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What Parents Experience

In a Personalized Learning Public Charter School

In May of 2016, the APLUS+ Personalized Learning Network Association conducted a network-wide survey of its member school parents to discover more deeply the experiences of parents who enrolled their children in a Personalized Learning Public Charter School model and environment. Below is a summary of those survey results, along with numerous voluntary comments from hundreds of parent respondents that were offered in strong, passionate, and enthusiastic support of the Personalized Learning model and Personalized Learning Public Charter Schools. (Key survey results and optional, voluntary comments derived from more than 2,000 parent respondents from the most recent APLUS+ Personalized Learning Network Survey conducted 5/16)

Key Survey Questions and Results

What were the main reasons that your child left their previous school?

Here are the 10 top reasons chosen by the highest percentage of parents:

  1. School lacked individualized attention and service (43%)
  2. School lacked a flexible learning schedule (33%)
  3. School had classrooms that were too crowded (30%)
  4. I lost hope and trust in the school system (25%)
  5. School classroom learning pace did not challenge my child (25%)
  6. My child experienced bullying and/or intimidation by other students (20%)
  7. My child has special needs, interests, or circumstances that were not being met (19%)
  8. Teachers did not get to know and respect me or my child (18%)
  9. School had an unsafe learning environment (17%)
  10. My child fell behind in subjects, credits or grade level (14%)

Key takeaway: Parents and their children left their previous schools primarily because those schools lacked the flexible, student-centered education delivery approach provided by the Personalized Learning Public Charter School model.

What would you say are the main reasons that your child enrolled in our Personalized Learning public charter school?

Here are the 10 top reasons chosen by the highest percentage of parents:

  1. Freedom to learn outside of a classroom, online and/or at home (96%)
  2. Flexible learning schedule that allows time to do other things my child value (92%)
  3. More choices in learning programs and activities (88%)
  4. Word of mouth recommendation from someone I knew (84%)
  5. Parents and students are active partners in designing a personalized learning program (84%)
  6. Flexible pace of learning in which my child can accelerate beyond the pace of the classroom (77%)
  7. Teachers value and guide each individual (68%)
  8. Flexible pace of learning in which my child can master concepts or catch up on his/her work (68%)
  9. I believe that it provides a safer, more secure learning environment (65%)
  10. This school meets my child’s special needs, interests or circumstances better than his/her previous school (41%)

Key takeaway: A large majority of parents who responded chose a Personalized Learning Public Charter School because of the unique characteristics of the model itself, that is, freedom, flexibility, choices, parent involvement and collaborative partnerships, and the valuable relationships developed between teachers and students.

How satisfied are you with your child’s Personalized Learning public charter school program?

Here are the parents results to the survey:

  • Extremely satisfied (69%)
  • Very satisfied (21%)
  • Satisfied (9%)
  • Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied (1%)
  • Unsatisfied (.008%)
  • Very dissatisfied (0%)
  • Extremely dissatisfied (0%)

Key takeaway: 99% of parents who responded are either satisfied, very satisfied, or extremely satisfied with their Personalized Learning public charter school program!

What would you say are the main reasons you are satisfied with your child’s Personalized Learning public charter school program?

Here are the 10 top reasons chosen by the highest percentage of parents:

  1. The Personalized Learning plan allows flexibility (how, what, when and where my child learns) (90%)
  2. My child has freedom to learn outside of a classroom, online and/or at home (85%)
  3. Parents and students are active partners in designing a personalized learning program (81%)
  4. My child’s schedule is flexible and allows time for my child to do other things he/she values (81%)
  5. There are more choices in learning programs and activities (77%)
  6. My child can accelerate beyond the pace of the classroom (64%)
  7. It provides a safer and more secure learning environment (64%)
  8. Teachers value and guide each individual student (63%)
  9. Teachers give my child more one-on-one attention (54%)
  10. My child can catch up on work and succeed (50%)

Key takeaway: A large majority of parents who responded are satisfied with their Personalized Learning Public Charter School program because of the unique characteristics of the model itself, that is, freedom, flexibility, choices, parent involvement and collaborative partnerships, and teacher/student relationships.

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How likely will you be willing to defend your Personalized learning public charter school if others tried to limit its ability to serve students or tried to shut it down outright?

Here are parents results of the survey:

  • Extremely satisfied (69%)
  • Very satisfied (21%)
  • Satisfied (9%)
  • Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied (1%)
  • Unsatisfied (.008%)
  • Very dissatisfied (0%)
  • Extremely dissatisfied (0%)

Key takeaway: 99% of parents who responded are either satisfied, very satisfied, or extremely satisfied with their Personalized Learning public charter school program!

