Vail Daily letter: Academic gem
Stone Creek Charter in Edwards is an academic gem. We transferred our child to Stone Creek at the end of March. After meeting with John Brendza, the headmaster, we decided that if the school was half as excellent as he portrayed it, we were ready to make the switch. Within the first few days of our child attending Stone Creek, we knew this was the academic environment that we were looking for. Each student is placed with other equivalent learners, regardless of age or grade. The core subject teaching is very detailed and challenging. Learning is consistently reinforced with homework assignments. Class sizes are small. If your student is ready for something beyond what is offered within the classroom, there are online options, with teachers at the school who will support your student. Academic expectations and goals are set and the students are interested in academic success. There is a dress code. Disruptive behavior is not tolerated, which results in more time for learning. Lack of a large bureaucracy means that the school can easily adapt/respond to issues and questions.
Ethics are discussed and reinforced. Additional assignments have included researching colleges and careers of interest. Skiing, camping, hiking, zip lining, climbing, karate, swimming, etc. are all made available throughout the school year. Cooking projects, adventure leadership, science experiments, class trips and helping the younger students at the school are just the things that I have become aware of in the past eight weeks. I am sure there will be more.
If you are looking for a state-of-the-art facility, this is probably not the place for you. However, Stone Creek has done a masterful job of working around these issues and, more importantly, the lack of a permanent facility does not get in the way of academics and learning. They are currently located at Gracious Savior Lutheran Church (kindergarten through fourth grade) and the Edwards Interfaith Chapel (fifth through eighth grade). The upper school does not have a gymnasium. Gym is held at the Edwards Field House. Lunch and recess are held outdoors as much as possible. I supervise lunch/recess on Mondays. One volunteer mother can easily supervise over 80 students because they all are well behaved and follow the rules. I was not required to file extensive paperwork, pay fees or be fingerprinted in order to volunteer because the school knows who I am.
If you are looking for an “academic gem” for your students, don’t wait too long. There will not be any openings left.