Wesley is a great school for kids who have social difficulties or are highly athletic. Unfortunately, the academics are horrible and when we left all of our "friends" began to ignore us completely. I had a horrible experience as a parent, but my child could not have loved it more.
My second child is now leaving Wesley as an 8th grader and while the school is clearly having some growing pains I'd still recommend it for the right family. My eldest was very prepared for the academic challenges of the high school (s)he attended and my youngest is performing well too. The problem with any small school is that it's a small school. No one at Wesley will ever care about athletics, it's simply not a priority and that has to be okay with you as a family before you send your child there. The music program is singing only and I find it to be dreadful but there is talk of bringing in instruments. There's a good teacher for the lower school music program so if I were a parent coming in I'd feel good about that. Middle school spanish is horrible. Hopefully that will change. It's not particularly diverse and doesn't seem like it cares that much. It's just busy being small with mostly great academics. The school is young and new and the teachers that are coming in seem to be much better than those leaving. The kids are happy to go to school & learning a lot. They do well in competitive high schools. That's what matters.
Wow. These reviews show that there really are such different experiences people can have in the same environment. Wesley is a wonderful school and a warm community. In my opinion, the positive reviews are far more in line with my experience having three kids at Wesley. There is one point which I'd like to make in fairness to all. There does seem to always be a very small faction of parents at any school who feel things aren't up to par. It also seems these parents are the most vocal. This school is full of professional administrators and highly competent teachers. It is very strong in academics and the extra-curriculars are wonderful. I'd invite anyone to take a tour, talk with parents and teachers -- judge for yourself!
The last two posts hit the nail on the proverbial head. The campus is very pretty, the families amazing and parental involvement is extremely high, but the curriculum lacks focus and vigor. The math program is a joke and the science curriculum lacks challenge despite promised improvements. The administration and school leadership are more engaged on the planned capital campaign and school expansion than they are with the current students and existing curriculum. If education is your priority you should look elsewhere.
I concur with the last post. We left the school last year because the education is abysmal, and our kids (both "A" students at Wesley) are struggling to keep up at their new school. If you're touring the school, ask to see the middle school science lab (no, there is no lower school science lab even though the head of school promised us one for Fall 2011, in writing). The lab is so barren and uninspiring that there isn't even a periodic table of elements. I'm not kidding: NO PERIODIC TABLE OF ELEMENTS IN A SCIENCE LAB. I challenge you to find any school (public, private, in the inner city or the suburbs) without a periodic table. You'll know everything you need to know about a school's commitment to academics when something as simple as a $5 poster, essential to any introduction to middle school science, is missing. The problem is not financial: the leadership and, sadly, most of the community simply do not care about education.
Wesley is a great school ... if academics are not your thing. You will find some of the loveliest, wonderful families, who truly care about their children and their upbringing. But while the school attracts an amazing community, the education is one to two grade levels below other schools. Main problem: the new administration provides zero curricular guidance or teacher oversight. The result? Older teachers who are on auto pilot, teaching outdated and long-discredited curricula, and new teachers who show up to class and "wing" the lesson on the spot. Teachers also get no yearly training and aren't required to develop lesson plans ahead of time. Parents complain incessantly, but the school leadership is unwilling/unqualified to fix the problems and spends most of its time and money defending the education and pretending there is no problem. Bottom line: Choose this school if your child is very intelligent and learns on his/her own, OR you do not care about academics ... at all. Your child will meet great friends and likely develop a high moral compass. But unless you have additional funds to supplement after school, go someplace where education is at least somewhat of a priority.
I love this school so much. I have been here for most of my life . It is so much fun!!!!
Yesterday my son said, "I can't imagine Wesley not being a great school for everyone." The day before he said that he loved Social Studies, Science & Math. No school is perfect-but for our family, Wesley is darn near. Academics are a priority, teachers run the gamut from amazing (many of them) to very good, to good (a few) and the emphasis on character development is tangible. Every child is known to the entire faculty & each has a stake in that child's success. We have a very close-knit community. Every kid knows every other one-and there is genuine warmth amongst the parents. There are a lot of things that Wesley does well but preparing kids in public speaking is one of the things they do extremely well. Students are impressively confident & in command when standing before their class or the whole school. Another asset in the size of the school is that your child will get a chance to try & do everything that is offered. If your child is shy or lacking confidence at one thing or another, they will still get the chance to try it & practice & grow, without being squeezed out by a more skilled child. After 4 years, we can t imagine a better school for our child and neither can he.
Teachers ae wonderful, class sizes are adequate and the education is top notch. a+ education.
