If I could give this place no stars, I would. I have witnessed first hand the verbal and sometimes physical bullying of the headmaster. Not only would he bully the students but also staff. My child witnessed him throw another student on a bench and scream in his face. That was almost three years ago and my child still remembers it and says something when we pass. Do yourself and your child a favor and go elsewhere!
DO NOT send your child to this school!! First off they were recently evicted from their current location because the headmaster Mike has not paid rent in several months. He has not paid his teachers health insurance since April and has stolen money from their pay checks. YET he has a new house, a new car and a new boat. He is a corrupt man who also just got a DWI. I feel so much guilt as a parent for sending my children there as long as I did. The teachers are all educated and caring individuals who deserve so much more. Be very aware of this person trying to open up a new school at a new location.
You should probably know before you even drop one cent on for a registration fee that this school is under scrutiny from the department of health, that all but a few faculty resigned (not just one as mentioned previously and most likely by the headmaster), and that this school now has no active board of trustees. Those teachers that didn't resign were told the school was closing and they were out of a job.
If this isn't nightmare enough, the school and headmaster and his girlfriend and former assistant were evicted from their location in Executive Park. You can now find this dump in the basement of a church that's for sale.
He's also hiding under another name, Saratoga Leadership Development, LLC in hopes of avoiding all of his trouble with the department of health and education as well as the numerous people he owes money to.
Your money would not be going to serve the educational needs of the children. Instead, you might just be helping him dig his way out of his personal and professional catastrophe of a life he has created. Afterall, he can't even make a sound enough decision to not drink and drive.
Best of luck. The headmaster and his girlfriend have no business in the field of education much less working with children.
I have a son I have been trying to enroll in this school, in the first grade. I call everyday, the phone has an incessant busy signal. I have left messages on the email address given. Then, I went to the wrong building, and was told the school was closing, for a variety of reasons, many of which I have read here. Finally, I saw kids outside, so went in to enquire. The adult running the summer program did the best she could to help me out, but could not answer many of my questions. Now I sit reading these reviews. As a coach, and mentor for kids, but most importantly a father, I am at a loss for what to do. I got a really good feeling about the laughter coming from the kids in there today with the woman present. My review is that someone needs to be the leader here. You are losing business fast. I liked the location and cleanliness, I dislike the inability to give information in what I would believe is the perfect time for enrollment!
This school needs a lot of work to get back to the wonderful school it once was. While many of the statements on this website are correct, some are very misleading and blatant lies.
The teachers at this school are the reason my child remains here. The elementary building is like a different world compared to the prekindergarten building. The teachers in that building work together to create a warm, friendly atmosphere. My experience in the prekindergarten building is minimal however the two teachers (one of which has left) seemed to think they didn't need to do anything to make their classes great.... that it would just happen; in my opinion the problems of that building lie within the "entitled" teachers. It has gotten better since one teacher left. Parents who have reviewed are complaining about how their children are behind academically when leaving... This is not the truth. My oldest left SA with a strong reading background and a strong math foundation. She is now in accelerated math and receives supplemental 1:1 reading to maintain her reading level (that is about a grade and a half above her peers). Education is not a cure all or a one stop... you wouldn't blame the teachers in a public school if your child wasn't the top of his class, so why blame this school?
Many parents here are voicing concerns however little to nothing has been personally said to the administration at this school. Parents often go through teachers to voice their concerns... again in the public school you wouldn't voice such heavy concerns to your classroom teacher, you'd go to the building principal... something very little have done. If you don't speak to the right people, your concerns won't be addressed.
Additionally, to debunk rumors, this school will be open next year, in both buildings and not all the staff is leaving... in actuality only one teacher and possibly an administrator (rumor) are leaving (as rumor on the street is all teachers are leaving)
I am guilt-ridden every day for not seeing past the lies and deceit from the two "administrators" of this school. Please take the time to read each and every review that has been written. Well, with the exception of the few ones that were clearly written by the two administrators touting the school. If you know them, you know that those are their words.
If you send your children to this school, you can expect their days to be inconsistent, very little supervision, very little academic rigor. However, the philosophy of education that the administrators strongly adhere to one that revolves around yelling, belittling, and public humiliation.
The headmaster took young girls into a bathroom and screamed at them for locking a door mechanism. Now, you can be assured that the children won't be locked in the bathroom as there are no doors on stalls or doors to ensure privacy from the hallway.
The teachers despise the administration, which is why you won't see them back year after year. Teachers are not replaced. The administration steps in to teach the children. Or better yet, family members (high school and college) will teach for the day, week, month.
There is a reason there is a drop-off and pick-up line. They don't want parents to see the filth. The buildings are disgusting and the Department of Health has been called numerous times.
