DA has been the best thing that has happened to my son. This is his first year ( 8th grade) and he made the B honor roll last this semester. He hasn't done that well in a few years. He gets to play sports which he was never able to do in regular public schools. His confidence level is high and he doesn't feel like he is the stupid kid in class anymore. The teachers have been great. My son is the type that likes to try to pull the wool over your eyes if you let him but the teachers are on to him like glue. He is learning to manage his disabilities but the school does not baby him. I feel confident he will be prepared for college. And by the way, I have never been pushed into giving money to the school other than tuition. Yes, they do need donations for the betterment of the school but they do not harass you into giving it.
Dallas Academy offers a rigorous curriculum with many social activities such as sports teams, drama/art and school dances. However, the academic side has had its challenges for my child with learning disabilities. The class sizes are small and contain a variety of learning styles amongst their students. The teachers in the MS/HS vary widely in their training to use strategies to teach and test students with specific learning disabilities and attention issues. The school has only recently installed SmartBoards in the classroom. Laptops are allowed but not used much by the teachers in daily instruction. The administration has been open to my concerns and does their best to help when possible. Dallas Academy could meet more of the needs of their students with learning and attention issues if more resources were spent training and hiring teachers with more experience who understand how to unlock the potential of students with learning disabilities and attention issues. Increasing the use of individual technology in the classroom to provide accommodations to students would also be helpful to those who struggle to learn in a typical way.
The blessing and the curse of Dallas Academy is that they want to treat all students with the same teaching format. Unfortunately, our son has some real visual and motor processing issues that have not been accommodated within the classroom. Many students have mostly social issues and no learning issues. Most of the teachers do not have a specialization in learning different children either, and would benefit from the LDA and other conference updates. An administration servicing an LD community must coordinate each student's issues with all of their teachers to coordinate the best for each learning difference. I have to educate each teacher each year as to my son's strengths and weaknesses so they will help him!
Dallas Academy has outstanding teachers and administration. They are professional and compassionate with LD kids. They are well trained and equipped to work with all learning differences. They don't show favoritism and defiantly work towards a bully-free atmosphere. If you aren't pleased with DA then you need to take a hard look at yourself and make a change.
This school has been a godsend for my daughter. I appreciate the diverse student population and am pleased that she is able to be around other children who encounter their own struggles, but are not made to feel "different" from their peers. The staff and teachers are warm and engaging and the principals are so helpful. We really love this school and highly recommend it to other families!!
Dallas Academy is an answer to our prayers. After our child struggled in school for years, we are thrilled to have found an environment full of teachers and staff willing to take time to partner with us in his journey, both academically and socially. While aspects of his learning disabilities (LDs) will always be a part of who he is, Dallas Academy has proven the LDs don't define him. Opportunities to participate in hands-on learning across curriculum areas, plus extra-curricular activities, engage him in ways previously lacking. The community (staff & fellow parents) at DA has become part of our lives and we are forever grateful.
We are now in our 3rd year at Dallas Academy and could not be more satisfied. Our high-functioning autistic son has blossomed socially, gained self-confidence and is making great strides academically. DA has proven to be a safe environment for him to expand his social skills as everyone is accepted and respected. The administration and teachers know every child and provide needed support and guidance throughout each day. As parents we are thrilled to have a son ready to go to school each day and so very happy to be a part of the DA community. DA has enriched our entire family.
Dallas Academy is all "smoke and mirrors". They advertise that they work with all learning differences. This couldn't be farther from the truth. They only concentrate on the acutely autistic or those with Aspergers. If your child actually just learns differently, they are at a loss as to what to do and often try tactics to push you out. My son has been targeted by teachers and administration for the last year (this is his third year) because he doesn't fit into their textbook mold of teaching to the lowest common denominator. They have prayed upon desperate parents who are looking for unique and specialized attention for their childs needs when all other educational institutions have failed. The administration plays favorites (usually those with the deepest pockets or highest social standing). If we could, we would file a formal complaint for their blatant misrepresentation of what they do there and the bullying tactics they use to squash any child or parent that questions them. . If your child truly learns differently...run as far away from DA as possible.
This is our second year at DA. Our son started in the 7th grade and was at least a grade level behind academically. The teachers and staff are wonderful! He is now testing at grade level and is playing football. He never wanted to play a team sport because of past coaches temper but the DA coaches are positive and encourage leadership and individual growth. He loves going to practice and the new self confidence is amazing!!!
