I CAN SCHOOLS Employee Reviews

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Great atmosphere
Instructional Teacher Leader (Current Employee) –  Cleveland, OHJanuary 29, 2017
The teachers and administration work together to meet the needs of the scholars we serve. I have had the opportunity to grow as a teacher and leader within this network and am ready for my next step
Pros
Structure
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Not great
Teacher (Former Employee) –  Cleveland, OHOctober 7, 2016
This is a decent school system to work for as first year teacher. There are quite a few Teach for American students that work here. Management is terrible.
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Make This a SHORT Means for Your Career Or It Will Be Its End
Teacher (Former Employee) –  Cleveland, OHAugust 9, 2016
I watched my best friends in management and the teaching staff get pushed out for budgetary reasons for years, even if the excuse was "cut-backs/performances/structure change/more $ for the classrooms." The truth is that a typical day at ICS requires the sort of motivation, dedication, and results that a company paying twice as much and offering positive feedback would offer. For teachers, this may be an exaggeration, but you can STILL do so much better.

ICS is so intense that it's likely to ruin your marriage, your relationship with your children, and even your character. It isn't a matter of working hard enough, because you'll stay up at night stressing about how nothing you'll ever do is enough. Management is all words but the last good of them has gone; the rest, particularly the academic team, will stab you in the back and fire you if you question their outdated or financially-driven "best practices." The good has been gone for a long time. I tried to stick around, but I'm just done; they took out the last of the advocates for educators, and now there's no outlook for less over-staffing and more professional development that COUNTS.

Coworkers are either absolutely amazing and care and can teach you everything you want to know, or they are hired to positions beyond their ability because of personal relationships with the owners. We had a few management, school admins, and teachers speak up on behalf of the kids and even the teachers. Guess what? They were fired. You're practically encouraged to consider the families and children to take "whatever they can get" because
  more... saying they deserve more will get you fired. No matter how good you are. Most people there are cowards. Particularly the deans and revolving door of principals at each school. It feels like an "eat or be eaten" environment, and you'll get just that from the people who want to keep their jobs. Loyalty is a joke.

The saving grace is that the families and children are wonderful. The parents/guardians/grandparents buy into this and truly believe their children will learn here. As a result, the student body can be difficult, but the parental support is awesome.
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Pros
Ability to change the lives of children, retirement benefits, pay
Cons
Everything else
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do your homework before you sign up
former employee (Former Employee) –  Cleveland, OHApril 15, 2016
This is an unsafe place for adults to work and students to learn. I CAN SCHOOLS has a gift for finding talented educators only to overwork and mistreat them to the point where quality teachers and administrators who know what good schools should look like eventually leave, and by somewhere around mid-year they are left with people who have no educational experience but stay because they aren't employable by schools systems outside of this network (including other charters). I CAN SCHOOLS focuses on superficial educational practices that look good but are inconsistent with authentic learning yet they run around using phrases like "best practices" to justify their use of intrusive and demeaning daily policies like mean spirited emails they call quick hits or devoting weeks to putting up bulletin boards but spending no work time planning curriculum. They made a huge deal over their first graduating class in 2015 but take the time to find out how those students performed on the SAT or ACT and look at what colleges those students got into, and see if I CAN is doing anything to support some of those same students who barely graduated to ensure that they are surviving in and graduating from college. A good number of the student culture deans don't have a single day of teaching experience, didn't even go to college for education or a content area and have no professional training in education outside the network, but somehow they go on to become building leaders expected to support new teachers. Not one school in their entire network has retained it's entire administration the  more... whole school year. Some have gone through as many as two or three principals in a single year. Teacher turnover at their worst schools is probably around 50% and in these same schools the percentage of students with IEPs is as much as 2 to 3 times the state average. So be prepared to be a new teacher with as many as 25% of your students in a single class with IEPs and sloppy oversight because they aren't teaching these SPED kids skills so much as they are just pushing them along. The fact that I CAN has so many struggling schools filled with completely unhappy teachers and district level managers with huge egos shows why people don't trust charter schools. I feel sorry for parents uneducated enough, students unfortunate enough and staff desperate enough to find themselves at one of these schools. Just a year or so ago every one of the schools in their network had an F rating. Go find out what they have now.  less
Pros
could be a great program
Cons
teachers treated poorly, low salary, unprofessional and unethical behavior from district level managers
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mission driven workplace with high standards
Teaching second grade as a co-teacher (Current Employee) –  Cleveland, OHMay 24, 2015
• The duties of this job consist of specializing in the development of Special Education students.
• Teaching second grade as a co-teacher
• Created lesson plans and unit plans
• Attending staff Professional Development Classes every Friday
• Maintaining a safe and productive environment for the students.
• Conflict Resolution
• Working with Sped Track and, IEP/ETR
• Tutoring children from grades K-10
• Monitoring children on bus routes to and from school.
• Coaching Basketball
• Working with Microsoft excel
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Challenging, Life Changing, Progress
Dean of Students (5th - 8th grade) (Former Employee) –  Cleveland, OHApril 7, 2015
I CAN SCHOOLS is hard work. It really puts to the test your love for urban education. if you love it than you will love here. I loved my core cohort. We built I CAN SCHOOLS and changed urban education in Cleveland.
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Fast paced enviroment with high expectations for performance
Admissions & Community Outreach Coordinator (Current Employee) –  Akron, OHFebruary 28, 2015
Great entry level management position for recent graduates.

