REVIEW OF Lee Academy BY parent, Sarah Dailley
- Date of Review
January 25, 2024
- Child 1
JK - Gr. 1 (Male, Current Day Student)
(5) Student Experience
My son started at Lee Academy in JK and is now halfway through GR. 1. From his very first day of school up until now, he is always excited to go to school and never asks to stay home. That to me has always shown that Lee Academy provides a welcoming, fun, comfortable and supportive atmosphere! My son really enjoys the teamwork at Lee Academy. Whether it's an older kid helping him with his reading and math homework or being put on a team with other grades for the winter Olympics or track and field day, he loves the constant support and teamwork from the other students and not just his class mates. My son has also loved all of the different teachers he's had so far and I think that's what helps him to feel safe going to school every day and supported and excited to learn! The teachers share in his excitement with him.
(5) School Leadership
In JK when our son first started school, that year I really noticed the importance of leadership that Lee Academy exemplifies. The school staff do a great job of showing the importance of leadership in all the grades and they really try to help and encourage all the students to become confident and demonstrate good leadership whether it's in the classroom or at recess. Lee Academy has several ways to communicate in place (phone, email, agenda, edsby, etc.) depending on what needs to be discussed and this is great because you know if it's an urgent or serious matter and you make a phone call, then it's being dealt with the same day no matter what. The communication is above and beyond at Lee Academy. Weekly emails from the Administrator and daily emails from our son's teachers so we always know what's going on and what's coming up. Luckily, we've only had one "bad" incident come up with our son at school and it was all handled and settled the day of, and follow-ups and check-ins were provided to us for a few weeks after.
I wish I could rate this higher than 10! The smaller size classrooms that are provided at Lee Academy (16 students) are wonderful. It gives the teachers more time to really work one-on-one with each student and create individual educational plans per student to help focus on what they need improvement in. We get daily communications and pictures of what our son does at school each day which is great because our son still says "I don't know" when he gets home from school and you've asked him "What did you do at school today." I've been able to volunteer in my son's class every year and it's very evident that the teachers he's had so far LOVE what they do. They teach in such a way that gets the students excited about learning and wanting to challenge themselves in learning because it's such a supportive and positive classroom! It's always been brought to our attention in the areas that our son is "struggling" and then we are provided with information on what we can do at home to help improve as well as given the tools to do so (books, math set, pencil gripper, etc.).
We were given an academic description of each grade at Lee Academy so we know what they will be learning and focusing on. In addition, we receive 3 report cards for the school year and 2 parent-teacher interviews. I LOVE that Lee Academy focuses on having the older grades tutor the younger grades and that they provide a study hall every single day after school. Lee Academy provides a supportive and encouraging academic culture, with attention to each student's strengths and needs. Students feel encouraged to try new things without concern for failure. The academic culture strives for excellence and has the tools and resources to meet students where they’re at and they teach in a variety of ways. It has a strong community atmosphere with a lot of involvement from staff and families, everyone is welcome to be involved. It’s a very cohesive atmosphere with all grades integrating different activities and initiatives. Yes, I firmly believe and have already seen that Lee Academy is setting our son up for success not only for his high school education but for success in life in general. He already pays more attention to detail, is respectful and kind to other people and their feelings and has become a better team player.
Yes, Lee Academy offers a wide variety of extracurricular activities from sports, to arts, to music, however, my son has not partaken in any of these yet due to preference. As well, you have to be a certain grade to join certain sports teams at Lee Academy so he's still too young. And unfortunately, my son is not interested in learning music right now but Lee Academy does offer lessons to learn certain musical instruments. The amount of clubs they have though is great! And those are always open for any grade! My son has tried out a few every year since JK and always has a good time and always feels included!
You can tell the students feel proud to be at Lee Academy and a part of such a special schooling environment! The smaller school size really helps bring all the grades together, everyone knows everyone! My son has a friend in every grade! Their spirit is unmatched and this is evident every single day at morning flag ceremony time. Every school morning, before they go off to learn, it always starts with the whole school yelling and cheering the school motto and even on a cold rainy day, I've never heard them not yell it! Each student is also placed into a "house team" that is made up of all different grades and throughout the school year, they all work together to gain points for their house team to ultimately be the house team winner at the end of the school year. There is no prize for this, just pride!
(5) School Life
As mentioned earlier; welcoming, supportive, fun, loving, positive, exciting and comfortable. My son LOVES going to Lee Academy and fortunately has never had a bad experience where he's asked to stay home or be picked up. He loves that the school is on a tree farm in the country, he loves the morning flag ceremony, he loves that he has different teachers teaching him every week (art, music, French), he loves the excitement of what he's going to learn next and that he feels apart of something, a "family" that is separate from home. Every morning us parents walk our children to their classroom doors and from all the grades, I've never seen a student who wasn't happy to be at school. Maybe a JK student was crying here and there but who doesn't get nervous starting school for the first time ever?
I really didn't know what to expect in regards to the community and parent life at Lee Academy and I was very nervous to meet other parents in my son's class but Lee Academy does a great job of being a buffer and helping to bring us together! For example, within their school app, there is a private chat group that all parents are a part of for their child's class. This is great because it encourages you to communicate with the other parents without having to share your phone number if you don't want to! As well, Lee Academy hosts several events throughout the school year to bring all the families and staff together (BBQs, concerts, Olympics, etc.) so you have a chance to connect further with those parents. Everyone is welcome to stay for the morning flag every single day if you'd like! You can also volunteer in the school, in your child's classroom, on field trips and join the parent spirit team! I've gotten to know the whole Lee Academy staff and other parents not within my son's class because of how much the school involves the families.
(5) School Location
Lee Academy is set far back from the road, in a rural country setting. I love the privacy it has. The land it is on is beautiful and they are surrounded by nothing but nature and forest and farm! Depending on the time of year my son gets excited driving to school because going down the long driveway leading up to the school you might see pumpkins, tractors, or Christmas trees. You don't have the distraction of the business or noises that go on in a town/city. Around the school are just other family homes and farms but none of them can see into the property of Lee Academy. Besides going on field trips, there really is nowhere for the students to "venture" beyond.
Apply your child at Lee Academy once they are born and get on the waitlist. You can always change your mind once it gets closer to school time but they always have a wait list and for good reason!! We got the last JK spot, my son was on the wait list for a while and we are so lucky and grateful that he got in!! The secretary followed up with me numerous times to let me know where my son was on the wait list so I could make alternate plans in case he wasn't going to get in. They emailed all of the information we needed and were easily able to answer all the questions we had. We were also provided a tour which was great and this was before he was even off the waitlist!