We just finished up an amazing first year at EPA! I am so happy we decided to place my daughter here for Kindergarten and will not hesitate to have my younger daughter go here in 2 years. My child has absolutely flourished since the start of the school year, both socially and academically. I cannot speak to what it was like before Wayside, but we love it for what it is now. The community is close knit and involved, but not in an exclusive way. Teachers are so engaged with every student. (Bummed about there not being a music program though).
We have been at EPA since 2010 and we have seen the many changes that have occurred since it decided to expand into Wayside schools. I wish I could say they have been good changes, but it has been very disheartening to watch our close knit creative school be slowly changed into a test driven, money motivated campus. Our good teachers are leaving. We've gone through 3 principals and our parent groups are fractured. They let go of the music teacher. The Spanish teacher runs her classroom like a drill Sargent. We don't even have fun fundraisers anymore like bake sales or bingo night. It's just "write us a check." The few field trips they take are expensive as the parents have to pay to charter a bus. $14 for a movie is expensive! My son will be moving on to AISD next year for middle school. Our daughter will stay for at least one more year, but if the administration continues to turn a deaf ear to the parents, we may move her out too. And I'm pretty sure the administration does not care if we leave because there is a waiting list of folks ready to move in. I used to be a strong advocate for Eden Park, but I can no longer recommend it and that makes me sad.
This will be our last year at the school. There are so many things that are wrong with it is hard to pinpoint for this review. First and foremost, the teachers are not all qualified to teach. Some are simply parents with nothing better to do. They haven't been able to keep the principal at this location or there are others. It's a shame really because when we started with the school it was quite awesome until it became very corporate centric. The good people started leaving. And those that need to leave, are the ones that simply will not go. Don't get me started on the PTO, especially the president and vice president. Honestly, they should just go start their own little club somewhere and stay away from the school. We recently had our two children tested and both are a year behind in reading and in math. That cannot be coincidence. Do yourself a favor, if you are looking for a school, do research. The few comments before mine on this website are clearly statements from the PTO and teachers at the school. Most of what is brought out in their comments is not factual. Best of luck in your search.
My son started here last year in Kindergarten with Mrs. Garcia and is currently in 1st grade with Mrs. Chester. Our experience has been amazing. My son started encountering setbacks academically in kindergarten. Mrs. Garcia was supportive and encouraging as she helped him to reach his potential. She worked with him outside of regular class time and gave me suggestions on how to help him at home. Her positive attitude with her nurturing personality was an obvious plus. Here we are in 1st grade and he seemed to "stall" again. While my son is a hard worker he just seemed to have trouble retaining some information and then had trouble applying it. Mrs. Chester has been another godsend! While working with him at school she recomended a speech/language assessment. What I considered to be a minor articulation impairment, turned out to be multiple language impairments including receptive languahe. Both of his teachers have stood beside me through his setbacks and helped to guide him toward successes. The entire EPA community including the parents are extremely supportive.
Eden Park Academy is a breath of fresh air. My shy son thrives socially, emotionally, and academically. He doesn't know just the kids in his class (20 or less), or even the kids in his grade (60 or less). He seems to know most of the children in the school. My outgoing boy in kindergarten has a 6th grade reading buddy he adores. The community is rich in this way. Teachers knows all the students, students know all the teachers, families are ever present to volunteer, help one another, and just enjoy the atmosphere. It is magnificent to watch the interactions across age and grade level, genders, roles, and socioeconomic status. This is what makes Eden Park special. And this allows the teachers to do their jobs better as well. They know my kids very well (and genuinely seem to care about them). They know they can reach out to parents for support. They communicate in depth about our children on a daily basis- not just twice a year in a required conference. My family is so glad we found EPA; it is a wonderful village to raise your children in.
This is our second year at EPA and we have two kids enrolled this year -- one is in kinder and one in third ~ we absolutely love it especially the kindergarten program. It was a tough first month getting our youngster to focus and start going to school on a regular full-time basis (he was a VERY part time Pre-K-er before) but once it "clicked" he started to really thrive! Now he loves going to school, he is learning so much, and adores his wonderful teacher. The two main reasons we really enjoy the school are (one) the parent involvement -- even the full time working parents manage to stay involved -- and (two) is that the teachers don't just teach to the state test -- they push the students (in a healthy way) to go beyond just what needs to be done and to learn at their level. I highly recommend EPA!
We have daughters in 4th and Kinder. They adore their teachers, the school and their peers. Moving from a "public" school to EPA has been the perfect positive influence in our children's lives and ours. EPA feels like an extension of our family and we couldn't be happier with the level of education our girls are receiving.
I was so happy when my girls started school in Eden Park, but when my youngest daughter started having problem the school just turn horrible. I must say that in any way I justified the bad behavior of my child but during a time the she was send to the principal office she try to run out (from the principal office) and the principal try to stop her. She try to bite the principal (which is unacceptable). I was call and went to pick her up. They told me she had touch someone inappropriately and the episode that she ran, try to bite.(from the office). When I was taking my child home I got really worried about the "inappropriately touching" so I call and wanted a explanation. I was told that she was touching a boy in the face and that he did not like it, after that I was told (regarding trying to bite) that "they could have call the cops and press charges" I was stun about the comment of the principal assistant. We try to make it work but the school was not willing. DID I MENTION THAT MY CHILD IN 5 YEARS OLD??? well this is what we got from EPA. If your child do not fit the box, don't even try it....No she is going to AISD doing great! Katia proud mother of Nina.
I have been a teacher for many years, and Eden Park Academy is the best school I have ever had the privilege to be a part of. The teachers, administrators, office staff and parents truly care about the kids. Eden Park students are so happy to be there that they literally run when they get to school in the mornings, with big smiles and excited faces. I highly recommend Eden Park to anyone who wants the best educational experience for their child.