What a refreshing educational option for Austin area kids! CSA has never let us down and our family is confident that the kids are receiving the best education available in the Austin area. I've never known more dedicated teachers, from elementary to middle school to high school. The faculty truly challenges the students to be their best and won't tolerate poor study habits. I do wish there was an athletic program for the middle school and high school kids. Still, we just can't get this level of education anywhere else! I love that the teachers bring their dogs to school because it really adds to the family community. CSA is not the right school for a struggling student. It's fast paced, advanced methods will bury them. However, if your kids are ready for a challenge, you will find it at CSA.
We are happy with the school after our child's first year in kinder. The main pro is small class size (15), which allows for individualized attention. My child reads well and the teacher was proactive in making sure she stays challenged. There seem to be few/no issues with bullying. The con is that as a charter school, Star does not receive as much funding as the local school. It shows in the facilities (lack of a library, playground, greenspace). Teachers have said they appreciate how much less bureaucracy they have to deal with here vs. at a regular public school. The half day allows us extra time to pursue music & sports w/o tiring out our child or running into weekends. Other notes: does not feel like a traditional school. It is in an office building; entrance is cold & concrete. There are dogs onsite. It is very religiously diverse, so they are careful not to celebrate certain holidays. The school feels very "family" where kids know other kids across grades. The families seem to be less well-off than the suburban area where we live but committed to their kids' education and on the whole, people we like to be associated with.
Chaparral Star Academy is an excellent school. The leadership, staff and teachers go out of their way to provide a great education. The Principal is driving this school in a direction that enhances the students future. We have a daughter in Kindergarten who enjoys going to school everyday. She is challenged with homework that will enhance her future in reading ,writing and math. The Kindergarten program evaluates each student sets out a curriculum to improve the students skills. My daughter is advanced and she was provided with a curriculum to improve her skills further. The school program is challenging. The kids who are behind are not pushed ahead, they are provided just as much attention as any other student. The advanced kids are challenged so that they are not bored. We also enrolled our daughter in the Round Rock Library Reading program . Combining the Library resources with the school has provided great results. Chaparral Star Academy provides an excellent education curriculum. The focus is on education. Thank you to the Principal, Staff and Teachers for creating a simple, challenging, and focused school.
It is probably better to just keeping homeschooling than to send your kids to this school. Kids get a quite a bit of homework and usually need a lot of help from parents in order to keep up with their grades.
This school is outstanding. Three of my kids attend / attended this school with great success in achieving the academic goals from the higher level of learner and focus. My oldest has graduated and had four plus colleges after her with full scholarships. Chaparral Star Academy has provided my kids the confidence, the ability to achieve more than what the public schools had to offer. This school and the quality teachers are directly responsible for making me feel my kids will be all they can be and more. Now in saying this and having been in the corporate world for over 20 years, no corporation, company or institution exists that has not had some issues/problems. There have been some teachers in the past that did not seem on board with Chaparral Star Academy, its core beliefs and structure. They are now gone and I see from other posts that it may not have been by their choice (but that's none of our business). I am proud of the school for making its stand on the behalf of the students. That is what it should be about, the future of the school and its students. I would recommend and refer anyone who is looking for a higher level of education for their kids.
I completely agree with the review below. This school did start out with solid purpose and good intentions, but over time bureaucracy has run amuck. You can survive at this place if your child is quick, compliant, and not affected by verbal abuse. "Star is not for everyone" means "we only want students that will help us maintain our exemplary rating." They hide behind having "compact, accelerated" schooldays to keep only the best and brightest, and then take away resource after resource from teachers knowing that due to the half-day schedule there's near 100% stay-at-home parent involvement, and those parents will pick up the slack wherever the school falls short. Toward the end, my husband and I did literally ask ourselves what we were sending the kids to school at all for anymore since I was practically homeschooling anyway. There were some fabulous teachers who had gotten very proficient at teaching without resources, and they didn't get their contracts renewed for "not fitting with the vision and direction of the school" which is a major compliment. Please save yourself the life lesson and look elsewhere for your child's education.
