Monday, January 14, 2013

Creston Academy: a mid-year review

Pre-school is one of the biggest milestones in a child's life. And getting a good school for your kid is a big consideration. What is best for our kids is definitely our top priority. A typical parent looks for a school in which their kids will desire to figure out how the world works.  A place to where they can ask questions and to where they can show their curiosity in all things seen. In return, as a parent, we expect that our preferred school  has teachers who take our kids' questions seriously, honor those questions patiently and really respond to them with delight and clarity.  I am just so lucky that I found those with Creston Academy.
Pre-school isn't compulsory but I believe in investing on child's early education. Not all parents want their child to attend pre-school particularly for various valid reasons. Some says their kids are not yet ready socially, emotionally and physically. Others say, they are not yet ready to fully entrust the care of their kids to a total stranger. And most say, they are not yet ready financially. True enough, right?
It was just this school year that one of my kids started pre-schooling. My husband and I did a thorough scouting and even brought the kids to check it for themselves. We end up sending our eldest in Creston Academy, as this is the perfect school we've seen during our school hunting.  We even let them join the free trial offered last summer, which contributed a lot in our decision for choosing Creston above all good schools available in Tarlac (well aside from the vote they got from Clian and the twins). Even though they got 5 YES from all of us, just like any other first timers, I am looking forward that it can surpass my expectations and it can prove that money spent for the whole school year is worthy enough.
Here's my mid-year review for Creston Academy.
Environment: VERY GOOD
- Not dead, not too serious and not too formal.
- Classy and Comfy
- Has a sense of lightness and happiness which is really good for pre-schoolers.
- Has a sense of playfulness in the classrooms which attracts my other kids whenever we visit or pick up their kuya.
- School grounds neat and safe
- Kids are treated with much respect.
- Treatments are based on the abilities of the kids.
- They don't force but provide a genuine understanding on each childs' flaws.
- With deep passionate interest in helping children achieve their full potential.
- Professionals with good educational background
- Teachers are so open for personal feedback , arrangements and confrontations.
- Teacher-student relationships  are comfortable and relaxed
- Minimum class sizes: meaning , teachers can attend to all students fairly.
- No favoritism observed.
- Curriculum is oriented toward drawing the child out.
- Children have the opportunity to make choices in what they are to learn and what they want to learn.
- Lessons  are taught slowly but surely ( preschoolers)
- English school system
- All policies in writing and available to parents
- Opportunities to make choices in what they are to learn.
- Provides extrinsic learning which engaged in materials that can help motivate the - kids: rewards with points and/or happy faces.
- A part of motivation is that they provide parents  involvement in most of the school activities which boost each kids' level of confidence.
- Gives opportunities to show kids' abilities and talents.
- Exercise their ability to socialize and to get along with others.
- Gives sense of self sufficiency so kids can spend several hours outside their comfort zone. 
- Freedom on what they can do best.
And here are feedback from other parents.
Parent says: Admin available / open anytime for concerns. Open for feedback.
My Thoughts: The very best thing I have seen as  parents are always welcome for anything under the sun.
Expectations for next school year: May you continue this one as we, parents would always want to be connected with you. We appreciate partnership that you can offer/share with us  in molding these kids' little minds. Just by simply being open anytime for anything.
Parent says: Parents are not allowed to linger in the classroom not even outside of it (specially for preschooler).
My thoughts:  They just do that to avoid distractions and to get the full attention of the kids so they can focus on each activities and lessons. Based on experience, Creston has given each parents the ample time to cope with the scenario where in kids go into deep crying if they are being isolated from their mothers. I think it was more than 2 months or so  when Creston decided to implement this rule. Fair enough.
Expectations for next school year: Same rule must apply, specially for first timers. Give ample time for the kids to cope up and extreme patience while waiting for the kids to go out of their shells.
Parent says: Implement English language policy
My Thoughts: One thing that I have considered in choosing Creston.
Expectations for next school year: May you continue  to implement the English language policy as parents like me are really after the school who can produce a student that communicates well not only in our native language but more so in English.
It set you above standard if students can speak fluent English.
Parent says: Location wise, Creston is a good choice. It's just on the main road. Easy access- specially if you are coming from North or East.
My Thoughts: Yes, that's true. It's a one-stop school. One ride and that's it. Also it will spare you from traffic caused by rush-hour.
Parent says: You can be sure of your kids' security. Security guards and security cameras available.
My Thoughts: True and Kudos to that. We really need a more secured environment for our kids now adays. Remember mass school shooting in America? I know it will not happen, but it is better to be safe than sorry. 
Expectations for next school year: Whatever security measures you've implemented for the safety of your students today may continue for the coming school years as parents appreciate it much. We entrust our precious to you.
Parent says: Limited access on recreational areas like playground (indoor /outdoor) for family members waiting.
My thoughts: Parents are paying for it so I think  It's okay to make these areas exclusive for students only. Not bad  but for consideration make them available for first degree relatives atleast..
Expectations for next school year: Maybe you can extend the access to first degree relatives like brothers or sisters (below 7 years old). For example, mommies who tagged along their babies to pick up their older brothers or sisters.
Parent says: Guards are not attentive to those seeking for help in crossing the high-way.
My thoughts: Not all the time, but I may agree that sometimes it happens. You have to wave at them many times to call their attention , sometimes , they can see you yet they pretend that they don't. It must be a mandatory to help anyone coming in or out of the school when crossing the street specially that it's a main road.
Expectations for next school year: To mandate all on-duty guards about the safety of the students and the one picking them up specially in crossing the main road.
Parent says: We are disappointed on the release of the uniforms. They failed parents' expectations: Poor quality of material used. Cost may not vary with the outcome of the uniforms. Not well sewed.
My thoughts: This is the only thing that disappointed me. They failed my expectation for this as there's really nothing special on the uniform to wait for it for almost 3 months. Plus low class fabrics, buttons and zippers were used.And most of the orders were sent back for defects or wrong sizes.
Expectations for next school year: To hire a better dressmaker or atleast get  better fabric and material suppliers. Or give an option to parents to select their own dressmaker, just provide the materials.
Parent says: Expensive Tuition fee .
My Thoughts: Indeed expensive but what my son gained for the past 6 months or so can justify the price. I can say, money spent are all worth it. 
Expectations for next school year: How we wish you can lower down the tuition fee, even just for a few bucks. Well, it would be a good marketing strategy if you will do that. A lot of those I know are interested but are hesitant to pursue because of the expensive tuition fee.

