My daughter went to challenger from second grade to fourth. I must say I wouldnt know much about parental involvement because I never really stepped in other than to help her with her homework. The academic programs were great for her, but I was a bit concerned about the excessive amount of homework. My daughter often had a bad experience with her classmates. I suggest that the teachers try to get involved more with social problems.
We have been with Challenger for 6 years. We enrolled our eldest for pre-K, and were so impressed that we stayed for Kindergarten. We tried public school for 1st grade, but it was a letdown, so we returned within a month. I have 3 kids in Challenger, and not all teachers are perfect, yet the standardized curriculum helps every teacher reach the same goals. My eldest is (forgive me) not a genius, and yet he's consistently at the top of the class. This is because we worked along with the teachers to make him independent from an early age. I rarely help him with his homework. As for the 'excessive work', he manages his time well in class and thus rarely has any homework. Some kids don't. This school is NOT for everybody, but if you want values, respect, a wonderful education, and are not afraid of hard work, it's great!
My daughter has gone to Challenger for her pre-school years. And though I do agree that this curriculum is appropriate for some and not for others, I disagree with the other reviews in this: I found the teachers to be dedicated, concerned, and great role-models. The principal has been nothing less than professional while demonstrating dedication and integrity. My daughter continues to 'learn' there, by repeating and rediscovering what I believe is largely the parent's job--learning right from wrong, learning to share, learning respect for others, learning patrotism. This school is by no means a daycare center, and unfortunetly, it does continue to be used as such by some.
I have both my kids in Challenger. I am also a pre-school teacher at Challenger. I love Challenger and believe in what I teach every day to my students. Both of my kids have learned very well at Challenger. I believe the Challenger way workd very well for most kids. However, Challenger is not for every child. My son went to Challenger for five years. We had him enrolled for the following year for second grade. He is very bright and his SAT were amazing. But because he had adhd the staff at Challenger were not willing to work with us. And the comunication was horrible. We were not told he would not be accepted for the new year untill two weekd before school started and I had already bought the uniform. The new principle was very unprofessional. Make sure Challenger is right for your child first.
We have had some wonderful teachers at this school, and some not as wonderful. They are held to very strict guidelines concerning the curriculum they must teach, but sometimes at the expense of unexpected learning situations which may arise that the students are not allowed to take advantage of because they do not fit in with the curriculum, or would take class time from other subjects. This rigid, inflexible attitude on the part of the principal and the corporate office has been a sore spot for us. The homework load has been very excessive, to the point that my very bright child, who has always loved school, is beginning to rebel against all the homework and just wants the school year to be over. Challenger provides a very acedemically advanced education, and instills good skills and study habits, but is beginning to feel a bit too gestapo-like and full of drudgery.
I have had my child in Challenger for 5 years. Up until this past year I have been very pleased with the school and the curriculum. However I do believe that the integrity of the school begins with the Principal and the Teachers and that is where I have been disappointed. I believe in and approve of structure and discipline but not to the extent of overwhelming the kids with homework to the point where they do not have the time to be kids. I have watched my son regress to the point of total anxiety because he wants to do well and please his parents as well as his teachers. I have witnessed more focus on implementing the rules, ie; wearing belts and the right color of blue socks, instead of focusing on the well-being of the student and his capabilities to improve and succeed. I am discouraged and disappointed, but still want the best education for my child and I always thought that Challenger was the answer, until now. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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