Sometimes, you even get to drop your child off with no power. But, communication is such that you find out at 3:30 p.m.
Best of luck to any parent if they continue to send their child here. Good luck with the anxiety you will feel every day leaving your child. Good luck navigating the lies that pour out of the mouth of administration. Good luck with the many health issues you will try to avoid. Good luck breaking your contract when you finally come to your senses. Good luck to you.
Absolutely horrific. I regret sending my children to this “school.” Sincerely, I feel guilty.
The headmaster is a slovenly mess whose preferred method of communications is screaming at children. No child should come home saying that they were screamed at all day. The headmaster is boorish bully to students and parents alike. He and his staff are uncommunicative at best, at worst they peddle in bald face lies.
The facilities are disaster and completely unsafe. Its simply filthy. The bathrooms have paper dispensers hanging off the wall. The toilets are frequently backed up. The water fountains have exposed electrical components under it. The after care room is small, with no windows and littered with broken toys. It is reminiscent of a day care found in war torn third world nation. Classrooms libraries are torn up books. No homework is given out and report cards, while very flattering to students abilities, are simply lies that over evaluate students progress.
Kids have been rushed to the ER for reasons ranging from students throwing rocks at other students heads resulting in stitches and permanent scars to doors falling off hinges unto students.
The after care staff, including the headmaster are more interested in texting on their cellphones than watching out for the children’s safety.
The school is completely unequipped to handle children with special needs. The special needs children are ignored. The students without issues are traumatized by special need students who have bullied and distributed the entire class.
Scabies and lice outbreaks go unreported.
Repeated requests for tuition receipts go unanswered. There is no contact information for contacting the school's board of directors.
Saratoga Academy gave our daughter the start she needed. The school features a close-knit environment with supportive staff. As an independent school, it has the freedom to allow the children to excel in areas where they shine. Projects and other in-class assignments help build strong problem-solving skills.
I am noticing that some clients prefer to name call and label staff. This is thoroughly unprofessional. Got a problem? Take it up with the staff in person. We owe it to our children to set a good example for the future.
The headmaster is an unprofessional drunk, and his sidekick Katie is nothing more than riding him (literally and figuratively) for a salary she is not qualified for and has no idea what she is doing. Very unprofessional relationship they have. The school is being run into the ground, the headmaster, as a fundraiser, throws a "party" at a local hotel where everybody is supposed to get drunk and donate money to the school. enrollment is down from 170 to about 80 kids, as most of us got fed up with ALL the nonsense that goes on here. DO NOT SEND YOUR KIDS HERE, NOTHING MORE THAN A third class DAYCARE!!!
Review from Guidestar
It's shocking and appalling that this school is still open. The reviews below couldn't be more accurate. The Head of Schools & Associate Head of Schools have no idea how to run a functional school or provide basic professional development for their staff. There is no set curriculum and teachers are left to figure things out on their own. Students are not above grade level, despite what they would have you believe. When students DO eventually transition into public school they are lost and below grade level expectations. Please do yourself & your children a favor and seek education elsewhere.
Our child just went through academic testing and her reading and math scores are several grades higher than grade level after a few years at SA.
I think a small school like SA allows for individual attention. Also, the project-based learning is what our children need to truly grow as problem solvers.
Note: It's too bad that the current climate of anonymous, mean commenting online has now hit schools. This ain't Twitter, folks. Save the hateful language please. These are children and dedicated, hard working teachers. They deserve more respect.
How this school is even open and in charge of our childrens education is mindblowing! I feel very sorry for any parent that has given a good review of this school. That just means they have never experienced what a real school is supposed to be like. My kids had the misfortune of going there for about 2 years and its something i will feel guilty for every day of my life. I finally pulled them. I will always regret not doing it years ago. Please dont send your kids there. Ever since Katie Fleming started running the school it has turned into a nightmare. BEWARE!!!
As a former teacher of Saratoga Academy I find myself compelled to provide insight. There are 2 reasons to avoid this school, the first is the Head of Schools and the second is the Associate Head of Schools. These two people are the reason for enrollment of he school to decline year after year.
Both of these individuals provide no support, direction or development to their staff. There are several students at the school who have special needs. Teachers are not provided any special education training. The school is failing these students and their parents.
The environment is extremely dysfunctional and unorganized. Teachers are afraid to speak up and anyone that does is immediately shut down. Teachers report to the Associate Head of Schools Katie Fleming basically runs the school. She manipulates and controls the Head of Schools. Their relationship is not appropriate and very unprofessional.
I would recommend to any family considering this school to please do your research and look elsewhere.
