I just glanced over the school's reviews on this site, and it's troubling how even slightly critical reviews are immediately buried by several gushing five star ones. As a Wildwood parent, I actually think it's important for other prospective families to be aware of both the good and the bad going in. The good: a very nice parent body, and some extremely sweet pre/teens. The bad: A worrisome turnover rate for both teachers and even high-level administrators. Many Friday electives classes have curriculum that seem not well thought out, and are usually taught by teachers of other subjects. Overall, 'love of learning' seems to pertain to when the whole class is doing independent projects on their extracurricular interests, but I have rarely seen the school support any kid's ambitions if they are academic (like if they're dying to work hard or take an outside course to bump up to the next highest level in math.) The head of school has seemed unable to get things in line for a long time now, but we're really hoping this round of new administrators will be the charm!
Wildwood has been expanding its innovative approach to education. Currently it offers some of the most cutting edge advanced science programs in the nation. The Wildwood "institute" model, which begun 2 years ago is a student led and managed research institution inside the school where the students are engaged in actual scientific research. They collaborate with institutions like NASA, CALTECH, UCLA and more to introduce students to science and STEM as protagonists in research. Our son, now a senior in the upper school developed his critical thinking, leadership and academic in this context of experiential education. His academics rapidly surpassed his peers in other schools and his critical skills translated into lifelong love for the sciences. After a fantastic college application season he is on his way to a career in scientific research leveraging the power of this approach to education. Wildwood is now on its way to introduce a similar institute model in the Arts. The kids that emerge from this school have the highest integrity, critical thinking and creativity and ability to work in teams, and incredible ability to create new ideas and communicate them. It takes a special kind of teacher and leadership to put together this kind of approach to education, and Wildwood has them. It's easy to give the kids a bunch of standardized tests and workbooks. Wildwood teachers are more like coaches focused on the student's individual journey and passions. This school was transformative to our son's life. Take the time to understand the Institute model and the Habits the school instills as values and you will understand why this school is very unique in its excellence.
I feel so fortunate to have found a school like Wildwood for my children, where they receive a stellar academic education while becoming compassionate, contributing, ethical members of society. They don’t face the intense competition and super heavy (often pointless) homework load found at so many schools these days, both public and private. Wildwood teachers and administrators embrace feedback and change and endeavor to produce graduates who are prepared to thrive in whatever awaits them after high school. Their progressive approach to teaching gives students real-world skills and a lifelong love of learning.
My son will be graduating from Wildwood this year, and his experience has been a stellar one. Our family has always appreciated Wildwood's approach to education. They continue to set a very high bar for effective learning, while the students are able to self-reflect with a clear understanding of their own learning style. The teachers are very supportive, and in the case of my son, they always encouraged him to incorporate his own passions and interests into the curriculum. The Wildwood Institute for Stem Research and Development is unique to Wildwood and a groundbreaking program. My son will graduate fully prepared to navigate his new College experience with compassion, confidence, excitement and a true love of learning. We couldn't be more grateful for our son's Wildwood education.
In everything that the students do integrity, compassion, and respect are the foundation. Students at Wildwood are passionate, caring, and collaborative. They care about one another, their school, their community, and the world around them. It's just the "Wildwood way" of being.
The teachers are absolutely amazing. They create an engaging atmosphere in their classrooms where the students are connected to the work they are doing. The teachers are the heart and soul of Wildwood who truly care about their students.
My children have attended Wildwood School since kindergarten--and my oldest is now in his first year of college and my youngest is in 11th grade. Wildwood offers a cutting edge education which inspires its students to be life-long learners who are interested in the world around them. The administration and teachers truly care about the students and see each one as individuals. Students are consistently engaged, self-reflective, and passionate learners. Wildwood creates a safe and stimulating environment for this to be so.