Our child has said twice now on weekends, "I wish there were school today." In just two short months, our child has become more outgoing and adventurous, (from being quite the opposite previously) and is practically reading (well, short little books). Then the other day, proudly told us about helping tie a younger classmate's shoelaces. I don't have to worry about my child learning kindness and social responsibility, I feel. With a low student-teacher ratio, I feel very reassured that the academics will be better than fine. I just finished reading Tom Little's Loving Learning; am so glad we found New Roads.
There are great teachers in the elementary school. Stu, the science teacher is as cool as Bill Murray in Meatballs. The kids love him and he has inspired our son tremendously. At the New Roads high school we have the Poet Laureate of Los Angeles who just last night in a speech mentioned the fifth grade teacher as her initial inspiration for words and writing. Kathy and Molly in Kindergarten are so full of love and beloved by the students that the older kids always stop by the classroom. The new first grade teacher Jess is fabulous, kind, intelligent and warm and if you can call 1st grade academic, her academics couldn't be challenged by any other private school teacher. The phys ed teacher is among the most eloquent gym teachers you may ever meet.
Social Justice is also a big deal at New Roads. And the school walks the walk with 51% of the students receiving financial aid. This creates a tremendous amount of diversity that goes beyond just skin deep. At new roads we believe that diversity and academic excellence are inextricably linked. And that friendships between people from different life experiences creates a type of love that can change the world. Sounds corny, but it is probably true.
We love the teachers at this school-- and more importantly, so do the students! When the fifth graders graduate to middle school they tear up at the ceremony and show deep gratitude and love for all they learned from the teachers. Many of whom have been at the school since it opened (a good indicator at a private school).
The school isn't trying to out-book other schools. It is absolutely academically challenging and there is homework. One of the teachers who had previously worked at one of the most prestigious Westside schools, a school with a rep for academics, has shared in confidence that New Roads students are at least as academically advanced with an extra dose of excitement about learning.
The school has a special class called connections which investigates and finds solutions to interpersonal complications between the students. Our six year old son was so concerned about how another child was feeling that after a few days of trying to make them feel happy, he went to the head of school for advice... adorable.
Terrific school with outstanding teachers. A true oasis among LA private schools that simply don't live up to their declared values. The elementary school director, Jacqueline, creates a wonderful environment for her teachers to thrive, and as a result, the teachers create an equally nurturing environment for the students to thrive. Cathy, Sara, Shelley, and Bree are all particularly fantastic teachers and Stu may well be the best elementary school science teacher in the state.
We have been at New Roads Elementary going on three years now, and we love it. The teachers are top notch. Each class size is small, with one class per grade and both a teacher and an assistant teacher per class. In addition, there is a fantastic science teacher and program; the art teacher is amazing, and we are enjoying the music program. This school focuses on the creativity and individuality of each child. The most important thing in a school are its teachers - and this is where NRE excels. We also enjoy the diversity here - culturally, ethnically and socially. There is a focus on the world around us, the environment and social justice and rights.
There are a few wonderful teachers at New Roads...but unfortunately the relatively new administration has just about destroyed the school. It stared with a lovely idea...social justice and community spirit. The elementary school director has just about expunged any vestige of those sentiments...and now the new head of the school is continuing down that path. He is so awful that board members are quitting and families leaving in droves.
Run the other direction. Unless you have no other option, New Roads is not a good one.