My twins started out so excited to be at the this school. It sounded good on paper. The kids in the program were creative, interesting and smart but many are drug involved and we learned that the school does very little to supervise and support them. One parent told me he didn't know his kid had a problem until the principal produced documents trying to get him kicked out of the school instead of informing him when the issue was originally discovered so the dad could have sought appropriate support for his son. The Spanish teacher was terrible and they learned almost nothing in his class. The principal would not address my concerns about him and was rude and dismissive. One of the humanities teachers gave writing assignments that were very difficult to understand. My child said she always seemed too busy and stressed out to answer questions. She took forever to return rough drafts so my child had little direction on how to improve. They LOVED the science teacher and he was the reason they finished out ninth grade. On the few occasions I interacted with the guidance counselor she was rude and abrupt. I know know that option schools are not necessarily better. Since we moved to another high school in the district, my kids are much happier. The administration at their current school is warm, caring and goes the extra mile. I'm sorry we wasted a year on the Center School.
My in law had a terrible education here. They didn't know how to write an essay until I showed them how! Math and science were terrible as well. This person had even told me the school does alright with testing because the teachers help them on the tests.
If I were this person's parent, I would be appalled that they let my child graduate with a failing report card. They gave this person "extra credit" for things they didn't do just so they would "pass" and the school wouldn't have to deal with yet another drop out. NEVER EVER SEND YOU CHILD HERE!
The Center school is a community of committed educators with a unique and dynamic student body. The school offers students smaller classes and a real community feel. nobody gets left behind. The course offerings are not as broad as some larger schools, but 2 AP science classes are offered and math up to calculus is available. This school has been a great fit for my daughter and has provided her with what one would expect from a private school education.
I have been a Center parent for three years now. In the beginning, we were impressed by the atmosphere and class quality. It seemed to be a good hybrid of public and private school environments and our daughter was very happy there. However, as time goes on, Center's flaws have come to outweigh its benefits. Math and science education in particular are very, very weak. Students get almost no support from the school in fulfilling graduation requirements not offered (such as Physical Education). Teacher quality is extremely uneven. There are a few great ones, such as Ms. Carroll, but a few who shouldn't even be teaching. Because of the combined class system used, if your child winds up with one of the bad teachers, you could be stuck with that for two years. Heaven help you if your kid winds up with Mr. Bell or Ms. Krupke. On the other hand, the new principal has been a great addition to the school. Hopefully Ms. Britsova can turn some of these things around. In the meantime, though, if you have to choose between Garfield and Center (due to the new geographic assignment system), choose Garfield.