This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Waukesha Stem Academy2
Posted December 07, 2014
- a parent
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!!