Teachers are not effective because the turnover rate is too high every year. Too many teachers are not certified. I feel sorry for teachers and students who are stuck in small rooms (or the gym) with no windows and minimum hands-on activities.
High school students showed grit by sticking out the year trying to learn in a loud gym, but Focus has not taught students a real sense of determination to reach their potential and make it to college.
There is no way that students can learn to respect each other because the new leader does not respect staff. All she does is walk around gossiping about the staff and fails to build quality rapport with students. There is no good model anymore for the students to see.
The school owner, Leroy McClure, and the school attorney covered up a scandal where a security guard was allowed to choke a 9th grader in front of adult and student witnesses. Rather than get rid of the security guard, the owner and attorney put him on paid leave and let him spread lies about the student. Students can't depend on the owner or the new lady, Phyllis Johnson, to care about their needs.
The school can't develop integrity in its students because the Chief Academic Officer has no integrity. She was allowed to fire dozens of people to bring in staff from her own school, but she didn't communicate anything to parents and students. We had to learn from word of mouth that staff members and administrators were fired because the school is in serious financial trouble. Focus constantly hides critical information from parents for fear of parents withdrawing their children, which would be the right thing to do.
This school has some big problems. Turnover is a huge issue. Good luck seeing many teachers last more than a year or two. Some are not even degreed when hired, and many “emergency hires” who are supposed to be working toward state teacher certification never make it.
Don’t expect a school calendar to ever remain consistent. It was a common practice that an automated phone call would go out at 9pm the night before a school-wide event; the only notification to both teachers and parents. At other times, fliers or calendars would be given to the student body, only for replacements to go out a few days or weeks later. Even when and where students ate lunch was inconsistent, oftentimes resulting in students eating in their classrooms or receiving their meals hours after originally scheduled.
The dress code for the staff reflects a misogynist attitude where long dresses are prohibited and short skirts and heels are encouraged. It was common knowledge that certain male staff members made their rounds hitting on new hires.
Safety in general is dubious at best. Too often did staff “lose a child” only to find out that a parent had picked them up without signing them out or to find the child wandering a hallway. Older students seemed to have free reign to walk the halls. It was common knowledge that teachers should hide valuables and food, since students and cleaning staff tended to break into classrooms and take what they wanted.
Last year, the school touted that Deion Sanders was coming on as Head Football Coach and Chief Marketing Officer. This comes after Deion’s previous Prime Prep Academy was shut down amidst large debts and lawsuits, and many of those students were funneled to Focus. The high school students are currently taking their classes in the gym, because the school took on more students without having the space. Focus has received a state rating of “improvement required” by the TEA two years in a row.
Many higher level administrators have been let go, yet problems continue. The school seems to have major money issues, and it seems funds are being mismanaged. Why have an iPad for every student when they are taking classes in the gym? Almost all of the classrooms have no windows and the whole school gives off a feel of darkness and despair.
For these reasons and many more, please consider another school.
I rate Focus Learning Academy a great school because the Staff, teachers, and Administrators
go above and beyond to meet the challenges of
all students. I would hope that "great school.org"
would pay closer attention to the positive responses, which are unsolicited. It's past time
for some of our parents to get involved and get behind your children, as our future is also in your hands, along with those who serve them at Focus.
"It's Possible". Thank You in advance, A Focus Substitute, and former teacher.
- Parent Speaking Out..... I currently have three children enrolled in Triple A and Focus academy and I love the fact that they are dressed in uniforms that help make them look like success. When you look good you feel good and will do better. I like the professionalism of the staff for the most part and the focus that is placed on the students success not just at school but in their communities and life as a whole. Of course no teacher, no school, no parent and no child is perfect there will always be things that need to be improved upon and communication and strong parent involvement is the key. ...an educational institution with no rules will produce non productive, unruly and disconnected people trying to cope with societies pressures ...surely we don't need any more of those. ..but an institution with guidelines and rules will produce people with morals, values, self worth and the knowledge to function in a already corrupt environment. Parents lets not be a Silent Partner in our childrens Education ....Thank you
My son had a teacher this past school year (14-15) that seem to only care about the way she looked. I can recall on numerous occasions coming up to the school and seeing teacher in heels, short and tight skirts, lips glossy and very flirtatious . Is this a fashion show or are you here to serve the children is what I asked myself whenever I pick my child up .