This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Cougar Mountain Academy5
Posted February 25, 2015
- a parent
We looked at several schools for our gifted son entering 1st grade. We sought a strong curriculum as well as a school that had a positive vibe. We attended an Open House, and CMA felt like "home" to us. Here our son could excel at his own pace. We saw enthusiastic teachers encouraging students in their studies, as well as helping with the snaps on coats at recess. We enrolled our son, and he is thriving at CMA. He has French class twice a week, is taking piano lessons, and loves his electives, Lego Robotics and Chess. He has developed a deeper love of reading. He raises his hand in the weekly Assembly eager to share what he knows. The Headmaster and staff have a genuine care and concern for the students. Questions we ve had have been answered promptly. Communication with the school has been wonderful. Our son loves CMA and often is not ready to leave at pick-up time. He is challenged in his studies, and excited and proud to participate in special school events such as the Art Show and Science Fair. We are thrilled that CMA has been such a wonderful fit for our son and would highly recommend it to parents looking for an excellent private elementary school.
Our 3- and 5-yr olds started pre-K and K at CMA this year. We value most about CMA s individual based curriculum. Our kids are not limited by what they are supposed to be learning at their age group, but what they are ready to learn. Our older son is excited about learning because time is not spent in repeating things he already knows. Student-teacher ratio is great, allowing more 1:1 attention and closer bonding among students. This is especially helpful for my 3-yr old who is very shy, allowing her to feel safe quicker so she can grow academically. Our son is excited about the achievement roll projects and the school events, which provide excellent opportunities for developing skills beyond the core learning focus. Seeing other children participate is also motivating. Perhaps one negative is the small upper elem group. We sure hope that more kids will continue onto upper elem in future years so there will be a greater pool of students our kids can grow to middle school with. All in all, we are very happy with our investment. Our kids love going to school day after day. They are excelling academically, developing friendship and they love their teachers.
My older kid studied in CMA and developed her natural abilities so much that she easily got into LW Quest program after just studying pre-k in CMA. My second one, though, had significant delay in exhibiting academic and social skills. We sent him also to CMA and he is now developed a lot in his skills after being there just for a year. We are quite happy that we made the decision to send him there, though the cost is a little on the high side for us.
My daughter is 7.5 years old at 2nd grade when we decided to pull her out of Rachael Carson and enroll in CMA. We've been at CMA for 5 months now, and can't be happier with her progress here. At Carson, she was getting bored and complained about not having things to do, and always having to wait for others to complete their practice. At CMA, she's happy that there're so many others just like her. Class is fun again. As parents, we see her finally having the opportunity to maximize her full potentials. She joined CMA when the fall semester already started. She had a bit challenging time catching up on math as CMA class was on 3-4 digits additions and subtractions, while Carson class was on A&S within 20. Five months later, my daughter is able to do multi-digits calculations that I have to use a calculator to check. She's mastered multiplication up to 9*9 and is expected to start divisions and fractions this semester. I never took myself off Carson's classroom news letter. The one I received last Friday says that my daughter's old class would start 2 digits additions in the upcoming weeks. I was so much surprised to see how much a difference 5 months in the right program could make!
This was the best decision we have made so far for our son s education. We found Cougar Mountain Academy thru an internet search in Geneva, Switzerland and decided to visit. The staff s professional demeanor portrayed not only a positive first impression, but maintained a positive impression throughout the school year. This is a small school, with small class sizes that allows a lot of one-on-one interactions between the student and the teacher. The individualized and advanced curriculum is so well managed and structured that it has challenged my son to the point where he is not only one grade level ahead academically, but he also loves his school and looks forward to going everyday. The school is next to the zoo which allows them to just visit or to coincide the walk over with a lesson. They offer French!, Robotics, Piano to name a few and they do Book Fairs, Science Fairs, Art Exhibitions, Piano Recitals and the list goes on and on. We are here only for a few years for work and I wish we could take this school with us, wherever we end up going.
Cougar Mountain Academy has done a terrific job education our children. The structured, thoughtful curiculum has been well taught and the warm, caring enviroment was the ideal platform for early education. My oldest is now in public middle school and is a top honors student-- much of his success comes from the education he received at CMA. Our youngest is now in the Pre-K program and I have been impressed once again with the schools commitment to excellence.
We couldn't have found a better Pre-K/elementary school for our two kids. Coming from international backgrounds ourselves with a strong emphasis on academics, we were looking for a school that meets or exceeds international standards in academic rigor, towards laying the right foundation for our kids early years. The individualized, advanced curriculum and approach at CMA was just the right fit - consistently aiming to be one or two grade levels above, in the core areas of reading, writing, math, and science. The student body seems an enthusiastic and motivated one, which has really helped motivate our kids to excel. What I like most is the staff's ability to cultivate a genuine love of learning while still keeping academics rigorous and demanding. Our kids have often been reluctant to come home from school (wanting to stay longer), and have longed for school on weekends. To its credit, CMA has done an excellent job of cultivating extracurricular interests- both of our kids have taken to piano, our daughter is into yoga as well. The school is fortunate to have incredible teachers; Mrs. Ballard's leadership in driving high standards for the school has been exemplary; .
We are glad we got out when we did. Our child attended CMA up until the end of the school year - from Pre-K through third grade. We now realize that the school was teaching to maximize test scores. We are now having to go back and fill in knowledge gaps.
I would give more stars if I could. Cougar Mountain Academy has been an excellent Elementary School for my child, a 6th grader now, that prepared him for his responsible, independent learning expected in middle school. The teachers pay individual attention to each student, carefully designing the curriculum that meets the students needs. They also help children with social/emotional/behavioral skills in classroom and playground and when the children hear a clear message of the high expectations, the children work to meet it. My son absolutely loved the reading rewards, spelling bee, choir singing, hot lunches, piano, P.E., french and the achievement roll projects. He loved the school assembly and the school spirit that showed in their song and pledge. He shined when he found: the place to belong, the right amount of challenge and the staff working for his success. The administration is very welcoming and works very well with the families. Mrs. Ballard, the headmaster, and Mrs. Olson are always willing to hear parent inputs. The teachers work with parents as needed in addition to the usual parent conferences. This is the best investment we did and highly recommend the school.
This year marks my 5th year educating high achieving and gifted children here at Cougar Mountain Academy. I have been fortunate to experience the students both as a teacher and as an administrator. In both roles, the focus of the school has consistently been to provide a well rounded learning opportunity. This is evident in the fact that all events at the Academy have a defined learning objective which serves the student above and beyond the event itself. The commitment fo the Headmaster at the Academy is refreshing as she enables the team comprised of parents, teachers, and administrators to truly set each child on the path to sucess. Individual accomplishments are achieved through low teacher to student ratios, accelerated individualized curriculum and a loving and nurturing environment. The firm foundation students receive at the Academy ensures future success as a lifelong learner. Excellence in education has been a way of life at Cougar Mountain Academy since its founding 50 years ago. I am proud to be a part of this long standing tradition and am eager to share it with the families who are raising the promise of our future.