Saratoga Academy of the Arts and Sciences

Rating: 2.81 stars   32 reviews

Issues: Education

Location: 1524 Route 9 Clifton Park NY 12065 USA

Mission: To nurture the growth of the student individually-intellectually, emotionally, morally, and physically. Saratoga Academy will foster academic excellence and instill awareness, responsibility, leadership and commitment to society.
Target demographics: Pre-school and elementary school age children up to grade 5
Geographic areas served: Capital District and Saratoga County
Programs: Full day Preschool Full day Kindergarten Individualized/Differentiated Instruction Accelerated Instruction Independent Thinking Inquiry-Based Learning Project-based Learning Small Group Instruction Early Literacy Character Development Creating Classrooms and Homes of Virtue
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 1 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

DO NOT send your child to this school!!!! The administrators are terrible and huge bullies! They come across as nice and before you know it they are bullying your child. As a person with high hopes it didn't take long for us to figure out that our child was being verbally tormented. I would rather have my child be in public school any day over this place! I am shocked they call themselves educators!!!! Good thing we figured it out before it was to late! I can't wait for the day they are in the news for negative treatment of children!!! If you care about your children stay away from this place!!!!!!!!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Shut it down!

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Badly

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I wanted to take a moment to speak about my child’s 3 years at Saratoga Academy. We have been there for Pre-K, K, and 1st grade up to this point and the experience has been nothing short of fantastic. Let me be clear when I say the education is top notch because of the teachers and administration. Our son is 5 years old and is learning Spanish, Music, and has been taught common core since we arrived. He reads at a second grade level and is tested weekly on spelling and comprehension. None of this would be possible without the staff at SAAS. We knew this was the place for us, when he told us he is bored when he is not there. All parent’s will be stunned at the progress there child makes, academically and socially at this school. Do not be left out.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

get them more private funding so they could get bigger and achieve more of their dreams

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

My husband and I were given many referrals to Saratoga Academy from a variety of people including teachers from public schools. This is what ultimately helped us make our decision in sending our son here. What I love most about Saratoga Academy is the values and love of learning that my son gets in his preschool class. I also appreciate the effort put forth by the administration and teachers in hosting events which help create a sense of community. Our son loves his teacher and is truly happy there. (Even though everyday he asks me why he has to go to school.) :)
Everyone at the school seems to work very well together with a common goal of building confidence and independence in each child. All of the teachers and administration seem to have this genuine love for kids and a passion to help them flourish and grow. Although this is only our first year at Saratoga Academy, we are thrilled with our decision.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

We have two children at Saratoga Academy. Our 9 year old has been there since the school opened it's doors and our 4 year old has been there for 1 1/2 years. It has been wonderful watching our oldest grow and thrive in the structured and loving environment the teachers and administration offer. Our youngest was very hesitant about going to school, but the teachers were wonderful in helping him adapt and instill in him a love for school. Communication between parents and the administration has improved dramatically over the past couple of years, and the senior administrators and easy to talk to and have always been able to assist in meeting our children's needs. I would, and have, recommend this school to anyone.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

When our son faced a life threatening illness, Saratoga Academy provided amazing emotional and academic support. They went above and beyond to ensure he did not fall behind and provided the encouragement he needed to fight his illness. As our son became healthy and the academic years passed, the administration and teachers at Saratoga Academy worked with our family to get our son caught up and on track with his peers. I can't imagine what would have happened if our son had not gone to Saratoga Academy.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I am a proud parent of two children at Saratoga Academy. I can speak only to the Pre-k and K areas and so far my (and most importantly) my children's experience has been very positive. At first my Kindergartner was apprehensive in going to school. It only took two weeks for his attitude to completely change. The teachers come very educated and most serve as assistants for a year or more before getting their own classroom. I find the teachers very engaging on the student level. My K's teacher sends me a daily class progress report on what they have done so I can ask about specifics and work/reinforce what I need to at home. Although not every teacher does this, it works for me since my kid is less than descriptive when it comes to a recap. My other child's teacher sends a weekly recap.

The premise of the school is a "tailored" approach to each student based on where they are on an educational level. Kindergarten is full day, and since I live in the Shen district, that is important to me. I can't imagine kids trying to learn at the K level for only a half of day. I choose this school because of the full day K; because of the results, I am choosing to continue my child's learning into the 1st grade. The lessons have been very good for the most part.

