J.C. asks from Arlington, TX on July 11, 2008
HELP !!! Charter School
Anybody know about the treetop school or Harmony school of science- grand prarie?
Harmony sent us a application and treetop was found when I was driving.
I'd like to transfer my kid to charter school from public school.
My kid were so sad at public school because of bully.
Could you explain about what is a chrtter school and difference with public school?
Is it good their curriculum and high school program ?
I'd like to know about teacher and kids too.
I don't want to move kid too many schools so I want to find right school for us.
I just know they wear a uniform and have a small class size.
I have to decide soon; help me please!!!
1 mom found this helpful
L.C. answers from Dallas on July 12, 2008
My kids have never attended public school only private christian school. I want to give the pros and cons to help you make your decision. If your reason is for a bully maybe think again about starting over. In the "christian" school we are in we have had many "bullying" episodes and mean kid situations. I think it must be the age group but not what I expected in a christian school that is for sure. It was a tough year for us last year. The curriculm is fantastic however be aware that it can be intense and stressful if your child is behind they tend to move a little faster in private school (at least where we are at they do) I agree with the comment on Sat testing it is a smooth process and no stress situation for parents or kids. The class size are about 20-1 ratio and no aids to help out. The parents are heavily relied on to donate time and money. The teachers are about the same with same qualifications as public. some have a passion and excel at it and some are just there for the paycheck. Overall
my advice is be heavily involved and create a working relationship with both faculity and parents. The teachers can only handle and do so much public or private. There is no perfect place because there are no perfect people. Good Luck!!
1 mom found this helpful
C.R. answers from Dallas on July 12, 2008
Okay I will try to make this brief but feel free to email me with any additional questions. Basically Charter schools were formed to take up the slack where public schools have fallen behind. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. Many charter schools are doing worse if not just as bad as public schools. Generally, the class sizes are not smaller because they receive federal/state funding like public schools (ISD's) based on their enrollment. So I have seen many charter schools with 32 kids in a PK3 or PK4 class which in my opinion is way too many and exceeds what you would see in a public school for that age group. Many charter schools are family owned (not all, but many) and therefore have people who work for them that may not be educators. The money is great so many charter schools become greedy and pack as many children in the school humanly possible. Now I know that sounds bad but I am trying to make a long story short. The flip side of that is Harmony Science. I am an educational consultant as well as an executive director of a private school. My background is working with schools that are in need of improvement...and there were lots of charter schools on my list. So when I would go out to assist, they would ask show us a charter school that is successful with the same demographics (Black, Hispanic, at-risk, economically disadvantaged, etc.)....after searching high and low, I found Harmony Science. (I only found 2 charter schools in our region where kids were performing) Sooooo...I had to go and visit just to see for myself. I visited the North Dallas location and was extremely impressed. Basically, it is run by Greeks. (I think that is where they are from) Most of their teachers are international and are here on a 2 year visa. There is a strong connection to Greece and the students at the school even do a trip there. There are many children who attend Harmony Science that come from other countries so the population is richly diverse. The students take Greek as a world language option and the emphasis is on math and science. The one in North Dallas has a strong relationship with the University of Dallas in Richardson. Many of their students take dual credit classes and from what I saw, class sizes were small. You can check the TEA website to find the "Report Card" for any public or charter school you are considering. I have included the link for you below to Harmony Science in Ft. Worth. I did not see a GP location. As you can see below, they were a new campus last year so they were not evaluated under federal accountability but were exemplary under state accountability. I have also included a link to my blog http://preparetosucceed.blogspot.com/
which has not been updated in months. (I recently had a baby and never seem to get around to it) There is lots of good info on there for parents navigating the school system.
2006-07 Academic Excellence Indicator System
District Name: HARMONY SCIENCE ACAD (FORT WORTH)
Campus Name: HARMONY SCIENCE ACAD (FORT WORTH)
Campus #: 220813001
2007 Accountability Rating: Exemplary
Gold Performance Acknowledgments:
Commended on Reading/ELA
Commended on Writing
Commended on Social Studies
This is a Charter School.
Sorry this is so long. I hope it helps!
1 mom found this helpful
H.M. answers from Dallas on July 12, 2008
We have applied for my son to attend this location. We went to an open house last weekend and liked what we heard. This last week we went in for an interview. It looks great for what we would like for our son. He will be entering 1st grade and they told us that they were accepting 40 kids for two classes. They are going through 8th grade this year, but are looking to expand through high school. The cut off date is July 31st so be sure to get your application in soon. Good luck on your decisions.
C.M. answers from Dallas on July 12, 2008
I have a lot of friends who have applied for Harmony in GP, it seems REALLY great. (and I homeschool, so my opinion of public schools are too fantastic)
They already have gotten tons of applicants and this year will be filled to the max, with them picking students by interview and then a lottery system.
I would recommend calling them and asking all your questions, they seem really nice and helpful.
J.P. answers from Dallas on July 12, 2008
My kids were in 1st and 5th grade at Treetops last year. We love the school! My 5th grader was struggling a bit in public school. He is a July birthday and in hindsight we probably should have held him back but who knew! Treetops has small classes - his 5th grade had 2 "classes" and there were only about 12 in each. This really helped him as the teachers had more time to explain things to him. He did great. TAKS was always stressful at public school but at Treetops I hardly knew it was happening, he was very relaxed! It is definitely more relaxed and they have a lot of land so the kids spend a lot of time outdoors doing "hands on" Obviously it's a smaller school so they do not have a sports program(they do PE of course but no cheerleaders here!); there is no nurse; there is no cafeteria (I think 7th grade and up can use a microwave); my 5th grader only studies the core subjects Math, English and Science (no art, music or Spanish). I feel for him, though, this is good as he needs to focus. Having said that they do have fun and, as I mentioned before, lots of hands on. They do not wear uniform at Treetops. I have not seen or heard of any bullying. The school is so small that everyone knows each other and it does have more of a "family" feel. They also have the grades interact with each other, my 1st grader had a 7th grade "reading buddy". A couple of times my son did projects with the high schoolers. I think this helps the kids get along together. I would highly recommend that you go visit after the summer. Website is www.treetops.org
If I missed anything that you want to know about please email me.
K.W. answers from Dallas on July 13, 2008
My sister is sending her children to Treetop next year. I would really check out their website and call them. Leah is the one who answers the phone and she can answer most, if not all, of your questions. The children do not wear a uniforn and there is no tuition or book fee. There is a supply fee depending on the grade and they ask that you either buy some needed supplies or do some work around the property. They do not offer honors or gifted programs but they do gear the curriculum around each specific student. If your child needs extra help reading, they will do some one on one work with them. The opposite is true as well. If your child excels in a subject, they will do advanced work with him. There is a lottery system, so I would get with the school asap to get your child's name on the list. The good news is that once you are in, you do not need to worry about a spot for the next year. The classes are small and while the school has to comply with all state and federal regulations as far as TEKS, there is no "teaching" the test and a lot less stress. I would ask about the high school graduation rate as well as how many went on to college and where. Those stats are what kept us from putting our three there. Good Luck, but remember, there are bullies everywhere. What is important is how the school responds.
A.C. answers from Dallas on July 12, 2008
whatever you choose it is VERY important that the school is accredited- you must check yourself nand not trust that they are just because they say they are. If the school is not acccredited then most colleges will have nothing to do with your child once they graduate.