Mark Ursic, October 23, 2013
Re: "I would not recommend this school to ANYONE." We are an innovative organization with a creative faculty who provide unique experiential learning opportunities for our students everyday. To ensure a quality academy offering Renaissance Academy will always seek to employ the best talent when filling our faculty and staff positions. Our teachers are our greatest asset. They are dedicated, responsible and accountable for their performance. We expect the same level of professionalism from our staff as well. As a result, some people will not be a good cultural fit at Renaissance. Although it is unfortunate, at times those that lack the drive, professionalism or personal accountability to succeed will resign, less than satisfied by their experience, as did the staff person who wrote the "I would not recommend this school to ANYONE" post. Our staff are exceptionally qualified educators and as a result enjoy unique opportunities to participate in leading the school into the future. For example, our senior teachers are asked to serve as members of the school's Executive Leadership Team (ELC). As members of the ELC they participate in curriculum reviews, curriculum selection, policy advisory discussions and school operational decisions. They act as experienced, professional advisors to school administration and their service is greatly appreciated. Renaissance Academy is proud of our staff's commitment to continuous improvement and our students benefit daily from the partnership and trust that we enjoy with our faculty as we chart the course of our school together. Not every employee is ready for the level of responsibility and commitment required of a Renaissance staff member. Nevertheless, even when an they decide to resign for a more suitable opportunity -we will always be thankful for their service and wish them well in their future endeavors. I am proud to work alongside the dedicated staff of Renaissance Academy--it has been the best professional experience of my career.
I would not recommend this school to ANYONE. They cannot keep a principal and have been through five of them in six years. They hired a CEO 2 1/2 years ago who knows nothing about education. He has a bachelors degree in business and most teachers are more educated than him. The teachers are great, but there is no leadership at the school. The CEO instills fear in the teaching staff. Just look at the staff attrition rate each year. Their entire third grade staff quit last year, the fourth grade staff is all new in the past two years. They comment on how great the world language program is, yet three teachers and the director all quit over the summer. Since the CEO arrived, they have had a 63% attrition rate. WAKE UP SCHOOL BOARD. If you would spend your time fixing what is broken, rather than beefing up your rating here (as demonstrated by the woman below with five kids, two who graduated and the youngest taking Arabic-yes, she is the board president) things would be much better. The staff are hurting, they need leadership and a qualified principal who can relate to kids and build relationships with staff. Just google them for all of the negative politics. Stay away!!
This is the best school I have encounter since I moved to Utah. I love the teachers, they take time to work with children that are performing in lower levels. My two kids have enjoyed this school since they were in Kinder and we look forward to many years of learning. their Chinesse Immersion Program is the best and has great reviews from other schools and Universities. I would highly recomend this school to those who are serious about their children success and willing to spend time helping out in the classrooms and getting involve with their childrens education. I think highly educated children come from parents who constantly are involve in their education. GO Mr. Ursic for all the wonderful things you have accomplished in the last years. It means a lot to us parents that you care for the future of our children.
I love this school! I have had all 5 of my kids go to this school. The World Language program is top notch. I love the innovative approach to education and that they use hands on learning to reinforce what is taught. They have not forgotten that the fine arts are part of a balanced education. My kids get PE, art, music, technology education, field trips AND a top notch academic education too! Daily world language study is offered from K-9th grade. My 2 kids that have graduated are fluent in their 2nd language. My youngest child takes Arabic. How cool is that! I would recommend this school (and have) to anyone who is interested in the best education option for your kids without spending a fortune.
We have three children at Renaissance Academy and we have been extremely happy with the quality of this school. The parent engagement has been strong, the teachers have challenged our children and the school leadership is open to parent feedback. The school provides a great environment for our children to explore their creativity and offers a solid academic program. We have been impressed at how much the teachers care about our children's progress and how available they are to discuss any issues they may be having. As with any school they have their share of issues, some teachers are better than others, some parents are more opinionated and vocal than others but our children have enjoyed their years here and we would recommend this school to anyone.
