« Back to compare
/ / School Profile
Public charter
Waukesha, WI
Students enrolled: 824

Contact this school

114 South Charles Street
Waukesha, WI 53186

School website
(262) 970-2310
(262) 970-2320
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Waukesha Stem Academy address.
March 23, 2015
It's very interesting to find negative reviews of this school because, as a parent of a student at STEM Randall, this school has been nothing but stellar. The education and growth of our child at STEM has been enormous, the staff is committed to providing a top notch education to their students, using best practices. We had the choice between sending our child to a private school and opted for STEM instead because we saw the quality as equal to private school education, without the cost. Our younger child will also attend STEM Randall in the fall- a choice we're confident is a good one.

- submitted by a parent
January 24, 2015
I've never felt strongly enough about anything to submit a review but just have to say something about his school. We have been with the middle school for two years now. I heard another parent recently describe the experience of attending here as "exhausting" and I couldn't have come up with a better description. We just learned that the principal is changing the daily schedule, yet again, halfway through year. This is pretty typical. I guess if it was just me I'd shut up and live with it but all these reviews here and elsewhere and fellow parents sharing the same thoughts one on one, something is wrong here. I've talked to the principal and he obviously has his own agenda. I hate to leave after putting so much into it but that's the choice we're left with.

- submitted by a parent
January 13, 2015
I'm not sure what has happened at this school but it really never became what it was built up to be. I think administrators have great intentions but have pushed poorly communicated agendas too hard and failed to understand the unique aspects of the population they serve. My family has been very disappointed and are glad this is our last year here.

- submitted by a parent
December 29, 2014
The staff and administrators of our school will eagerly show you how different our school is. And it is very different from most schools. But when you visit ask them how they are measuring effectiveness. What they describe as "innovative" is really just "different" because they have no real idea what's working and what isn't. Ask them for a copy of their last independent evaluation. Ask them for statistically valid stats. They can't provide them. There's no plan here--it's just a program of ideas cobbled together and presented as innovative to advance some careers. We have been supremely disappointed in our last couple years here.

- submitted by a parent
December 07, 2014
As you can see from the reviews people either love or hate this school. If you are thinking about applying listen very, very carefully when you go to the "sales pitch" they give to sell you this school. You'll be told that this is an optimal learning environment that is tailored to every kid so each and every child reaches their potential. DON'T BUY IT! This school is appropriate for maybe 50% of kids out there and I'm being generous. We have two kids here, we hate it, and feel like we were sold a school that doesn't exist. The principals and board couldn't care less what parents think. You will constantly have "innovation" rammed down your throat even though they can provide no evidence any of it is effective. The good school scores are because this is an upper-income school with hand-picked teachers, not because of the "innovation" that's happening.

- submitted by a parent
November 18, 2014
We just moved to the area and my son is in his 3rd month of school at the Randall campus. My son has never told me that he loves school before now. He was sick yesterday and still wanted to try to go to school. At his last school it was so hard to even get him out the door in the morning. My son is happy, that's what really matters to me.

- submitted by a parent
November 13, 2014
This is our 2nd year at STEM and we chose the school because our assigned school was not an option for our child. I am more frustrated this year than last year.... Communication is terrible, I really have no idea how my child is doing, principal could care less with the concerns we have as parents, the school constantly is changing things and I could go on and on. I wish private school was more affordable or I wish we could home school because STEM isn't sll that STEMtastic

- submitted by a parent
November 08, 2014
We've been here for three years now and have been disappointed. We thought this was a STEM school, and while it does sort of emphasize it it's mostly a big giant lab for the district to try out all sorts of other educational concepts that have nothing to do with STEM. The governance board for this charter school is pretty much completely absent and it's reflected in the free-for-all mish mash of "innovation" happening here.

- submitted by a parent
November 02, 2014
I have a student at each campus and both are pretty frustrating to attend. Parents very consistently and broadly express the same concerns: The governance board doesn't care and is completely out of touch, the principals only care about cool, cutting edge ideas without regard for the effects on families. The teachers are awesome but there's a lot of turnover. I guess, in short, if you are ok with being in a constantly evolving environment and don't care about having a say in how it evolves this school is perfect for you.

- submitted by a parent
October 30, 2014
I agree with the last review. Due diligence is warranted. We've been somewhat disappointed over the years but have tried our best to stick it out. Lots of constant change and confusion that just never seems to smooth out There's no sign of improvement so we're not going on to the middle school part. We've heard there's even more turmoil over there but must say we have no direct experience.