High expectations foster strong time management, stronger communication skills and resourcefulness .

Company sufers from poor upper management & poor financial decisons.

Hardest part of position is working through tension & poor communication habits amoungst upper management team. Most decisons are not in best intrest of children. Most employees are over worked, under paid, and are terminated or laid off with little to no explanation.

Most enjoyable aspect of position is seeing academic growth in children. Also able to witness significant, personal & professional growth amoungst team of peers. Skills obtained at this company will ensure sucess & over achievement in any other position.
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A Place You Can Make a Difference
Teacher (Current Employee) –  Cleveland, OhioSeptember 9, 2014
Teaching in an urban environment can be extraordinarily rewarding, and—oftentimes—extraordinarily challenging. The culture and community of I CAN SCHOOLS minimizes the weight of the inherent challenges and creates an environment that helps facilitate student and educator success. My school's leadership is supportive and my co-workers are some of the hardest working people I have ever met. While I do not agree with everything, like the strictness of the discipline policy, there is no school in the area I feel provides students with the high quality of education they receive here. Although you have to be willing to work hard here, the successes are beyond worth it.
Pros
High starting salary, inspiring co-workers, clean and safe facilities, leadership support
Cons
Strict uniform policy
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Growth Opportunity
Former Office Manager (Current Employee) –  ClevelandSeptember 4, 2014
I CAN SCHOOLS has taught me that there is potential to grow and will support your strengths and help improve your weakness, I am proud to work for such a great company.
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A different approach, same educational goals
Teacher (Current Employee) –  Cleveland, OhioJuly 17, 2014
In my opinion, I CAN SCHOOLS is the savior for urban education. From the structure in the classrooms to the orderly lines required in the hallways, students are engaging in a very disciplined style of learning where the focal point is always student improvement. The driving force behind any implementation is student success and that is what I love about this organization. My personal favorite take away, are the efforts to instill the importance of going to college to students from the elementary grade level on up to high school and even more importantly, letting them know that it is possible. I’m sure that there are other public/charter schools in the area who share the common interest of bridging the achievement gap; however the commitment and dedication provided to scholars at I CAN SCHOOLS is unmatched. I’ll be the first to admit that some days are longer than others and I might not always agree with everything that takes place, but it makes it all worth it when you see the increase in test scores, attendance, and the overall willingness to learn. For me, that is the greatest reward.
Pros
free breakfast/lunch, free transportation, college prep curriculum
Cons
late spring break, short summer break
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Horrible place to work......
Teacher (Former Employee) –  Cleveland, OhFebruary 5, 2014
This has to be the most unorganized organization in the city of Cleveland when it comes to charter schools. HR is constantly lossing teacher paperwork such as BCI & FBI background checks, teacher licenses & certificate, transcripts etc. In addition, there are many teachers, deans & principles who work here that have no ideal what they are doing, most of which are not even qualified to work in a school. The leadership team is a joke with no real structure. The expectations of the teaching staff is unreasonable and unrealistic for $28,000 or $30,000 a year, even if you are just a first year teacher. Both Co-Founders party with staff members in such away I feel is unacceptable and degrading to their organization. If you accept any position with this organization more than likely you will quit, if you are not fired first by their horrible leadership team. Overall your productivity will be down due to the lack of support from the upper management & the stressful poor working environment in the schools. I don't think this organization will be able to sustain overtime.
Pros
Nothing....
Cons
short breaks
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N/a
Volunteer (Current Employee) –  Cleveland, OHOctober 9, 2013
I rather work a job i love making less than to work a job i hate making more.
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Depending on supervisor very exciting job
Admissions & Community Outreach Coordinator (Current Employee) –  Canton, OHMay 23, 2013
Depending on who your supervisor is, I CAN SCHOOLS is a great place to work. The supervisor I had constantly made everyone in the department feel that there job wasn't guaranteed at any given moment. Micro-managed for about 85% of the day and no real flexibility. Impromptu tasks even after work hours made this job a hassle
Pros
hours, environment
Cons
short breaks, micromanagment (by certain supervisors), too many hands in the basket
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Great concept for urban education
Co-Director / Dean of Student Life and Management (Former Employee) –  Cleveland, OHJanuary 15, 2013
The most enjoyable thing about working for ICAN Schools is that there are multiple systems in place to support scholars towards academic greatness.
Pros
great scholars
Cons
some staff moral unstable
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Overall rating

3.2
Based on 15 reviews
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Ratings by category

Work/Life Balance
2.8
Compensation/Benefits
3.3
Job Security/Advancement
3.3
Management
3.0
Culture
3.2

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