Extremely lazy admin. when it comes to scheduling and dealing with inappropriate teachers.
There no reason for the upper school students( middle and high) to have to travel with the same "color" group all day. These kids are not in elementary school. Very unhealthy socially. Creates "Cliques" and prevents students from
making new friends.
When we approached admin about it(for it can be done), we got the response that it's easier to keep the same kids together all day. Easier is not always best.
We won't be returning to the school for out kids are too old to have to be around the same kids all day. Too old.
This is our third year at Founders, and it has been an excellent experience. The teachers genuinely care about the students, and push them without exasperating them. My son has dyslexia and dysgraphia, and the teachers have been there to support, encourage, and help him. The curriculum is hard, but is well preparing them to love knowledge and to be independent thinkers. The headmasters are wonderful, and greet the students by name. It is truly a family atmosphere with a desire for excellence. The athletic department is being developed into a competitive program witb great coaches investing in the students. We are so blessed to be a part of the Founders family!
The teachers are in charge of the culture at the school, not the students. They talk about honor and integrity and kindness call it out for praise publically when they see a student exhibiting virtues. The literature and historical reading they choose has worth for many reasons, including exploring topics of virtue. It is interwoven into each class.
Our family homeschooled with the Classical approach up to 8th grade and transitioned to Founders in the 9th grade. The transition was very smooth. We had logic and Latin before so these subjects were nothing new. I can definitely see how it might be difficult to transition into a classical model with no previous experience though. Extra help from the teachers may be needed. The curriculum is definitely challenging but the teachers have been uniformly excellent and very responsive to any questions from me or my son.
There has been an unfortunately high turnover with the Latin teachers, some good ones due to being promoted elsewhere as the Founders schools expand, but some not being a great fit. I am sure the turnover has been disruptive to the learning process for some. My son's current teacher seems like he is here to stay though and has the situation well in hand. He has worked very hard to help the kids who were not doing well. My son said he is excellent and offers a lot of help outside of class as well as great instruction in a difficult subject and the kids are getting up to speed.
I was worried about bullying since my son has no interest in or knowledge of pop culture or sports. Pretty much I thought he was bully bait, but there were no issues at all. The other kids were bemused, but very kind. He said he has not witnessed any bullying at the school.
Our family has not experienced any of the negative comments listed below and it is odd to read them. We drive 45 minutes each way to get here, my child gets up at 5:30 each morning to make this happen and he wouldn't have it any other way. I asked him if a Founders school opened closer to us, could we transfer him and everyone could sleep in later :-) He was emphatically against the idea because he loves his teachers.
Pros and cons:
Academically it is ok....
unprofessional and poor communication in some leaders. Operating on a shoestring budget (because they are a charter school?) partially unusable and old playgrounds, odd carpool, no librarian or counselor..they could be investing in their campus more rather than depending on PTO to raise money for a small playground. This is a school which withholds recess for incomplete homework. This is contradictory to recommendations of American Academy of Pediatrics and is not respectful of children's needs.
Positives: orchestra, chess and other unique after school programs and special student days where they can practice selling and buying.
I've had 2 high school students at Founders, one of which graduated from there last year and the other is still attending. Their experience has been transformational. This school teaches classical education -- that means they teach Latin, Shakespeare, Homer's Iliad & Odyssey, and works from The Great Books. They teach Euclidian geometry. They teach philosophy, and most of all they teach virtue. No, this not an easy curriculum, but these teachers love what they teach and will teach your child to love it too. Founders is a safe environment where the students are kind to one another. I wouldn't send my children anyplace else. We drive 30 minutes each way from North Dallas to attend here. Be advised there is a waiting list for many of the grades, but it's worth the wait. Great school spirit!
Chater Schools in Texas don't require teaching credentials basically anyone can teach. Founders caters to high performing students if your child struggles, or is a C student in the public school you wont survive. The administrators basically bully low performing students who could potentially put there Charter Credential at RISK. Charters are required to meet Performance Frameworks, so your low performing student is not good for business. Good thing is the school has strong Christian undertones. Bad is the school is not required to follow any standards of procedure, if you have a problem it is impossible to get resolved. Good thing, the teachers despite not knowing their qualification are very nice. The school does not offer lunch. I also typically spend $400-500 annual at school events/donations. There is also a HUGE turnover amongst students/teachers. You will find that many people leave early or do not return for the next school year. Lastly if your child is in any special education services just forget about it. Good thing is I have not heard of any student to student bullying. Lastly the administrators are rude and awful. The front desk staff is wonderful and care for students like family.