National Heritage Academies

  www.nhaschools.com
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National Heritage Academies Reviews

Updated August 6, 2014
Updated August 6, 2014
40 Reviews

2.9
40 Reviews
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Jeff Clark
20 Ratings

12 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Service Center employee

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Service Center  in  Grand Rapids, MI
    Current Employee - Service Center in Grand Rapids, MI

    Pros

    Working with the school staff and receiving gratitude from the office staff.

    Cons

    There is no room for growth. All professional development is for teachers, deans or principals. The Service Center employees are hired for a specific job. Do not spend more than two year here, unless you like doing nothing with your career.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Micromanaging and lacking opportunity to all employees will be the downfall. The culture is already rotting on the inside and the only thing upper mgmt is concerned with is student achievement and seat filling. Students are dollars for this real estate management company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Teachers are not valued, too many expectations without any sort of compensation or assistance.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Teacher  in  Kalamazoo, MI
    Current Employee - Teacher in Kalamazoo, MI

    Pros

    Good mission. There are a lot of cutting edge initiatives.

    Cons

    Teachers are overworked and under paid. While it's not all about the money, the amount of time that goes in should at least keep up with local school districts' pay.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get into the classrooms/buildings and listen before adding another initiative.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    The pros and cons of a charter school.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Teacher  in  Charlotte, NC
    Former Employee - Teacher in Charlotte, NC

    Pros

    great insurance,faithful employees, close faculty,

    Cons

    no sick days, no acured leave of any type, no potential for advancement, micro-managed by Deans,

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change your administration often, the management is stale, micromanages, and forces employees out of the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    A great company that lost its soul.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Administrator
    Former Employee - Administrator

    Pros

    Good teacher training
    Good health coverage

    Cons

    Low salaries
    Too much classroom supervision
    Too fad oriented
    Constant change in leadership

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Back off the classroom observations. Trust your teachers. Give your teachers more planning time and planning days. Drop your membership in the Fad of the Month Club.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    NHA Schools give a false picture of what the school is really like

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Substitute Teacher
    Current Employee - Substitute Teacher

    Pros

    Get to meet a lot of people
    Great students
    Very diverse groups of students in each school
    Teaching with purpose
    College-driven curriculum

    I believe that the schools do a good job trying to have a moral focus for the students to learn, but aside from teaching it, the students don't care and are rarely receptive to it.

    Cons

    Teachers are overworked and underpaid
    Overabundance of paraprofessionals in each classroom is unnecessary
    Students rarely learn anything that they wouldn't in a regular public school
    Assessment is a joke

    Most of the students in most of the schools are out of control, disrespectful, and don't want to be there. The teachers are stressed out beyond stressed, which is why the turnover is so high for NHA. Plus, the schools are profit-driven, as they function like "for profit" colleges. Public schools are not meant to make money, but to educate students. NHA schools are meant to make money, and education seems like a lower priority.

    The schools have so many paraprofessionals in the classrooms that don't really contribute to the learning environment. Most of the paraprofessionals have teaching degrees, but are sent out with a group of students to help fill out a worksheet, or something similar.

    The school is taking on the latest fad, "group learning", as they are implementing group learning whenever possible. I have witnessed this first-hand multiple times in the school, where teachers are trying to teach, and the students are sitting back, playing on their cell phones, and talking in their groups. The teachers are frustrated because the idea of stations or groups does not work all of the time, for every grade, and every subject area.

    Assessment is a joke. Multiple times, I've seen students complete a "quiz" at the end of learning a unit. They all score very well on it, but they do so because all they're doing is regurgitating the information they were supposed to have learned. For example, I was working with a group of students that had been learning a grammar topic for a week. They knew they were being quizzed on it at the end of the week. On that Friday, the teacher went over all of the answers to the quiz with the students. THEN, she handed out the quiz. Were they really showing what they learned, or were they just repeating exactly what they had reviewed 2 minutes before? After the teacher got the NWA testing results back, almost all of the students showed no understanding of that same grammar topic, even after they had "learned" it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop focusing on the bottom dollar and focus more on the actual education of the students. You should also focus on paying your teachers manageable salaries if you plan to overwork them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Hearts are in the right place, execution is poor

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Corporate  in  Grand Rapids, MI
    Former Employee - Corporate in Grand Rapids, MI

    Pros

    NHA's healthcare benefits are second to none - tough to find with many employers today. A commitment to help inner city youth succeed.

