This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Challenger School-Traverse Mountain2
Posted October 23, 2014
- a parent
Dear Challenger Schools, since our children started attending Challenger, we have wondered about contacting the school headquarters with questions. We long ago discovered that there is no number or email for headquarters - intentionally. We write this hoping that you check this website as you need to hear your customers before you lose them. Our family and children have loved Challenger and Barbara Baker's vision of engaging children in learning through FUN. It seems as though each year, this vision becomes less and less apparent where it matters: at your schools. The engaging teachers Barbara told us about are no longer in Challenger. They have left en masse - due to problems with Challenger's leadership, lack of respect for their abilities or lack of pay. We want you to know that your customers have noticed. Many are looking for new schools to fill the void left by the change in Challenger. We value Barbara's curriculum, but it cannot be delivered by uninspired, lackluster teachers. We are paying you for a product we are not receiving. Please fix your schools. Please restore Barbara's vision. Please remember you are teaching young children. Remember, we are your CUSTOMERS.
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. :)
Although, I really like the headmaster and some of the staff members are really terrific the schools foundation is Mormon. The schools principals are very church related rather than education based. I think in other areas this school is probably much better as the Mormon influence isn't nearly as intense. If you are looking for diversity this is definitely not the school - in this sense it really isn't much different than the public schools or Mountainville which is based on Covey's 7 principals (also Mormon). Also, absolutely NO parent involvement. The teaching style seems to be teaching to the way girls tend to learn vs how boys do.
I have two children enrolled at this location. This is the 4th year for my older child at a Challenger School. My children have also attended the West Jordan campus and the Salt Lake Campus. The Traverse Mountain campus is a wonderful new facility, the Headmaster can not only remember each childs name, but also remember the parents. School is well organized with caring staff the pushes your child to exceed and be accountable. We can not say enough wonderful things about the way they educate. The preschool and kindergarten are so fun the kids don't realize they are learning. My daughter was reading at 4 books that were at 3rd grade level (Freckle Juice). My older child was doing fractions in the 1st grade. Simply amazing way of teaching!