Apex >Thales Academy
We currently have one kid attending Thales and one that will be attending next year. I love the school and my kid loves the school. His teacher is great and the environment is better than any that we have visited. Is it in the "best location"? No. Does it have a huge playground? No. Do I care about those two things? No! Do I care that the owner is a well known conservative and very successful business man? Yes, of course, I plan on raising my kids to be AmeriCans not Americanmaybe if it's okay with others. I recommend this school to anyone.
Average student excelling as a
Thunderbird. My middle schooler will be the first to say that at best, she's an average student who earns every good grade she gets. She arrived at Thales after 6 years of academic struggling at a very fine public elementary school.
At Thales she is learning difficult material from supportive, engaging, competent, teachers- who seem to love what they do. Gifted teachers, high expectations, a compelling curriculum and state of the art technology help her thrive for the first time in her academic life.
Having been a public high school teacher, I experience Thales as quite rigorous. But my kid is making her way there, negotiating the likes of Latin and Ancient Literature with a sense of accomplishment, that what she's learning matters...except for math. She remains unconvinced of its long term value. For now.
Thales' middle school culture is infected with a sense of academic creativity and possibility. Our dinner hour is filled with stories of middle schoolers from a variety of ethnicities, faiths and countries of origin who support and respect one another, even when they disagree. They're different in so many ways, but funny and delightful make them birds of a feather.
We are new to the Thales Academy school
and we love it. We currently have two boys at the school, one in 3rd grade, and one in Kindergarten.
Our oldest child barely passed the 2nd grade in public school. He was always getting in trouble for being out of his seat and not getting his work done. Our doctor qualified him as borderline ADHD and even though his 2nd grade teacher signed off for him to go to 3rd grade, she suggested we hold him back as she said he wasn't mature enough yet and he would benefit from being held back.
Well we decided to try a private school and we just finished the first quarter at Thales and our oldest received straight A's even though it is a more demanding curriculum and grading structure. He has yet to get in trouble for being out of his seat or anything. He is flourishing at Thales.
Our younger son in Kindergarten loves it as well and is doing great too.
The teachers and staff of the school are great with communication as we receive emails almost daily (definitely several per week) regarding upcoming assignments, tests, school events, etc.
Someone mentioned earlier about them not having a library. Well they do now. It isn't anything huge but it's there.
Not having a cafeteria has been both a positive and a negative. It is one more thing we have to think about while getting our kids ready for school instead of just having them eat whatever the school would be serving. However that allows us to make sure our kids are eating well. They do have a catering program available through a handful of various local restaurants. This can be a bit expensive as it usually runs between $3.50 and $5.00 per meal. Though there are several options with each of the restaurants so you have some customization available to you. Since it is fairly expensive, we only do it once or twice a week but it is a decent program.
I will say that it is a bit cramped in there right now. They are supposed to start building the JH/HS building in the next year or so and that will allow the K-5th grades some room to breath.
We also just received notice that the '13-'14 school year will be a year-round calendar
To anyone considering enrolling their child in one of Bob Luddy's schools (Thales Academies, Franklin Academy or St. Thomas More High School), be aware that the schools were founded by an ultra-conservative businessman with strong political ties.
Mr. Luddy is a multimillionaire with influential connections and deep pockets for funding ultra-right wing Republican causes. It has been suggested by the News and Observer that his involvement in the election of the conservative WCPSS school board majority and the ensuing political dust up was a conflict of interest, since Ron Margiotta, the School Board Chairman, was also a member of the Apex Thales Board of Directors. Mr. Luddy also stands to benefit financially if the Wake County schools are damaged, and the people who can afford to opt out seek a private school alternative.
If you happen to follow Mr. Luddy's political way of thinking, fine. I do think that people have a right to know of his political influence and actions, however, and what they might be contributing to if they decide to send their child(ren) to one of Mr. Luddy's schools
Note: Bob Luddy has been an invited guest at the Koch brothers "secret seminars" attended by millionaires across the U.S. who are attempting to set public policy in the U.S.
A robot factory!. To start, the front office of this school is inexperienced. On a tour, the women could not even tell me what "direct instruction" is !! (The method they use.) The children are expected to sit like robots, are told what to think and learn, and eyes are rolled is kids look like they are straying, at all! The use of dog clickers, yes, dog clickers should be a strong indication of what this school thinks of its children! This is a strange atmosphere, looks like a construction zone, and includes no sports. The price tag is the only thing keeping the kids coming.
