We had a miserable experience at this school. We feel we were misled by the school’s website and things that were said during our tour into believing that it is an academically-focused, Montessori-method school. But in reality, we found the academics here to be sorely lacking, with very few materials or resources, limited instruction time for students, a curriculum that does not resemble the one posted on their website, no record-keeping or progress reports, and minimal communication with parents. | When we expressed concern to the Lower Elementary Teacher and owner of the school that our daughter in her first grade class was not learning to read, we were told that she must have a learning disability. We had our daughter evaluated and no disability was found. We then discovered that this teacher/owner was actually leaving the classroom on a regular basis to go work out at the gym, and having the school’s officer manager (who has absolutely no experience or training) give our daughter lessons. When we expressed disapproval over this, we were met with anger. Furthermore, we immediately put our daughter in private tutoring and she was reading within a few weeks. This is just one example out of many that led us to conclude that Lighthouse Academy is not what it pretends to be. | After vocalizing our very real, very justified concerns, we felt mistreated and vilified by most of the administration. We found the owners, teachers, and administrative staff to be immature, unprofessional, and disinterested in improving what is a poorly run operation. | We are filled with regret that we did not do our due diligence and better research whether this school has the proper accreditation and teacher-credentials to deliver what they promote. The truth is that Lighthouse Academy has no accreditation (that matters) whatsoever, not through the American Montessori Society, not through the Virginia Council for Private Education, and not through the National Council for Private School Accreditation. They operate as a for-profit business and therefore are not monitored or regulated by any governing agency, board of directors, or department of education. Furthermore, only a handful of the teachers here even have a college degree. | If you are looking into this or any private school for your children remember that, especially in Virginia, ANYONE can start a school and run it as a for-profit business. They can use any old curriclum they’d like (or none at all). They can pay an off-company to give them “accreditation” so they seem more genuine than they are. They can pubish the logos of educational associations on their website to lead you to believe they are members when, in fact, they are not. They can call their school “Montessori” and charge outrageous tuition, while rarely using a Montessori teaching method or materials in the classroom. The can give themselves titles such as “Reading Specialist” and “Director of Special Needs” when they aren’t qualified as such. | They can be in session only a fraction of the time that accredited private and public schools are REQUIRED to be in session each year. They can send your children outside for hours upon hours of recess so they don’t have to actually teach anything, further reducing the instruction time your child might be lucky enough to receive. They can allow teachers to sneak out of the classroom for hours during the school day to work out at the gym, while having unqualified office staff try to teach your children how to read. | When you complain that your first grader isn’t learning to read and you’re concerned because she comes home complaining that no one will help her in class, her teacher can act offended and tell you that your child probably has a learning disability. You can have your child evaluated (at a high cost of money and time) to find out she’s perfectly fine and when you try to tell the teacher this, she will act as if there is something wrong with you for not thinking she is the amazing teacher she pretends to be. | When you call her out on leaving the classroom and going to the gym instead of teaching your child, she can suddenly refuse to speak to you. She can then neglect your child even further. She can put your child in the corner with crayons and make your child feel inadequate just because she wants to. She can CONTINUE to leave the classroom regularly to get that gym time in. When you call a meeting with her and the school’s owner (who is also, sadly, her husband), she can refuse to participate. Her husband can say shocking things to you, such as “we have lots of kids who can’t read here. My own daughter can’t read, because she’s so lazy.” When you cannot mask your alarm at his statement, he can say, “it’s okay, we educate the ‘whole’ child.” | People who run a for-profit school like this can convince themselve that because they are Christians, and therefore doing “God’s work,” that misleading parents and failing children academically, is fine, because at least the students are surrounded by Christians! They can sign their emails “God’s Love Never Fails,” while forgetting that God’s diciples often do…. | They can do all of this because there is no outside oversight of a for-profit school. | We know of SO MANY families whose children wasted time at this school, learning very little, falling miserably behind, while the parents had no idea until it was too late.
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