Teachers are great. Kindergarten is beyond expectations! My daughters teacher is young, bubbly and knowledgable -- one of the best there. Office staff is great and helpful. Playground is concerning ... Fence is broken and the playground is raised.... Wouldn't take much for an awful accident. I like that administration is often available during car line
I was a Saratoga Academy parent for two academic years and found those two years to be full of apprehension for my children's well-being (and, subsequently, found myself full of regret in re-enrolling for a second year).
First, I'd like to acknowledge the reasons why we did enroll for a second year:
-Small class sizes for older grades (1st and up) enabled for one-on-one instruction
-Dedicated and loving teachers
-Weekly Health class (which integrated yoga and meditation)
-Curriculum in Spanish
-Dedication to the "Writer's Workshop" program (daily writing journal entries)
-Flexible after-care options on site
Unfortunately, the good just cannot outweigh the undesirable . . .which is as follows:
-Difficult and belligerent headmaster - with students and parents, alike. My mild-mannered children lived in fear. He even stormed a girls restroom. His "tough love" caused a great deal of anxiety for one of my children.
-Associate director with questionable integrity and character traits (she flat out lied to me on numerous occasions and clearly told me what I "wanted to hear" so as to encourage me to dedicate my funds towards tuition).
-Terrible (nonexistent!) methods of communication. Several health concerns/outbreaks were not relayed to parents (including a severe lice outbreak that necessitated the headmaster shaving his head). School would close early with only a moment's notice (as in, an hour's notice via email - not phone). Details on special events were rarely relayed (i.e. finding out your child had to sing at an Arts show only a day beforehand).
-Uncertified/inexperienced teachers. (Please know, I completely understand that this is often the situation with private schools but there is definitely a reason why the educators at SA with NYS certification are not employed by public institutions . . . our most meaningful educational experiences happened with those who are not NYS certified).
-Excessively large class sizes at the Pre-K and K level (with only floating teacher's aides). Seriously, my child's Pre-K had a class ratio of 1 to 14 (these were 3 year olds . . .with one teacher and no aide . . . )
-No access to library or computer services (despite being told that students took weekly field trips to a public library so as to enrich their education in that capacity). There are computers on the Pre-K campus, however they are dated and my children never used them.
-Poorly organized music and "theatre" program. Instruction was inadequate. Performances always started 30 minutes late (or more). Performances were terribly chaotic and uncoordinated.
-Science? Not really addressed during our tenure there (so . . . Academy of the Arts and Sciences . . . I think not).
-Shabby facilities. Have you been in the bathrooms? Disgusting. The playground also seemed precariously dangerous . . . perhaps OSHA should pay a visit.
-Deceptive and disadvantageous policies regarding tuition payments and the involved third party banking institution
I am horribly upset by this school. For years we were under the impression our child was way above grade level and incredibly smart. We pulled him to go into public school. He is so far behind in math and reading I want to cry every night when he comes home from school. He now needs a tutor once a week and get special help during the week from school. Yes it's that bad that the school initiated help. This school is fine for pre k and k for those that need full day school. But please do not stay any longer. Very concerned mom.
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.
Notice that the only good reviews are written by parents of very little children who are basically using this as daycare, or by staff members. Anyone who claims their child is ahead academically cannot legitimately credit SA. This school does not have admissions criteria so there are MANY special needs children (and zero certified special education teachers on staff!) If you want your child to be in a class with numerous distractions, behavioral issues, foul language and very low academic standards, then this is the place for you. Our child was significantly below grade level by the time we pulled her out. (Thankfully, after 2 years in another school she is almost caught up.) The administration at SA is weak and ill-equipped for the job. They make promises they can't keep and they often lie outright. On numerous occasions they said many inappropriate things to and about the students. For example, "This place is like the island of misfit toys." A really arrogant and rude administrator calls all the shots and if questioned, belittles and dismisses parents as "incapable idiots". DO NOT BE FOOLED! If you care about your child, DO NOT send them here.
I do not work for the school, I am not in any way affiliated with the school and I was not asked by the school to write a review. My daughter is currently enrolled in kindergarten. She is extremely happy and is thriving academically. I read the prior reviews, positive and negative. My experience has been entirely positive. I would recommend Saratoga Academy without hesitation.
There's a reason they have to post signs around town and ask parents to write "positive" reviews. There's also a reason their enrollment is down. They have fired a number of teachers who were employees for several years at the school. They yell and scream at children ALL day, even children with autism or Asperger's, claiming they need "tough love." If you truly care about your child and their well being, please look elsewhere. There are so many better options out there! Do as "Mom12065" said and just ask your child their experiences with the head master, it will be an eye opening experience!!