We have had a great experience at DA. Our son who is mildly autistic, and bipolar (high functioning on the Aspergers spectrum) has grown and matured dramatically there. He felt safe and comfortable and other than a tough teacher once or twice which he adapted to he has loved the staff and learned quite a bit. They do challenge these kids, they do not just pamper them, expectations are still there for them to do their best. In addition he got to participate in school sports which he had never had at other more special needs specific schools. And he has made great friends and now is college bound (with disability considerations). The diagnostic staff did a great job with him and got him accommodations both in the classroom and on achievement and college entrance exams allowing him to achieve his best. Very highly recommended if your kid has learning differences and just doesn't quite fit in the public schools or has social issues. Regarding others complaints, I have seen some bullying but much less than at public schools my other child attends, and regarding fundraising I have barely been bothered with that, a few generic positive participation type emails.
I am disappointed to have resorted to voicing my concerns here - as the staff will not take the time to listen. During our three year stance with DA we found it difficult to connect with the staff as well as parents. We felt that due to our receiving financial aid our voice and concerns were ignored. Our child was bullied and the high school principle did absolutely nothing to encourage a change. In fact, we were told we could find another school for our child. We chose DA as we felt it was the best place for our child - we were wrong! We could never recommend DA to another family particularly one in need of financial aid as they will be treated as second class.
My child attended the lower school at Dallas Academy. It was a disappointing experience. It was difficult to communicate with the lower school administration. There was certainly a wall between the lower school administration and parents. There were a few outstanding teachers, but their performance could still not keep us at this school. There are discipline problems and bullying problems that do not get properly addressed. As a parent, I witnessed Upper School students bullying their peers and younger students. This was ironic considering they have a "anti-bullying" program. The school does fill a niche, but we just did not fit.
All I can say is that our experience at Dallas Academy has been extremely disappointing from the top down.
My daughter has just entered her second year at DA and our experience is still extremely positive. She continues to improve academically and is incredibly happy. The administration and teachers are professional, caring, and know all of the children. In reference to the fundraising complaint from a previous reviewer, they just completed their annual campaign and the only "pressure" to contribute came in the form of generic emails and one letter announcing the beginning of the campaign. With regard to the reviewer that was disappointed that DA didn't diagnose their child's dyslexia a school is unable to diagnose any learning difference. That can only be done by a licensed psychologist. And, I haven't heard or seen any teacher at DA give up on a child who has a learning difference. However, they won't put up with out-of-control behavioral problems or bullying and will ask the trouble makers to leave the school. Finally,we have a diverse student body - kids adopted from all over the world, economically privileged and disadvantaged kids, and various learning difference diagnoses. Yet, we all get along and share the common desire to see our kids succeed.
I add an addendum to how disappointing this school experience has been. Imagine sending your child to a school for children with learning differences for 2 years because they assured you they worked with children with learning differences. Imagine the disappointment of learning in the course of year 2 at the school, that they gave up on your child. Now add on to it, that you learn from his new school that he has dyslexia. How did Dallas Academy miss something that the school prides itself on working with? What a huge disappointment!
It's tough to educate an ADD kid, but this place is about the best there is. Though there were some antsy moments, and I think there are some things they could do differently, I'm convinced that had it not been for this school, our son would have either not graduated or else graduated without life skills.
Dallas Academy is more concerned with fund raising than educating students. It became clear that their only concern was fund raising when they removed my child because they could not teach him. Their only concern was how much money they were getting from family members. I think that since my family only paid the tuition my son was removed because we were not helping them reach their fund raising goals.
As a former parent and now a staff member, I have experienced both sides of Dallas Academy. When my son came to Dallas Academy, he could not read. All I wanted was for him to be able to read! After six years with the most dedicated and patient teachers, he was accepted to a 4 year college and has only a few hours until graduation. I tell most anyone who asks me that I have the greatest job in the world, working with an outstanding staff and faculty, and in a beautiful facility. The students who attend Dallas Academy receive compassion, understanding, patience, and guidance. I can't think of a better place for a learning different student to find success.
i believe this school is a great place for people kids go to. i believe you will learn a lot here you should give this school a chance.
Dallas Academy has been a blessing for my child and my family. My son struggled for years in public school, and it took the love, support and tireless guidance of the DA staff to help him to reach his full potential. He was just accepted to a large university, and we never could have seen this dream realized without this school.
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