This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted May 04, 2015
- a teacher
I can tell you, the reader, that the negative post submitted by a supposed teacher is bogus. I do not know who this person is but they certainly have no idea what they are talking about. I have been at this school for 14 years and can tell you it is more than a little remarkable! The teachers and staff are the most dedicated people I have ever met and each and everyone of them see their position as vocation rather than just a job. The students thrive in a manner that I have not seen in any other school. Each one goes on with the knowledge, confidence and courage to succeed. Do not be influenced by one bad apple. There is a reason that once here teachers do not leave - this is one amazing school!
My daughter was failing 7th grade in the HISD school system. After coming to Crossroads not only did she catch up but leapt ahead 4 grades. She regained her confidence and was taught to learn in ways specific to her needs. The small classes and teacher/ student ratio made a huge difference. As a parent, I liked that I was able to gauge her progress through daily take home folders, parent/teacher conferences and open lines of communication. Being a Private School, Crossroads relies heavily on parent participation for both fund raising and school activities. I really enjoyed being part of the "Crossroads Family" and had a great time helping out with the annual gala. My daughter is now a successsful young business woman who stays in touch with a lot of the staff and alumni, as do I. I have referred many people to Crossroads and continue to do so. It's all it's cracked up to be!
As a former teacher at Crossroads, I had the knowledge of knowing all of the "ins" of the school. The head of school, Gila, made horrendous decisions which the teachers had to follow, and she does not care for children or the best interest of how each of them can thrive. It is a very punitive school, and guidance to the parents was to keep their children at the school for as long as possible without any goal to help them mainstream. The children have many behavioral problems, and her "method" of helping them was punishing, and very, very little positive reinforcement and positive redirection. As an educator, I could not continue watching these children regress, observe the parents so worried, and hear all of the talk between the staff and directors. I am writing this in an effort to advise parents, and educate them, to really ask questions and know exactly what they are doing if they choose to enroll their child. If a "special needs" school is their choice, there are several other schools in Houston for high functioning children, that are very "happy schools" that use positive reinforcement, not punishments, and really working with the children in an individualized way.
My son has dyslexia, processing issues and limited social skills. He blossomed at Crossroads School. The teaching is excellent and the classroom environment is small and caring. Every child gets personal attention and support for remediation. They helped my son recognize and cope with his issues and excel at his strengths. He spent the 3rd through the 8th grade at Crossroads. I highly recommend this school for children with ADHD, Asperger's, Dyslexia, processing issues and social issues. I think outcomes speak to quality. My son just finished his first semester of high school with a 4.0 grade point average. He could never have achieved this without the wonderful people and program at Crossroads.
This school is a hidden gem; I wouldn't have known it existed if I hadn't been referred to it by another highly reputable private school which also specializes in teaching children with learning differences. My son, a 4th year student (08-09), through a combination of Crossroads School, its director, and its dedicated teaching staff, along with two local therapists, made a miraculous turn around. Through our 7-year journey of seeking answers, we found a unique combination of help for my son who is Dyslexic, Dysgraphic, and has a processing disorder at Crossroads. I could not be happier with this great school. And more importantly, MY SON LIKES Crossroads. He feels safe, and is academically and emotionally supported. He went from being shunned by his friends in public school to being (in his words) "one of the popular kids." I highly recommend Crossroads. (Of Note: No school, now matter how dedicated and highly rated will be a perfect fit for everyone. Over the years we've been to really good schools and we've been to the BEST. Keep in mind that even at the best, I've seen and heard parents complain about everything from teachers to academics.)
There are kids out there that this school is a great fit for, however, the school director is so focused on getting the money for her new school building that she will tell you whatever you want to hear to get your tuition money, and then you are trapped (unless you can pay two school tuitions). If your child has a behavior related learning difference, either in combination with other learning differences, or not, then this school may be a good fit for you. It worked for us for a while, however, they tried to fit my child in the same box as the other kids, and we aren't dealing with any behavior issues. Most of the teachers are fantastic. Some were not, and some subjects were done totally online while the instructor looked at his Facebook account, due to his inability to manage the behavior. Crossroads claims to help kids bridge back into a regular school environment, and the reality, for us, is that I, as the mom, did most of that. While I will always value the interaction we had with some of the teachers and staff, be very cautious about anything you are told during the "sales pitch." I wish I could have talked directly with the faculty and staff and skipped the director.
So sad, this school destroyed my son's confidence and self esteem temporarily. He has ADHD, never had any behavioral problems, and academically was always in the highest classes in his previous wonderful public school. I was misinformed by the director, Gila Arnoni, on how this school would be such a good fit in helping him with his ADHD and learning challenges. His teacher was completely disengaged and did not communicate at all about what they were doing, so absolutely no link between school and home, which is paramount. NO parental involvement. He began copying behavioral problems in his class, and academically being taught a year behind of what he was capable of. The effect of Crossroads on my son has taken 6 months to undo, as I withdrew him as every professional I consulted with said I needed to do. Wish I could give my email to any concerned parent. Luckily, he has caught up academically, is back to my happy, well adjusted son, and has worked through with his play therapist all of the horrible behaviors that he had learned and observed. Please do your research and observe, and talk to as many professionals as you can if you even consider Crossroads.
Perhaps very good for certain children who are responsive to their "method," yet as a former parent, I would never had sent my daughter to this school, knowing that they literally group the children together, as all "special needs children," and at meetings called my child a behavioral problem. Since we left this school 1 1/2 yeas ago, she is doing so well in a mainstreamed environment, yet was doing horribly at Crossroads. There was never any curiosity on their part as to why she was not responding, doing well, or suddenly having behavioral problems. Just be careful, and interview in DETAIL, observe the classes, and ask as many question with guidance as you can think of, before you send your child to this school. As I said, very good for some children, but not all.
As a parent, you want the best for your child - and it is a huge challenge when your child has "different" learning needs. Traditional school settings could not accommodate and other private schools could not understand how to help my child succeed. Then we found Crossroads...and it has made all of the difference, not just in providing a challenging academic environment, but with teachers, staff and leadership that help students learn social, organizational, and life skills to help them transition to traditional schools when they are ready. Teachers know each student, and how to customize a learning approach that works for each student. The committment of the teachers, staff and director are inspirational. The school is small, about 70 students, and private - so all fundraising is done by the staff and parents - which we happily do, since there is no other school in the city like Crossroads. At the end of the day, my child is happy, has more self-confidence and is better prepared to meet the challenges ahead. At Crossroads they are "Proud of Our Differences"...and that, in turn, makes all of the difference!