If you have a child who is actually gifted or profundly gifted, ACE is the only game in town. The other schools we have tried (both highly touted public schools, magnet schools, and other more expensive private schools) talk a good game but they are all normed to the middle of the bell curve and my kid got bored in a day, completely turned off in a week, and complained every afternoon when she got home. At ACE she stays involved and interested all day and is happy when she gets home. I think I know some of the other parents who have written the bad reviews. They define 'unresponsive' as 'the adminstration had its own ideas about what was best and failed to do what I told them immediately', and consider a whole class of kids excited competing to answer questions as a discipline problem.
Our son just started his 3rd year at Ace and, while the school is certainly not perfect, we consider ourselves lucky that a school like Ace exists in Austin. If you have a gifted child, especially HG/PG, and are looking for a school that will understand your child, Ace is the place. No doubt, there are growing pains and administrative 'challenges', but when the alternative is a school that doesn't really understand what your child needs and requires constant battles/advocating on your part to obtain a sub-par education, Ace truly is a dream come true. The co-founders, parents of grown-up gifted kids themselves, created the school because they know what it is like to have a child whose needs are not met by the various public/private schools that exist. Ace provides an opportunity for gifted children to move at an advanced pace and to actually learn something new everyday.
I too had an awful experience at this school with my child. The administrators definitely are not receptive to feedback. Their hiring of subpar teachers and grouping kids based on age (from chess to language arts) and not ability was so frustrating! Two other frustations I had - the behavior of the kids and the lack of effective discipline. I heard so many aministrative excuses but never saw effective changes anywhere. Finally, the administrators kept bringing in more kids with special needs - no problem if they are not disruptive but the kids kept getting more dysfunctional. Some of the kids (and teachers!) should have been asked to leave. You need to visit the school several days before you make a decision.
The main reason we chose ACE was hoping it would provide a better education and environment for our gifted child. But after 2 years, we became more disappointed every year. ACE is close to where we live, it's convenient, but we wish there was a better school for gifted out there, or if any parents know about, please let us know. Grouping kids with their math levels doesn't justify each child's needs. Science was not very creative, no lab, no experiments. ACE emphasized too much on one particular subject, such as math, and totally lost ground on educating a wholechild. I am not sure how these kids will turn out after ACE. - Not a happy parent.
Same as below. Administration does not know what it is doing and tends to get defensive. Lack of communication between staff and parents. Disorganized, chaotic. Admin. More concerned with recruiting than addressing concerns of parents. Not worth the money at all!!
Agree with many parents' reviews here. The idea of putting gifted kids together is great, but the fact is that school admin has troubles keeping and getting gifted kids, so they settled for less to expend school to the size they wished for. Majority of kids are not gifted. The gifted are bored and not challenged as they should be. Many teachers are parents without much of teaching experiences. School functions are not organized, field trips notice were sent to parents a day or two before the event. Not a nice learning environment for gifted. Need a new administration and better qualified teachers.
Electives:Span,Art,Music,& Latin could use overhaul. Children r not challenged here(seen it 1st hand). Admin. needs 2 do better job of hiring qualified instructors & not rely 2 much on parent-teach with minimal/no teaching exper in electives. *No director -'Administration' is trying 2 run a school on less than PT directing. A FULL-TIME director would solve diciplinary issues, lack of communication, class scheduling, placement, & financial issues. No director running the office for 90% of the day (recently a sec answers phone) * lack of communication when it comes 2 subj matter taught, overall news with the school & it's goings on, field-trips tend 2 spring up suddenly, some changes r made & parents rarely know. -- Parents willing 2 help w/time & $, can't rely on that 4ever. Admin is well intended but we need more than good intentions & it isn't going 2 happen w/out qualified director. Tuit 10K+
The sales talk is great but the reality is that the school has a very stressed environment. The administration doesn't know what they are doing, and it is obvious from their dealings with parents. There is a tendency to blame the children for incompetence that really lies with the school. The parents accept substandard education for a high price -- mostly because they are convinced that no other environment will work for their gifted child. The ramification is a lot of gossiping, complaining, and frustration. Not a nurturing environment at all.
My kid has been at this school for the past two years and overall, we love it. There is individualization of curricula, but there is still some grouping present. Spanish has been a disappointment, but Math and Language Arts have been great! The directors are receptive to feedback and have recently introduced Latin, which has been well received. Science was off to a slow start, but has picked up speed lately. Negatives: Number of kids is still low, so choice of company is limited. Similarly, the discipline can improve a little bit as well, though I am not a believer in over-discipline.
As a student I have found this school excellent in terms of academics, but the choice of company has been a disappointment. Some of my classmates are disruptive not only during break but during class hrs too, although there is rarely inappropriate conversation. All of my teachers are understanding of me and have good teaching methods. As I love challenges, I get them in almost every class except Spanish. The Friday Latin class is challenging, fun, and informative. In my opinion, my algebra, science, and LA teacher are super! Overall, Ace has been a huge improvement over my previous school, and has played a significant role in my education
My gifted preschooler is thriving at ACE Academy. These children are innately driven and intensely curious - qualities that can lead to great success, but also to profound isolation and stress. ACE works hard to nurture the whole child - academically, as well as social and emotionally - so that the students can feel secure to explore, risk, and thrive. As in any start-up environment, flexibility and patience are required of all involved - parents, teachers, and students alike - as ACE continues to establish itself as a vigorous and positive community for the gifted learner.
My pre-schooler has been very happy at ACE. The co-founders have a great idea and are striving to meet the needs of gifted kids. It is a daunting challenge to start a new school, and gifted kids are a demanding group.
I too have 2 children attending this school (pre-K and kindergarten) and have been a very active volunteer in the class rooms. The children are amazing, the teachers are phenomenal and inspiring, and the environment for learning is wonderful. There may not be homework given in pre-K aside from nightly reading, but I find that to be age-appropriate. They will get homework for the next 12 years, I don't believe it is needed at age 4. These children are bright and absorb like sponges, they don't need to be drilled at such young ages. We are very happy with the sense of community and the dedication by staff, administration and parents.
Please do not let the negative reviews posted here influence your perception of ACE. (You can easily judge for yourself by attending an information session held on the second Wednesday of each month.) We have children at the school and could not be more pleased with the staff and curriculum. Obviously this will not be a perfect fit for all, especially those wanting a rigid structure with a heavy workload. ACE offers a traditional teaching approach in a nurturing environment. It is dedicated to a broad-based curriculum that appeals to a child's natural curiosity and fascination.
This school is not just for gifted children. As it said on its web site, it's for high-achiving students. So, don't think it's for gifted only. I have 2 kids in this school. My older child is tested gifted, but the younger one is not quite, school accepted both of them. As a parent, I appreciate School gives me the convenience to drive to one school instead of having to drive to 2 separate schools for 2 kids. Over all, this school is ok. The pre-k is very much like a regular pre-k you would think, not much work to no work. But the kinder class does give some work at school. Tuition is a bit high, that's the bad side of it. Another negitive is the gender: the entire school is mostly boys.
Kids are out of control most of the time during the day. No classroom rules what so ever. Lack of experience is a main problem.
Our son has been attending ACE for two years now and it has been a fantastic experience for him and for us. The faculty is really committed to these students growing both academically and emotionally.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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