Old Town Academy in San Diego continues to impress me. Impressing me takes effort. The school is in a relatively small building. The space is utilized without being cramped.Each grade has one classroom. There is also a music room, computer lab, courtyard and large play area.
The lower grades are upstairs. This surprised me. Generally like plumbing in old buildings little kids are kept on lower floors. There is a large gate along the hallways to keep the little guys corralled.
The whole charter school system in San Diego is a wonderful opportunity for parents to locate a traditionally private school education on a budget. Charter schools also assist parent's budgets by offering simple school uniforms. The bag lunches also assist budget conscious families.
The hot topic with many parents now is learning foreign languages. The private schools offer these opportunities. So do many of the charter schools and a few of their public counterparts.
Two aspects of the curriculum impressed me. Thomas Donahue, the Co-Founder and Executive Director, explained to parents that at the Old Town Academy, "The other language here is math." He explained that their kindergarten students learn piano and that increases their math scores by 30%. He also explained that the students make functional robots, build stereo speakers out of found objects a.k.a. trash and they go on amazing field trips which emphasize math as it relates to life skills.
Caren Kamanski, the Office Administrator, also impressed me by including a discussion about homework in her tour. She said, "We don't create busy work." It wasn't an official no homework policies it was more of a 'we know your kids worked their buts off all day and it is time for them to rest' policy. I am a fan of homework with a punch. Not homework just to check off a box.
Although I'd love kids to be fluent in several languages, math is high on my list of skill sets to master. Building robots, reading maps, business forecasting and balancing finances are all impressive skills that many American children will not have in the next generation. Luckily if that is not enough for Tiger Moms, Old Town is offering Mandarin after school.
About Colleen K. Cotter - mySanDiegoAgent Realty Group
The mySanDiegoAgent Realty Group provides professional real estate consultation in the areas of residential, income properties, luxury rentals, short sales, first time home Buyers, real estate for senior citizens, real estate issues related to divorce, military and corporate relocation. We are experts in downtown San Diego and coastal properties especially Coronado, Encinitas and Point Loma, downtown lofts and condos, urban planning and sports team seasonal placements.
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