My daughter has attended Dallas Academy for the past six years and we have been more than pleased with the level of education and professionalism from this school. She, too, was a recipient of financial aid and we were never treated as "less than" nor were our voices unheard. This school may not be the best fit for everyone as it is not a one-size-fits-all type of school. It has; however, been the best fit for our family and it has allowed my child to grow and blossom into a happy and confident young lady. I know she will be well-equipped to handle academic challenges in other settings with confidence as Dallas Academy has done a stellar job in providing her with tools and skills to help her work with her challenges.
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.
This is an excellent school for Students with LD. My son has dyslexia and last year as a freshman, he made the A/B honor roll for the first time in his life. He loves this school and loves the Administrative staff and coaches. Mr. Richardson runs a first class organization.
This school has been a Godsend for my child. We have only been there since January 2008 but the difference in my daughter is amazing. She used to spend every evening crying and getting stomachaches as she tried to do her homework. Once we switched to DA, she loves school, is excited to learn and she feels confidence in her abilities. The last straw with DISD was when her teacher demeaned her attempts to understand the science fair project process. We have had the last laugh, at the end of 4th grade she was tackling 6th grade level work with ease. These teachers really understand LD and do whatever they can to motivate children to learn.
It is a wonderful school that trully focus on what the children needs. I have three children that goes to this school and it was trully a blessing.
If your child has a learning difference and does not exhibit poor social behavior, then this is the school to choose. It is now grades K-12. The facility is small but a capital campaign is in the works and great plans are in the near future. So far we have found the teacher quality to be excellent, as is that of the headmaster, Mr. Richardson. All the faculty and staff go out of their way to make learning as fun as possible. The average class size is unbelievably small. Art and music are heavily emphasized. The curriculum is definitely college prep. Their belief is that having an LD doesn't mean that college is out of the question. Nearly all their graduates go on to college. The choice of extracurricular activities is small, and the importance of physical education is not high on their priority list, but otherwise this school is great.
My son graduated from D. A. in 2003. This is a wonderful school dedicated to teaching students with learning differences. The class size is small, about 10 students for every teacher. The teachers, administration and staff really care about educating their students. The students lead a normal high school life, sports, cheerleading, choir, homecomings and proms. When my son arrived at D. A. he was shy and feared failing at school. But with the help of his caring teachers and staff, he gained confidance in his social life as well as in his academic abilities. I recommend this school to any parents who have kids with learning disabilites. Although my son has graduated, I still continue to support the school.
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