Where to even begin? I advise anyone considering this school or any "charter" school do research on charter schools in general. I failed to research this school properly before enrolling my son and when I did, I found it terrifying. The curriculum is by ResponsiveEd, which I found, after hours upon hours of digging, is directly related to Accelerated Christian Education. See where I am going with this? The curriculum is anti-science, and pro-religion. Since the Intelligent Design movement has been squashed out of traditional public schools by the supreme court on grounds it is not scientific whatsoever, they have cleverly been setting up charter schools to push their false "science". The learning environment is terrible. They have now gone to a "mastery" system, meaning if your child does not make straight A's (90+) they have to attend extra hours of school including Saturday school. There are no teachers, only classroom monitors. The kids must teach themselves everything. This school is in no way, shape, or form a College "prep" school. The stats they show seem good, but contrary to common belief, numbers DO lie. Statistics are subject to interpretation. Again.. Beware..
Would very much like to know about the principal being "reassigned" and the breakroom incident but this site, for reviews, doesn't seem to let people contact each other. If you happen to read this and it violated no guidelines, "student", please email me ravenonyx at gmail dot com.
If you intend on enrolling your child, beware that the administration and their parent company have extremely conservative viewpoint on "zero tolerance". Make heavy note of the extensive code of conduct and be sure you understand exactly what each one refers to (ie, is a hug a sexual assault). The Code is extremely vague in several overlapping areas. This is straight from the parent company Responsive Ed (Qwest Middle School, Vista Academy, and K-12) - research to see the "school board" you'll be dealing with. Look up the worst stories you can find about "zero tolerance policies" and draw your own conclusions. Ignore the pretty, tech-intensive "hooks" they have to make everything look nice on the surface and dig deep before choosing to enroll your child. Also, if you do withdraw from the school, in my experience it is extremely hard to get their records to transfer with even with written requests hand delivered to the front desk.
Media Arts Academy (not stem!) I would first like to point out that the curriculum is great. It is easy to pace yourself as long as you work hard and don't play games all day. That said, they treat students with much disrespect, whether they are hard working with straight a's and already a semester ahead of schedule (me), or if they are a senior who is so lazy they still have freshmen classes. I have asked simple innocent questions and the director chuckled at me like it was stupid. They make new rules like assigning extra math work (without much warning) and expecting every student to be okay with it. This school seems to be more like a corporations, caring more about how the school looks than about the students at the school. I do not believe that I deserve to do 27 extra pages of math per unit (I have gotten great grades on my Geometry tests), and many people are the same, but they do not personalize the system at all. They only make rules that cover the whole campus. That said, this is better than regular public schools, and this is not an "alternative school" for bad students, but the main reason I am working fast to graduate early is to leave this school for a better school
Ischool High is a technology based school that has a heavy focus on higher education and preparation for each student's future. The manner in which teaching is carried out is lightly defined, yet surprisingly effective. The teachers at the school are all hand picked an thoroughly selected by the administration. This ensures that they are highly experienced and happy to work with and teach students. As a whole this system seems to work quite well. The school is based off of following 5 community agreements and the 7 habits of highly effective people. This seeks to make the school an orderly and peaceable learning environment in which students can pursue their academic goals in the best way possible.
iSchool High is a fruitful experience that you will not forget. Coming from a background where I had been previously homeschooled grades 1-8, this was my first "public" school to ever attend. Quivering from head to toe, I feared how my future would be affected by this turn in my life - high school. Would it be positive? Or rather... would it be negative? Well, let me alleviate your curiosity. Currently, as a Sophomore who attends iSchool High, my experience has been, without a doubt, positive. The minute I walked in through the clear, double doors to attend Freshmen orientation, my fears were allayed. I was quickly introduced to the welcoming community, given complimentary food, and assigned an astute mentor. Since then, my adulation for the school has snowballed. Throughout my high school experience at iSchool, I have made ardent frienships, gained considerable knowledge, and met some of the most incredible teachers. It was once said that you reap what you sow. Sow an abundance of propitious knowledge and undying relationships now, and reap the boundless blessings that follow; iSchool High is the just the place to do it.