Thales saved our life.
I am well aware that there are many who like the year-round calendar and thrive on it. We're not one of those families. So when our kids were reassigned from a school they could walk to, one of WCPSS best schools and a traditional calendar to a year round school that had just opened and would take the bus, we started looking for other options. We heard stories of families reassigned multiple times and families with elementary kids on one calendar and middle schoolers on another schedule. We couldn't imagine what that chaos would do to our family.
We wanted: stability; proximity; excellence; academic accountability and personal attention for our three elementary kids. Thales provided all of that and more. It has provided a community of wonderful and committed families who we could be sure to see year after year.
Our children have been there three years now and are thriving. Its a challenge for them, but I would rather have them challenged than have them coast and be bored, which is what was happening in the 'excellent' public school. They have organizational skills, study habits and have expectations for respectful behavior. They are not exposed to a lot of the cultural trash that's out there for most kids.
No situation is perfect at all times. With three kids we were bound to have our bumps along the way. But the caring staff at Thales has helped us along, and our kids have blossomed. We've made some great friends and our kids are doing very well, and being measured on a National scale.
We likely would have stayed at the 'excellent' public school if we hadn't been reassigned. But what we've learned about our kids and about what they need for their education has been an eye opener. Just the tip of the iceberg: kids at Thales are given National Standardized tests every year to assess how they are doing. WCPSS gives the EOGs, which is an NC-only, closed system test. There is no way to know how your kid is doing on a national scale with the EOGs.
I don't have enough good things to say about Thales. And btw, that post about Bob Luddy is just boogie-man scare tactics that were in play because of this years' big school board election. Mr. Luddy has little to nothing to do with the day to day function of the schools. But he's done a great service to Wake County families by offering this option. Check it out. You might like it just as well as we have.
My wife and I enrolled our son there for Kindergarten back in 2009. It appeared to be a good school from the outside looking in. We were promised a teacher's assistant would be helping the Kindergarten teacher. The library would be up and running by the end of November 2009. Discipline was *supposed* to be fair.
Let's begin with the teachers assistant, that lasted about 2 weeks unbeknownst to us at the time. The library was still not operational at the end of 2010. I hear from other parents that it is still not operational at the end of the 2010/2011 school year.
Academically, the Kindergarten students were taught that their handwriting had to be absolutely perfect or they were marked down, even for correct answers. The discipline for the kindergarten students left much to be desired. In one case, the student was gigged for asking to go to the bathroom during class. This is kindergarten, not sixth grade.
Other things to note:
Volunteer activities are limited to only school hours.
Play area is very limited.
The administration has final say in any dispute and they wield that without any appeals process. Parents are not given a chance to defend or state their case. PATT is ineffective.
Nepotism is alive and well especially where students are concerned(i.e. their parents are teachers or staff).
The final piece of the puzzle was when one of the Kindergarten students had not passed Kindergarten, the student was invited to the graduation ceremony and put with the other students and then embarassed by not graduating. The other students were shocked and immediately questioned the teacher. Her response in front of the assembly was that the student had not passed. This was after ALL the parents had been told at the beginning of the year that all students would be at grade level or above by the end of the year.
My recommendation is that parents investigate other schools that have better resoures and a mature administration. It is a young school that has many issues to iron out.
Tired of Public School insanity? Thales is GREAT!.
I spent all of 2009-10 playing the PTA game, and working on student / teacher communication. My sons (K & 6th) where in two different schools with similar administrators. Teachers would say they were doing well, but their tutors and my private testing said other wise. My younger son regressed in K, and my 6th grader was continually assaulted, bullied and pulled out of class for inquiries about things that are not supposed to happen at school. YES in WAKE COUNTY!
I found Thales and it is FANTASTIC! The teachers care about the students. Communication is followed through almost instantly, and most of all they have after school support for parents. My children are finally in a learning environment. Thales is a place for parents who have children they love and want them safe and learning!
In the first quarter my young son is learning to read (he did not learn this in public school - he learned to sleep in class and write backwards). My now 7th grader is learning Latin, Math, Classical Literature, life skills, time management and juggling 8 subjects instead of 5. AMAZING - it is real education - If you can check it out and see how educational accountability is supposed to be done.
I feel for anyone stuck in the Wake County Public School system. Sorry you are there - I know my family is now in the right place where learning is done and teachers are teaching and children learn.
Come to open house and see for yourself, or come visit.
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