- submitted by a parent
October 29, 2014
WSA had a lot of promise that it hasn't lived up to. If you are willing to tolerate a ton of turmoil and change each year then apply. The teachers, with few exceptions, are exceptional. As other reviews have mentioned, this school is NOT for every family or every student. Know what you are getting yourself into. This is not just a regular school with a STEM-focused curriculum. This is a charter school that routinely experiments with different concepts and techniques that have nothing to do with STEM education, hence the constant change. After 4 years we are pulling our kids at the end of the year. The school we were sold is not what we've experienced.

- submitted by a parent
February 08, 2013
This is a the kind of school environment where your child will get out of it what they put in. It is an excellent environment for the child that is willing to explore and does not need as much structure in their school day. But this is a hard thing to know about your child when he/she is just starting kindergarten. My child attended STEM for K and first grade. At the time they were just starting and the teachers were often pulled out for meetings. It seemed rather disorganized and they were going to change their structure to 2 grade levels per classroom. I like the idea of a STEM school, and I do believe that it could work well for the right child. It may just need a few years to mature.

- submitted by a parent
December 16, 2012
The proactive learning style allows students to learn at a pace appropriate to the skills. The teachers are some of the area's best

- submitted by a parent
November 27, 2012
I can't help but comment on the previous post. I also have a child who started at STEM this year in Kindergarten. I can't even begin to explain how she is THRIVING! The flexible groupings and switching rooms has allowed her to have very focused, personalized attention at the skill level she is at. In other schools I think my child would not have been challenged and would have been just floating in a standard classroom where teachers tend to focus on only the those who need extra help or those who are exceeding. This school though is not for everyone. If your child needs constant reminders to stay on task and need a very very structured setting then perhaps this school isn't for you. If it isn't then PLEASE PLEASE leave so that someone on the long waiting list to get into this excellent school can have your spot. Let the children who thrive in this environment have your spot. Also as far as switching rooms, the Level 1 staff has done an awesome job introducing this to the kids. I volunteer at the school and am amazed at how this little kids are soaring now that they have the chance to have some independence. Go STEM!!!!

- submitted by a parent
November 26, 2012
With the switching of classes beginning in K5 there is mass confusion, children are overwhelmed and are falling thru the cracks. Pre and post tests on subjects come home showing nothing learned... hmm.. something wrong with the picture? Too overwhelming for little ones to be comingled with up to 168 different children in one day not to mention up to 4 different teachers.. Really? What were they thinking.

- submitted by a parent
September 18, 2012
My daughter started in kindergarten and she is now in 2nd grade. I have become increasingly disheartened by the quality of the content being taught and things my daughter is telling me. She expressed to me everyday that "reading class" consisted of reading to self. When I asked if the teachers get the kids together and teach the class how to read, she said, "no". For math, their activity consisted of an "I wonder" activity where the kids came up with things they wondered about. He does this have to do with math?! They have been in school for 3 weeks and not one shred of work has come home! I work in a public school and am becoming appalled by the lack of content being taught. My daughter visited a different school and was so happy to have a schedule, a desk, and "all the kids weren't allowed to talk all the time"!!!! Really?! It seems as though there is little to no structure and kids behaviors are being tolerated, despite other students needs for a quiet environment.

- submitted by a parent
July 07, 2012
I also agree w/ the 2 previously posted, & other positive reviews of STEM. I have recently moved from the city of Waukesha,& my child re-entered mainstream public school, w/a district in the top, for the GSR. I have noticed the difference in my child's interest in math, & extra curiosity in science. I definitely believe that WSA is the best place to be in the district, & credit Stem, & all of its creative & innovative teachers, and technology inspiring my child to excel, anywhere!

- submitted by a parent
January 13, 2012
The previous reviews are shockiing. The children are out for recess in a poorly maintained play area which isn't properly gated. They do have staff out with the children but they aren't really watching out for the safety of the children. There is an access point/ exit at each end of the unguarded open yard. There are students that have parents there. These students are favored and their behaviors are disregarded. The very young teachers are not accustomed to talking to dealing with all types of children. If the children behave like children they are frowned upon and become the center of teacher lounge gossip. There is a very poor teacher/ student ratio. The classes have way more students than one teacher can handle. They often give assignments with very little to no instruction at all. There isn't a pta so I have no clue as to the stars for parent involvement. On a positive note if you are looking for a less diverse school and your child is extremely independent and very well behaved this is the school for you

- submitted by a parent
October 06, 2011
I don't understand the negative review. The school is organized. Their are boundaries between staff and students. There is great communication between the school and how your child is going. The teachers send emails regularly, so it is quite easy to email them any questions that you have in regards to how your child is doing. The teachers are amazing! Extremely motivated and inspiring. My youngest says that she wants to be a teacher when she grows up because she loves Wauksha Stem. The principal is wonderful. I have nothing but praise for Waukesha Stem. They are doing well on the State school district Performance report and I think that is only possible because they are doing things right.