Would you recommend your Personalized Learning public charter school to others?

Here are parents results of the survey:

  • Yes (99%)
  • No (1%)

Key takeaway: 99% of parents who responded would recommend their Personalized Learning Public Charter School program to others!

Voluntary Comments and Testimonials

Here is a sampling of what parents are saying about why they chose to enroll their children in a Personalized Learning Public Charter School:

Results and optional comments from more than 2,000 parents derived from the APLUS+ Personalized Learning Network Survey: 5/16

“I just love having more time with my kids rather than them being gone all day and facing hours of homework each night.”

“They believe all students are great.”

“My child can do work anywhere and even when having asthma illnesses.”

“My son’s self-esteem and confidence in himself has grown exponentially since we started classes there.”

“We met the director and were inspired by her vision, believing this new school would continue the excellent level of personalized learning and respect for our family’s values.”

“To have more time with my child.”

“It provides a needed public alternative. Cannot afford to homeschool completely on my own, but this gives my child the best possible outcome for her future.”

“Smaller classes.”

“Teachers truly go above and beyond to personalize the students’ academic path.”

“Ability to choose curriculum that best suits my child’s learning style and interests.”

“It offers classes with credentialed teachers to give kids a “classroom” experience.”

“Personalized Learning public charter school programs enable students to focus and stay on task with class curriculum without distraction of the massive classroom setting where the educational curriculum is adversely impacted due to the poor teacher-to-student-classroom-ratio.”

“Opportunity to thrive for a child with distinct learning differences and medical needs.”

“More time available for me (the parent) to invest in my child rather than child being one of 25+ students five days a week. Also in regards to “I believe that it provides a safer, more secure learning environment”, this is due to the charter school being smaller and the staff actually knows my child’s name.”

“Parents can instill their values.”

“I taught in the public schools as a credentialed teacher for ten years. I was a master teacher and a mentor teacher. Public schools cannot possibly serve the educational needs of each student as well as one-on-one instruction can. Because I can afford to stay home to educate my children and enjoy doing so, I educate my children at home. My children are heavily influenced by the caring adults they found themselves surrounded by. They are free from the disrespectful environment that exists in many schools today. They learn academics, real-world skills, and have an appreciation of right and wrong, and know who they are. I chose to join our charter school so that tax money could support their education. I can educate my children better at home, and for less money than can the public schools. I say that with much assurance because I have been on both sides of the fence.”

“It promotes community and a smaller charter school allows for less peer pressure and stress than regular high school.”

“A flexible schedule that permits more opportunities to volunteer and work in fields where he is interested in career-wise.”

“They recognized and gave me credit for his high level of academic learning and trusted me as a parent.”

“My child is thriving with this model and he is not distracted by other students’ influences, which can be very bad behaviors.”

“Allowed us to maintain our personalized approach and to incorporate collaborative learning/projects.”

“It provides accountability & structure while simultaneously offering flexibility, choice, and opportunities beyond a typical brick & mortar setting.”

“There is more efficient use of time.”

“The support from our school for me as a teacher has been so helpful. They also help with classes I can’t teach on my own.”

“Amazing staff!”

“Ability to study topics interesting to my child and make learning more fun.”

“More less-scheduled time to be a child while also learning academic subjects without the “busywork” of homework that is often cited as one of the ills in our highly rated but troubled school district.”

“More curriculum choices that are a better match for child’s learning style and better options.”

“There is sincere interest in my child from his teacher.”

“The teachers are awesome and the teaching and learning structure is best suited for my child. District public school systems are just not the right fit for my child.”

“Freedom and choice to choose how core curriculum is taught/learned and how presently shows higher education levels.”

“Personalized Learning builds student self-confidence.”

“I am able to meet my own child’s special needs better than a school environment can.”

“We already had children in this program.”

“It allows our family to feel more free! That’s what being American is all about. We can add more soul to their learning and more hands on world experiences through field trips. We can focus on family and give our children a sense of individuality that lacks in the public school production line model.”

Since attending this charter school my son no longer feels like “the dumbest kid in class”. He said the teachers told him he was holding up the rest of the class. He was broken when we left public school, and now he has confidence! It’s been a blessing for us all.”

“We have had an opportunity to engage in the intensive Physical Therapy my daughter needed.”