This school is just wonderful! I have 2 kids who have been at CSA, one is a Sr. this year & 1 a Sr in college. The 1st year my older son was at CSA there were 11 students in his class -- we received and continue to receive a private school caliber education for our public school dollars. The small class size and non-acceptance of disciplinary issues from transfer students are a huge part of being able to do more educating in less time. The parents who are leaving negative reviews are upset over some staff leaving -- no teacher has tenure at this school, you must be asked back every year. The school board & administrative staff are bound BY LAW to not discuss issues involving personnel. It is one thing to support your child's teacher and another thing entirely to show up at a board meeting with the pitchforks & torches (figuratively). The school does not present itself as being "one size fits all", & states quite clearly the type of student that will benefit most from attending. We now have activities like pep-squad and Jr/Sr trips, speaking to the fact that the faculty & staff support one another. The principal rocks, from parking lot duty to dressing up for book fair!!
We have been a part of the Chaparral Star Academy family for over 4 years. It is a great school. The classes are small and the teachers are able to get to know their students and their abilities and they work to get the best out of each and every student. The standards and expectations are high and the students work for their grades so that they actually mean something and aren't just handed out for showing up, but for the work the student does. It is only a 4 hour school day and a lot has to be covered, so homework is definitely a part of the package. It has to be. The school was designed for kids that are self motivated and can work independently which is clearly stated on the website. We are thrilled with the education our child is receiving and highly recommend this school to students that are motivated and willing to work.
I will be a senior this year at CSA. I love this school and feel I have gotten a great education and that I will be ready for college next year. The faculty is great at giving one on one time and making sure that we understand the material. It is challenging, but a good education should be. Most of the people that complain and leave, don't want to work hard. We have some great extracurricular opportunities and I will be thrilled to be a CSA graduate.
I appreciate that our principal is in charge and doesn't cower to parents demanding the outrageous. A school that caters to the parents instead of the students is certainly headed for disaster. CSA is definitely looking out for the best interest of its students. Rules are clearly communicated and I get frustrated when families won't follow them. The front office is cordial and accommodating. I appreciate that the CSA teachers take their jobs seriously and do their best to prepare their students for success in all areas, not just school. I wish all schools could operate with the professionalism CSA exhibits. I feel my child gets the best education possible and I have nothing to complain about.
This school is certainly not for all children. When they say to you, "this model does not fit everyone" they mean: special ed or even kids who work slowly or your child will be run out by threat of failing or being told you need full day program. But they will take your tax money, thanks. Also, this school is not for children who are "gifted and talented" though they would like for to believe that they attract the top echelon of learners. They refuse to provide appropriate materials for kids who can excel or train the teachers to teach them. Last year, this school refused to buy readers for my child's top level reading group, instead giving my child's teacher textbooks from the 1970's. This request was finally met in April, after most of my child's opportunity to learn for the year had elapsed. The school library, used to supplement my younger daughter's reading material last year when there were no textbooks available for her, was removed at the end of last year as though it was not a crucial resource. This was done without parent input. The school's motto is "to be the best school in the world" which about sums up the experience. Grandiosity without anything to merit the claim.
I recently graduated from Chaparral Star Academy after spending 8 years there and am getting ready to head off to college in a couple days now. Because of Star I couldn't feel more ready and prepared for college than I do right now. The teachers at Star are amazing and I'm so lucky to have had a good portion of them at some time. The school is definitely advanced paced and hard but as a student, and I'm not speaking for all students, just myself, it is something that I came to appreciate so much. Had the school not been harder I don't think I would be nearly as prepared and confident to start my college experience as I am. My last year at Star was incredible and CSA has become a second family to me. Even though I feel so ready to continue my adventure through life it's hard for me to think that I won't be going back to Star as a student. Star pushes its students to be their best and I have Star to thank for helping me get to that point myself. I noticed that there weren't many reviews from students and I wanted to make sure people see how grateful I am to Star for being the awesome school that it is. 2013 Chaparral Star Academy Graduate
There are a number of issues with this school. First, there is simply not enough time to adequately teach the subjects, and still meet the state's non-academic requirements (such as PE). As a result, much is demanded of parents in order to prepare the students. Frankly, it would be easier to home school. Second, membership on the board is determined by the sitting members of the board. This allows the board to completely ignore the voices of parents and teachers. Third, the administration is completely focused on performing well on standardized tests. Under-performing students are not encouraged to excel, but rather encouraged to find a new school. Finally, the administration seems much more interested in attempting to direct traffic on public roads than interested in improving the performance of students. This is not a joke. The principal regularly screams at parents in the drop-off line. If your only criterion for a school is that it be a half-day program, then you might wish to consider Chaparral Star Academy.
