there but could be overlooked as growing pains, have gotten worse instead of better, and the situation has been exacerbated by issues with teachers we hadn't had before. Very different experience this year compared with last.
My child is a middle school student and I'm so happy with the great group of peers. Really nice kids and excellent teachers that are teaching leadership among the students.
My child attended ACE for 3 yrs. Overall, my experience with ACE was positive. We left ACE mainly because my child became pretty much the lone student at her academic level. The teachers were very willing to accommodate, but we realized that there might be limitations. ACE is a growing school and they had started earlier so my child would not have landed in this situation.
I'm surprised by some of the negative reviews here. What school wouldn't have growing pains with this kind of growth? I see organizational improvements with clear goals in place. Our child was new last year and I can't even begin to describe the positive changes he has gone through thanks to ACE. Our child went from disliking school (recess was previously his favorite 'class') to not being able to decide if science, language arts, robotics or chess were his favorite. His confidence in his own abilities have sky-rocketed and his little personality is slowly emerging. Friends, relatives, neighbors have ALL noticed a big difference. Having had another child at a major private school in Dallas as well as one of Austin's top rated school districts, I am amazed at what ACE has accomplished in such a short amount of time. Tuition is on par with other private schools.
This school was an absolute lifesaver after a horrid experience at a private school. It is wonderful to have a child go a school where it is okay to be smart.
After a really awful semester at the local public elementary school, my child thrived at ACE. The teachers and administrators went out of their way to accommodate my child's needs, and they provided me with important feedback about my child's academic and social progress. My child still remembers ACE fondly, especially the way the teachers used interesting and challenging projects to teach fundamental concepts. My child was never bored at ACE. If it weren't for the fact that we live fairly far away and find the tuition costs prohibitive, my child would still be there. (Fortunately, my child is now thriving at a different public school, but no school can match the richness of the curriculum and variety of experiences offered at ACE.)
My child is in one of the higher grade levels and just is not being challenged. We have no textbooks, only read 2 books all year (grade level historical fiction), and made it only about a third of the way through the math curriculum. At the middle and high school levels, a school has to prove it can provide at least a comparable curriculum to public schools if it hopes to prepare kids for college. I think Ace should focus doing younger grades exceptionally well and not all grades with mediocrity.
My son attended ACE this year and loved it. His peers were bright, sensitive, funny and well-mannered. His teacher diversified for all of the children and was truly committed to the learning of each and every child. The school encourages creativity and individual interests. My son was shy and withdrawn at his last school, due to a strict teacher who valued conformity over individual achievement. He is now confident and loves learning. ACE is still about the success of the students.
Our son developed tummy aches at his prior school; he was so unhappy. At the end of the year evaluation they proudly showed me how he could count to a 100. They had no idea that he could add/subtract/divide/multiply etc to a 100 as well. ACE is young and has some growing pains but we have found the school very receptive (eg they made it a nut free school since some of the children were allergic). We just really like everyone at ACE as well - the parents are great, teachers are young but committed and caring (and most importantly, they understand the concept of gifted). RE: organization; they are working on it. But where else could your preschooler have met an Olympic gold medalist, gone to the opera, and hear a private concert from Tuvan throat singers? Beyond all, we're grateful for a place where our son thrives.
As a teacher at ACE Academy, I have been in a position to see the administration in action, solving problems, planning curriculum, creating programs, and adapting to our students' needs. The staff continues to grow and thrive. We are a happy diverse, engaged group of teachers, aides and administrators. I hope that any parent of a gifted child will look into this wonderful resource.
This school is still evolving but while our daughter has been there this year, we have seen so many positive changes. The amount of feedback from the school I have heard complaints about has improved and is now great. I have never felt this semester that I do not know what is going on at the school. I think they are getting their systems in place and doing a great job. Our daughter for the first time LOVES school! She has been to 2 others and always gave us excuses why she didn't want to go. Now she is upset when it is the weekend. She is so excited everyday and feels challenged daily. The topics she comes home with and wants to discuss are amazing. Her peer group is such a good mix and she truly feels every student is her friend. Awesome school!
Behavior in the older classrooms is rowdy and unruly and the quieter kids often get entirely drowned out.
I have 2 children here now and we have been very happy. I think all the negative comments come from parents who can find negativity about anything. The school is growing and expanding and the administration truly cares for the development of a great school. They can't please the whims of every parent and I think the low reviews come from people who didn't get their way. I am glad the administration is willing to stand up for the standard they have set. This school was a blessing for our older child who would not be happy if we had to send her back to our public school. Both are eager and happy to be at school and enjoy learning instead of drilling.
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