“Smaller class sizes. More personal.”

“They offered the most flexible homeschool option.”

“Smaller class size equated to more one-on-one attention.”

“Because academics come so easily, she can move on to art, music, sewing, dance, hiking, swimming, and follow her passions. There are so many wonderful opportunities for her.”

“My child is no longer forced to tutor other children that his teacher does not have time for. At this school he is instead allowed to move ahead in the curriculum with his extra time.”

“To have a choice to choose what I think is best for my child.”

“Great field trips, school atmosphere.”

Sampling of what parents are saying about the main reasons why they are satisfied with their Personalized Learning Public Charter School

Results and optional comments from more than 2,000 parents derived from the APLUS+ Personalized Learning Network Survey: 5/16

“My child is thriving under the flexible schedule.”

“It provides an opportunity for a child with distinct medical needs and learning differences to THRIVE.”

“My child learns by what he enjoys.”

“Our teacher’s support has also been amazing, along with the overall experience.”

“My child’s special circumstances are met well.”

“The experience has been tremendous for each of my boys. I wish I would have been able to start in the charter school from kindergarten.”

“Excellent, high quality enrichment classes are offered.”

“Our charter provides a “school like” location/base. It is important to be part of that community and build consistency and trust with his teachers and staff.”

“I feel supported by my child’s teacher and the learning center staff.”

“Just love the program, center & teachers:

“My child is happy there.”

“Special needs and therapy are addressed better.”

“We love that he has the valuable classroom experience that teaches him how to focus in larger group settings, encourages him to participate and ask questions, listen and follow directions, and do large and challenging projects, but then he can take that home the rest of the week and apply those skills to everyday use in real world settings as he attends school at home. He spends much of his time with adults, and much of his time with peers his own age, so he’s getting a wonderful well-rounded education socially and academically. We’re so pleased! And he loves it!”

“My child is a competitive gymnast which requires a flexible schedule. She is able to home study AND have social activities with friends outside of the gym.”

“It allows our family to support our child emotionally and academically while learning how to manage anxiety.”

“Siblings are able to spend more time together. Parents are able to train their children more effectively due to more time with them.”

“I cannot emphasize enough the one-on-one attention and the way the education is being taught.”

“Parents are in tune with child’s learning style and have flexibility.”

“Performing arts”

“Low student-teacher ratio”

“The children thrive”

“I love the family feel, smaller setting sense of caring from staff. They are all so invested my child’s success and in empowering me as a collaborative co-educator.”

“The way they motivate and stay on top of the students without smothering them works wonders!!”

“My son’s teacher really does care about him as a person and student. He loves his new learning environment.”

“A school environment that accepts all types of students – my child is Asian in a predominantly white community.”

“We can use tutoring.”

“I get to spend time with my child.”

“I needed help as a parent homeschooling my child.”

“Parents can teach their values.”

“Personalized Learning public charter school programs enable students to focus and stay on task with class curriculum without distraction of the massive classroom setting where the educational curriculum is adversely impacted due to the poor teacher-to-student-classroom-ratio.”

“My child completed high school in 3 years.”

“Our teacher is a good listener and prompt to help improve my children’s needs!”

“We get to choose what is best for our individual needs.”

“We are being treated better and teachers are kind.”

“I have seen her make several jumps in her learning.”

“There are more opportunities for one-on-one learning.”

“Child is accountable to other teachers besides a parent.”

“Absence of foul language, drug use, and disrespectful behavior toward others that occurs in today’s classrooms.”

“My son can work at 6th grade level in math, and 2nd grade in ELA without stigma — meeting him where his skills are is important to us.”

“They trusted my choice of upper level out of the box curriculum (Greek, Latin, etc. ) and helped me to get credit for his unique program.”

“She can meet her medical needs without being singled out or punished.”

“My children are closer as a family!”

“Need for speech. More time for performing arts and imagination play.”

“His art & reading have flourished.”

“My 1st grader is working on 2nd grade math and Language arts while still being among her social peers in class. This is very normal for her school and encourages acceptance for kids on either side of the spectrum.”

“Each teacher has been so quick to work with my child’s academic needs and I’ve seen her excel.”

“Excellent Quality of service not demonstrated by district schools.”

“The kids in the charter classes accept my child and do not engage in threatening and bullying behavior.”

“High quality enrichment classes offered free of charge, social activities, field trips offered through the school.”

“The school environment is accepting of all students regardless of race, learning abilities, etc.”