Many students and parents seek a solid education. However, a school is not only education. Friends are made and memories spun. A school must have many opportunities for all three of these aspects to be excellent. In my eyes, iSchool High offers all three in a great style. This school is clear on what to do and not do. Deviation is not taken lightly. Classes are challenging and educational when the student puts forth his/her part. The teachers are available and willing to help and answer questions. A community of discipline, education, and synergy is encouraged. iSchool High is a great school with good teachers. Yet, some say that the school is horrible because of the lack of the aforementioned. iSchool really shines when the student gets involved and tries. And at iSchool, this is not hard to do. Go in for tutoring. Study a little. Ask questions. Make friends. I have been blessed by attending iSchool. I wish for others to be blessed in the same way.
If your student is floundering then this means the have NOT gone to their teachers for help. People this ISN'T elementary anymore! Your students should NOT have to be led by the nose. This school is an amazing place I went last year but am unable to continue because I am moving. :( I would NOT trade the experience I gained here for the world. I cant think of anything about this school that is sub par. And the teachers are amazing, I loved all my teachers. The school structure is phenomenal in how it is a community and is with a collegiate styled learning.
iSchool High is a unique experience that is NOT for everyone. If you are rigid in the face of sweeping change, this isn't your school. If you feel that at a certain point your education is your responsibility, this is the place to go. My child came to me wanting more for her education than the public schools could deliver. We attended the informational meeting together, where the expectations were CLEARLY laid out. There was some adjustment for her to go from the hand-holding of public schools to the personal accountability of iSchool, but in the end, she survived and came out on the other end exhibiting much improvement in her ability to prioritize and seek help when needed. In college, your professors couldn't care less if you show up to class or not. I had serious concerns about how my hopelessly scattered child would fare once she went off to college. Although she is still not ready, I have no doubt that she will be more than ready after her four years here. This is an environment where students are able to test and develop their autonomy while still benefitting from their parents' and teachers' guidance. Just like real life, you get out of it what you are willing to invest.
I had attended iSchool High for a half a year and HATED it. First it was pretty cool and the teachers were pretty nice, but then a little bit later you find out they don't know how to TEACH. And the rare ones that do just LEAVE and then we have a substitute for months. This school is very hard and the teachers don't seem like they want to help you. When you're taking tests some of the teachers eat ice and it's just annoying!! *CRACK* *CRUNCH* *CRUNCH* IT DROVE ME CRAZY... So Anyways I would NOT recommend this school AT ALL... Go Homeschoolin'...WAY better then this...
I am a student at iSchool STEM. This school is difficult because of the curriculum (Science/Technology/Engineering/Math). It is made more difficult because of how the vast majority of the teachers teach . Most seem to feel it is the solely the responsibility of the students to learn via self-study. I m not sure if the teachers are lazy, or if this is the generally accepted format here. If you do well in this type of environment - great. If not - don't attend. I think the course content would work if there was actually "teaching" going on. Thus - I have to rate the school low due to the teachers. Either fire teachers who are dead-weight, and hire ones who actually teach, - or if this is an acceptable format from the Administration the administrator needs to be replaced by a person who understands education.
It depends on which Ischool you are referring to as to how good it is. The stem academy was decent with kind and fairly knowledgeable teachers, and I think it definitely better than the traditional public schools. The media arts academy is a waste of time. Just don't bother with them or their distorted idea of self-paced learning.
