Lighthouse Academies

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  lighthouse-academies.org
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Lighthouse Academies Reviews

Updated September 17, 2014
Updated September 17, 2014
13 Reviews
2.2
13 Reviews
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  1.  

    Fulfilling! Work is demanding but so is closing the achievement gap.

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

    I worked at Lighthouse Academies full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    An opportunity to be innovative and creative in solving problems. Collaborative work environment. Strong parental support. Commitment to moving the needle on education.

    Cons

    Long hours and not so great pay. It's the world of choosing to work in a charter. Many teachers don't have the heart for children to inspire them to make sacrifices needed to meet the needs of children. Negative comments are written by disgruntled teachers who were not renewed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Strengthen hiring practices. Stop hiring deadbeat teachers who can't cut in the Charter world and who are selflessly motivated. Find more revenue to raise salaries.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2.  

    I suggest looking elsewhere

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Teach for America Teacher  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Teach for America Teacher in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Lighthouse Academies full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    The pay was decent, and the benefits were alright. Also, the administration put a lot of resources into teacher development; the first few weeks of school (prior to students joining us) were a blast.

    Cons

    The children are extremely difficult to work with, and the teacher/admin turnaround is relatively high -- I think around 10 teachers and staff quit during the school year.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1. Decrease student-teacher ratio
    2. Allow teachers to have more than a 10 minute break for the entire school day (every teacher's advice, right?)
    3. Pay slightly more (or a lot more)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  3.  

    Director of Teacher Leadership

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

    I worked at Lighthouse Academies full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Nothing. Absolutely nothing. The only strength is the quality of the teachers hired by the local administration.

    Cons

    Everything- complete waste of tax payer money. Network should NOT be allowed to open new schools.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Increase your standards of performance. Don't allow poor performance to flourish.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Working here almost drove me to leave the teaching profession.

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

    I worked at Lighthouse Academies full-time

    Pros

    - Great relationships with other teachers.
    - Staff seemed to work together well & help each other when possible.
    - Positive relationships with some students.

    Cons

    - Administration is not effective in communicating expectations.
    - Absurd amounts of favoritism from admin, even pointing out "favorites" and "non-favorites" in staff meetings.
    - No supply budget, no paper for copies, non working printers or printing privileges being "taken away" from teachers, even though there is no curriculum, and teachers have to be able to print for the students to have work.
    - Mis-use of Title One funding.
    - No support of teachers who write students up, for ANY reason.
    - Inconsistent discipline policies
    - Terrible teacher retention rate (over half of the staff quitting before spring break)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Follow through with policies outlined in the hand book
    - Provide students, teachers and staff with consistent schedules and constant practices
    - Support teachers and provide needed supplies (reams of paper)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  6.  

    School should be shut down

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

    I worked at Lighthouse Academies full-time

    Pros

    -Autonomy (no observations, no review of lesson plans, no accountability regarding student performance, administration never even walks past the classroom)

    Cons

    -No curriculum provided
    -Lack of care/interest in students
    -Disrespectful administrators who are often found gossiping with each other, doors open and yelling at staff for non-issues
    -Professional development is a joke and a complete waste of time where administrators talk down to staff
    -No organization whatsoever. Special schedules changed multiple times with about a day notice to change class schedules
    -Low test scores. 4th grade was .04% proficient this year
    -IEPs not implemented
    -School premises not maintained whatsoever (bug problem due to lunch and breakfast being served in classes, playground very unsafe, broken windows, fences, etc)
    -Salary is not competitive. Less than DCPS minimums

    The list could go on and on. The school is a sad excuse for a school and all students would be better off at any other public or charter school.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Lead Teacher

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Lighthouse Academies

    Pros

    Students are great and some families are supportive. Co-workers are helpful, smart and amazing people to build friendships outside if teaching.

