Principal is involved and seen regularly. Exceptionally strong parent group as volunteer hours are required. Very rare to find a school where over 80% of the parents are helping and attending meetings. Somehow this school does it!
This school has worked well for many families but not for others, and that is why there are so many polarized reviews. Kids who have left, have adjusted well in the regular public schools. Some were found to be behind in some areas while others moved on to achieve a 4.0 GPA and been placed in National Honor Society. Just like any other school, there is a range. Academics are not the only focus at this school. Social and emotional development is also strongly emphasized. Just because it is a "choice" or "lottery" program, does not necessarily mean it is a good fit for your family. Do your research. Know your kid and his/her needs, and find what is best for your family. This school has been great for my kids and my family. It has been a positive experience for us.
I love this school. It is not perfect but what school is. Academics may seem to not be top priority because the school also focuses on a child's social and emotional well-being. It is a small school.of 70 kids in grades 1-5. The 3 classes are split classes. Lots of volunteer work is required but that is how a "community" is formed. Very rare to be in a school where you know all the kids, all the parents and all the staff. The philosophy is very unique - no grades, no tests, no report cards, very little homework (if any). And because of this, this school may not be for everyone.