This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted November 15, 2014
- a parent
We have 2 children currently attending Wildwood School and find the curriculum to be stimulating, challenging, and rewarding for both of them. The school's progressive approach towards learning is perfect for them in that they're better students when they are able to have a hands on approach. They've become better problem solvers because they're not afraid to fail and they're consistently stretched out of their comfort zones. We are very fortunate to have teachers and administrators that truly care for our children.
We have been a family at Wildwood for seven years and have fallen in love with the school. The teachers know the kids so well and work with them individually to challenge them to move beyond their comfort zone. Our child is a likable kid and a good student, but the teachers dig deeper to find the area where she could be stretched. She now has new goals for this year that will be difficult for her but attainable if she can persist. Contrary to some people's uneducated opinion that the school lacks structure, I find it absolutely to provide structure. Just because a school is identified as progressive does not mean there is not structure. Teachers' expectations of the kids are outlined in advance, so the kids know exactly what needs to be done. Then, once the work is done, it is not really done. There is discussion about how to go back and make improvements and revise to be continually improving. Teacher assessments/evaluations are very specific and therefore provide guidance for future work. In general, it seems that the school cares more about preparing kids for the real world than about running a school to meet society's stereotypes of how a school should be.
I used to have concerns that Wildwood was strong in liberal arts but not so strong in math & science. But currently my child is taking a math class 2 years ahead of grade level while a group of students in his same grade are 3 years ahead in math. The science program is inspiring and fun yet rigorous in teaching scientific methodologies. One of my two children at Wildwood would certainly get better grades at a school that is more structured and directed. But we believe that the challenge of Wildwood's open ended assignments will provide a stronger foundation for success in the future. The teachers at Wildwood are incredibly caring and compassionate, and are always approachable. I would prefer a different head of school---someone less promotional with stronger leadership skills. We have found the "ruling class" of Wildwood families to be cliquish, unwelcoming, and obsessed with status (as perhaps many expensive private schools are). But our children have made some good friends at Wildwood and have many friends outside of school.
I attended Wildwood School for two years and having had experience at other schools I can genuinely appreciate what Wildwood offers. A Wildwood education is truly comprehensive. The teachers treat each student as an individual by helping to develop their unique strengths and challenging their deficits. The evaluations provide so much more than a single letter grade, you clearly understand where you have exceeded expectations and how you can work to improve in other areas. Students are encouraged to communicate proficiency orally, visually, or verbally, which is tremendously confidence building. There are many extracurricular opportunities for academic enrichment generated by students, teachers, and from outside venues. The preparation for college was excellent and everyone in my class was accepted by their first choice school. I am much more prepared for college because of the work I did at Wildwood. I wish every student in the country could be educated this way!
My daughter graduated from Wildwood last year, and now attends an ivy league college in NYC. I was worried that this progressive education (which I loved) would leave her unprepared for such a big college experience. I was completely wrong to worry- she actually seems more prepared than many of her peers who went to more traditional schools. She is able to solve problems and seek out help when she needs it. I am thrilled that she was able to get such a good education, (leading to such an amazing college choice,) but still had a wonderful and balanced high school experience.
Wildwood progressive attitude towards education is something to be recognized. As a graduate, I was excited and prepared to enter the world of college and real life with my Wildwood education. It taught me the importance of my own voice. The environment of staff and students were nothing less of encouraging and supportive. I cannot thank Wildwood enough for everything it has given me.
Anyone who knows anything about this school will recognize that the previous reviews are extremely suspect. This is an excellent progressive school with an inspired and inspiring staff of teachers. The children leave well prepared for college and for life.
My kid also came here for one year. She hated it. The entire experience was dreadful, especially because of the lack of intellectual stimulants my child received, so we switched to Campbell Hall. And THAT was the best choice of my life.
At wildwood, my kids failed to gain a sufficient education due to arrogant kids and mediocre teachers. I wish i sent them to a better school such as Harvard Westlake or Campbell Hall where it is at least challenging and many more programs are offered. Also, the grading system at Wildwood is very hard to understand and I would have prefferred a normal letter grade system. My kids failed to be accepted into any prestigious colleges and now both attend Visible school - Music and worships arts college.