This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted November 16, 2014
- a parent
While Barnhart may serve the needs of some, it is NOT for everyone. If your child has any learning issues ( or ADHD), you may want to consider another school. My gifted son attended for one year (transferring from a highly-regarded private school that we chose to leave because of the upcoming enormous homework load in middle school) and Barnhart was, for him, a very poor fit. Although he was, and is, very social, he had trouble "fitting in" with the cliquey students in his class- he ate lunch alone for many months. Barnhart felt that the development of "grit" was more important than nurture. The school's philosophy did not fit with ours. I can happily report that our son is now THRIVING (was the top student out of 124) in a public school with greater class size, supportive teachers, and without any academic accommodations. Barnhart might be the right school for your child, but ask questions that address the specific needs of your child. We forgot to ask if the school had a learning specialist and a therapist--something the previous private school offered but, last year, Barnhart did not. Good luck in your search for the right fit for you and your child.
So there is this one parent that is not been at Barnhart for over 2 years and continues to republish the same review over and over. As a parent who has had children at Barnhart for over 5 years I can tell you that they have flourished in this amazing small school. The balance between academics and building the whole child is the best I have seen. Everyday math and writers' workshop are impressive comprehensive programs that balance academics with creating a thinking child. Its a great place to build kids.
Barnhart is the perfect balance of academics, social learning, and creativity. My children are thriving and happy at this school. The teachers are well trained and patient. The administration is open and very responsive.The parent community is involved and dedicated to the overall success of the school.
Barnhart is a great school, with a wonderful, caring community. My son is in first grade and has learned so much in the last two years. I love how integrated all of the learning is, and that creativity and critical thinking is involved every day. Writer's Workshopmis amazing - he has written so many amazing stories already. The teachers ar wonderful and the staff is caring and supportive.
Barnhart is a special school, in that it is small and can really focus on each child....classroom sizes are small---around 18-20 kids a class! my kids of really flourished there...they are confident and academically solid. most of all they are just happy amazing kids.
We enrolled our son at Barnhart years ago as a Kindergartner, then our daughter 2 years later. We loved the school; the families, the students, the teachers and the staff... until after the 2011-2012 school year. The wonderful Head of School, Joe Harper, was fired, along with many other incredible administrative staff like Carol Reiter, the librarian Mrs. Yao and many others who made Barnhart what it was. In their place, enter Ethan Williamson, a man brought in to "transform" the school... and "transform" he did... he co-authored a 5-year "strategic plan" to market Barnhart and enforced a "communications policy" which prohibited any speech of which he didn't approve. Violation carries the punishment of "separation from the community." And Barnhart Board thinks this will help improve enrollment?! No thanks. We spoke up against Williamson's attempts to enforce a draconian policy for caring for our diabetic daughter who had been a member of the Barnhart community for years. The result? Immediate expulsion! No, I am not kidding. Williamson didn't like our "tone, tenor or word choice" and threw our innocent kids out of the school. Needless to say, we do not recommend Barnhart School.
My daughter has attended Barnhart for 4 years now. I live the curriculum. Barnhart is a family oriented school that focuses in the whole child and not just math and reading. The environment is very nurturing. The staff is friendly and caring. I love the values program they teach in chapel. My daughter is very happy at Barnhart and I am do proud I made the right choice for her.
Barnhart used to be a great school. Amazing families, teachers, staff and administration. The families are still amazing, but unfortunately after the 2011-2012 school year the board purged the school of nearly ever member of the faculty and staff who made the school what it was. They brought in a new Head of School, Ethan Williamson, who thinks he is the new sheriff in town. He imposed a new "communications policy" which prohibits virtually any dissent and demands that parents not communicate about the school unless he approves. The whole thing is Orwellian. The result is a place in no way reflective of the values or togetherness that made us choose it for our kids years ago. Williamson has fostered a PR machine that is dedicated to bolstering enrollment and, once you are there, expect to be milked for every dollar they can extract. We are no longer at Barnhart, and we would recommend you not be either. Most of the positive reviews you see were posted at the behest of the school to improve their public perception. Don't buy it. Check out many of the amazing schools a stone's throw away from Barnhart and you will be pleasantly surprised.
Barnhart has been such a positive experience for my son. Transferring in from public school at the elementary level could have been very difficult, but my son's teacher made the transition a very smooth one. We came here for the academics, but have come away with so much more. Between the dedicated art room, a veteran music and drama teacher who is a stellar educator, to the excellent Virtues program, we are extremely pleased with our choice of Barnhart. This private school is much less expensive than other area schools, and offers a very well rounded program.
This is my daughter's 2nd year at Barnhart. We transferred to the school after moving across the country and finding the public school down the street wasn't the right fit. High points for this school: Barnhart's parent involvement, sense of community, value-based learning, and academic focus. Teachers are talented, committed and caring. Smaller classes allow for consistent contact with her teacher and has allowed me to help with homework struggles to provide consistency between home and school. There is P.E. every day; a huge help in allowing kids to be focused and ready in the classroom. The school uses Everyday Math curriculum, which has been an interesting and beneficial change for my daughter. Writer's workshop is fantastic! The homework level is significant in content, but not overwhelming in quantity. Teachers are flexible, so that if a child has questions or wants to explore a different angle, there is time to do so. Children get loads of presentation time in front of peers beginning in Kindergarten, so by the time they leave 8th grade they are confident presenters and comfortably curious learners. This school is an amazing value at a reasonable tuition rate.