Thursday, May 10, 2012

Journey Charter School Reviews by Parents

First, a news story from Journey school:


"The California Teachers Association (CTA) petitions for review of an order of the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB or the Board) which dismissed its own complaint against real party in interest Journey Charter School (Journey).[1] The complaint stemmed from CTA's charge that Journey had violated the Educational Employment Relations Act (EERA) (Gov. Code, § 3540 et seq.), when it terminated the employment of three teachers"  Read more here...
http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=15258044021296500849&q=%22169+Cal.App.4th+1076%22&hl=en&as_sdt=20000000002 

Findings are here:
http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=15258044021296500849&hl=en&as_sdt=2,5

"In light of that conclusion, we need not reach CTA's separate contention that PERB also erred in its factual determination that the teachers' terminations were not caused by their efforts to unionize with the CTA. PERB's determination that the terminations were caused by the July 26 letter, coupled with our conclusion the letter was clearly protected under PERB's precedents, establishes that the teachers were terminated in violation of the EERA."

Here are some reviews for the Journey School charter in  California. Notice, one poster confirms that many of the negative reviews have already been DELETED... and that administrators are making the positive reviews.  This is supposed to be a PUBLIC charter school.  Does that seem like appropriate behavior?

http://www.greatschools.org/school/parentReviews.page?id=11988&state=CA#from..He\
aderLink




Posted June 29, 2013


This school is a problem child, hugely inconsistent. It has had many meltdowns over the years along with a huge turnover of administrators, teachers and many families. I laugh when I see these silly 5 star "gosh, everything is perfect..." Reviews . As a family who spent many years there, we know the good, the bad and the ugly. This school only works IF you're lucky enough to land a good teacher who can DISCPLINE their class AND if you have a good (no problem kids) class. The community is cliquish but warm and fuzzy from a distance. Works best for K thru first or second only if you want a slower start to your child's educational career but beyond that, you are gambling.
—Submitted by a parent
Posted June 20, 2013
My child had a horrible experience at Journey School. She was slapped in the face three times, pushed, and threatened to be stabbed at school. Journey does not have a zero tolerance policy for bullying. My child was scared to go to school and would hide in the bathroom at recess. We took her out of the school mid year and will not be returning. —Submitted by a parent
Posted June 6, 2013
I really wish I could leave a 0 star rating. We left last year after being disgusted and disillusioned with with the cover ups going on in this school. My advice to new parents considering Journey School? Run. —Submitted by a parent
Posted November 27, 2012
Having had a similar experience as the previous review, I couldn't have said it better myself.
—Submitted by a parent
Posted November 26, 2012
The updated website looks great and there are some good teachers on campus. The new "Compassionate Campus" which Journey won scholarship money for must be a joke. When you have to TradeMark a program you can bet the administration is looking to cash in on a side business. A compassionate campus has been a tenant of Waldorf schools for 100 years and it was why these types of schools where created in the first place. We no longer attend for the very reason that Journey School Administrators were NOT COMPASSIONATE and let our child get continually groped by another Boy, did nothing and asked us not to say anything so they dont have probelms renewing their charter. There have been many private lawsuites against this campus that have been won or settled out of court. This school is an embarrassment to Waldorf Eduction and Public Eduction at the same time. You get the worst of both worlds and TradeMarking a Compassionate Care program proves that the Administration is trying to cash in on 100 year old Waldorf teachings. Don't be fooled, it's all whitewashed and there's bad paint underneath. —Submitted by a parent
Posted May 10, 2012
Lots of conflicting reviews! It's obvious that it is a very emotionally based school. That is the big issue we had with Journey. Administration, staff, and parents are so caught up in the "feelings" of the school rather than the actual education. The May Faire, Fairy Market, etc are cute, but do not make up for lack of core academics. Unfortunately we witnessed academic laziness, low expectations, and serious disregard for core subjects. Also, they do not teach the art of navigating through text books, basic computer skills, study skills, or test taking skills. After leaving Journey and going to a more traditional education, we are so grateful that are children are learning these fundamental skills. At Journey, the emphasis is on the arts, knitting, gardening, etc, versus mastering core curriculum. Those extras are very enriching but you have to feel OK with them being IN PLACE of basic math, ELA, and science. And science at Journey is Steiner science. You should google that to make sure that's what you want your child learning. Remember where your child will be going from Journey and make sure that Journey can sufficiently prepare them for their future.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 10, 2012
Based on our experience, we are giving this school two stars. Our children spent
three years at Journey, with the 2011-2012 year being their first year at a new
school. We experienced positive and negatives during those three years.
Unfortunately, the negatives outweighed the positives. Lack of teaching core
curriculum in one class put one of our children an entire year behind. The other
major issue was administration and the lack of discipline for bullies with no
consistent policy enforced. Further, the parents who had real concerns were
often overlooked. For us, you can't judge a book by its cover...it looked great
on the outside but the interior is very flawed and isn't nurturing the whole
child. We recommend keeping an eye on your children and their preparedness for
high school. We cannot recommend this school at this time. —Submitted by a
parent