The school has been such a blessing for myself and so many families. I inquired about the new crop of elementary teachers coming in, and they seem amazing! One of them was nominated as teacher of the year in a previous school district! The environment has been wonderful with so many fantastic students, parents and staff. A strong community that has both an academic push and love for kids. It is a half day school so you are warned, up front, that they fit more into the day than a typical school and to be prepared for homework. In the end, the education they get is well worth it and surpasses what you see in most schools.
As a long-time parent of this school, I receive an email notice anytime a review is posted about CSA. I'm intelligent enough to form my own opinion about the practices of this school and I certainly suspect that any parent whom blatantly posts such negative comments (referring to the negative comment from 9-7-12) must have broken rules and just doesn't like being asked to follow reasonable processes. The most wonderful thing about CSA is that you are not stuck with it as your only alternative. If it is not a good fit for your family, you can choose something else. Simple as that. It's been my experience that, no matter what school you attend, the registrar is required to seek a reason for the tardy and no age is exempt from supplying the "why". How ridiculous for a parent to act as if that is wrong. If you don't like your children being asked why they are tardy......get your kids to school on time. Simple as that. As far as the other comments from this parent.....they have no value with me. The comments about tardies are proof enough this parent has a skewed idea about the way things SHOULD be. Thank you CSA! I love this school!
My daughter has attended Star for 2 years and loves it. The smaller class size and individual attention it affords are fabulous. It is definitely not the school for everyone however if your child is highly involved in a sport and is self motivated and disciplined- it may be a perfect fit. For my child, it has worked very well- she goes to school, comes home and eats a healthy lunch and then does homework for 3-4 hours. When she is done, she goes to her sport training classes. When she was in public school, she would go straight from school to training and had to eat and do homework in the car- definitely not ideal. Now, my child is learning and thriving at Star. I also think the condensed schedule is a nice preparation for college- you go to class lectures and learn for a small portion of your day, get your assignments and then have to budget your time to complete your work and succeed. No place is right for everyone but Star has certainly been a great fit for our family.
Perfect school for us! Chaparral Star Academy is not for everyone, we have met lots of people that it doesn't work for. What we love: No fluff- all those things I hated at public school, we don't have to worry about here. No cafeteria headaches (they do not eat lunch at school), no wasted time lining up in the hall to be shuttled to another class (and yelled at by the teachers while doing so), no "dead time" during class, no recess. Zero tolerance for discipline issues. It is such a relief to not have to worry about your child one bit when sending him to school each day. Instead of him coming home with stories of who got in trouble that day and what they did to whom, he has only stories about what they learned and discovered. Love having the same teachers for several years in a row, I feel that they really get to know my child's strengths and weaknesses and we don't have to spend half the year getting to know a new teachers' way of doing things. What's not to love about a 4 hour school day! He's happy, we're happy!
Good school. Students are only limited by their own initiative and motivation. ISDs do not compare.
My daughter is doing so well at Star. I've watched Star grow for the past 10 years and have to say, it is better now than it has ever been. It seems the only people unhappy with Star are the ones who fail to realize that Star is simply not for everyone. It's a demanding school suited for serious students. Any struggling student is better off at a school that does not have such a rigorous model. For students and families looking for a college prep academy, look no further than Chaparral Star Academy. I'm so glad Star has an administration interested in consistent improvement and professionalism.
My daughter came from another Charter School. We LOVE Star. The teachers are amazing, loving and committed. Both Mrs. Hagin (the Principal) and Mr. Barnett (the Asst. Principal) are dedicated to the school the represent and the students. They are both outside during drop-off and pick-up supervising the students they care so much about. You can actually tell by the way they "protect" the children crossing the parking lot that the children are their priority. The teachers are just as wonderful as the administrative staff. I honestly can't say one bad thing about the school, the principals or the staff. Highly recommend. Students are encouraged to go above and beyond. WONDERFUL!!
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