This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted January 22, 2014
- a parent
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.
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.