My son loves it here! I don't personally get any warm, fuzzy feelings when I walk in but it isn't about me. My child is having fun, laughing, singing, learning and making friends. He is always referring to his "Challenger School" everywhere we go.
My daughter goes to Pre-K here and absolutely loves it! Not even 4 as yet and she is reading, doing math and learning so much more than an average 3 year old. The teachers are awesome and so friendly towards her. They have amazing structure. She is thriving at Challenger.
We are former Challenger parents and have attended more than one campus. We left when we saw the negative effect the school had on our daughters self-confidence. Challenger places an inordinate amount of stress on young children by constantly comparing them to their classmates. Winning is everything at Challenger. It is not uncommon to see 5th grade children sob when they lose during a spelling bee or math bowl. Children are always disappointed when they lose. It is a problem when losing what should be a fun school contest injures their self-esteem. Fortunately, we found a public school principal nearby with the one character trait that Challenger will never teach your children. Compassion.
We have loved Challenger. The schools in Utah are not the best in our country. They are overcrowded, under staffed, low standards, poor performers, and do not get me started with common core. We tried charter schools, but we didn't see a big difference between public and charter. This school is the only praiseworthy elementary school in town. We are a family that moved to Utah a few years ago, and in comparison to the other elementary schools in the area, I really appreciate the diversity at the campus. I think it is important for children to be exposed to different cultures and ideas, and make friends with kids from different types of backgrounds. This campus is the best game in town.
My husband and I just spent the last 3 months intensely researching schools throughout the Utah and Salt Lake Valley. We decided to move to Highland and enroll our daughter at Challenger. We could not be happier with our decision. We feel there really is no comparison in terms of the curriculum, teachers, the facility, and overall quality. You feel that you are paying for a private education. I was freaking out the first couple of weeks, hoping that she would adjust well, but she is doing great. We feel very fortunate that our daughter is now registered there and our son will be in two years.
We cannot say enough good things about Challenger. Their focus on teaching children how to love learn is a significant upgrade from our experience in public education. We would not hesitate to suggest Challenger for children and parents seeking a great all around education that prepares students for the rigors of secondary school.
Numbers don't lie. Challenger School students as a group are reported to receive high Iowa standardized test scores. If you want to pay a school to coach your child your child to score well on standardized tests, Challenger could be your school. But if you want your child to be self-confident, love learning, and to think independently, Challenger should not be your school. Before enrolling your child at Challenger, a quick internet search will yield an enormous number of poor and even damaging experiences from Challenger parents and students alike. And again, numbers don't lie.
We recently moved to Utah and considered enrolling our children at Challenger. We have seen Challenger marketing materials touting the schools as fun with strong academics. We visited both the Sandy and Traverse Mountain locations - just dropping into both schools. We were not impressed with either school. The atmosphere at both locations felt forced and restrictive. When we walked out of the tour with the Challenger rule book, we knew we needed to do more research. The negative reviews on this web site seem to largely agree with parent comments on other web sites. We will not enroll our children in either of these Challenger Schools and are looking at other private and public schools.
The recent reviews on this site are a direct consequence of the change in administration and teachers at Traverse Mountain. These reviews are based on negative experiences, not rumors. Challenger's decision to hire a young military man with no educational background to run an elementary school is appalling. Leading soldiers is nothing like running a school. They have lost sight of the fact that they are educating children and should care more about increasing the knowledge and the confidence of these children than they do about increasing IOWA test scores. Unfortunately, it is clear that increasing test scores and revenue are all that matter at this school. We were a committed Challenger family and it was extremely difficult to make the decision to leave. When I saw the damage that this school was exacting on my child's self confidence and self esteem, I decided even the most poorly rated of the public schools would be preferable. Barbara Baker's mission to create a better system for educating children may finally be damaged beyond repair. I would strongly advocate that parents look elsewhere unless drastic changes are made in both teachers and administration.
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!