Think carefully before you buy in to the hype of how "unique, caring and nurturing" this school actually is. Would a class of 26 be considered "small" when public has 28? Teachers lack professionalism, are lackadaisical. Others impatient and often verbally abusive. BULLYING embraced as "opportunity to learn", classrooms filthy/cluttered, buildings are in such disrepair that safety is at risk. Lack of proper supervision equates to "missing" children; ongoing injuries. Administration turns blind eye to it all. Nepotism is rampant yet they are reticent to reveal, starting with the HM. Lower School Dean is ALSO the 4th grade teacher AND in the midst of cancer treatment. Highly ineffective. If a parent questions anything they are said to be "unrealistic"; if a child is removed, it is said that "GF is not for everyone". No amount of touring, questioning or campus visits are going to be as telling as this: Just this year, not 1 but FOUR Kindergarten families withdrew simultaneously, forfeiting their paid tuition due to these very issues. Many more will not return next year. They tout academic excellence but the reality is the students are left far behind their peers from other schools!
Being at this school has helped shaped my son's entire life. Not only is he challenged in a creative and academic way, he also is appreciated for his individuality. The faculty are experienced and caring. The class sizes are small. The school's sense of community is one of a kind, the lower school students mingle with upper school so that the children grow together. The tuition is high, but it's worth every penny. There is both need-based and merit-based financial aid available, which was very helpful to our family. There were previously some issues with finance and governance, however, these seem to have been resolved over the past few years thanks to a change of headmaster. I am so thankful that my child will graduate from Green Fields!
Green Fields has several things going for it: small class size, challenging curriculum, and many good teachers. However, the quality of teaching varies, and there is arrogance and inflexibility on the part of the school staff, which results in changes not being made to improve and expand the school and issues with inadequate teachers or other matters not being resolved. Many have been there for a considerable period of time. There is a pecking order, and parents are not necessarily seen as partners in their children's education. Communication is spotty. The kids get along well with each other and accept differences readily, and this is a good school if your child is struggling with intolerance/bully issues at their current school. The tuition is very high, and you are also always asked for more money through constant fundraising activities. Tuition doesn't includ the week-long interim costs. The small size of the upper schools means that the children miss out on being around ndividuals from many difference backgrounds and life experiences.
My son started here this year in the ninth grade. We have been blown away by the caring, attention and quality of the faculty, staff and student body at Green Fields! For the first time in years, my son is excited about what he's learning and wants to TALK to us about it. This is big, folks. The teachers are so attentive and helpful. It would be impossible for a child to fall through the cracks here. We feel very thankful to be able to send our son to Green Fields.
A wonderful K-12 school with very low student-teacher ratios and exceptional teachers. Very happy kids wholove to learn!
Green Fields is just incredibly wonderful and unique. You really can't judge a school by reviews because only a tiny fraction of the school's population actually writes them.... and just like with anything, there are people who love their experience and those who don't. The best advice I have is to come and see for yourself- take a tour, spend a few hours, and have your child spend a morning or a full day. There is no better, more holistic, child-centered school in Tucson. The Heart and Soul of the school is about nurturing children at each stage of their development, making happy, life-long learners. What could be better than that?
The school has a lot to offer; unfortunately, the turnover of staff, the controlling board, the very pricey tuition has left a lot of us stunned and confused. We hope it can stay open through our child's graduation and that someone does something to improve morale and quality of education.
During our time at the school, we felt that Green Fields had many good teachers but many serious problems with finance, governance and administration. We wanted to keep our children there for the sake of the teachers (some of whom have now left), but we ended up deciding to withdraw them because of the leadership problems. Our advice to prospective parents is this: investigate carefully and thoroughly before enrolling your children. Good teaching is important, but it cannot guarantee the stability of the institution if other important things are not in place.
Just read the review from 5/20, and want to give some other thoughts. GF recently celebrated its 75th anniversary in Tucson, and several of the buidings have historical significance. My daughter's classroom is the same that was used for the original boy's school students and has vaulted, beamed ceilings and a fireplace, even. A multipurpose room was recently built and the designers incorporated anoriginal adobe wall rather than tearing it down. I personally prefer this aesthetic to pre-fab--but really, those are simply personal aesthetic choices. What really counts is the quality of instruction. Learning doesn't have to take place in new classrooms, or in classrooms, period! GF kids learn in the greenhouse, the riparian area, the chicken coop, the Friday farmer's markets, the the athletic fields, and the stage, AS WELL as in the classrooms. Finally, I doubt that ANY great teacher is paid what they are worth, but it's true that our beloved teachers at GF accepted a pay decrease two years ago to help keep the school healthy. This speaks volumes to the committment they have to Greenfields and its students. Trust me, Greenfields is not going ANYWHERE
My son Carlos attended Greenfields from 6th grade on. He was privileged to have teachers such as Mr. Dorson. Mr. Teller, Ms. Cordieer and Mr. Haskett. Mr Haskett inspired him so that he studied English literature at Wesleyan and dedicated his honors thesis to him. This is the best school in Tucson.
