This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Challenger School-Traverse Mountain5
Posted December 19, 2014
- a parent
My family has been with Challenger School for years. It is STILL an amazing school! My children are so happy! There has been many changes the last year, but in my opinion they are not all bad! They lost some good teachers BUT so many amazing teachers are still there! Why must change be a bad thing? My kids have been in public school and in Challenger school. At public school they couldn't read, didn't have confidence, and hated going! At Challenger they are reading grades ahead, they know they are smart and they love it!!!!!! The results speak for themselves! Many of the reviews here have been fueled by gossip and assumptions. I hope that other parents take the time to come to their own conclusion. Changing things like drop off is not the end of the world!!! I realize how lucky I am to have my kids attend the best school in Utah. Challenger is still my school!
What a sad sad state of affairs at Challenger School Traverse Mountain.The school had something good going on here for the past few years and then they decided to throw all of Barbara Baker's hard work into the trash. Come to this school and you will realize that children are no longer seen as children , but as liabilities...and when a school does that they show they basically just don't care about the kids.They no longer believe in developing strong ,independent kids..they even have to have strict supervision when they walk down from their class rooms to the office. The new management just wanted to make a point so even things that were working smoothly for years like pick up and drop offs were changed leading to traffic jams and crowded parking lots. The curriculum has been changed with more forced down kids throats and no planning has gone into it. If you are new to this school you will never know the difference. The exodus of kids due to rude teachers and management is a good example. Hoping some one from corporate reads this and decides to bring back Barbara Bakers vision back into this school .
The fact that there are few local private school options is the only reason Challenger Traverse Mountain has any grade school students left. They believe so much in squeezing the very best test scores out of children that they have lost sight of the true goal: creating an atmosphere that fosters learning. We would gladly jump from this sinking ship if we could find a reasonable alternative. Anyone out there interested in starting a new private school? We know a lot of great former Challenger teachers!
We believe we did not leave Challenger - Challenger left us. We wanted our children to learn in a happy positive environment. Challenger TM had many great teachers who cared about all of their students. Now students are bullied by teachers who use yelling, shame and fear to teach. What a shame and waste of a strong curriculum. Barbara is likely turning in her grave over the hash the "board" has made of her life's work! We would be happy to come back if and when Challenger corporate realizes that test scores are not nearly as important as letting the children act like children. Learning should be fun but it takes a caring teacher to truly deliver results.
My daughter tells me to come and pick her up after 5:45PM every day. She is upset if I come to pick her up earlier. She loves her teacher. She tells me that her teacher is fair and nice. She loves the enrichment classes, special Spanish, soccer, and art. She talks every day about how fun is to go to Challenger Traverse Mountain. She loves the new head master, Mr. Spainhour. She told me that the new head master is fair and nice. I am happy with the changes.
The changes at Challenger Traverse Mountain are numerous and for the most part negative. Despite the assertion of one "parent" that nothing important has changed, the results are impossible to ignore. Very few of the experienced and positive and helpful teachers have remained. Intelligent parents are concerned about the message that this mass exodus of great teachers sends. These teachers obviously left over concerns about the new headmaster. If the exodus was a message intended for Challenger, the message has clearly not been heard yet. If the message was intended for parents, the numerous transfers of Traverse Mountain Challenger students to local charter schools shows that smart parents are worried enough to move their children and take a chance on a charter school instead of relying on Challenger's "breathtaking results".
Challenger Traverse Mountain was an excellent school. The posts from 2011 were correct. Sadly that is no longer true. We have loved Challenger for years. We have just enrolled our child elsewhere. When the new headmaster was announced last spring, there was a mass exodus of great and caring teachers. Many parents are unhappy and have moved their kids to local charter schools only because Challenger Traverse Mountain has let them down. The headmaster does not act like he cares about the children and runs the school like a military operation. This attitude is now apparent in some of the teachers and the learning environment has suffered greatly. If Challenger can correct the problems this headmaster has created, we would love to send our child to Traverse Mountain Challenger. We are not willing to send our child to this school while the current headmaster remains at the school.
Challenger Traverse Mountain is an excellent school! My children have attended this campus for six years. The environment is happy and positive. The academic standards cannot be matched anywhere else. The students are friendly and respectful. It is true that there has been a recent change in administration, as well as some new faces on the teaching staff. However, many experienced teachers remain. As with any transition, there is a period of adjustment. I have found my children's teachers to be happy, positive, fun, and professional during this change. It would be wise to give both teachers and students time to get used to the new school year. As a parent, I would highly recommend this school to anyone who values an education that is academically challenging, engaging, and exciting.
I have been a Challenger parent for 8 years and currently have 3 of my children at the Traverse Mountain campus. The education continues to amaze me at each grade level, and there has never been a problem that the wonderful school leaders haven't helped me through. One of my children has a learning disablilty, and they have been involved with solutions through every step. Additional tutoring, working with her doctors, helpng to bolster her self-esteem along the way, etc.... The year that never ceases to amaze me is the all-day kindergarten year. They come out at the end of the year having memorized the preamble to the Constitution and written their first book - the Young Author's project. Challanger is highly acedemically oriented, and is an amazing education. We will be Challenger parents for as long as we can be!
After having my kids in many different schools, both public and private, (we moved a lot for years) I have to say that this school has steadily impressed me. Challenger schools are very academic, and they don't try to minimize that fact. It takes a good 4- 6 weeks for a child to adjust to how rigorous the learning and homework can be, and if you're looking for sports programs or want your child to learn the violin in 5th grade, then this school may not be the right fit. (They do, however, have a fantastic music instructor that teaches advanced choral concepts.) But if academics is your focus and you can supplement your child's learning with extra-curricular activities at home, then it's definitely worth looking into. I think that all the parents at this school would agree that the curriculum is outstanding, closely followed by the quality of teachers and administrators (who truly seem to care about the kids). I've had my kids in public schools in small towns, large cities and in private school at the Waterford School in Sandy (also an outstanding school, but at nearly triple the price). Overall, we've been especially happy with this school. Hope this helps someone out. :)