This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Cougar Mountain Academy5
Posted February 14, 2014
- a parent
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.
Our child started Cougar Mountain Academy in the 3rd grade. We came from 1st grade in a public school where our child was bored but still achieved A's and B's. We felt the "No Child Left Behind" rule was only for the struggling students, leaving the children that could excel, governed. Cougar Mountain gave us the sky to learn. We feel we received the one-on-one attention we were looking for. Though, our child was challenged, it was at his pace. The teachers knew when to challenge and when to pull back. The teachers got to know the kids, individually and understood our child's learning ability. The three years we attended Cougar Mountain, we very seldom saw bulling. When we did, the staff took immediate action toward the problem child. The staff takes immediate action and resolves any issues directly with the parents. Starting with the first day of school, every child is taught courtesy, kindness and respect. Cougar Mountain is a respected, primary, non denominational private school. Because of the reputation Cougar Mountain has in our community, we felt it help us place in the middle school of our choice. Our family really enjoyed our, three year, experience at Cougar Mountain.
Cougar Mountain Academy is a unique private school with wonderful, warm and caring families and staff. Busy parents can rely on the nurturing environment and loving attention that staff give to each student. Quality, research based,Individualized and advanced curriculum and individual solutions to each families concerns are the hallmarks that have made the Academy a trusted and innovative educational institution for 50 years. Parents who want to give their children the precious gift of an excellent education and the chance at a truly great future of promise can do no better than to choose this school.
Cougar Mountain Academy is a disappointment. The school markets itself as a school for gifted children, but the school is ill-equipped for the academic and social needs of truly gifted children. The children spend weeks preparing for programs (like the holiday concert) that look good in the school newsletter and very little time doing meaningful work in the classroom. Most of the curriculum is workbooks that leave your child bored. I would encourage parents to look elsewhere for a more enriching educational experience. Due to low enrollment (around 50 children), it seems the school has relaxed it standards. Although the school has a policy that aggressive and unruly children will be asked to leave the school, we found that this type of behavior wasn t addressed and it spread throughout the classroom becoming a major disruption. Our child was tackled, hit, and had their food thrown on the floor. Despite raising these concerns to the school, very little was done. Cougar Mountain Academy may look appealing at first glance, but it isn t what it seems.
Do not send your children to Cougar Mountain Academy. CMA attracts students and parents with a mission of academic excellence. However, the curriculum is little more than workbook activities with optional enrichment activities that are to be completed by home with parent instruction. My child was bored. The more critical issue was the out of control classroom dynamics. It started at the beginning of the school year with a couple of unruly children, but unchecked behavior led to a classroom where learning was secondary to trying to maintain control. Despite parent complaints throughout the school year, the administration sited a teacher problem and did not step in until May when the damage was already done. The school administration appears to be focused on making money and not on creating a nurturing, enriching learning environment, which is likely why the school is curently experiencing a mass exodus of students - including long time students. With the number of private school options available, you can find a much better option for your child and likely at a much lower price.