This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Capital City PCS - Lower School5
Posted November 09, 2013
- a parent
We are so happy at Capital City. Our children are receiving a great education, and are actively involved in the learning process. We also really appreciate and respect the social skills curriculum with it's focus on kindness, courage, and empathy.
This is our first year at the school and our son has already learned so much. The teachers are wonderful and very committed to their students. We are very happy and look forward to seeing his progress this year. On a weekly basis we receive communication from the teachers as to what the students have done and learned which is extremely helpful. We couldn't be happier.
This is our second year at Cap City. Our daughter is now in kindergarten. Our family loves this school! It is a warm, loving, nurturing community, with active, caring parent, teachers, and administrators. Together we focus on the "whole child." Academics are important - test scores are just one indicator - but they're not everything. Art, music, fitness - and a focus on community participation -are all significant parts of the curriculum. Communication with teachers and administrators has been frequent, substantive, and welcoming. The school is wonderfully diverse, and I think that speaks to the open, inviting environment. We're looking forward to growing with the school for years to come.
Our son is in third grade now, in his fifth year at Capital City already (!), and we love the school. There is a strong sense of community, a rich extracurricular life of the school that reinforces the values and connections communicated in the classroom, and most importantly, a commitment to a strong academic curriculum that makes learning enjoyable.
What I like most about Cap City is that it strives to educate the whole child -- to form character (perseverance, kindness, empathy) in addition to teaching the fundamentals. Significant time is spent in the early years on the social aspects of school (waiting your turn, listening respectfully to others, etc.), so that real learning can then happen in the classroom. The approach to learning is also holistic: Using the Expeditionary Learning approach, children learn thoroughly about a topic (e.g. recycling, bees, nutrition, water), with every subject (English, math, science, music, art) supporting that topic. As a parent I am very excited for my children to learn more deeply, instead of just memorizing disconnected facts. The teachers are fabulous, and the teacher-student ratio is high, with 2 1/2 teachers per classroom of 25 (18 for Preschool and Pre-K). The facility itself, new last year, has everything you could dream of: gym, theater, and tons of outdoor space including a garden. Windows were installed strategically to allow children to see the inner workings of the building -- plumbing, wiring, etc. I couldn't be happier!
Our kids have been at Capital City since pre-K. One is now in Middle School. We have generally been pleased, though no school is perfect. CCPCS has a tremendous amount of staff resources -- two teachers per class, lots of support teachers (e.g., for special ed and English Language Learners), and specials teachers (drama, Spanish, art, music, fitness, library). The school evironment is generally very positive with a very strong school culture where kids learn to respect each other. This is not a place where teachers run their own little fiefdoms. There is a lot of staff teamwork. The new facility is fantastic, but the doubling of the size of the school last year led to some hiccups with many new staff and kids -- it was hard to integrate everyone into the culture, especially in grades 3 and 4. We are sometimes concerned that the diversity of abilities in the classroom can make it hard to meet everyone's needs. We worry especially about a challenge for kids who are performing at advanced levels. But the diversity, vibrancy, and dynamism, teacher enthusiasm, etc. seem to outweigh this.
Capital City lower school is a warm, academically-engaged environment. We now have a first grader and have been with the school since PreK. Teachers are dedicated and take great care to meet each student where he/she is, and the expeditionary learning model really lends itself to allowing this individual attention and to deep learning. There's careful attention to social and artistic learning built into the curriculum along with academics; students learn to work thoughtfully in their community and to become responsible both for their own and each others' learning. I think it's a common experience here that kids truly love learning and are invested in the expeditions and in each other. In our own time here, we've been very pleased with the level of intellectual challenge and teacher/student care we've seen abundantly at work.
The teachers really care about the kids, really care about using best and current practices in teaching, and they want parents to know what they are doing in the classroom and why. The kids know the teachers are in their corner, and will ensure they understand and retain what is being taught.