I could not agree more with the parents that experienced the same thing we did. We pulled our son out of ITS last year. I had never seen a child so bullied by his teachers. Punishment was harsh. When I tried to advocate for his classroom I got push back and excuses from the Director and Principal. They made excuses for the teachers and tried to place the blame on the children for the unruly classroom that was even worse the year before. We were the 4th family to remove our child mid year from the same classroom.
I am so glad we did! We placed our son in a local DCPS and it was 10 X better in education, professional teachers and staff. The "Demonstration" I found it to be in name only. What you find is inexperienced teachers that have no backup and support. My husband and I are relieved that our son is no longer there. He was depressed each day from the yelling and unprofessional conduct of his homeroom teachers.The Middle School is scary. I would never tell any parent to take their child to this school. They have much to improve on before I could recommend it to any family in the District of Columbia. My child is now healing from his awful experience and only looks back with terrible memories there. He is thriving honor roll student now and is looking forward to middle school.
Parents beware! It's a struggling Tier 2 for a reason!
They were the worst teachers I have ever seen in the profession of teaching. Hostile, angry, untrained. Several times I asked the Principal to come and give training. They were so busy on getting a new building for their school they did not give the one on one training that these particular teachers needed.
There was no homework. Just a few minutes. I asked his teacher all year long for more homework and more challenging homework. She would say yes but never once gave him anymore that 10 mins or less per night. Sometimes none at all. He was very bored with it.
The teachers in the 4th grade classroom last year were not compassionate, caring or showed any empathy. Two girls walked out of the school onto the streets of DC and the teachers weren't even aware that they had left the classroom! True story.
I rate it a 4.5; there are some things missing like a library. Music is coming next year thanks to a fundraising effort by the PTO. We came to ITS from a Montessori school. We applied after talking to parents, attending family events & speaking with the exec. director. We found her to be very open and honest- admitting weaknesses, making no excuses, while providing well-thought out plans to make adjustments. The teaching staff is diverse, in terms of age, experience, gender & ethnicity. Our son had his first male classroom teacher, which was great. The families are diverse as well & very welcoming and friendly. For academics, the teachers seem to really know our children & work to provide activities to meet their needs. My youngest has been very excited about the different experiences (totally opposite of his last school). Our oldest is more of a 'go with the flow' kind of kid & has done well at ITS. He scored very well on his standardized tests last year, including a perfect score in math. While we certainly work with him, I must give credit to his fantastic teacher, who didn't teach to the test, but made sure students were exposed to wide variety of activities.
We have been at the school since its founding nearly four years ago, and we are thrilled with the education our children are receiving. There have hiccups along the way, as one might expect with a new school, but our experience with the administration has been that they are open to parents' concerns, receptive to feedback, and always acting with the best interests of the students in the forefront of their minds. The teaching model really meets kids where they are and focuses not only on academics but on cultivating a sense of community. It's a remarkable place, and we have loved it here.
As a founding family we've seen ITS through its growth years. With it has come some anticipated growing pains but also immeasurable care and concern for the students. As with all schools, sometimes ITS does not get it right the first time BUT they are a team with a growth mindset willing to learn from failures, hear concerns and respond with integrity. Our boys love school and look forward to sharing their favorite part of their day every evening around the dinner table. As all parents, we want what's best for our children so we'll always question - is this the BEST education they can get? Are they learning to LOVE learning and foster their IMAGINATION? Will they look back at their schooling with fondness? Do these things out way my adult frustrations with systems/policies and a handful of staff that don't seem the most effective? Most certainly. Would I recommend this school and the amazing community of families and staff to others? Indeed!