TCAH is just awful, in terms of organization and administration. I agree with some of the previous reviews, in that the school director and school principal are both very patronizing, ungenuine and either very passive or unnecessarily aggressive in their dealings with our family. We enjoyed our teachers for the most part, but our daughter's favorite teacher quit early last year, and then discovered some disturbing details about administration's handling of this teacher's quitting. We also had a very disheartening encounter with one of the 7th grade language arts teachers who thought it was her job to tell my daughter how to talk on the phone and was not very nice in how she went about it. We tried several times to discuss with administration about our concerns and about field trips and were transferred between several people on the phone, never given a clear-cut answer and then eventually gave up. We are pleased to not be returning to this school for the upcoming school year.
This was our 2nd year at TCAH and my 7th and 3rd grader love it. The curriculum is more rigorous than traditional school. They don t teach to the test they went through all the textbook material so my kids are getting a more rounded education. My kids and I both had more quality time with their teachers and they loved the flexibility the school allows. Some people misunderstand what flexibility means. You need to keep up with the lessons and do them in a timely manner. Flexibility comes as when during the week you do them. Your involvement is not only welcomed but is necessary. You can t expect to leave your kids with little supervision and expect this to work. They are after all kids. Both my kids received commended on their STAAR tests. We needed accommodations for one of my kids due to some health concerns and TCAH went out of their way to make sure that it was taken care of. My interactions with the administration were excellent. I was impressed by the scholarships and college acceptances that I heard about at the EOY awards ceremony. I m not sure where the previous poster got their ratings, but the TEA website's 2013 ratings show them doing quite well. We LOVE TCAH!
I am not sure why there are so many negitive comments. I have two children in this program 3rd and 6th. They did very well. The staff was wonderful. It's hard work but we welcome that. You need to be a good strong learning coach. We will return next year!! My family drove to Houston to meet the staff and some teachers and that was a positive experience. We have also taken part in the field trips the school offers again a pleasent experience.
My son has been attending this school for the past 3 years. I read a couple negative reviews recently that I find puzzling. Our experience with the school has been pretty positive. The teachers are responsive. The schedule is flexible and the lessons are informative and easy to follow. Just because a course and/or curriculum is flexible, doesn't mean that you can drop doing any work at all. For example, my son preferred to work on one subject at a time--meaning, he would work only science for 2 or 3 days solid. He kept working, rotating between his subjects and finished in plenty of time. Occasionally a teacher would reach out and make sure all was well and help get us moving when things seem to stall, but I wouldn't describe their concern as harassment. My son does not participate in any special programs or the like, so maybe kids requiring more specialized help would do better in a brick and mortar setting-I don't know. All I know is that my son is happy with the program and is thriving; he did very well on all his STAAR tests and asked to continue with Connections next year.
DO NOT ENROLL IN THIS SCHOOL. This school is very disorganized. We have been harassed endlessly by teachers and the school director and the principal with countless hostile phone calls about my son completing work they told us during information sessions we had flexible time in completing (which was a lie) because of his IEP for special needs. The director of special populations has not been compliant with special ed law and my son was forced to take STAR tests without the accommodations he was permitted to take by law per his IEP. We also did not have the required ARD meeting before the STAR test. I agree with previous reviews that call the school director patronizing and the principal very rude. The teachers are very insistent in their work being completed NOW. There is no flexibility in completing work. Dont let them fool you. You must follow their schedule. We have also been told that the principal told teachers in meetings that she "hates" elementary students. Why then is this lady running a school? This place is a joke and we have been misled what this school is really about. DO NOT ENROLL IN THIS SCHOOL.
TCAH is poorly run. Administration is uncooperative and inconsistent in their enforcement of policies and procedures. I forgot to log attendance for 3 days and the teacher told me she was told to mark it for me by the principal. Last time I checked I think that is illegal. My neighbor has a daughter enrolled and her teacher reminded her to mark attendance, no mention of being told to mark it for them by the principal. They threaten withdrawal all of the time but don't follow through. The teachers are forced to become the bad guys but our teacher tells us the truth that the principals are hounding and threatening them. This place needs help.
Why is this school being sold as the "highest rated virtual school in the state" when according to TEA standards it is academically unacceptable in several areas? I am all for silver linings, but this appears to be a stretch. From my experience, the teachers are high quality, but appear to be inhibited by the policies and procedures put in place by administration. The school director and principal are very patronizing and disingenuous with regards to the care for students. Communication between administration and teachers as well as among administrators appears to be very lacking. I am told one thing by administrators that makes no sense, the teacher tells me the opposite that makes sense and appears to be the legitimate truth. Appears to be a case of "if it doesn't make sense, it's not true". Administration needs a major overhaul at this school.
ADVANTAGE: As in any school, teachers are hit or miss. We have found more hits than misses here. There are a few teachers to miss but it appears the ones that have been there the longest are fabulous. In particular, my child's 8th grade social studies teacher is fantastic- very friendly and helpful. She is our favorite! DISADVANTAGES: Administration is very unorganized, difficult to reach and confrontational when they are reached. Found it disturbing that a certain administrator at this school was on the Houston news making references to "pant dropping" in public schools. Teachers are moved far too frequently- my child's classes rotate too often with new teachers who appear untrained of how to use their online portal. The teachers we've had issues with lack appropriate communication skills. Conversations with my children have been awkward, sometimes inappropriate and condescending. OVERALL- I would recommend this school if it were under different leadership and several teachers were replaced, and their policy of circulating teachers regularly was changed. My children suffer from incompetent teachers who don't know how to use their system.
