REVIEW OF GlenOak Academy BY parent, Christine Bizjak
- Date of Review
March 17, 2021
Gr. 2 - 5
(5) Student Experience
I can't say enough great aspects of GlenOak Academy. My kids loves that the school class sizes are small enough to get the attention they want when they need it. There is always support in the classroom and they always tell me that they had a great day! I know that my kids appreciate this small class size because they always tell me how much easier it is for them to concentrate and get their work done. The other aspect my kids love is that they get to learn outside. Since Covid, the school has put great effort into making that possible for the kids. They come home tired from a day of actual activity of body and mind. Since the day they both started at GlenOak Academy not once have I heard either of them say anything. During the first week my son was there, he asked if there was school on Saturday because he really wanted to go.
(5) School Leadership
The leadership and administration at GlenOak is exceptional. As a parent I know that I can reach out to any and all staff with concerns or questions about my child’s education. If something has come up during the day they are very informative to let me know. Everyone is busy these days but each and everyone of the staff will take the time to talk to me. If it is just for a quick update at the end of the day or a more formal meeting. They are all kind, patient and welcoming.
I am happy with the quality of instruction at GlenOak Academy. I can see that the teachers enjoy their work and are passionate about teaching. Now that there has been virtual learning, I personally have been able to hear more of what my kids are being taught and how. Also how all the kids interact with each other and their teachers. They are not being taught at, but taught to. My kids are both very hands on and visual learners and this is certainly the place to let them explore. I initially put my son in this school because of the smaller class sizes but I soon realized that the class size goes along with the quality of the teaching that is really helping he excel and feel more self confident and aware. My younger daughter was in the middle of grade 2 when I switcher her to this school. At the time she was having difficulty decoding words and reading. She had no self confidence to even try. Today one, year later she is reading and excited to do so every night. Both children love their teachers and often call me by their names!
The academics program at GlenOak Academy provides the kids with a want to learn about the subject being taught. Almost daily my daughter will come home and tell me what she learned as school and want to learn more about it. Because of the the great programming, the teachers are able to understand the academic level of the child and develop a lesson plan that will be better suited for the child. Both of my children have mindfully thought out Individual Education Plans that were written for them specifically. My husband and I put our kids in this school with the intention that it will provide them with the skills necessary to be successful in their future academic life. We did not feel the same, for our kids, in the public system. The best thing about the academic program at GlenOak, was their ability to seamlessly change to a fully involved virtual classroom throughout this pandemic. I can't say enough about Susan Goode and her team on that subject. It was hard for us as parents to make this change but in hindsight, my kids adapted, engaged and pretty excited to go to school everyday! And now with the warm weather upon us, my kids are even more excited for outside learning!
The students do have extracurriculars opportunities at GlenOak Academy. My son started to participate in the MindCraft Club and daughter in the Art club. It is a great time for the kids to just relax and play with friends. This really makes the kids closer and able to connect more with each other. My daughter draws more than ever and loves making individual art gifts for her friends and teachers. My son has learned from some of the older kids how to play virtually and it actually does teach them how to play and communicate with each other.
As I have said above, one of the first things my kids and I loved about this this school is the class size. There are 7 students including my daughter in grade 2/3. They all get along and no one is left out. They are supportive and encouraging even at such a young age. It is so nice to see. My son's class is grade 5-8 also has 7 students. My son is one of the youngest so I was a bit worried at first thinking that maybe the academics would be too hard for him. I now feel the maturity of the older kids is helping him with self regulation and responsibility. Also, because of his individual education plan the teachers know he strengths and weaknesses and can build from that.
(5) School Life
My kids love it here! I have noticed a change for the absolute positive since they have started. My kids are able to be themselves and if they don't understand something they aren't afraid to ask. Before they would just avoid anything academic and or school related. This school is community of educators, students, staff, management, and parents that care. I know that this can also be true in other schools, public, catholic, private etc, but here we have felt welcome and respected. Every child I see in the playground, drop off or pick up is happy! Both of my kids say the best part of going to this school is the teachers and friends. As we know, Covid has certain forced us to make some changes to school and social life. I believe once restrictions are lifted more actual events will take place again. Before we started here in Fall 2019 and were previously introduced to everyone at a summer fair. It was a great event put on by the school that built community and an introduction for all kids back to school.
From the day I reached out to Susan Goode, I felt that not only is she the founder and principal of this school, but she is first a parent. Everyone is here because we are looking for the best place for our children. Each child being unique with their own strengths and weaknesses. She also connected me with other parents of children past and present so that I could make a confident decision for the future of my kids. I now know what it means that "It takes a village to raise a child". This is a community of people that are here for the same reason, which is to be involved with the growth, development, safety, and education in a healthy environment. There are monthly parent meetings were we can discuss anything. The school community is inclusive and welcoming.
(4.5) School Location
The school is located in an area that allows the students to explore and venture outside to learn or play. There are many walking trips and sites to see and learn. Marshes, historic homes, libraries, gardens are just a few of the places they have gone. The school is not an island and they definitely venture beyond the school premise with proper supervision.