To personally consider my child’s need as well as my own expectations and values, Creston currently meets that. So it is still up to you on what values you would like to see on your child  and how much involvement you can provide in school related activities. I for some was questioned as to why I am sending Clian to this expensive school knowing that we have a lot of important expenses to focus onto. But never did I change my mind for allowing Clian to experience Creston.  Values don't just mean moral and religious values.As I have mentioned on the first part of this post, Pre-school isn't compulsory but I believe in investing on child's early education and I am doing that to my kids.  If someone will ask me if I will be enrolling  my twins this coming school year in Creston along with my eldest, I will definitely say YES. The only thing that is holding me back is the cost. It is not new to you that me and my husband are just ordinary employees. Yes, both of us are call center agents, with a little freelancing gigs at the side but we can never tell if we'll meet our goal by chance. Still, I am one of those hopefuls in getting discounts by the next school year. Maybe atleast 40-50% less for the 3rd child enrolled. Not bad for a marketing nor promotional  leads , right? Currently, I believe that Creston is offering 5% off on the 3rd child enrolled. You can contact them for more details.
Disclaimer: I pushed myself to write this to see if I really made a right choice.  As you know, we will be sending 2 more of our kids to school this year , better yet create a personal checklist if Creston is meeting my expectations.  This is not to promote or demote Creston Academy. I've sited fair feedback as well as little flaws which I think are manageable.
To make sure feedbacks are balance, I included feedbacks from other parents involved.  You as a parent has a choice. It is always up to you to make the decision and I believe a good parent will not stick on hearsay but on personal experience. Find a school to where you can save and compare and does not compromise quality. 
Got concerns when it comes to choosing a preschool? Are you on the same stage? Leave a comment below and let's talk about it.

~Joan D.E.


  1. Hi my son is turning grade 1 this school year and i dont have much time because i am still taking care of my youngest baby boy. And i am worried that i cant supervise my son on lunchtime. I cant afford to get a yaya. But im willing to spend on my son's education. Do u think my son can manage eating lunch alone in creston? Would the teachers supervise him.

  2. How is ths elem education in creston? Is it heavy loaded? Just right? Are they fast pace, quantity or quality education. Do they pass the bucket to parents to teach coz there is another academy who does that n claim they are the best. Heard its half day grade 1 to 2, cool right? They use modules n 2 bks only for filipino n math. Cool not
    heavy to carry. The
    teachers are good english speakers. Yup teachers have good educ background, i heard, but are they good at teaching? I wish you can share your experience with the
    elem level of creston, or anybody out there who can put in their two cents...we indeed want to spend our money to a school that is worth it, realistic, not a burden, and overly ambitious to achieve for a student.