We love TCAH, this is our first year, a lot of work, but the teachers are great, both my children are maintaining a B average, we love it.
Connection Academy is a HORRIBLE school , First of all the curriculum is very boring the way they organize the course get's boring after 1 week for every course it starts with Book-Review-question . They make learning very dull and, Like me all of my life I have been doing public school and when I came to this school, I lost all of my friends and now I have no friends I feel lonely at this school . PLEASE WHATEVER YOU DO DON'T JOIN THIS SCHOOL IT'S DULL AND DOES NOT SPARK INTEREST IN STUDENTS LEARNING
My daughter attended Texas Connections Academy for a couple of months. She loved it and so did we as her parents! Great school; teachers and staff. The curriculum was ahead of regular public school. We moved to a small town and my daughter decided to try public school again and so far she is ahead in her regular public school and we believe it was because of Texas Connections Academy. They really made the process of enrollment easy and when we decided to withdrawal her they were very kind. Her homeroom teacher even called her to wish her the best in her new school. I could go on and on with great things to say about this school.
I did the review in the middle of the summer about the ease of registration and helpfulness of the registration staff. Now that we are 6 weeks in I wanted to update and say that we're still very impressed and pleased with this school. The instruction is rigorous but enjoyable. My 3rd grader is enjoying learning and working through her lessons. The teachers have been very involved and easy to reach. The portfolios take a lot of work but have very really benefits in student understanding of the subjects. Very happy with this curriculum and set-up!
TCAH is a wonderful school because it lets your child learn with the best learning style and pace that is right for them. The teacher are always available to answer questions and talk with you or the student at any given time. The curriculum is the best I've seen in the Texas schools my son has attended. They have art and music and all the academics as well. The schedule is laid out and and the UI is not complicated so my 3rd grader can get on and do his school work without confusion. Since he's been at TCAH his grades and attitude towards school have greatly improved since attending TCAH. We started our 2nd year here this year and it's been great. His Teacher is just as great this year as last year!
We are enjoying being a part of this school. My son has contact with his teachers any time he needs help and we have the flexibility to do the lessons when it is convenient for us. Plus, we didn't have to spend money on school supplies!
Our family is new to Texas Connections Academy at Houston. However, my children are teens, so I am fully qualified to comment on the preparation and planning involved in starting a new school year. When my children attended traditional school and a smaller charter school, it could take up to a week before they actually began their school work. Unfortunately, instructors have to spend the first few days on housekeeping, distributing materials, and imparting rules. Our experience with TCAH was completely different. My kids hit the ground running on the first day. They've had their materials since mid-July and received communication and assignments from each of their teachers the Saturday before classes began. I believe the TCAH experience will be excellent preparation for college. Success with this school requires the students to be independent, self-directed, and self-motivated. Good time management skills are a must, both for the students and the parents. Thanks to the support tools provided by TCAH, I looking forward to the challenge of keeping my family on track for stellar school year.
I love this school...my daughter does her work on her on time and her own pace..I also can learn new things while helping her.
I swear this school just keeps getting better and better as the year goes on. The comfort of home and not all the judgement and assumptions that there is in public schools. This school is a great school for anyone who has a child that wants to learn and is very smart he or she just does not get along well with other individuals. I have a daughter with Bipolar and ADHD as well people are quick to judge so that interfered with her school work with connections academy she is able to do her school work focus on her grades and not worry about the bulling and other distractions of public school. The teachers are focused more on the students it is almost like we have a private tutor for each subject. The teachers are really focused on the students and the small amount of individual attention can make a world of difference exspecially when you have children that are use to being pushed aside by other students and teachers. Their focus here at Connections Academy is right where it needs to be on the students and not on the testing and reputation. WTG CONNECTIONS ACADEMY.
With the crisis today in brick & mortar schools it's been a blessing to have my boys be able to complete school requirements from the comforts of home. They still benefit from free public school curriculum, teachers, books, activities, clubs, yearbook etc.. without the worries of bullies and disrespectful classmates. I feel sorry for teachers these days that spend more time disciplining than actually teaching. I also like the fact that I can maintain a christian-faith based environment that has slowly been taken away in the schools with the removal of prayer and christian and American history. This school has awesome and dedicated teachers and staff. My kids enjoy the Live Lessons, access to great videos like Discovery, and a self paced environment where they are free to be challenged above and beyond. This school is great for kids that are frequently sick or involved in the movie business or sports and who require the ability to have a flexible schedule.
As a parent I highly recommend Texas Connections Academy at Houston. This will be our 8th year working with the Connections Academy team and they get better every year. This is our 3rd year in the program in Texas. I love their structured online learning system as well as the availability of the teachers. My daughters are soaring in this program!
Texas Connections Academy at Houston (CA) is a FANTASTIC school! Students are learning virtually as well as with the assistance of a Learning Coach and Teachers who are helping the student to strive for excellence! We have tried homeschooling using our own designed curriculum, public brick and mortar school, as well as other virtual schools, but we have found that CA offers more in the innovative curriculum, friendly teachers, and helpful administration. We have been with CA for 4 years now. By teaching our children by means of CA, our family has grown closer together, my children are no longer bullied as they were in the traditional brick and mortar school, and they get the personal attention that they need to succeed in school. Also, I don't have the headache of coming up with my own curriculum! I no longer worry if my children are where they are "supposed" to be in school. I love that the teachers and admin are available. I would HIGHLY recommend this school to anyone who wants to educate their children in a loving environment. Choosing CA has been one of the best decisions I have made as a parent and I am truly thankful to have found such a great school for my children!
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