Posted January 19, 2012
There are a lot of unhappy parents at Journe watching stuff all this. Events do
not happen in a closet, parents who vol. etc are watching and see the travesties
that occur to others and are frustrated. This is reflected in lower donation
rates and parent vol., etc. All the negative reviews below are correct. Huge
egos, 'big talk' but little action, wishy washy decisions. We will be leaving at
end of year. This school has lost the heart it once had. Newbie Admin has done a
couple of good things but made huge, bad judgement calls, sweeping stuff under
rug. IF school gets rechartered, school council / teachers need to insist on a
proven track record of experienced, ethical, stable Admin otherwise this school
won't make it. Stop the nepotism, go outside Waldorf ville. —Submitted by a
parent

Posted January 16, 2012
The negative reviewers are spot on. Negative reviews do 'disappear...' i watched
when we left in the spring and 3-4 disappeared. We left last year with others
due to the substandard teacher in our class as our child was academically
behind. Check out STAR scores to verify 2 classes who suffered. To be fair,
recent hires are great but there are several grades that are suffering from
years past. Admin promises and doesn't deliver. Unfinished website, important
survey we've been told still not out, FAVORTISM of special families whose kids
get off scott free. Admin Incompetence, inexperienced, etc. but happy to take
your money. Middle school very unprepared for real world. School currently works
for K-5, just doesn't have it for beyond that despite some good teachers
efforts. This school really needs a really experienced, strong admin who won't
waffle and is an educator at heart. We are soooo happy we left. i pray for the
others in our old class to 'open their eyes.''
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 11, 2011
This school has some serious administration issues. There are a few good
teachers who are trying their best so teach in the Waldorf Method but they have
very little training in this method as compared to the private Waldorfs. The
parents are mostly nice but very naive regarding Waldorf education so they don't
realize that the administration is applying watered-down standards. This school
could be better under a different administration who are vastly unqualified in
comparison to all other administrators in county. If you have standards, another
school would be a better choice. —Submitted by a parent

Posted May 9, 2011
Reading the reviews, its startling. One grade was given a WALDORF assessment
recently, which showed that particular grade to be failing math. As one post
said below, its not a race, but you would certainly hope your child would not be
failing at the end of an upper grade. Clearly, the time is not being taken to
investigate and hear the facts. All of us need to pull together at Journey and
help those families that have suffered this fall out. This failure was due to
lack of instruction and lack of intervention by administration. This is a big
issue at Journey with parents just not being aware. I'm a Waldorf supporter and
do not see this example as an accurate representation of a Waldorf education.
Most parents agree at Journey that education is not a race, but they still do
want their children learning at school and becoming educated. This example
described leaves me to feel utterly embarrassed. Most schools would never allow
an entire grade to fail a core subject. —Submitted by a parent

Posted April 26, 2011
Wow where do i begin? I will start out on the positive. I think the idea of how
Journey says they are going to teach children is great ( if it worked, and they
were doing what they said they would do! ie: see the schools test scores SCARY!)
Umm..the school has a great music program. The positive comments on here have to
be from the administration or parents that sadly just don't have a clue. There
is no accountability or organization at Journey, this is what they call the
Waldorf way. Kids need structure or there is chaos. Journey's name should be
CHAOS. The administration is constantly putting out fires that never seem to
stop. It is sad and scary to me that this school is able to stay open and be
responsible for children learning or lack there of in this case. There is also
no text books at this school the kids write there own, no computers, and they
ask all the parents to donate $100.00 a month. I will be shocked if this school
is still open in the next 5 years. If you have very low standards for your child
education this is the school for you! Journey were education is not a race its a
joke! —Submitted by a parent

