The OC is a great leaning environment for all (kids, Parents and teachers). The commitment is well worth it for your child's education .
Interesting that the last two parents have had such negative experiences. My son has been at the OC for two years and is reading about 3 years above grade level, adores school, and has learned, importantly, to speak for himself with adults, and to take responsibility for his own behavior. That is the true strength of the OC. The children are treated as individuals, with the responsibilities of individuals. If the last two parents had such disappointments, they would have had different experiences if they had gotten involved. The parents are expected to help direct the curriculum, and to steer the direction of the school, and some do it well, and some do it poorly. The school is as good as the parent/teacher/child involvement. I am a scientist and I help direct the science curriculum for my son's class ... because I asked to.
The O.C.(Out of Control) My wife and myself have been extremely disappointed in the Open Classroom as a whole. The interaction with parents, teachers, and students is an amazing idea. The social skills kids learn is great and all but the actual learning is non-existent. No homework, no actual constructive interaction with teachers and students. The co-oping parents couldn't care less about any kid aside from their own.....it's a joke really. Teachers using the entire day as social hour among themselves. It is basically not worth the effort from a parents perspective....1 day a week in the school....constant meetings....and for what? Our 8 year old daughter has asked us on numerous occasions why they don't actually do anything at school like her other schools? why haven't i been learning anything at school? why do we only play and mess around? Anyways hope people read this and choose the way we did.....look for your house based on the school districts....it's a pain here in the SLC valley but the only way:-)
The OC fell short of my expectations. I liked the pre-school but it was pricey for all the time I had to put in and the kindergarten was not great. My child basically learned nothing during the school year. The teaching methoud was very traditional (worksheets, talking and writing on the board ect...) which didn't work for my very creative daughter who was bored and tuning out. a lot of the parents were very apathetic and not helpful in actually teaching the kids (for example not correcting mistakes ect...) There was a lot of bullying on the playground, and since the mostly apathetic parents were the playground monitors, very little if nothing was done about it. There was also a lot of subtle girl type bullying. In the end I left when the crazy semi-permanent sub was letting the class turn to chaos and losing kids (for hours and not caring about it). I hope my experience was atypical, so I still give it three stars because I did like the pre-school.
The Open Classroom is a Child directed learning program. Parental involvement is compulsory. Co- oping once a week per child and parent meetings is a bit of a commitment but very rewarding. It is a great community to be a part of and I would recommend it to anyone who has the time to be heavily involved in their child's learning experience.
Both my children attended the OC for elementary grades and I couldn't have been happier. Fantastic school community of learners and a great way to be involved in your child's education.
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