Decatur Classical School Reviews
I have been so impressed with this school & the transformation it has gone through under the new principal. I would agree that in the past it has felt like a 'pressure cooker', but that is far from the reality now. Despite the small size, the school maximizes resources and has increased their programming. Our kids have recess and PE every day and the principal has grown the programs this year to offer maker space and full time art to the existing dance, music, and Latin classes. They also made a huge investment in tech and kids have access to new iPads/chromebooks in each classroom. The teachers are dedicated and I constantly hear of how they are attending trainings and trying new ways to teach students. The principal continues to push academic growth while also focusing on social emotional development of students. The overall feel of the school is warm, progressive, and my child loves school. There is no perfect school, but I can't imagine a better place.
Overall, Decatur Classical School was an excellent starting point in my education. Each grade is taught material a year ahead, which already put the students at an advanced level. The school ends at sixth grade, which was both a good and bad thing. It was bad because students had to deal with a new transition. However, it was good because it allowed many students to enroll in selective enrollment programs (7th/8th grade programs at high schools). Also, it made the actual high school transition easier.
The school IS aggressive in academics. But with the new principal on board, no homework for k-3rd grade all year. My kids love to go to school and have plenty of happy friends there. There is now so many afterschool programs every day...coding, engineering, cooking, drama, school choir, band, drawing, sports, novel studies, advanced math, running team... The school is so poor...no gym, (used to have no air conditioning!), no lunch room, no 7th and 8th grades...BUT it is amazing a group of teachers and staff can make it such a rich-nurturing learning environment. I bring my kids to any other schools, they go “wow!” but they love Decatur and ALL their teachers...never heard them complaining about the school. Almost all of their teachers are very dedicated and experienced. Staff are super friendly too. The assistant principal had a dance degree so now the school shows are at a new level. They even dedicated a music classroom. For a public school, it has to be an A+.
Decatur is a great school, however, you should be very careful about sending your kids here. It's a high pressure environment that schools kids to hate themselves if they can't achieve perfection. It's very competitive, and kids end up leaving with no social skills to interact and get along with non "gifted" kids. Decatur also lacks the resources to have more programs, the school is very small and doesn't have great sports/gym. The academics are very tough but will prepare your child for any selective enrollment school or academic center. All in all, if you send your kid here, they'll have a great time with diversity, the community aspect, and the advanced education, but they may graduate with mental health problems stemming from being pushed too far and held to extreme standards.
Decatur Classical is a very good school because it has excellent parent community to work with who are dedicated to building a strong team environment to support their kids in education and extracurricular activities