Posted April 18, 2011
This school could be so good, if only the Waldorf philosophy was actually put
into practice effectively. Unfortunately, Journey lacks consistency, has no
apparent curriculum that is followed, and what the child is taught is highly
dependent on who they have has a teacher. Teacher to parent communication on
what is being learned in the classroom (and therefore should be reinforced at
home) has been completely missing. This may be a different experience from class
to class, but with no standard to follow, there is no consistency. I like the
playful, cheerful environment, but it is a lot of play and not a lot of work. If
the purpose of school is to prepare our children for the future and to build the
foundation for a strong work ethic and a successful career, then Journey falls
dreadfully short. The influence I see being indirectly taught to the children is
that of mediocrity and laziness, which is such a shame. Executed correctly,
Journey could be a place where children learn to care for each other, care for
the earth, find joy in simple things, AND work hard, develop a love for
learning, and a desire to always do their best work. Unfortunately, that is not
what it is today. —Submitted by a parent

Posted February 8, 2011
If you want even a moderate amount of focus on academic learning and aquisition
of basic language and math skills, look elsewhere, anywhere else will be better.
There is absolutely no desire to teach the students anything remotely close to
basic academics. To have a school in the middle of Aliso Viejo ranked 375 out of
381 elementary schools in Orange County is criminal. How parents can want their
children to be so disadvantaged is hard to understand. And yet Capo Valley
renewed their charter. Go to the Journey school website and look for anything
that relates to academic achievement. There is nothing. They do learn how to
knit and compost, however.

Posted March 2, 2010
CAUTION, BEWARE, TAKE A CLOSER LOOK, these are my words of advice for any parent
who is thinking about enrolling their children in Journey. If you want quality
education that makes sense this is not the place . My children attend Journey
and I have no idea what they do during the day. No work ever comes home, there
is little homework which reflects what they are doing in class, and you have to
beg the teaches to tell you anything. There is no communication. There is little
disapline. My children are getting hit and punched often and nothing is done
even after I have meetings with the teacher and administration. Taking my
children out at this time is not an option because they are behind academically.
I often wish I never got my children involved at this school. I hope they can
catch up before its to late. —Submitted by a parent

Posted February 3, 2010
Parents, if you are planning to enroll your child in Journey, please know what
you are getting into before you take this big step. The school is very
disorganized and nobody seems to know what is going on. Nobody takes
resposibility for anything. On paper and in theory this school looks ideal for
all children, but once you look a little closer at the staff and the curriculm
you will realize it is not what it appears to be. —Submitted by a parent

Posted June 7, 2009
It is a blessing to have a charter school in Aliso Viejo, however this
particular charter school is certainly not for everyone. Yes, there is a lot of
confusion in the administration, events get cancelled and the parents get
notified at the last minute. But the reason why I am taking my child out is due
to the lack of mental stimulation. I did not fully understand what the Waldorf
system entails. And it does teach children the basics of reading and writing
about 1 or 2 years later than a public school. I still believe it is a great
school for kids that just would not fit into the public school system. And the
public schools are certainly not inviting, so it's a shame that the only charter
school we have is so extreme. I am still looking and hoping for a middle ground
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 29, 2009
If only Journey School had realized its potential! But over the past 3 years
there has been turmoil in almost every grade, an almost constant exodus of
teachers, uneven qualifications, 3 administrators in a row resigning, and
consistent unprofessionalism in everything they do. With the charter up for
renewal next year, heart surgery might be a good thing. Please do your homework.
We've paid a fortune in tutors to catch our children up to state standards after
leaving Journey. —Submitted by a parent

Posted March 30, 2008
I had high hopes for this school, but was instead very disappointed. The school
lacks leadership and the hole at the top is sorely felt throughout the school.
The Waldorf theory is wonderful- but how it is put into practice is everything
and this school is not what is shown in the inspiring DVD production or quick
tours of the classes. The cirriculum is very slow. This cannot be emphasized
enough. I understood it was slow- but I had no idea how slow 'slow' really is at
Journey. Specifics: The administration is disorganized and events are
calendared, moved and cancelled constantly. Playgound equipment was broken for
six months with no one taking any lead on getting it fixed. For the first four
months of the school year they rang the bell 10-15 minutes late every single
day. Lots of problems and virually no leadership to get things solved. Can't
reccomend it.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 29, 2005
I would hesitate in sending my child to [sic] this school unless you are
completly aware of the teachings of Waldorf. It isn't as wonderful as it
seems.—Submitted by a parent


http://www.schooldigger.com/go/CA/schools/0744008542/school.aspx

by a parent
Monday, June 24, 2013 

Open QuoteThis school has had many meltdowns over the years along with a huge turnover of administrators, teachers and many families. I laugh when I see these silly 5 star "gosh, everything is perfect..." Reviews . As a family who spent many years there, we know the good, the bad and the ugly. This school only works IF you're lucky enough to land a good teacher who can DISCPLINE their class AND if you have a good (no problem kids) class. The community is cliquish but warm and fuzzy from a distance. Works best for K thru first or second only. One has to be very vigilant. Wonder if it will get re-chartered...Close Quote

by a parent
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
"We spent many years at Journey. Unfortunately, most of it was dealing trying to
bring to the ever-changing administrators (5 diff in 7 yrs) attention the
deficits of the very weak teacher my child had. Finally, after about 10 families
left the class due to substandard teaching, she was re-assigned to a lower
position. Those that left had to tutor their children up to grade level as I am
now my child who is now at another school. Admin didn't take many parents
complaining seriously and tried to sweep issues under rug. Lots of IEPs in this
class. The school has some great teachers but very inconsistent standards and
policies, weak and erratic administrators, loose discipline procedures and lots
of double standards. Fun atmosphere for kids but this is SCHOOL. Very
unprofessionally run. Would NOT recommend."

http://www.education.com/schoolfinder/us/california/aliso-viejo/journey/?page=re\
views


My children have had to repeat a grade this past year due to the lack of teaching core subjects while at Journey for several years.  The positive reviews one sees after negative reviews are written by the marketing dept that trolls the internet.  As if by wanting my child to learn, i'm wanting them to be 'burnt out.'  Pathetic excuse for the poor academics. it was a waste of time but a lot of fun for sure.  Developmental approach is a respectable way if only there were consistency in the teaching, discipline policies and administration.  After 12 yrs, this school should be rock solid and it's not.  The school needs an Administration that will be there for 10 years to really build the school.  This one will be gone in a year or so... and then, starting over once again...  Reality, the school has a poor reputation out in the larger community from all the families who have left because of problems encountered.
Submitted by a Parent on May 17, 2012

We left after many years and wished we left sooner.  Several yrs with a very weak teacher, poor classroom mgmt skills (didn't even correct or return homework), NO communication,lots of free playing time. it was scary!  My child is way behind and has lots of bad habits to break.  DESPITE many complaints to ADMIN., nothing was done and I was treated disrespectfully.  CHAOS should be the name.  It looks good on paper but it all depends on who is teaching.  Each class varies and it is water downed Waldorf.  Look at a real Waldorf school curriculm and you will see the difference.  I regret tremendously that we wasted so many years there.  The parents are mostly really nice and naive and the community hooks you in but remember, this is your child's education!  Not a playtime for your interests.  Poor communication overall, spotty policies that aren't followed, favoritism of special families who donate a lot of money.  I would only recommend for Kindergarden which is delightful.
Submitted by a Parent on Feb 8, 2012
 This so called school is a camp for raising losers! It should be shut down.
They are putting innocent children in danger in more ways than one. Totally
irresponsible to be able to get funds from tax payers to pay for this so called
school, its a small group of irresponsible parents. Submitted by a Parent on
Oct 22, 2010

http://www.century21.com/schools/aliso-viejo-ca-schools/journey-school/O04933849\
-LCCAALISOVIEJO


Posted 2011-12-12
"The posting from the Journey School parent yesterday is spot on. The
administration has watch dogs scanning this website daily to counter all
negative postings or they contact this website to have any negative postings
removed. The truth of the matter: parents, students and faculty are unhappy with
the administration and this is reflected by the enrollment, donations, low test
scores, attendance, and high teacher turn around. The majority of the parents
complain in the parking lot, feel they do not have another option and are hoping
to see a turn around with the administration if the school gets re-chartered."

Posted 2011-05-06
"I'm not surprised at the amount of controversy & the polar opposite reviews.
The majority of parents don't understand what type of school this is but admin
is working to survey our community. Which leads me to correct the last post
about this being a "waldorf inspired" school. Journey is a "waldorf charter" NOT
inspired because the programs are all taught based on Steiner's principles and
main lesson is all Waldorf. Everything is Waldorf, not inspired. Also, that same
parent posted that it's a "classical ed". A classical education is not the model
here. A classical education is rigorous, appreciates deadlines for reports & is
very specific about language arts & grammar in the early years (1-4), very
opposite of Journey. There are budget cuts that have effected all but that
doesn't take away the fact that the curriculum is scattered & teacher
subjective. There's a new hire on campus reworking to solidify curriculum for
possible implementation next year. If your child has an IEP they may surpass the
kids who don't. Great resource teacher for upper grades. Either way, don't
neglect keeping track of your child's progress at this school. It's hit or
miss!"

Posted 2007-05-04
"My child has been in this school for almost 4 years, and if you are really
looking for you child to get an education, make sure you know what your getting
into. I am still not happy with the results, and they dont seem to be changing
anytime soon. It is very hard to get into , and is a good childcare for younger
children, but is not doing great in the academics. If i started over again i
would never send my child to this place."

Posted 2005-03-08
"My child attended Journey for three years. I had hopes of a wonderful
educational and social experience for my child. This school was a big
disappointment. The teaching staff is predominantly uncertified, the director
lives in Northern California and upper grades in elementery are combination
classes. Temporary staff is brought in on a half hazard schedule to provide
extracurricular classes, most never materialize. This school is very
disorganized, supervision is lax and leadership is not present. Parent
involvment is not allowed in the classroom however you may financial support in
the way of donations or volunteer at the yearly festivals. The school has been
in existance for 6 years and done poorly each year on the state and district
mandated tests. If you are looking for a day-care environment for your child
this would be the perfect place, if you want your child to receive an education,
avoid Journey School."

Thank you Anonymous for locating some of the removed reviews... Here are some they apparently removed, I wonder why?
 
http://www.bestplaces.net/schools/california/aliso_viejo/journey_school


8/29/2005
I would hesitate in sending my child tot his school unless you are completly aware of the teachings of Waldorf. It isn't as wonderful as it seems.


3/30/2008
I had high hopes for this school, but was instead very disappointed. The school lacks leadership and the hole at the top is sorely felt throughout the school. The Waldorf theory is wonderful- but how it is put into practice is everything and this school is not what is shown in the inspiring DVD production or quick tours of the classes. The cirriculum is very slow. This cannot be emphasized enough. I understood it was slow- but I had no idea how slow 'slow' really is at Journey. Specifics: The administration is disorganized and events are calendared, moved and cancelled constantly. Playgound equipment was broken for six months with no one taking any lead on getting it fixed. For the first four months of the school year they rang the bell 10-15 minutes late every single day. Lots of problems and virually no leadership to get things solved. Can't reccomend it.

5/21/2008
We have attended the Waldorf School in Costa Mesa as well as the Journey School. Although good intentions abound, the much touted arts program is run primarily by unqualified parents and looks like music will be deleted next year. For various reasons, about half the teachers will be replaced for next year. As teachers move forward each grade with their class, please be sure you know your teacher! We wish Journey the best, but advise caution for any new families. 

3/9/2009
My children have been at Journey School for 4 years. The whole time I've wondered if sending them here is the right thing to do. There are so many wonderful things about the school: Wonderful teachers, a creative environment, and a very organic, holistic approach to understanding child development. However, the pace of learning is unbelievably slow and I've just learned of the big drop in test scores between 2007 and 2008. If I had it to do over again, I would definitely still send my kids here for the younger grades (kindergarten and maybe first grade), but we have decided to give our convential local public school a try at this point. If Journey brings their test scores up, we will return in a few years.