My child started at Green Fields in 9th grade and has been there for almost 2 years now. The community (parents, students in the same grade, students in other grades) surrounded her with acceptance and inclusion from the first day we visited. The teachers are very good, and the classes are small enough that they each know exactly what is going on with each student. I receive e-mails from teachers when test grades are exceptionally high, and if they are of concern. These are always personalized with detailed description about my child's performance. The teachers are available in person after school and by cell phone and email in the evenings for extra help. One period each week is a Study Table time for the entire high school so any student can meet with any teacher for extra help or additional questions. The teachers set high standards, and then help each student strive to reach those. I am very pleased with the educational and extracurricular experience at Green Fields.
It seems that parents these days are in a big hurry for their kids to grow up. They are forgetting the absolute fundamental portion of growing up. Childhood. Forcing math facts and worksheets onto young children will teach them how to memorize and how to make their parents happy. It will NOT teach them essential life skills to survive in this world. Green Fields School excels in exposing children to all of the many wonderful aspects of being a child. They play in trees, in mud, in paint. They learn about art and music and theater by doing. They learn math by counting eggs the chicken coop or rows of corn in the greenhouse. They watch rockets launch, they write poetry inspired by flower gardens. They take nature walks. They participate and win science fairs, Shakespeare competitions and state vocal competitions. Children are nurtured and encouraged to be their best at whatever they try. This school is an amazing place. Once you step foot on campus, you never want to leave. It is a very special place, for very special children.
If you are looking for a school with outstanding teachers, small class sizes, challenging, authentic curriculum, and a nurturing community, then Green Fields is the school for you! Students from lower school to upper school are involved in project based, higher level learning experiences.
Our daughter has attended GFCDS since the seventh grade and she really loves her school. Since it is a smaller school, there are numerous opportunities to participate in any activity that she wants to do--high school chorus musicals, athletics [she has played basketball, including in the state tournament, volleyball and softball], student government, national honor society. With much smaller classes than in the public schools, she knows her teachers well and is preparing for her upcoming transition to college. One of her favorite aspects of the school is the large, open, green campus. The cost has been well worth the education and the whole school experience that she has been receiving. We know that it is far superior to what she would have received in a public school setting. Based on our experience, we would recommend Green Fields to any parent/student/family that is looking for the whole enchilada in a K to 12 education.
Green Fields has provided a wonderful environment for my son to grow as a student and citizen. The school community embrace him and challenge him every day. His teachers adjust the curriculum to match his individual needs as a student, while creating an environment for all of the students to flourish together.
If a total education is what you are looking for, then Green Fields is for you. My daughter has flourished here and will continue to as long as we are in Tucson.
I attended Green Fields CDS from 7th grade through high school. I couldn't be more thankful for the one of a kind education I received. I am happy to hear that many of the same teachers I had are still teaching, and the same wonderful programs are still being offered. I recently had my first child and if I am still in Tucson when he is school age I will do my best to see that he attends Green Fields.
I have had children at Green Fields for 6 years. It is a superior school. It is not perfect and it is not for everyone. There are so many other schools jumping over each other to cater to students' minds, to dwell on academic standards and teach to the test. If that is what you want in a shiny new physical plant, then go elsewhere. But if you want more for your family and your child, Green Fields is as good as it gets. GF has very strong academics, but it also tries to meet the needs of the whole child. I don't know of any other school in town that does this half so well. Yes it is expensive and yes it has some flaws. You are not going to find fancy facilities here; but you will find 3/4 of a Century of rich history. GF is a school where parent involvement is high and you can make a difference in ways you could not dream of doing at other schools. The teachers are incredibly talented and dedicated. The students are well-rounded and happy, and given many more broad opportunities than they might get elsewhere. The same students who win science fairs are out on the soccer field and acting in school performances. Our kids are there, despite the cost, because they deserve it.
Our expectations were very high considering the high cost of the tuition. The Lower school failed to teach my child basic elementry schools skills like reading and writing. The situation was addressed multiple times with the teachers and principal but no changes were made. My child is now excelling at another school. Also, the classrooms and buildings are in desperate need of renovation. I highly recommend that you do not send your child to this school. It it not worth risking your child's education.
Outsanding teachers, strong but fair leadership and challenging but managable academics make this a gem of a school.
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