This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted October 31, 2014
- a parent
Fantastic school! It is like a family. The teachers and administration adore the kids as much as the kids adore them. They are helping raise these kids into respectful, knowledgeable, helpful little humans. They think of the child as a whole, they don't just focus on math and reading. It's a small school with big achievements.
I can not say enough great things about this school. My son is growing so much and i could not be more grateful. The woman who started the school, has such success in making children fall in love with learning. The kids are engaged and have a ton knowledge in history, science,art history, math, and English! The no homework is such a blessing. Kids are required to read and study for tests, but other than that, the families are free of homework. The class sizes are small and the school does not comprise on class sizes to make more money. I have younger children begging to go to vda. The only thing missing is a vda preschool =)
My son started VDA this year. It has been an amazing experience. It has changed our lives. We no longer have the stress of homework. We are able to enjoy our evenings being a family. Also, my son does not complain about being bored in school . Everyone is very caring. All of the teachers are very accessible. I would recommend this school to anyone looking for an alternative to traditional school. Also, the small class size is very beneficial. Mrs. VanDamme really cares about her school. The ttuition is very reasonable and it is worth every dime.
This is our first year and we could not be happier. The teachers are enthusiastic, the academics are challenging and meaningful. Heavy emphasis on writing and critical assessment, our child is really learning to break down material. They emphasize the process of learning, and provide tools and reinforcement to do so. Our son has been very challenged and improved in large measure. When he leaves in the 8th grade, he will be well prepared for High School. Our son is happy to go to school there and does not complain. The Director and staff have a strong vision and stick to it. They could improve a little on consistent methodology from new teachers. Homeroom teacher process is effective, and they provide a point of continuity for parents and students. Class time is rigorous and focused, time out of school does not need to be spent on silly projects. Not a lot of parent involvement, which we prefer as working parents. Overall, a wonderful culture, nice kids and families, passionate leadership, all overwell run and organized school.
There's so much good to say about VanDamme Academy, but my favorite of all is the fact the students are not taught down to, and I think this makes it particularly fun for them. This is true across the subjects but particularly visible in the literature curriculum, which features works I would read myself or already have enjoyed and can now discuss with my child. There's a palpable joy of learning in the air here, and excitement about what the next day and next assignments will bring. If your child has the "I don't want to go to school today" (or ever) blues, VanDamme may well be the cure.
After researching schools for the kids, we moved to the area specifically so our kids could attend the VanDamme Academy. I haven't been disappointed. The depth and principled approach to teaching have been surprising, even given the high expectations I had coming in. I'd recommend the school to any children and parents looking for an alternative to education as it exists in most public and private schools.
Van Damme Academy is a wonderful place for children to realy learn and connect with their teachers. They are learning true content and developing critical thinking skills that will help them be better students and life long learners. My children are excited about going to school each day. They are engaged in their studies and with the small classroom sizes are able to engage with their teachers. The teachers seem to love their jobs and their students, so it is a wonderful atmosphere for everyone.
This school is one of a kind. Well priced, well rounded and well staffed. They value children, education and families. Lisa van Damme is a god sent that shapes children into upstanding people who love to learn. She listens to parents and makes everyone feel important. She does not play the money talks game that most private school play. It is a low drama pausitive environment that provides families with the chance to enjoy their children with out the stress of homework and gives them the gift of love for learning. As a former teacher, I have never seen an environment like it. I can't say enough good things about the wonderful place . The only thing that could improve is a pre k added to the school, only because siblings are dying to start the VDA journey.
It is hard to find enough superlatives for this school. My son has now attended for two years, and is SO happy going to school every day. What's more, he comes home brimming with excitement, and is routinely challenged to think more deeply about a variety of subjects. The instruction is nicely personalized, with increasing challenges provided as needed. While the schools history, grammar, and english have received (deservedly) glowing reviews from others, I want to highlight the wonderful hands-on approach to science. At first I was a bit skeptical, but the intuitive deductive/historical approach they have taken has really provided a wonderful base for his future studies, and he loves it all! Like others, I wish the school expanded to include high school.