As Kinder comes to an end I'm considering not sending dd back to the charter school for 1st grade. Overall, I'm just not very impressed with this so-called "school of excellence". I've read over all the Standard and Poors reports on the school and it's interesting that as the grades go UP the test scores go down, and there is about a 10 point discrepancy between boys and girls scores on the MEAP (the 'big' stand. tests in our state) with boys being higher. The director had no explanation for this when I asked.
I have an appt. to see the regular public school next week. I'll get to see the curriculum, the kids in class, the teachers. I'm bring dd too.
Here are some of the things that are lacking in the charter that are influencing my decision:
No art curriculum
No band/instrumental instruction (in higher grades)
No transportation (this is important to me esp. for feild trips! Kids are taken by parent drivers. Ft's are mandatory starting in 1st grade.)
No hot lunch program, no cafeteria. (not that I would let dd buy hot lunch all the time but hot soup in the winter would be nice sometimes)
Lack of a proper library (it's a joke)
Lack of state funds. The school doesn't get as much per pupil as the regular ps's. Therefore, we are constantly asked to fundraise and donate items.
The parking is horrendous, a HUGE problem as there is no bussing and the school is letting out 550 kids at the same time. I've almost been in two accidents just in the parking lot and cut off several times from other parent drivers! weekly!
Lack of sports. There are some sports but it's very limited and the school is so small they only get to play against a few other schools. Overall lack of extracurricular activities.
This is a fairly new charter school, only 4 years running. I do not like my dd's teacher, it's her first year teaching and while I understand she must start somewhere I'm just disappointed my dd got her, she has NO personality, hardly smiles, yells at the class, and my biggest problem with her is she blatantly dismissed my offers to volunteer in the class on several occaisions, telling me, "this is my first year teaching and I'm still trying to firure out what I am doing" and told me if I wanted to take some of these things home to cut and seperate I could help that way! WHAT!? This schools boasts parent involvement but I felt very unwelcomed to help in my dd's K class as have other parents I've spoke with about this. I question the director for hiring a teacher to teach K and not take the personality into consideration. My dd likes the assistant better, who is warm and 'motherly'. I feel so bad my dd got a cold fish for her K year
Esp. after coming from two years of a warm loving Montessori teacher she adored.
Thanks for listening. I'm planning to write the director a letter today.