Positive reviews here are out of touch with student, teacher and parent experience. The school is run as a cash cow for overpaid- and under-qualified administrators. Typical of the choice school program, it has 75 percent teacher turnover each year. The administration tries to force teachers to sign contracts in which they agree not to talk about the school on social media, so the negative atmosphere is under-reported.
The teachers are over-worked, underpaid and under appreciated. It becomes difficult to work in an environment in which they feel disrespected and as though they lack the support and resources they need. Teachers are being asked to move all curriculum into Build Your Own Curriculum online. It is a waste of time that teachers could put into planning and implementing more beneficial lessons. The school accepts students that need extra support but has no way to provide them with the support they need. The student to teacher ratio is high in the classrooms which works against any individual attention students need. If your child has an IEP or Speech needs do not send them here. The year also runs long. The first day of school is earlier and the last day of school is later than most schools in the area. Recess is no longer an open time to play and socialize. They are required to play in a certain "center" with their class during each recess. The teaching and paraprofessional staff are amazing. It takes a great amount of heart and love for the students to work here. This school has a great deal of potential but seems far from reaching it.
Atlas lacks the resources, support, and willingness to change that would allow its teachers to sufficiently educate it's students. The owner of this school views this facility as a profitable business, wasting millions of dollars on her own salary and frivolous, unnecessary services that are unseen and of no benefit to the children. This school lacks a gym, library, music classes, special education, and sports, to name a few. Considering this is a CHOICE school created to benefit underprivileged students using government money, this is inexcusable. With more than 75% Hispanic student population, more ELL and language opportunities should be provided. Instead, ELL students have ONE overworked Spanish teacher and no Spanish speaking administration. Failing students are simply passed along and graduated from year to year, despite decisions previously made by their respective teachers. Standards are nonexistent. Ultimately, these teachers work for the love of the students & teaching, but cannot stay due to lack of support, respect, benefits and a reasonable wage - resulting in few teachers staying for longer than a year's time. Avoid this school at all costs.
Atlas has begun its third year of "Learning through Literacy" focus. All professional development and student learning is embedded with a literacy focus. Taking educators into a space that prepares and supports them to become stronger in student centered learning. This student, needs based goal is bringing about good results. As part of the data driven environment Atlas has launched two new programs which support students. The first is ALEX-Atlas Learning express, a problem based, multiage learning environment providing learning for students scoring at least two years above grade level. Alex is already getting requests for placements for those who test and perform well in the classroom.The second program is Transition learning to provide learning experiences for those who need a more focused approach to building their school related skills. As a parent, as a teacher, as a community member the students and families are getting a lot of personalized learning for their students.