My son attended iSchool stem fall semester 2011. iSchool STEM labels itself a collegiate "preparatory" school, but falls short of what is really needed to prepare a student for post-secondary education. There are a few good teachers, but many poor ones. Some who feel "prep" for college is to simply regurgitate material. With some others, expectation is that the student is responsible for ALL learning which must occur outside the classroom on the internet. Preparation for post-secondary education should involve teaching. Teenagers need time management skills taught within the classroom, inspirational teachers excited about their subject who teach by bringing the materials to life within the classroom, and teachers who help not badger or even yell at-the student if the student is floundering. I did not see these attributes present in this school. The school administration shares in the failure. Many parents have voiced concerns, only to have their concerns marginalized. An online school would be a much better choice if public school is not an option for your child.
I attended iSchool High STEM Academy and graduated from there recently, and all I have to say is that the place was awful. They call themselves a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics school, but the math classes are chalked full of lazy teachers that don't teach and then fail their students if the class doesn't know the material that they were supposed to be teaching; the engineering classes are sub-par; the technology part only gets in the way of learning more than it helps; this next one is my favorite, the science classes were nothing you couldn't learn at a regular public school, and the teachers were all Creationists spreading misinformation; I had to correct my Biology teacher on several occasions. They try to paint the school as a community where everyone was accepted, and at first it was like that, but then the teachers got lazy, the students stopped caring, and it has now turned into nothing better or worse than your average high school. If you value your child's education, don't send them here. I fully regret wasting two years of my life on this place.
I liked Ischool. I had 2 children there last year, a 9th grader and a 10th grader. The staff was responsive when we would email or talk to them. They worked well with my children. We had to leave because they stopped offering French (which my daughter already had a year of) and did not want to start over. We are considering going back next year after she finishes the French 2 elsewhere. Our children have been in gifted programs elsewhere. The school can be a fit for all kinds of students. I would recommend this school. I miss having my children there.
I first went into iSchool High as a Sophomore a year ago because of the disappointment I felt with my previous high school (too many reasons to list here). Making the choice to go to iSchool High was probably the most important choice I've made so far in my life. Despite the fact that most of the content is self-taught, the teachers there are more than welcome to help out. The content we learn is still "dull", but I find myself able to focus better and get more out of it than I did at my previous school. The building has decent-sized rooms, but the hallways are narrow. With 260 something students moving around, it's easy to get stuck in the middle of traffic. Luckily, the building is small enough so you can get from room to room fairly quickly. Most, if not all of the students there are there to learn. It's a friendly place, and it's hard to feel like "the new kid" for long. Any abuse is not tolerated, and dealt with quickly. If your a student who despises normal public school, or your a parent who cares about their child's education, take a serious look at this school.
The school does a great job in explaining to student and pareent prior to registration what to expect. It has been exactly what we were told. My son likes it and he gets more out of his classes here than what he was getting in the public schools. Overall I think it makes him more responsible. Every child is different and they have different learning styles. My suggestion is once one visits the school, sit down with your child and make sure your son/daughter can adapt to this type of learning. Great school, especially if your child plans to attend college!
I was TOLD Media Arts on Lakeway was not anything EVERY SELF -PACED. Maybe you should have READ the literature BEFORE talked DOWN on Media Arts!
My son transferred here in his junior year and we have had a very good experience. Only one problem teacher, and that was addressed. We are happy with the quality of AP classes he is taking. It is true that if your child is not self motivated it may not be the best school for them. But for kids that are motivated, do want to go to college and seek out challenges, this school encourages them more than any other school he has attended. I would like to see more parent communication, but it did improve over the year.
TERRIBLE EXPERIENCE!!! Media Arts on Lakeway didn't live up to it's promises. Teacher's didn't teach, they pointed kids to websited to self-learn. It was also acceptable for teachers to yell and argue with kids regularly and in front of other kids. Communication with parents was lacking to say the least, not at all what they indicated at orientation. Kids seemed happy and focused during the tour, but I should have know it was too good to be true. If your child is scholarly, self paced, self taught, able to igrnore distractions and refrain from socializing all day, then this school may be a good choice for you. My child, along with a number of others, will not be returning as a result. Good luck in your search - from a concerned and invested Mom
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