My other child came at 3 and was not "potty trained fully." Teachers and teacher aids were very attentive in my kid's needs and always changed him and helped reinforce training at school.

I saw the negativity on this site and others when I was going to recommend a friend to the school. I am floored by the content on there which is NOT TRUE AS FAR AS I CAN SEE. I am not sure what fuels this type of anger, but I don't see any validity??? Can the school do things better, sure, but I love our experience at Saratoga Academy so far, and I would recommend this school to anyone.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Add a security system in the future. They lock the doors during the school day, but I would love to have an access code system or some other solution.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

I would not recommend sending your children to this school. The classes are small but resources are limited in regards to technology. Many classes have only one computer for use by the entire class. Smart boards or i-pads are not present in the elementary school.

There is little communication between teachers, administration and parents. There is no regular correspondence in the form of monthly updates. The website was only recently updated to reflect changes. The website is not helpful to parents because it is not regularly updated. The PTA has been dissolved.

As a parent, you have no idea unless you visit the school, what is being taught at any one time. There is a limited number of papers that are returned home with grades. Homework is not graded and in some cases not checked.

The teachers appear stressed and often seem intimidated by the administration. Students are given few tests, making it difficult to track progress. There is no system to hold teachers accountable for the progress of the students. The administration sells parents on the sales pitch, that the students are accelerated at this school. Many of the students in the elementary school are working below grade level.

The school does not provide bills for daycare and other activities. Parents need to keep track of their expenses and submit payment. There is no receipt system in place. The computers being used by the administration are outdated. There is not a central e-mail system for the staff. Many of the staff are using their private e-mails to communicate with parents.

The school buildings themselves are in need of repairs for example things such as torn carpets in many of the classrooms. The playground is too small for the number of students using it. There is limited space outside the buildings for the children to play. The kids are playing and having gym classes in the nice weather in the parking lot. Cars still enter the parking lot when children are playing outside. Sometimes a rope is placed across a section of the lot but it is not a great solution to the traffic problem. Kids are running and playing in gym on concrete and do get hurt. The school doesn't have a nurse. The teachers are trained in first aid and CPR but first aid supplies are limited. The papers submitted for the required physicials at the begining of the year are being screened by an administrative assistant. I question if a health care provider is even reviewing the required paperwork.

The school does have a bus to take the children off site to the library and weekly gym classes. The bus is primarily used to take the children to gym classes in the cold weather, rarely to the library. So, access to the library is limited. Internet access is also limited. So, doing reesearch projects is difficult for the children.

The public school has more to offer than this school that is charging tuition. The tuition is low compared to other private schools in the area. You are getting what you are paying for as a result.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

This school needs more financial resources to improve their programs.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Some

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Unlikely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Okay

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

This is definitely not just One parent posting reviews here, there are many of us.

For the most recent commenter, we are being honest. I wrote a previous review and restate some of that here. The teachers were great. The administration sucked. All of the negative things written here are totally true. We had planned to keep our kids at this school but after last year's kindergarten field trip fiasco and my child being punished for not attending because we didn't feel that it was appropriate for him, we had a quick change of heart and pulled them out. We had even paid part of the registration for this school year and weren't upset about losing the money because we weren't going to tolerate the behavior of the administration any longer. In the beginning, this school was great but it isn't any longer. I constantly am hearing rumors about their financial difficulties and I know that the admissions is way down, mostly from those of us that chose to pull our kids out of this school.

Unless you want to experience some of the crap many of us former SA parents have dealt with these past years, don't put your kids in this school. Case in point, last year there were 4 Pre-K classes with about 22 kids each last year = 88 kids, this year there are only 3 Pre-K classes with about 14 kids each = 42 kids, about half of what it was last year. Doesn't that say a lot! Not only did many of us who originally planned to send our kids there this year changed and are sending them somewhere else but the public is hearing the stories about what really goes on and are looking elsewhere. Even someone I know of who's kids never went to this school has heard that Mr C is a "tyrant". Word gets around and those of us that have experienced the worst of what this school is wants to make sure that other parents and kids don't have to go through what we went through.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Fire the head master and the assistant head master.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

