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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Journey School Reviews - by Parents

Here are some reviews for another big loser - 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.
That's exactly what I've encountered when reviewing Highland Hall. Anyway, this
is supposed to be a PUBLIC charter school.\

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 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

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

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

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."\

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\

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

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."