The principal and other administrative officers at this charter school too often allow parents to dictate how the school is run. Furthermore, issues of continued disruptive behavior by students is swept under the rug (probably because they are too afraid of losing a student, thereby losing funds). Inconsistent policies; not enough pay/incentives to keep quality teachers with more experience; limited space/poor quality for outdoor P.E. In its favor, though, it has a great art/music teacher and a nice computer lab with bright/ well-kept facilities, and I think the teachers are, for the most part, doing a good job.
We have been more than pleased with Cumberland. We pulled our son out of Griffin Elementary while in first grade. Mostly because the treatment of children is so much better at Cumberland. Here's the biggest advantages I see at Cumberland: Great Parent involvement, the children who are at this school belong to parents who care, the energy level of the Teachers is great (don't know why some parents would rather have an old teacher who is burnt out), the Teachers really care here (our son really loves his Teacher and we can tell she loves him). This school has saved our son. He will start 2nd grade next year and we are glad to say that our daughter will be starting kindergarten here next year. We drive 40 minutes each direction to take our son to this school. It is worth every minute. - Damon Dickson (Proud Parent)
I have two daugthers that go to Cumberland Academy. I have read the comments and I was amazed. As a member of the PTO and attend all board meetings, I never seen any parents there to complain.
As Vice-President of the School Board at Cumberland Academy, I can honestly say I am quite surprised by the negative parent statements I have read. Not any parents have attended Board meetings (this school year or last) to voice concerns or complaints. We cannot make any changes if parents are not involved enough to let us know what they think is wrong. It is hard to believe that parents would leave their child in a school all year when they feel so negatively about it. Currently, more than 85% of the students attending Cumberland this year have committed to return next year. Also, 15 siblings of current students will be attending for the first time next year. Our teachers are State certified and follow the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills guidelines for teaching lessons across the curriculum as required by the Texs Education Agency and as all other public schools do.
The educational opportunities at this school are minimal at best. Most children are instructed below-grade level and teachers are not provided with necessary teaching tools. Discipline and structure are lax. Although there are some good teachers here, the over-all quality of instruction is poor. Children who leave to attend public education find themselves well below level and many are retained or put in remedial courses. Teacher morale is low because of really low pay and lack of any positive feedback from the administration. Priorities are not uniform and too much time is spent off task in some classrooms. For the at-risk child that needs nuturing, there are caretakers on this campus but the real need of smaller classrooms is not provided. Teachers cannot meet the real needs of the children because of this. This is not a school for any child seeking to advance his academics.
My daughter and grandson have attended Cumberland. One is excelling and the other who has learning disabilities is being ignored. Testing has been asked for since the beginning of school. There's always an excuse for it not being done. Lack of academics, structured days, and student's safety don't seem to be the main focus. There's an open investigation through Child Protective. There are some excellent teachers, but the focus seems to be more on office politics then the welfare of the students.
My son has done great at this school as far as grades since he came to the school in 3rd grade. However, sometimes the discipline lacks a little. They send home on suspension when they need 'iss'. They are (staff) letting some teachers get away with what they want. There is no structure in my child's class. They are made to take naps after lunch and these children are 10 and 11 years old. They do not need naps. I don't know if I want my child to attend this school next year. The school has applied for 6th grade. I'm not sure if I want my child at this school unless they can get some better teachers who are more experienced and know about structure for the children since that is what my child needs a lot of.
My child is reaching the grade to not go to this school any longer and I do fear the time that she attends another school and she may be pretty far behind. My child has attended this school about 3 years and loves this school. I love the parent, teacher, student involvment. But the reason we came to this school was because of the student, teacher ratio and that thus far has changed a whole lot, of course because they are growing, but this was the reason in attending this school.
This school is really lacking when it comes to children that are on grade level or above grade level. I know for a fact that first graders in public schools are being taught to read. I have a first grader that has not even begun to learn to read at Cumberland. I have since taken my child out of this school and started homeschooling just to get her on level. I agree with the other parent that said the teachers are young and lack the ability to teach active children!! This school has proven to be a low performance school and is likely to be shut down if something isn't done about the quality of teaching. The one thing this school is good for, children with severe learning disabilities!!! Since they teach below level material, children with disabilities in learning will do good here.
My children are former students of Cumberland Academy. The school is good for some people, but my children are better off in public school. Some teachers are great while others aren't. One child excelled and the other regressed. I feel that the school has some young teachers that lack the experience needed to teach more 'active' children. I have had to retain one of my children when this school promoted her. She simply did not learn her basic skills to go to the next grade. When I recognized the failure, I put her back a grade to keep her from failing when Cumberland felt she needed to 'just try harder'. I have learned from my mistake at changing schools for my kids!!
I live a block from my public school and drive 30 min. to get to Cumberland. There are four families in my community that I am aware of that do the same. I have been in excellent school districts and poor ones. I know the difference. This is not the result of some standardized test. The staff and parents work together and teach the children to be good students and people not test takers. Smaller class sizes, parent volunteerism required, uniforms and school work that is done at school not homework make Cumberland the only school for my family. Also, I don't have to take an extra job and time away from my family to pay for all this. Cumberland is free.
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