    Cons

    Low pay, unreasonable expectations, limited support, inexperienced leaders, too much reliance on their mission and not enough focus on the people making it happen each and every day. Annual turnover regularly exceeds 40-50% of total staff.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    When you are burning teachers out the way the turnover numbers suggest you are, something needs to change. You get what you pay.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Priorities all wrong

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Very structured, organized, agenda after agenda, meeting minute after meeting minute. Lots of teaching materials and resources. At my particular school, fantastic parent involvement and student population. Parents were very grateful for all the hard work coming from the teachers and overall, very satisfied.

    Cons

    I'm all for high expectations, student achievement and rigorous academics. However, NHA and this school in particular see students as a meer number on a piece of paper. Green, yellow or red--based on their standardized test score performance. Way too much emphasis is placed and directed toward the quality of teachers based on a computerized, standard test. At the end of the day, yes--we all want our students and children to learn and grow. We want them to succeed and do well and be at the top of their class. However, they are a person- not a product, not a number. Admin was overall cold and not compassionate. Teachers were expected to do ridiculous amounts of work that had nothing to do with teaching and learning. NHA strives for excellence, and they pride themselves on running like a 'company'- a large charter school organization that they are- yet they do not want to compensate or reward their employees for a job well done. They know where every cent goes (a good thing in school management) however are not willing to invest the money in teachers that will stay for a long time and make a difference. High teacher turnover. Every second of every day for a teacher was taken up, and planned months in advance for them. There was no trust in their teaching ability, or flexibility for them to be creative educators. Admin was like a dictatorship-employees did not feel heard or even allowed to speak their opinion in fear they may lose their job or make the school 'look bad.' Employees felt as though they needed to re-word their true feelings and felt manipulated. Kids could not be kids. Not enough time to eat lunch or for a brain break. Kindergartners were asked to take home 'valentine' bags to make for homework because it was not related to a core academic subject area. They want their teachers to be seen (before school hours, during, after school) working their behinds off, but not heard. Teachers felt unsupported and burnt out. So many terrific, superb teaching abilities and teachers there- it is sad that they won't be there for long if the school keeps running in the direction it has been. Kids are kids- which will be (we hope) compassionate, loving, hard working, intelligent adults. NHA wants robots who all think the same, obey every rule and not step out of any boundary or box. They are not trying to help mold a creative adult, but rather a high SAT score.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Friendly, but fake. Many of the parents and staff thought of them as very cold. They were looking out for the best interest of the company and the best interest of the numbers on the paper (which made them look better), not their actual human workers who sacrificed day in and day out. It is helpful to have at least 1 or 2 managers/admin that have actual children.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Plan to work excessive hours

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Toledo, OH
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toledo, OH

    Pros

    The health insurance is awesome! Staff is given rewards(snacks,etc.) regularly. Small Class Sizes. Great teamwork and staff support, mentoring available

    Cons

    Short lunches, minimal lesson planning times, weekly observations with evaluations. Teachers are expected to stay late and babysit after school if their students are not picked up at dismissal (45 min. at times). Work at least 50 hours a week. New paperwork or educational fads to be followed every couple months. Excessive testing, too many meetings, no work days, staff is treated different

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Compensate or have realistic expectations for staff, hire more staff for extra work, delegate professional duties appropriately, treat staff the same, longer lunch breaks, hold parents accountable for school involvement and picking up their kids on time, and stop using staff as a parental supplement for out of school life

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good for experience, not a life-long career employer.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Intructional Staff  in  Detroit, MI
    Current Employee - Intructional Staff in Detroit, MI

    Pros

    NHA likes to stay current on new studies and trends in the field of education, and with a K-8 setting, you really get to know the students personally.

    Cons

    It is a corporation. You are not given a contract- you are an at-will employee, which is stressful. You are often serving low income and urban students who can be difficult and challenging, while often not receiving any support by administration or parents. Also - your 'prep' time is when meetings are scheduled with admin, and you have to eat lunch and supervise your students eating theirs in your classroom. No potty breaks, no time to get to the lounge for anything.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Teacher turnover is important. The longer they stay with the company, the more expertise they have and can be the competent educators that corporate wants. However, with low pay and the overwhelming paperwork, and often unsupportive administration, makes this an extremely negative environment to work in. Even if higher pay cannot be accomplished, a lunch to ourselves would be nice. We often feel more like babysitters than professionals.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    NHA Leadership and Culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Teacher  in  Dayton, OH
    Current Employee - Teacher in Dayton, OH

    Pros

    Charter school provides some freedom and flexibility in curriculum and teaching methods
    Fellow teachers are willing to provide help and support for new and less experience teachers

    Cons

    Lack of leadership experience
    Uncompetitive salary
    McGregor Theory X style leadership
    Blame Culture

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Institute an innovative culture that includes a systems theory approach to solving strategic problems. Institute a collaborative and collegial style leadership that is congruent with a learning organization that adapts well to local educational markets.

    Doesn't Recommend

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