    Cons

    Horrible administration - lots of favoritism.
    Director of Teacher Leadership has two years of teaching experience, 27!! and has no idea how to coach teachers who are not in TFA and have over 1 year of exp.
    Practice discrimination
    Low pay and work teachers to the bone.
    Fire and push out good teachers in the middle of the year.
    Principal allows parents to bully teachers and does not stick up for you.
    No curriculum for students to reference
    Lesson plans due two weeks in advance - materials are never available to complete plans
    Students do not have adequate supplies

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire administrators who have more than two years of teaching in a classroom environment. Five years minimum!
    Get a curriculum to help students succeed instead of trying to save money, meanwhile burning out teachers to live unhappy/unhealthy lives!

  8.  

    A great charter school network, always striving to be better

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

    I have been working at Lighthouse Academies full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Values arts as a necessary component of a quality education
    diversity of experiences among the leadership
    supportive of innovation and allows schools to be flexible
    surrounded by lots of smart people

    Cons

    teacher salary needs to be higher to stay competitive and retain the best teachers
    locations of schools aren't in the most desirable cities

  9.  

    Good intentions, terrible execution.

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

    I have been working at Lighthouse Academies full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Kids are amazing! School structure is promising. Easy to advance without any credentials and little experience.

    Cons

    Inexperienced administration, who may or may not have the training, degrees and certificates necessary to effectively do their jobs. Low pay. Extremely long hours. Not enough support or resources. Although the LHA mission and vision are great, in actuality it is not happening, which results in frustration from the admin all the way down to the students. Unreasonable with expectations for staff to put in extra hours without compensation (not just lesson planning and grading, also events, etc.)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more considerate of employees and more appreciative and supportive of their hard work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  10.  

    It was a wonderful opportunity marred by horrible work environment, poor leadership and lack of communication.

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

    I worked at Lighthouse Academies full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    The Lighthouse model of education is sound if executed properly. There are opportunities for individuals who don't meet all the state qualifications to work here and build up experience. Most of all being able to make a difference with the children that struggle in the normal school environment. Your co-teachers are very supportive and will help each other despite the environment.

    Cons

    As a new teacher of LHA, you will be working 45+ hours (effectively 80+ hours with homework) a week due to the longer school day, lack of support, inefficiencies of management, and how the LHA model is implemented. I am well aware that teachers work long hours outside the normal school day but after talking with many others LHA in Arkansas creates an environment that exceeds the norm. The LHA model is good but not for new teachers that need to learn core skills and abilities before they branch out with the unique methods of the model or teaching outside their licensed area. Very poor teacher retention rate. Problems and negative data is "swept under the rug" to make the school look good to the parents and Dept of Education rather than used to improve the school. I witnessed many opportunities for transparency in the name of improvement in front of the parents (or senior leadership) that actually was a spin to hide a problem. The poor leadership communications make it difficult for employees and cause the students to find gaps to take advantage of the system.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    In the Arkansas region there are some serious leadership issues that create a horrid work environment, especially for new teachers. In addition, there are poor communication techniques that need to be addressed. All of this is exacerbated by long standing friendships between key employees that cloud judgement and effectiveness. Strongly recommend you observe the methods of faculty and office leadership. They may look productive on paper but they wreak havoc on the work environment and are impacting the children with unstable education that teeters on the edge of not meeting standards. Also watch out for the "friend" histories between various levels of leadership that clouds oversight and judgement on performance.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  11.  

    Accepting a job at this school was the worst decision of my life.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Elementary School Teacher  in  Jacksonville, AR
    Former Employee - Elementary School Teacher in Jacksonville, AR

    I worked at Lighthouse Academies

    Pros

    The other teachers are very supportive of one another and are a wonderful resource, great initial school culture training at the beginning of the year.

    Cons

    Biased administration, poor leadership and support for teachers, 45 hour weeks. Everything is "swept under the rug" to make the school look great from the outside. They test the life out of those kids and the teachers that teach to the test (instead of to student needs) are rewarded. A poor teacher retention rate each year speaks for itself.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Support your teachers. Hire based on skill, not friend of a friend. Use certified teachers as substitutes instead of paraprofessionals who babysit instead of teach.

    Doesn't Recommend

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