I have educated all my children in Egremont, I have to say as the years go by, their quality has gone down drastically, and their teacher situation is very unstable and causes a lot of frustration amongst the parents.
Teachers are constantly changing. This past year we had a new 2nd gr & 5th gr teacher, who both left after just one year of teaching. Prior to that in 2013-14, the old 2nd gr teacher quit just a month before school was out in May. The 5th gr teacher quit 3 months into the school year in mid November. They had to find a quick replacement and called in a substitute to take over the remainder of the year. At this point, it doesn't even matter why they leave, the fact that they leave causes enough damage. Talk about unstable!
The older grades may be more talked about in regards to the unstable environment, but the younger grades are not forgiven either. If the teachers are not leaving, then the principals will see to it that they mix it up for fun! The Kindergarten teacher got moved to Early Kinder the following year, and then the Early Kinder teacher moved to Kindergarten. LOL! If that's not a joke, she will be moved to Early Kinder again in the future some time, or maybe even 2nd grade...or how about 1st?!
We have not one, but two principals for such a small school and we make twice the mistakes other schools make.
After being a parent here for many years, I am happy to depart from this school with my two children this year. While they emphasize 'community', Egremont has a very, very uneven teaching staff, either stellar or horrifyingly bad, with no middle ground. There is a deep academic weakness at Egremont in the upper grades. From what I heard, the problem is you don't find this out until your child is trying to get into middle school. So, your child has the option of getting a better education elsewhere or leaving all of their friends and its heartbreaking to be forced into this position, especially when you are paying $18K (after all the fundraising and projects) a year. The good teachers are incredibly unhappy and end up leaving after only a couple of years. Since I have been sending my children here, I cannot believe how many teachers have come and gone. How can a school uphold or proclaim to achieve academic excellence, if they cannot even retain quality teachers?
There is a lot of bullying that goes on, and the school really doesn’t want to get involved, the minute a parent goes in to the school to complain, they treat that parent horribly. Doesn’t a parent have the right to inquire about their child’s safety?
It cannot be stressed enough how awful the administration is. They are the absolute worst! They are unbelievably rude and unprofessional. They clearly do not know how to operate a school and should be replaced with individuals who are actually qualified. They also DO NOT know how to communicate with parents without being disrespectful which is why so many families have decided to leave this year.
The school needs new leadership. Don't jump on this sinking ship. My suggestion, is consider all your options before wasting your time and money.
My family loves Egremont! It has been a great experience for our children. We looked at many schools in the area and they didn't compare to the quality of education that exists here. It breaks my heart to see such viciousness being written about the school when what these people are writing is not even true. Whoever wrote the May 23rd review, definitely had their own personal issues. We have always been welcomed by the administration and any time we have a question they are always willing to see us and talk to us right away. The administration, teachers, and other employees are dedicated to our kids. I know several families who have children who went to Chaminade Middle School and are excelling. In fact, the Valedictorian from this year's graduating class at Chaminade was an Egremont graduate. Also, several of the graduates are in honor's math programs. We are proud to be a part of a community of families who are kind and want the best for their children and we have no doubt our kids are benefiting from this school and are getting the best care possible.
Couldn't be happier! My kids have been at Egremont for 3 years now and I have to say I'm very pleased with the care they provide for them. The teachers have always been great with communicating with me and are happy to answer questions at any time. Everyone at the school is very welcoming and I have never had an issue, except with a couple of parents there who love to gossip!
There are a number of reasons why this school is terrible and it would be impossible to name them all in this review. For starters though, the administration is awful and treats the parents like enemies. There is not an open door policy and in fact you can only speak to them if you make an appointment with the receptionist. Appointments are often scheduled weeks away. I have never felt more unwelcome and many parents feel this way. The school is too small. 1 class per grade and in the upper grades (2-5) many classes are under 10 kids. This is because parents become unhappy when more is expected from the school and the school fails to listen and the attendance ever year drops. Many teachers are not accredited. Many of the teachers were given their first teaching job at Egremont (in the upper grades!) and have no experience and no mentoring. This school is strict in the wrong areas. A child will get written up for a single tiny color band on their socks (which are supposed to be solid white) while bullying and fighting happens (especially in 4th and 5th grade) and kids go unpunished and parents left uninformed. This year we had to pay $25 per person to attend the holiday pageant. You can imagine how expensive that can be with an extended family. The music program is pretty awful. These kids are not learning anything in music which is very apparent in the pageants. And such an important subject as computers and technology... that is subject is handled like a joke at Egremont. Spanish - the kids that have been there for 4-6 years with Spanish every year since Kindergarten, can't speak a word outside of the classroom. The curriculum is outdated which is mentioned through out these reviews. After touring other schools we now feel as though our children need tutoring to catch up. Many of the 5th graders moving on to middle school struggled with their entrance exams and many of the kids who had moved on to Chaminade have struggled their first years to catch up. All of these add up to a poorly run school. We are removing our kids and are looking forward to starting at a new school next year.
There is a very good reason why I returned to Egremont School. I used to teach music for this institution years ago, but this past school year, I have decided to come back. When I was here before, there were some administrative problems, but at least the instructors and the environment were very good. When I returned last September, I only did so because the then Kindergarten and the 5th grade teachers were now the co-principals. And rightfully so, for of all the teachers, they were two of the stand-outs, not to mention a very giving, kind, honest human beings. So I saw that the school was now in good hands. As I started my classes, I realized that the school conditions and the faculty members exceeded my expectations. Every faculty member help make this a better place for the students and the parents, and most importantly, a happy place to be in. From what I remembered from before, this institution has improved a 1000% from when I was here then. This time around, I have seen nothing but great improvements, and most importantly, a joyous, harmonious environment.
The school administration gives the perception (and illusion) that its academic level is very high but this is not the case. It is money driven and they do not want parent involvement. Only when they want fundraising money do they involve the parents. The school needs to implement better tools to facilitate the communications between the administration and the parents. My children are rarely being challenged and are asked to do these expensive massive projects, but can t do it without a lot of help. I end up doing 99.9% of the project. These projects are only shown at open house to make the school look good. Once it is over, they just send the projects right back home. Nightly homework takes 2 to 3 hours so there is zero family time. Other parents I have recently spoke with feel the same way that the problems are from the administration that do not know what they are doing. My husband and I started touring other schools again and we know we are making the best decision for our children by pulling them out. Yes, it takes effort and time, but it is worth it when you see what other kids are doing in coresubjects.
My children have been attending this school since EK. Not until now have I had concerns, so I have began to look at other options. After visiting other schools, my children have a lot of catching up to do which scares me. Yes, there are some teachers that are passionate and care about their student's future, but they are in the lower grades under a principal who is caring, approachable, and is great at addressing all parent concerns. After what I have personally seen at the schools more recent open house and heard from other parents, it is clear that the students are not being challenged and have difficultly completing thier homework assignments. Also, I have noticed in the recent years, an extremely high teacher turnover and a lot of the teachers are uncredentialled. It is very difficult to make the decision to take your child out of a school they love and have friends at, but as a parent, I know it is my responsiblity to make sure they go somewhere they will learn the stuff the need for their future. I know no place is perfect (like some of the other comments have stated). Hopefully the adinistration will fix these problems otherwise we will be going to a new school next year.