This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted December 02, 2014
- a parent
I am a convert who started out very skeptical about the value this school could bring to my kids, especially in light of the expense. I have two kids at Alcuin, and they both started at 18 months old. I was not converted by the school. I was converted by my children. I see every day the effect the school has on them. They love learning and challenging themselves. That is something that I did not get until I went to college. Imagine the possibilities of getting to feel that way your whole life. Equally important is the community. I am constantly blown away by their peers, who are like minded and have a home life that values education and development as much as we do. Yes, it is a lot of money, and I didn t think I could justify the expense. Now I know, that it is the very best money I spend even in this economy. I m converted and because of that, my kids get to grow and develop whatever potential is inside them, and become the very best versions of themselves. What more could you want?
Alcuin is a truly unique school that centers around the ability to bring about the absolute best in every student combined with the flexibility to allow students to progress at a custom pace. Each child gets their own education plan that is stringently followed up on and evolves with the child. Our children have been there since infants and have thrived educationally, socially and emotionally. The teachers are so well trained that they often know more about my children than I do even though I am a stay-at-home parent. My elementary student's curriculum always exceeds the standards at the other top schools in Dallas. In first grade she writes in cursive, reads on a 5th grade level, and multiplies and divides by 10,000. The best part is that they focus on individual responsibility, accountability and courtesy. Their middle and upper school is now IB and the students are already being courted by some of the top programs who seek out the unique educational experieces of a Montessori and Baccalaureate program. To top it off the school has a "home-like" feel and the staff is always available for questions and guidance. We feel very fortunate to have gotten a spot at Alcun.
I am so happy with Alcuin school. My children have thrived educationally as well as socially. The level of education exceeds what I personally have seen as a teacher in high achieving schools. The teachers and staff take a personal interest in my children across the board. I recommend Alcuin to anyone looking for a great school!
The teachers are wonderful, that is, if you can get through the unorganized, under qualified upper management (most importantly, the director). If you are a 40+ aged parent then this is most definitely the school where you want to spend your money and where you will be treated with respect, but apparently if you are young working mother in your 30s, then you might want to stay away as the staff members turn up their noses to you. I would rather pay a million dollars for my child to be somewhere she is loved, cared for, and learning in a comfortable environment. Horrible experiences with the staff and past students & families in many instances. I wouldn't send my child here if it were free.
My child attended only the upper grades - 6th through 8th and graduated from the Middle School. We could not have been happier with the teachers, the school leadership, the Montessori and IB format, and everything about the education this school offers. Too bad they had not started an Upper School yet because this education far surpasses anything we have experienced in a traditional Independent high school. Dallas is so lucky to have Alcuin as a choice in high schools starting next year; it will be one of the only private IB schools in town and I have no doubt it will be the model for IB schools everywhere.
Both my son and daughter attend Alcuin school. My son is in last yr of Primary and my daughter in her first yr of primary. I must say the school has far exceeded our expectations and it shows in our kids. They seem very well behaved and able to have a conversation with an adult about a variety of topics at age 3 and 5. Most importantly my kids love the school and we love the homely feel there. It seems that its been a while since someone wrote a review as the last one is from 2010. With all the good changes since 2010 and with our new principal Walter Sorenson's leadership, I can say the school has com a long way already.
We had our son attend from toddler through Primary and though traditional academics are not as strong as traditional private schools, he learned much more than he would have learned elsewhere. When he was 4 years old he knew all the capitals and flags of South America, even 6th graders don't know that! Geography and Math asides from practical life and culture are their fortes, but now our son who goes to another school has very high standardized test scores, is an incredible human being, extremely well behaved and respectful, everywehre he goes people compliment that about it, and we owe it all to the character development education he received here. At least let the kids finish Primary. There was an article on Dallas Child magazine a few years back that most national leaders (CEO level positions) had Montessori training in their earlier years. What does that tell you?
We have been at St. Alcuin for 13 years and have had an outstanding experience at every level from toddler through middle school. It is extremely important for parents to learn about and understand the Montessori philosophy in order to fully appreciate their child's education at St. Alcuin. The Montessori philosophy can make you a better parent if you make the effort to absorb it. Montessori can benefit every child, but it's not for every parent. If you want your child to develop into a self-confident, compassionate, independent, self-reliant, creative thinker who is ready to take on any challenge, this is the school for you. If you're looking for an academic pressure cooker that will teach your child to perform well on tests without thinking for him/herself, then you should look elsewhere.
My children had excellent education here it was highly focused on individual learning and development as a traditional montessori learning environments are. My children can read and write in essay format at age six. They were able to do basic algebra and were ahead of most of their peers including ones in Highland Park. My daughter got right into Hockaday School for girls after the first testing process. Her teacher at St. Alcuin gets plenty of credit for her development. I was pleased with the primary years especially at this school. I decided to keep my son longer and he has recently been accepted to St. Marks. If you want your children to succeed and be ahead of other kids this is the place to start and go up to 8th if you wish.
St. Alcuin is an amazing and unique learning environment. It offers a Montessori-based education which nurtures the whole child. I have 2 children there- one in primary and the other in toddler. In our 4 years there, I have only positive things to say! Our teachers have been caring, responsive, fully engaged and aware of my children's progress level. As a former educator, I know my children are receiving the ultimate education. My oldest child is working years ahead of her age range and the independence that my son shows from his time in toddler is astounding! Before applying to this school, it would be best to research the Montessori philosophies. Families that are knowledgeable on this type of education have the best experience here.