Monday, November 05, 2012

Monday Musings

So I've decided that while the school has definite issues to work out, at least half of my issues are my own. My main problem is that the school isn't exactly what it was advertised. Part of that is due to the lack of enrollment that they expected this year (at most around 85 students total for middle school), so they had to change some of what was originally planned. The variety of students they received within that enrollment, I think, is more than they figured as well. As such, with only 4 teachers for the entire MS, things just aren't happening.

I suppose that because my son has had such problems, it has colored my view against a lot of it. Though, hearing some of the other parents complain of the same thing, means it isn't just me. Most of those I'm hearing from, though, are also former GCA parents. We got used to one thing at GCA and expected a hybrid school (the one advertised) and didn't get it.

My son hit 8th grade hard, with teen issues already. Then having to adjust to an entire new system didn't help. From there top it with the problems the school is having in managing the students they have and it was a major catastrophe.

Math for my son has always been easy. From K-8 math, he blew through the material. At GCA, he developed bad habits that we're working to break. At GOC, he was finally CHALLENGED by the material. Given the attitude he started with, this was not a good thing. Add in the fact that he started the semester off taking a HS level math class and was expected to learn the material on his own (with no teacher support) built on the problem. The school has since started having one of the HS math teachers actually TEACH the lessons when he's on campus for labs, which is an improvement. It's not a fix, as that's only one day a week. You can't teach all of the material in one day, much less support the material they're learning. So, the math falls to my husband to teach when my son has issues. It was this that had us leaving GCA (partially) last year. Those that know me know why, but I'm not able to teach my son math. It's very counter productive for me to try. So, when GOC advertised that we'd have all the help we needed, the teachers would teach, not the parents, we fell into a trap. We're recovering, though my son's grades suffered in the mean time.

I'll give several of my kids' teachers credit though, they've always been upfront and have had no problem letting me know when there's a problem. Given the way everything else has gone, I appreciate they're taking the time to DO THEIR JOB and help me help my student.

So, I have an attitude problem and it's coloring most of what I see and do. It's gotten fairly extreme when it comes to my kids (particularly my son) and their school. I keep my mouth shut (mostly) to keep me from saying something I might regret later.

With the schools now offering open houses to prospective new parents, I'm not sure I can recommend the school or not. I'm not unbiased, I can't give a neutral review. For anyone that might be looking, I'd say take it all with a grain of salt and be willing to take on the bulk of helping your child learn. If you can manage that, then it may just work for you. For me, next year is all up in the air. My son will head to HS, my daughter will still be MS. I'll have some decisions to make, we'll see how those come out.
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