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Ardrey Kell High9

Charlotte, NC | Mecklenburg County


February 22, 2015

I came to this school because I had heard that it is a wonderful place to teach. What I have found is that it IS a wonderful place to teach IF you do exactly as the administration says and do not deviate from what the believe is 'effectiveness'. Mr. Switzer is a nice enough fellow, but there are those of us at the school that think the press clippings and accolades have gone to his head. He says he believes in his staff, but seems not to respect us enough as educators to give us a sense of autonomy in our classrooms. I don't feel trusted to deliver results. Instead, I am made to feel like I am not intelligent or experienced enough, to trust what works in my classroom. Doing things the 'AK WAY' here seems to mean doing things EXACTLY the way they want you to do them. On the plus side, this school has done a fantastic job with involving the community. You won't find many schools that have the wonderful relationship between the community and the administrators. This can be a GREAT SCHOOL, but the administration must start to trust and respect us as educators, even if it doesn't square with their views on what makes for effective instruction.

Submitted by a teacher

October 24, 2014

Audrey Kell is fine if your child is a high achiever or an athlete. If a student is average or below, its a constant struggle where no one cares or helps. The EC coordinator should have retired a long time ago, she is no advocate for the children. AK is more interested in their image than with the students. There were many bullying issues that were never addressed although they profess to be diligent. Much of the student body is pretentious and self centered. Thank goodness we left and found a smaller, loving HS environment.

Submitted by a parent

July 28, 2014

We moved from NY to Charlotte last year and my daughter completed 10th grade @ Ardrey Kell. We are very impressed with this school. The academics are rigorous but my daughter was able to maintain excellent grades while working part time and staying active in athletics. I concur with other reviews that the principal, Mr. Switzer, is amazing and I hope he stays @ Ardrey Kell until my other children graduate. You won't find a better High school in the CMS system. PS....I do see why people call it a jail though. It could use some paint/landscaping/architectural enhancements??

Submitted by a parent

June 21, 2014

I can't say enough good things about AKHS. We love, love, love this school. Mr. Switzer, the principal, is amazing. This school has something for everyone: academics, athletes, artists, musicians, etc. Your child will be so glad to be at this school! Even the kids here have a ton of school spirit. It's unlike anything I've ever seen!

Submitted by a parent

May 18, 2014

To some, this school appears to be great. It'd diverse and the teachers are young and great. However, the way this school is run makes the learning environment impossible to learn in. The administrators seem to care more about girls' yoga pants and butts than academics and student satisfaction. The drug and cheating problems at this school are unbelievable and the rules are ridiculous. If you care at all about your child's education, don't send them hear! This was my first year at AK and after my experience it is also my last. The learning environment and the ridiculous rules may work for some people whom I have met, but for most students I have talked to, this school is exactly what it looks like...a prison.

Submitted by a student

April 28, 2014

Ardey Kell is a great high school, filled with lots of diversity. Since day one, the staff and faculty has been very welcoming and inclusive. My children have received an excellent education, as well as being involved in a great athletic community.

Submitted by a parent

December 18, 2013

Both of our children attended AK and they loved it. In addition we as parents enjoyed the experience WITH our children as they were very involved.

Submitted by a parent

December 17, 2013

Principal Switzer and school staff do an excellent job in motivating and educating all students in this phenomenally growing district. Their care to encourage and incorporate every family to enhance a student's growth is second to none.

Submitted by a parent

December 10, 2013

As a parent of a current student and AK graduate, I am extremely pleased with the leadership of Principal Switzer and his top notch teaching staff. The curriculum is challenging and there are extensive opportunities for students to get involved in extra curricular activities (sports, clubs, community service). The student body is diverse and includes a large Exceptional Children's program. Teachers go out of their way to assist students achieve their academic goals. The school is extremely safe. Parent involvement is encouraged. Communication between the school and parents is excellent.