4/29/2009
If only Journey School had realized its potential! But over the past 3 years there has been turmoil in almost every grade, an almost constant exodus of teachers, uneven qualifications, 3 administrators in a row resigning, and consistent unprofessionalism in everything they do. With the charter up for renewal next year, heart surgery might be a good thing. Please do your homework. We've paid a fortune in tutors to catch our children up to state standards after leaving Journey.

11/18/2009
My son attended the school for 6 years and was asked to leave because the teacher couldn't handle a few of the children. My son is very sad and transitioning from a small school where he was with the same children for 6-years was difficult. I'm now dealing with self esteem issues after having him in public school for only three months. I'm still looking for a place for my 7th grader.

2/3/2010
Parents, if you are planning to enroll your child in Journey, please know what you are getting into before you take this big step. The school is very disorganized and nobody seems to know what is going on. Nobody takes resposibility for anything. On paper and in theory this school looks ideal for all children, but once you look a little closer at the staff and the curriculm you will realize it is not what it appears to be. 

8/21/2010
Most of these reviews are written by board members and parent council. If you choose this school, make sure you get answers often and check on your child's progress.I strongly suggest observing in the classroom, I was truly shocked when I did that. The children in 8th grade can not spell or write a complete sentence, they can not do even the basics. They can however draw a great picture and most of them can knit and play recorder if they watch the teachers fingers, cant read words well, music not at all.

2/8/2011
If you want even a moderate amount of focus on academic learning and aquisition of basic language and math skills, look elsewhere, anywhere else will be better. There is absolutely no desire to teach the students anything remotely close to basic academics. To have a school in the middle of Aliso Viejo ranked 375 out of 381 elementary schools in Orange County is criminal. How parents can want their children to be so disadvantaged is hard to understand. And yet Capo Valley renewed their charter. Go to the Journey school website and look for anything that relates to academic achievement. There is nothing. They do learn how to knit and compost, however.

2/28/2011 by a Teacher
Amazing our tax dollars are paying for this. A few parents some how keep this place a live. It's a throw back to the 1960s. Promoting hate towards anyone who doesn't go a long with Mr. Graber.

3/27/2011 by a Teacher
The administrator is an ego maniac dictator who enjoys several perks by allowing wealthy families priority treatment during the enrollment process resulting in a loaner-Lexus, paid family vacations, etc... Faculty has joined the union because he rules the school like a smarmy televanglist with an iron fist. The board members and faculty has been directed to write flattering reviews on this website. I would never allow my child to attend this school.

16 comments:

  1. As a former Journey school family who left due to many problems. (I wrote one of the review listed here and totally agree with all.) It is a fun place with all the festivals and slower pace but very academically challenged for these times. There seems to be a common thread of newer teachers with none to very little waldorf knowledge, weak discipline policies and a lot of favoritism of certain families in all these charters... In short, a lot of 'smoke and mirrors' and people don't look beyond the surface very much. A parent's playground for the most part. Very enlightening reading your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  2. p.s. a Waldorf expert, currently working at Journey as Educ Dir., was interviewed in Waldorf Today basically saying that public waldorf was an experiment...
    http://www.waldorftoday.com/2011/11/waldorf-education-in-public-schools-educators-adopt%E2%80%94and-adapt%E2%80%94this-developmental-arts-rich-approach/
    IF ONLY the Journey parents realized what she really thinks...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Here is a link to a site where some of the deleted reviews still show up.

    http://www.bestplaces.net/schools/california/aliso_viejo/journey_school

    Yes, I and other parents in our class were long time families whom the Admin turned on when our verifiable concerns of incompetent teacher issues and bullying/discipline issues clashed with with the current Ego driven Administrator's agenda of keeping the teachers HAPPY no matter what in order to keep them at the school. His priorities have nothing to do with the emotional well-being of the children. His double standards show a hidden contempt for parents, a chip on his shoulder from when he was a teacher. Manipulative and charismatic, incompatible when it comes to having a strong moral compass. Great saleman but not an educator. We are so HAPPY we left. It's almost like a cult, his entourage of 'fans' whom he brown noses to get his own way. Flashy new website hides the truth that the kids are academically behind to the point that Study Island, an educational website, is assigned as mandatory homework. How Waldorf is that and you won't find that on the website!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sad to find myself one of the many who have been so disillusioned by this educational system. We bought it hook, line and sinker as it seemed so innocent, wholesome and old fashioned. We were shocked at the chaotic environment of our child's classroom and that it was tolerated!! My child was treated like she had a problem as she was disturbed by the chaos as she is a sensitive girl. I'm not rearing my child to work in a FACTORY. Journey school NEEDS a REAL administrator not a salesman and real ACCOUNTABILITY, not the marketing pitch we hear every newsletter. So glad we're leaving!!
    thanks for doing this public service!