- submitted by a parent
May 18, 2011
This school is disorganized with no boundriies between staff and students. There is also a lack of communication in regarnds to grades. With only 15 days left in the school year, my child has yet to receive a single grade in 4 subject areas for the third trimester, or a single paper home in those areas. If my child was failing, I would have no idea. This is disappointing because the curriculum on the website looks amazing.

- submitted by a parent
May 16, 2011
I love the changes at Randall Stem Academy. My daughter is excelling due to all the changes that have been made. She has a wonderful repore with her teacher and other teachers in her grade. She is feeling more confident and happy with all the changes. I understand that the changes that have been made may be overwhelming to those used to the tradition school platform, but I strongly feel like the changes that have been made are really making the school a better learning environment. There is more of a sence of community at the school. For the first time ever my daughter is coming home excited telling me about what she has learned.

- submitted by a parent
April 08, 2011
principal is uncaring and unwilling to help students succeed. Worried more about meeting guidelines for receiving their funding. I can't wait to move my kids to a school that actually cares.

- submitted by a parent
July 28, 2010
I hope all of you that decided to put your children into STEM program at Randall are ready for a bumpy ride. Now that our tax money went into a school that is going to be watched over by the Goverment. Is this what you want your kids to be taught in school. Doesn't the Goverement have enough to worry about, now they want our children. I hope you guys know what you are doing by attening Randell. Best Wishes.

- submitted by a parent
December 10, 2009
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
January 29, 2009
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
October 13, 2008
My daughters love this school and learning at it. They love reading and math art and science. The principal is a wonderful role model too.

- submitted by a parent
August 03, 2007
Randall is absolutely amazing. It is not our home school, but we opt in, thanks to Wisconsin's school choice program! I cannot possibly tell you how fabulous Randall is. The heart of the school, their principal (Bonnie Schlais) knows every teacher, student, and even some parents and siblings by face AND name! The teachers I have encoutered so far are phenomenal. Mrs. Steighner (kindergarten) was the best teacher I could have dreamed up for my daughter. The most fantastic part about Randall, that sets it apart from all other Waukesha Public Schools, is that they incorporate so many 'extras' in to school life. For instance, listening conferences at the beginning of each year, for teachers to get to KNOW the children personally. Excellent communication between teachers and parents and principal and parents. They all go the extra mile. HOORAY FOR RANDALL!!

- submitted by a parent
September 18, 2006
Wonderful school with a fantastic, involved, well-loved principal. The building and grounds are well maintained and all the teachers I have dealt with thus far have been above average in communication, expectations for students, enthusiasm and kindness. I highly recommend this school and its staff.

- submitted by a parent
February 29, 2004
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent

Profile Completeness


Want to improve this school’s profile? You can!

All schools on GreatSchools begin with BASIC completeness, which includes important information like contact details and test scores. It’s up to the school community to take the next steps. As a parent or community member, you can share what you know with other families by writing a review or answering a few questions about what the school offers. As a school leader, you can upload photos, describe school programs, and more with an Official school profile.

The completeness meter moves to INTERMEDIATE, then ADVANCED, and finally HONOR ROLL as you complete the following: 10 or more reviews, at least 1 photo, and 9 program questions parents find helpful.

Want to improve this school's profile?
for Parents
for Schools
Need help choosing a school? We can help »

Media Gallery

Media missing

Uh oh! No photos. This frame will look much better when you upload photos »


Nearby homes for sale


Last modified: March 23, 2015

Sign up for email updates

Connect with us

Translate this web page

About GreatSchools

Our mission is to help millions of parents get a great education for their kids. GreatSchools.org is an independent nonprofit and the leading national source of school information for families.

GreatSchools.org 1999 Harrison Street, Suite 1100, Oakland, CA 94612

©1998-2015 GreatSchools.org All Rights Reserved. GreatSchools is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization | Ad Choices

Waukesha Stem Academy
114 South Charles Street, Waukesha, WI  53186
(262) 970-2310
Last modified Waukesha Stem Academy is a Charter school that serves grades PK-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 9 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Waukesha Stem Academy Rating: 3 out of 5 based on 29 reviews. Top