Submitted by a parent

December 6, 2013

I just moved here and attended as a new student at Ardrey Kell last week. Honestly, everyone is so unwelcoming, the classes are too long, and the whole school looks and feels like a prison. Sure, the staff may be nice but the kids are so judgemental and materialistic and it's difficult to make friends since everyone's already in their cliques. The homeroom schedule is extremely confusing and they don't have many elective classes to offer. I can't stand the thought of attending school here for 3 more years, I have no idea how this is the "Best School" in all of Charlotte. You're better off homeschooling or moving back to where you came from.

Submitted by a student

November 19, 2013

Ardrey Kell High School is without a doubt the best school in Charlotte Mecklenburg. The school is always in the lead in academics and test scores. We have a diverse and confident student body. The athletics at Ardrey Kell are OUTSTANDING. The school has won the Wachovia Cup Conference (now the Wells Fargo Conference) 4 years in a row! This is an award for the All Around Best Athletics. The actual school is wonderful, it is one of the newest in the county. The Exceptional Needs program at the school is fantastic also. I have experience with this area and it is really hands down the best. The principal and staff at Ardrey Kell are unsurpassed. This is sometimes stressful to the staff due to expectations but they do deliver. Earlier principals did not achieve these high results/scores as the current principal. He is demanding of the students and staff. He accomplishes this thru strength of belief in a great education, fairness and compassion. He also shares a love and enjoyment of his students and they of him. There is a lot of team spirit and closeness amongst the students, parents and staff. I couldn't be happier with the education my 2 kids rec'd from Ardrey Kell.

Submitted by a parent

September 26, 2013

My school is best because... # any and every teacher sends reply to all our questions even when it is midnight, they send us from documents to suggestions at that time of day. # school has very active clubs to keep the students from pursuing their interests. # our music and band teacher Mr. Butler is so excellent that he takes time and helps us play every note for various instruments per kid very patiently. # debate team is another great area a student can excel, and football team is perfect to play and enjoy a game own Friday night. # my counselor is too good that I shoot him a mail and he gives a detailed reply to that, I am only a freshman and am surprised to find teachers and staff this dedicated to improvement of the student that not even a elementary or middle school has done so far. # we do have something called Knights program in which the student can take time with a teacher and revise any topic that they need or be in the class in which you are weak yet. Therefore my school is the best!

Submitted by a student

September 20, 2013

I'd rather my two kids attend AK than nearly any other CMS school (and they, in the main, like it). The vast majority of my kids' teachers have been caring professionals. That said, some aspects of its culture are bothersome: a huge push to take AP/Honors courses that may not fit everyone's needs/abilities (and a tendency of many students to be judgmental of those not taking AP Everything); excessive homework; a principal who purports an open-door policy but is often inflexible and oversensitive even to constructive criticism; exorbitant fees for many extracurriculars (an assumption exists that every AK family has deep pockets); a growing drug/drink problem; lack of response from administrators/counselors when you contact them with an issue (but who interrupt dinnertime at least twice a week with ConnectEd calls); overloaded special-ed case managers/general counselors who often do not respond to multiple emails. As for its size, my kids' point of view is that this actually discourages cliquishness, but they've also complained that it can be difficult to get to know people, particularly since homework makes socializing outside of school difficult.

Submitted by a parent

August 21, 2013

This school is very concerned with how it looks on the outside, and very UNconcerned with its students. The principal outright favors wealthy families, and lets kids with money get away with a lot more than the kids without. For example, when dealing with the issue of drugs and drug using students, the student with the parents who are willing to pay to keep their child from getting in trouble is quickly reprimanded and brushed under the rug. Whereas the student with parents who aren't able to make a big donation to the school is suspended. This year, they have introduced the "name tag". Although pictures of professional IDs come to mind, the true picture is a childish plastic sheet with a paper inside with the student's name on it. This is deemed a factor of safety, and if the student refuses to BUY it, along with a yearly agenda, they are at risk of suspension. Although the school looks were polished and wealthy on the outside, I am telling you from the inside: not all is as it seems. The money is leeched from the students and parents, and the teachers care more about their tenure and paycheck than they do about a student's success. Also, scheduling keeps kids from taking APs.

Submitted by a student

August 20, 2013

Found Principal to be condescending, aggressive, unprofessional, emotional when trying to solve simple issue. Very type A. Disappointed.

Submitted by a parent

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