    ReplyDelete
  5. We spent years at Journey and we finally left due to the many problems with the Administration as we had a very weak teacher who lacked the skill set to manage or teach the kids in our class. Once we left it was as if we had leprosy, we became 'outcasts' and those we thought friends didn't want much to do with us! The family sense of community is misleading as it seems each class just cares about their class. Very few were interested or concerned about the big problems we had in our class and all want to preserve the 'image' of Journey. Very disappointing and sad experience. We're glad we've left before too many years...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We could agree with you more. Our family left Journey School a few years ago with the arrival of the most current administrator. We could not take more than a year of his Jim Jones mannered pandering to the families that either have money or their head so far up his butt, competing with each other in brown nosing like Olympic athletes. We are sad to see that nothing has really changed. No wonder the enrollment and test scores continue to decline.

      Delete
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    3. I am personally wondering how many times you probably turned a blind eye toward the other "outcasts" that walked out of Journey before you? Did you stand up to the administrators for their inability to follow school policies? Did you stand up for the students that have been belittled and retaliated upon by the current administration? Were you comfortable addressing the multitude of lies that are told by the administration? Or did you treat the families that left before you like they had leprosy too, just to make sure the wrath of the administration did not rain down upon your family. You probably complained in the parking lot to the other parents, but put on a fake smile. Your family is not the first to have been treated this way, not by a long shot. This same scenario has played out too many times and seems to be getting worse.

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  6. We could not agree more with the comments posted about the administrators and the brown noses surrounding then. We left the school a couple of years ago and it's sad to see that nothing has changed. The parents are still drinking the cool aid passed out by their Jim Jones wanna be, mainly because they are afraid to put their children elsewhere. The administration is a puppet for a select few families and board members.

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    1. Agree with all of these comments. Also, Admin tells us that 'public' school is horrifically stressful, teaches just to the test, too fast paced. They make you afraid of the public system and that this charter method the only way to protect / ensure you're child's innocence during childhood. The hypocrisy is amazing. There is no consistent discipline policy despite many asking for it. The bullying /disruptive behavior that is allowed by some of the newer, weak teachers surpasses anything a child would encounter in public. More kids in my child's class play violent video games than the ones in our neighborhood who go to public school. After 2 years with this b.s. Administrator, We're outta here!

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  7. We left last year due to the retaliation reined upon us by the Admin team as we were 'bucking' their double standards and unethical treatment of our child/class's situation. I agree with all these comments. Sadly, we were treated by many as social outcasts by those who drink the 'kool aid'. The manipulative administrator favors his choosen with special treatments and they suck up to him and protect him from the truth, feeding his huge ego into thinking he is so Great. Truth is he has hurt a lot of families with his indifference and inexperience, he is a salesman not an educator with principles. He is not suited for the position and the Council / hiring committee should be blamed for hiring such an inexperienced person for this important position. The B.S. that is on the website is NOT how the school is or is run. The negative reviews on the Great Schools site are routinely deleted by the marketing dept of Journey so it is hard for prospective families to get a handle on the real Journey School.

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  8. Our friends in our old class report at the recent'Back to School' night teacher meeting, they asked the teacher what were the discipline polices that would be enforced this year... Her reply "that the children respect each other." That was it...

    Despite many recent improvements at Journey, one of the huge failings that still exists is that the Admin will not commit to establishing and enforcing a Discipline/no bulling policy school wide. The Compassionate Campus program doesn't cut it, it puts a band aid on the problem instead of establishing rules. Besides, the Admin needs to 'walk their talk' instead of being hypocrites. Their double standards and unethical behavior has not worked in the past. Let's see how this year goes.

