I am graduating from Spring Creek Academy this year. Sadly, it has really gone downhill in the past 3 years or so. The school was started by a committed and loving teacher who had started to hand control over to her daughter, a teacher/counselor. Then the daughter's new husband needed a job, and it all fell apart. He started out doing random maintenance and suddenly he is the director of the school. With only a few general studies classes at community college, he knows nothing about teaching or running a school, he is arrogant and ignorant about the classes, especially at the high school level. He makes some very ill-advised policy changes, with no understanding of their consequences. But because he's a family hire, his random edicts go completely unchallenged. Any problems get a blank stare, and a shrug - "you'll have to ask Mr Thomas." Sadly, he never answers email or his phone, and is rarely at school. On Facebook, we see her manic obsession with inappropriate selfies and his pictures of his alcoholic drinks and various gambling activities. Many good teachers and even some serious students have left; the school is a complete slack fest. It's so sad.
Read all the other reviews. Notice how almost all of the positive ones were written over the summer of 2009. (Many of them on the same day, June 30.) Coincidence? Nope. They were going for accreditation, so parents were told to write good reviews all over the web. The school was a good little niche school, now is just a sad little gravy train for one self involved family who really couldn't care less about students or their education. "Gifted and Talented" school? Uh, not even close.
This school is designed for highly motivated kids. It would not suit a student that needs a great deal of extra help or support. Much of the work is done outside of class (the school day is short and no class on Fridays). This is not the school for every family, but it is a wonderful situation for self-managing and highly motivated kids who are bright/successful students, but also wish to pursue outside interests or competitive sports. My child attends SCA and he is definitely more academically challenged here than he was in a west Plano public school. He also has more time to pursue his sport and spends less time in a school building each day. He says that it is much more enjoyable than public school. He tells me that there are fewer social issues, and less distractions from the "trouble-maker" kids that seem to drag everyone down in some of those huge public school classrooms. It makes sense- smaller classes with teachers who get right to work on the day's lesson.... and no wasted time! Like I said, for the right kid, this school is perfect!
Spring Creek Academy, Plano Texas This school offers a condensed schedule (3 hours/day) so that students can have 6 or more hours available each day to pursue other special skills such as music, acting, or sports. It is a good idea, however, due to inconsistent academic standards, teacher quality, and administrative leadership the school falls short of its potential. The school frustrates the students and parents with poor communication and uninspired administrative leadership. Families who use this school need to push their children to work above and beyond the demands of the curriculum and teachers in order to prepare them adequately for AP tests, college entrance tests, and for college level work. The biggest plus for the school is the peer group of very exceptional athletes, musicians, and actors who attend world class training programs and compete/perform at the highest levels. Most of the students will earn scholarships to Division I college sports teams, fine arts, and music programs. The greatest advantage of the school is the peer group of highly motivated, hard working, goal oriented students who can relate to the challenges and ambitions of the other students.
Not for the college bound. I am a former SPA student and I have almost completed my first year of college. I was mostly an A and sometimes B student at SCA. After graduating from SCA I was not prepared for college at all. At SCA I rarely wrote papers and never read a novel. We only practiced vocabulary once, which affected my SAT score. The teachers put no pressure on us and were satisfied with below average work. I realize now that I should have attended a more competitive high school. My parents sent me to SCA so I would have time for my sport and because it is accredited. After comparing my education to other college kids I don't know how they got accredited. I got into a decent college but it was because of my athletic ability. If you are serious about school go somewhere else.
Our daughter has attended Spring Creek Academy for 9 years. The school has excellent teachers, a strong principal/school leadership and challenging academic programs. They are terrific at working with students and parents through difficult educational situations . We would recommend SCA to any family, but especially those with children in the arts and/or athletic programs wanting a high level of high schoold education.
SCA is an interesting school - we've experienced all levels of the school - elementary, MS and HS. The most important thing to understand about SCA is that it is very much like life - you will (as a family) get out of it what you put in. I think that's why there are such diverse reviews. It's not for every kid, and doesn't pretend to be. It's absolutely true that many of the kids there are enormously involved in an outside activity - some of the world's best young athletes, musicians, etc. attend SCA. Those kids are extraordinarily motivated, mature kids - they need a compressed schedule, and they want an accelerated curriculum. They get both at SCA. The school will accomodate, support and facilitate almost any advancement a student needs - we've experienced some wonderful examples of that. What it won't do is tolerate disruptive, destructive behavior, which I completely support.
We just finished our first year at Spring Creek and were very happy with our experience. I believe both our children received quality education and have re-enrolled for next year. We had positive experiences with the staff and administration when we had questions and I feel like they truly care about the children.
This school progressively gets worse as your child approaches the higher grades. In middle school and high school some of the teachers do not know the subjects they are teaching. The Director does not have an education background or a college degree and still makes academic decisions. There are bright kids at this school, unfortunately with the unqualified staff these children are not reaching their full potential. Many of the people that work at this school are family members so change is unlikely.