Jun 1, 2013

Community House Middle School Charlotte NC - Run Like a Prison

Abigail and Dolley readers we have reached the end of the line for our tolerance for government schools.  We are pulling our son from public middle school and moving him to a Christian Academy.  I have nothing positive to say about our experience with Community House Middle School in Charlotte, North Carolina.  I am not alone in my dissatisfaction with this school, virtually every parent we know is in agreement with me on some level.

If you are moving to Mecklenburg County or are considering if you should send your child to this public school, I urge you to consider alternatives to Community House Middle School.  If Hawk Ridge Elementary was "A Place Where Children Soar", Community House Middle School is where the poachers shoot them down.

Structured like a prison with no freedom, free time, or chances to be kids; they systematically squash all that is great about being a school kid.  80 minutes blocks with 5 minutes in between, they expect 11 year old boys to sit still, be quiet and listen perfectly.  Talking, laughing, and fidgeting are strictly prohibited and will get your kid sent to the office.  There are assigned seats at lunch and like Elementary School children the kids are escorted in a line to the lunch room. No exercise or physical activities are given to the children except for the one semester where they have gym every other day.

Community House prides itself on being a technology school, so assignments are posted on individual teacher's wiki pages.  The wikis are not uniform, some are good, some are horrible but all require that the parent and child spend quite a bit of time navigating the pages EVERY night.  There is parent assist but grades are not updated regularly and often done in big blocks where assignments from weeks before are posted.  If there are missing assignments it becomes quite a project to assist your child in making up work that was due several weeks before.  Honestly, my husband felt like he had a part time job managing our son's school.

The effort would have been worth it if there was reward for the hard work.  Teachers are there to "facilitate" and "disseminate" the material but not tasked with teaching.  Instead, we spent most of the year unprepared, behind, and frustrated.  We hired tutors who shared our frustration and struggled to help our 11 year old boy navigate what is in essence a collegiate system of student's taking responsibility for their own learning.  This is fine if the freedoms associated with that environment are granted but as described above they are not.  So it is the worst of all worlds.

The time spent on Community House Middle School is equivalent to a full time job.  Catching the bus at 8:30am and returning home at 5:00pm with then at least an hour of homework... it has truly taken its toll on our family.  Forget about after school activities, sports, clubs, ect - it's all school all the time.  My son is now 12 years old, he has the rest of his life to work 45 hours a week.

So we are shaking the dust off our feet and never looking back.  All I can say is good riddance.