    The lower grades can be delightful (with the right teacher) but the middle school still doesn't have it to prepare them for High School despite the teachers efforts. No science, computer labs or even a library. Donated monies go to buying strawberries for the kindy etc gardens instead of computers or establishing a library.

    We know now that the marketing dept at Journey has discovered this website as some obscure review sites listed here have been 'visited' with the same '5 star shiny' review. So the question begs to be asked - if the school were so great, why does the marketing dept need to prowl the internet and counter or have deleted negative reviews based on real life experiences at Journey? Finally, the school is beginning to work now as an elementary but fails at middle school, the kids are unprepared for the rigors of High school no matter where they go. They should give it up and focus on double tracking k-5 only...

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    1. There once was a vet who started a school with Paula and Stephanie. When the heat got too hot, the vet fled the scene. Journey School not only survived, but experienced it's Renaissance years under the direction of a bearded man (not Jesus). Bearded man left and vet returned and has kept the school is disarray. Said vet is the real puppeteer at the school. The rest is all smoke and mirrors. Caring about children is not even on the administration's radar. All the kings horses (JS Marketing Department) and all the kings men (JS Council)will never put Journey School together again.

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    2. LOL...SO TRUE. MR FALTAS AND MS RIVERS ARE THE LARGEST PROBLEM FACING JOURNEY SCHOOL. THE IMMORAL DECISIONS MADE BY THE COUNCIL DO NOT HELP THE SCHOOLS IMAGE EITHER.

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  9. from steve's blog,

    the KJP 'expert' is the Waldorf expert in residence the last few years...

    ...When our family joined a Waldorf school, I was confident that the teachers would use warm, loving discipline to carry the children and move the classroom dynamics. I witnessed this in the kindergarten and when my children went into the grade school, quite frankly, I was shocked at the lack of skills the teachers had and at the great lengths the teachers went to from owning their own dysfunctional behavior. Waldorf schools can be one of the unhealthiest and most dysfunctional social environments I have ever experienced. Teachers target children, make disparaging comments about them to other parents and in the hallways and fail to look within when classroom behavior gets out of hand. In my community over the years we have had several crisis classes and the school failed to rally and bring healthy communication and process to the classes and the classroom dynamics. Entire classes have been labeled troubled yet no intervention, no healing, no help was brought in. When that was suggested/requested by parents in a few classes in crisis that our children were in, the school stonewalled the parents and gave us the usual "waldorfese" or "That's not how WE do things" I was very disappointed and realized that the social life of the community, the health of the children and the quality of education are really nothing like what is promised in all the lovely videos. Parents removed their children from our school after watching the videos of the Waldorf promise because our school is so far from delivering that image in real life when you get beyond the lazured walls and the pretty pictures and the "Waldorfese" of the staff. Ironically our school has a Kim Payne conflict "expert"...

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  10. we've returned to Californi after 4 years and considered bringing our girls back to Journey where they started their education. We had a few good years with Tim & Patty before we moved out of state. We've been researching how the school is doing presently, reading reviews, looking at STAR scores, etc. before we go down to the Journey office to talk about it as we wanted clarity before we got 'hooked' into the 'warm fuzzies' that is Journey. There were discipline issues and weak teaching prior which seemed to erupt while we were gone. We've decided we will be putting our girls into public school instead. Journey was, and seems to be, great for the younger grades but we are not going to gamble on middle school now that we know the difference between public and Journey. Our girls struggled a bit when they first went into public when we moved to the South, they were behind academically. I won't take that chance again based on what we've discovered. Too many controversial reviews since we've been gone and a few administrators too. Seems like some improvements but there are still the same old issues we saw before. Beautiful ideals but in reality, very problematic to bring about. The school would need a really strong, powerful administrator and as a charter school, it isn't in the budget.

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You may ask, "where are all the 5=Star reviews?" Well, the problem with those reviews is that many tend not to be too honest. I have included 4-star reviews that appear honest. Often, gushing reviews are placed by teachers and administrators - as some comments here indicate. "This school educates the whole child!!!" - 5 stars - by Anonymous... I say baloney! Notice, many of the reviewers have been misled by Waldorf and are still buying the PR, even after having been disappointed. Feel free to comment but understand the intent of this blog. Comments are no longer moderated.