This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Texas Connections Academy at Houston5
Posted December 11, 2014
- a parent
I took my son from brick and mortar school and chose Connections Academy. I found Connections Academy by chance and I was able to get him into this school in a matter of days. I have to admit it was a big overwhelming at first. The website seemed so confusing to me. When do the lessons start? How is it graded? How long do we have to work etc. I love that the teachers are available to answer any questions. Weeks have passed now and I have to say that as the days go by we have loved the curriculum. My son needed some one on one time & attention which he was not receiving at brick & mortar school. I love that I am able to assist my own child. We take our time with the lessons. We will review as many times as he needs to be able to understand the lessons. He attends live lessons which the student is able to listen to and interact in a classroom type setting. Yes, it's rigorous but it's worth it. My son has A's & B's which he has never had. The one on one attention is definitely what he needed and CA was able to provide that opportunity for us. I highly recommend if you have the time required and your child needs that extra attention and help that isn't provided at a regular school.
Teachers at TCAH are asked to hyper-manage student attendance, paperwork, documentation and truancy concerns, rather than teach. We are teachers, not attendance clerks or compliance officers. Workplace morale is not a concern of administrators, but it should be. They ignore it or disregard it by saying Everyone is stressed . The climate of this school is negative, high-stress, demands my time away from being a parent and human being, and is led by administrators who do not lead by example. I absolutely love my students, they are the reason I teach. I would advise any parent interested in TCAH, especially as an escape from the public school student, to look carefully at the requirements and expectations of both yourself and your student. This curriculum is excessively rigorous, sometimes unnecessarily, and requires a student who is at or near instructional grade level in the 4 core areas. If your student struggles in math or reading, this program does not allow for remediation or reteaching, unfortunately.
I think that Texas Connection Academy Houston is an awesome school. This is our third year, (6th, 7th and 8th), and I have nothing but awesome things to say. Every school is not right for every type of student. I understand some of the negative complaints, maybe Texas Connection Academy Houston is not the right fit for your child. I am a former public school teacher, and I pulled my child out of public school due to recent budget cuts and overcrowded classrooms. I own my own business assisting college bound students in the college admission process. I let clients know that they must choose the college that best fit their major, and their specific learning needs. Parents should do the same when choosing a school for their child. Parents need to do their research and realize they have options in choosing a school, just as they have options in choosing a college for their college bound child. There are many types of schools for PRE K - 12 Grade: Public, Private, Magnet, Charter, Religious, Home School, Virtual, Boarding School, and Performing Arts Schools. One school type does not fit every child, the parent has to research each and see which one is the BEST FIT for their child.
I have two kids at This school (online), i have been having issues with the teachers and all the staff. The first week of school i requested to get books for my 9th graded and everybody told me no! They dont try to help you find solutions, they are just not willing to help. I asked if i can just print the books from pearson (the online book), well that was not an options either. My only option... You need it? Buy them! Yes, that was the solution for a "free public" school. On top of that, today i got a phone call from the principle assistance, to help me after a month, well she wanted to talked about saving the trees??? Excuse me, i dont wanna be rude but unless you are calling to give me a solution, i dont think a need a talk about trees. As you can imagine, if you dont agree to what they said they just hung up on you. Which is not the first time they do that. They all nice "trying" to help you but when you need real help then you see the real face. This is my personal opinion of my experience with the majority of the staff from this virtual school.
This school is a nightmare! My daughter has been enrolled in Texas Connections Academy for two weeks , and we already see cracks in their educational system. She's enrolled full-time and failing every subject! This so-called 'virtual' high school is a joke. It's putting taxpayer dollars in the pockets of a for-business online charter school with a horrible curriculum. My daughter will be attending a local public school in the community next week.
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.