None

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 1 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I totally agree with everyone that has said that this school's teachers and education are great but the administration is a whole other story. Our kids were here for the past 2 years and due to a lot of recent problems we've pulled both of them out and will never recommend SA to anyone ever again. Even the board members have quit and removed their kids from the school. that says a lot. The headmaster is a dictator and bully. 1/3 of the entire kindergarten class didn't go on a field trip to Mystic Aquarium because their parents felt it was too long of a day and too far to go and he punished them by giving them an extra homework packet (something they couldn't do without help) that "must be completed". The rumor was spread the day after they were pulled out of class and given this additional homework that anyone that didn't do it wouldn't be able to attend graduation. Those that didn't do it anyway were forced to do it the week before the ceremony by having to stay in at recess to complete it. We are sure he didn't want it getting out that kids were denied being able to attend the graduation ceremony but he had to win and have his way and made sure the kids did the extra homework. The kids that did attend the field trip got home at 10pm on a school night.

There are serious safety issues that have been brought to their attention and were ignored. The playground is an accident just waiting to happen. Mr C and Mrs Z talk a good talk but they just tell parent what they want to hear and don't really care other than to grow and grow and being able to brag about their growth. They are more concerned about being the biggest independent school, not being a true family and child oriented school. The PTO is a joke, no one is allowed to complain about anything or make suggestions on how to improve things. Parents concerns are totally ignored. They have no business opening a middle school when they aren't taking care of the school/grades they already have

Yes my kids teachers were great but the 2 people running this school were more than we are willing to put up with any longer. There are other options available in Clifton Park, including the new Sara Marie School, which is what SA was in the beginning, a truly great little school. A great deal of us parents that had originally enrolled our kids for the next school year have since removed our kids from SA. I hope that their classes are so empty that they finally get the message.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Fire the headmaster and assistant headmaster immediately!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A little

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

No

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Somewhat badly

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I believe that these negative reviews are coming from one parent that is speaking out of anger not logic. I have spoken to many others throughout my child's years at Saratoga Academy and have not found these to be true. Everyone gave the school rave reviews and their children all loved it. Please stop the negativity and be honest.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Encourage more parents that are invested in the school to speak up.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

Our child attended Saratoga academy last year (2012-2013) This place is a JOKE!!! Do NOT send your children here. The headmaster and Assistant headmaster are completely unorganized bullies! After we signed our child up and paid the down payments, we were told we owed more. After signing and paying, we never received any receipts, or information in regards to the school start date or pre-school year functions. One day I submitted a form for monthly tuition payment to mrs. Zink and she scolded me like a child for the form being late, yet I had never received any information of deadlines, due dates or events. I spoke about that to Mr. C in an email and I was told I was never put on the mailing list and they never apologized to us for their mistake and unprofessional mannerisms. From day 1, our tuition was never correct and we tried working with the so called administration (which changed hands 3x in one school year) and we tried working with Mr. Christiansen. Come May, they hit us with an astronomical bill that they claimed we owed for their year long tuition screw up that no one could fix upon numerous requests throughout the year. The headmaster Mr. Christiansen is a bully and would never want to discuss anything with my husband, just me as he would try to talk over me and push me around in financial discussions. You never got receipts unless you called over and over again. He once claimed my emails were in his spam inbox. The only positive experience with this school was a handful of the teachers. The music instructor was a joke as well. To Top of the atrocious school year , the school decided to take our kindergartners on a mandatory end of the year grade feild trip to Mystic Aquarium in CONNETICUT!!! Parents weren't allowed to ride on the bus and were expected to drive separately. A few parents found this trip to be excessive and were trying to do something fun together with their kids that day and the Headmaster Mr. C sent out a threatening email to all parents, stating they weren't not to do this that their children would have to make up educational enrichment for that missed trip and if theydidnt go, they were not allowed to get together With their children. I have emails to back all of this up! I bet Mr. C doesn't though as he claimed at a meeting that was scheduled a week in advanced and he wasn't prepared for it) that he wasnt prepared as he lost files in his computer. What school doesn't have a back up drive?! I wouldn't be half surprised I the few good reviews on here were Mrs. Zink (who may I add, dresses completely unprofessional with very low cut shirts) or Mr. Christiansen. Do yourself and your child a favor, and DO NOT send them to Saratoga Academy.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Close te school down!!!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

None

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

No

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Badly

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful?