We switched from a traditional school to Alternative Schooling and I have to say it was the best decision I have ever made. The staff, counselors and Principal all go above and beyond expectation. They really do their best to partner with the parents. That being said, the responsibility of the Parent to ask questions, get involved in the many events that Homelink offers to foster team building skills and community, has to be realized before going into it. Great staff, great atmosphere and great leadership!
We switched from a different Richland School District (traditional) Elementary School after finding the education and opportunities there were disappointing to say the least. Homelink allows kids to excell. We don't struggle with any disabilities or behavioral issues but those that do are helped by staff and customized education. The school is safe, supportive, filled with friendly and respectful children and parents who truly care about their children's education and the people surrounding them. I can not imagine my children going back to traditional public school after seeing how fast and how far my child has gotten in his courses since we began Homelink and homeschooling (it is after all, a hybrid where parents and the students do the bulk of their educating at home). Homelink has WONDERFUL, engaging 'workshops' aka classes available for all grade levels taught by certified teachers who KNOW their material and go above and beyond to help children grasp the material and succeed.
I will admit we are fairly new to this program but getting enrolled was a ton of headaches, I have felt that absolutely nothing has been explained to me - I have had to learn everything the hard way. We really like our "counselor" but as for the rest of the staff it's been only average. I don't get a good feeling from the PTO that they so encourage you to get involved in, I feel like there is a lot of cliquishness and snottiness in their banter with other mothers which is very off putting and not at all endearing to their efforts. (This could be typical public school nonsense but as we come from a homeschool background, it has been a little surprising for us!) The greeter and "volunteer coordinator" is not friendly at all. She is always preoccupied and looks annoyed when you have questions. If I could afford to purchase our curriculum of choice on my own I would probably not be involved with this program. As is, we will just keep them at arm's length!
Homelink has grown to veer a different direction than its' beginnings. Due to legislation there is less parent input allowed. Elementary program is monitored much more than before. The principal has chosen staff who will listen and appreciate parent input though. Unfortunately there are no special ed. programs and at times parents have to send them to large public schools because of this deficit. I hope they get a special ed. program soon. Staff could improve on maintaining a colleague relationship with parents and need to resist treating families like "cases" on a caseload.
This will be our second year and we love it. My daughter came from a traditional school and this is the best of both worlds. Small classes and working at home for one on one personal learning has been great. She also has a school she can call her own and have school friends.
My children have been enrolled since the school began. I have observed the integrity and policy of open honesty in the administration toward parents. Homelink has expanded with grace through the growing pains and legislative changes that have frustated and confused parents as we try to adapt to the restrictions palced upon us with Parent Partnerships. It is exactly this grace and honesty that has compelled me to stay in this program. I