My children have been attending Renaissance Academy for the past 7 years. The school has many strengths including, foreign languages (Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic), music program, ballroom for elementary students, all day kindergarten program and many more. The students are pushed and achieve academic rigor because of the high standards of both the teachers and the school. The teachers are amazing and do creative and engaging activities which cause students to look beyond the basic and make new connections of growth. My children have really enjoyed the "wonder days" where they apply the lessons learned from the week with hands on activities. Some of the negatives would be teacher retention, drama within the school as far as employees and board members are concerned, lack of a developed middle school program, school website, and transparency. After teaching in other schools in the area and visiting with other parents from other schools, I know Renaissance Academy shines far above the other schools in the area and cannot compare with its high level of learning and understanding. I fully support Renaissance Academy and hope you look into the possibilities for your family.
I have been going to Renaissance since first grade. I'll be going into eighth grade this next year. It has been great for me every year. The classes are small which makes learning much easier. (There were 13 students in my Spanish class this last year.) The teachers know the students. After a week or two in the school year, you don't have to worry about a teacher forgetting your name because there aren't very many names for the teachers to learn. I have never encountered any bullying. Every student is required to learn a foreign language (Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic). I feel like a learn a lot every year. Most, if not all, of the teachers are great.
My son is in Kindergarten. His teacher is great and she is very involved with kids. I am very pleased what we saw as far as inside of a classroom; however, one draw back is communication. They are not very organized and all of the communication were through internet with assumption of parents check email and Facebook 24/7. They did not call even when they decided to get school out earlier when the snow was bad... Or when they found out that there was a child diagnosed with weeping cough. They did not send a letter or did not make phone call. They just assumed all parents check email every minutes and/or Facebook. The communication style was the only thing that I found that needs to be improve... I hope they improve in that area.
We have been at this school for 3 years now and love it. I have been there when there was some drama however, with the new CEO and Principle (in their 3rd and 2nd year at the school, respectively) the school has had a huge turn around and I can see that the school is going in a great direction. There are many amazing teachers and only one or two that I have heard not so great things about. The school has a Dual Immersion program in Chinese and has 30 minutes of instruction daily in Arabic or Spanish (for those not in Chinese). They have great art programs, drama productions, music, and ballroom. All in all I am extremely happy that I have stayed over the years. My children are happy there and excited to return after the summer break.
My daughter loves kindergarten at Renaissance! Her teacher is excellent and does a good job of making learning exciting while setting high expectations for behavior and discipline. It is a good foundation for my daughter to understand the how to be successful though out her years in school. We are excited to have the opportunity to participate in the Chinese dual immersion program starting next year. We are very happy with what we have seen so far.
We have 3 kids at Renaissance. At the start of last year we were ready to leave. A small group of vocal parents and teachers had consistantly made themselves the center of attention, distracting others from focusing on educating the students. Truly a shame because the mission of the school is amazing...wonder days, foreign language for every student etc. But we a happy we stayed. Over the last year they've hired a CEO that has set a new standard of professionalism and hired an experienced, highly qualified principal who is focused on what is best for kids. It is what we have always needed...I am excited for my kids again.
The teachers at this school are two extremes. Either they are AMAZING or TERRIBLE! This school offers great programs in languages, arts, and music. There is a lot of drama with the parent/school board administration which was confusing for my child to always hear what was the newest arguement AT school. We decided to leave our 2nd year at this school. The teacher hardly ever taught math leaving a huge gap in her learning.
We decided to leave Renaissance after my middle daughter had 3 bad teachers in 4 years. Bad teachers are fired but the associated parent/school board/administration drama wears thin quickly. Renaissance offers a lot of fun experiences, hands on activities and field trips that attract high energy kids. In classes with less structure these kids quickly get out of control creating discipline problems. Renaissance offers Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic to all k-9 students. To help defray costs children bring notebooks from home and copy their assignments from workbooks or teacher created lessons in to these notebooks . Struggling teachers can overlook areas that are not their strengths leaving gaps in your child's education.
R.A. offers a mind-expanding educational environment of exploration, play, learning and study.
My daughter was encouraged to be curious & question how things work & why. Her teacher taught her HOW to learn not what to learn to pass off some facts based timed test! She was able to develop a rich thinking ability & deeper understanding of how connections & relationships work in our world. Her teacher taught her 'facts' too but she taught them to an interested learner not just another kid & another test. We loved the multicultural incorporation used throughout the school & the focus on the arts to express & encourage learning!
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