My children have been at Wesley since kindergarten and while I'd like to take full credit for their current academic and social success, I know much of it has to do with the way they've been educated at Wesley, the examples that have been set before them, the expectations presented, and the care that our family has received. I'm not shy and over the years, I've addressed specific issues with faculty and the administration and my concerns were always taken seriously. My husband and I contribute what we can with time and money, but sometimes we have neither and that has never affected the way Wesley educated our children. I'm confident the sense of community and excellence we receive at Wesley will allow my 7th grader to move on to the high school of her choosing, and then thrive. My 3rd grader knows the meaning of the word 'advocate'. How great is that? I highly recommend the school, but I also recommend that any prospective family conduct their own rigorous examination of any school they're considering for their child. No school is a perfect fit for every child.
Couldn't agree more with the Aug 22 review. We dared to ask why the tuition doubled in five years and exactly what was being done with the additional funds. We were told by the administration that that information was none of our business, but that the higher tuition was in line with Buckley and Campbell Hall (two top-tier schools close-by). Our children then began to be bullied in their respective classes, and suddenly "un-invited" to parties. Our kid's "friends" (some since pre-school) suddenly began to avoid. Perhaps it was a coincidence, or perhaps it had to do with the gossip, cruelty and utter contempt held for families that dare to ask questions or that don't join the "vision" of the school, which changes from year to year. In one of our child's classes, 8 out of 22 or so kids in the class had a parent working for, on the board, running a function, or about to be hired by the school. Wesley has a lovely environment on the surface, but ultimately has no soul, which may be a perfect fit for the appearance oriented, competitive, A-type crowd that it seems to attract. We left Wesley, and our family couldn't have been happier.
Wesley is, quite simply, a wonderful school. While it is academically rigorous, the teachers go out of their way to make sure each student has the best possible chance for academic success. By the time they have finished Eighth Grade, Wesley kids are literally ready for anything. In every subject the teachers make sure their students are more than prepared for the next step: high school. Students from Wesley routinely receive multiple acceptances at the best prep schools in Los Angeles, and more than hold their own once they get there. This is due not only to the high academic standards at Wesley, but to the manageable size of the school that allows a nurturing environment that is integral to the school's culture. Wesley is truly a unique community with a committed parent base and a faculty and staff that is utterly devoted to upholding the values the school represents. In fact, a huge percentage of faculty and staff have been at Wesley since the school's inception. This provides a remarkable sense of community and continuity. I am so grateful to Wesley for providing both my children with all the tools they needed for high school.
We have been at Wesley for 3 years now and are as happy as the day we started. Our child has had several WONDERFUL teachers, is happy to go to school everyday, is learning plenty without being overloaded with homework and is getting lots of opportunities to enjoy languages, P.E., music and art. The chapel program is a very important part of the school community and is one of the things that makes Wesley special. The administration bends over backwards to try to address parents concerns (both legitimate and ridiculous). I have not noticed the politics mentioned by others and I feel that the school is pretty easy going about their fundraising. There are few bells and whistles when it comes to facilities but the kids have everything they need and this seems to attract down to earth families that you really enjoy spending time with. It is remarkable to see the older kids participating in the spring sing, the talent show and performing at chapel with the enthusiastic support of their peers. Whereas, when I was their age we were too concerned about being cool. I think Wesley kids maintain some of their innocence just a little bit longer. Its not perfect but pretty darn close.
Both of our children have attended Wesley since Kindergarten. We have met wonderful kids, parents and teachers. While they both have built a solid academic base, and we love the school, I must honestly say that the academics are uneven. There are amazing teachers and then there are less than average teachers. An entire year with a mediocre teacher can be disappointing, especially given the tuition. We are also not impressed with the administration as a whole and the new head. Again, some are outstanding, but on the whole the leadership is fairly lackluster
Our son entered at 6th grade and is now about to graduate from 8th grade. Our experience has been nothing but wonderful. Our son's graduating class all got into their top two choices of high schools (Loyola, Harvard Westlake, Buckley, Marlborough, and Marymount just to name a few) and we couldn't be more proud of our son. THANK YOU WESLEY!
Our family entered Wesley in 6th grade for middle school, and I can't say enough good things about it. It manages to be small and nurturing, while still having structure and discipline. The teachers are caring and the academics are challenging. The kids are engaged in the classroom. It has been a wonderful "stepping stone" to high school. I feel that my child is prepared academically and I saw his self esteem grow these past 3 years. The kids coming out of the middle school are articulate, polite, poised young people.
Our child started in K and is now in first grade and so far the teachers have been fantastic. It's a beautiful, charming and secure campus with great courtyards, a small grass field and a great outdoor Sport Court surface. Also every classroom has a SmartBoard which is a great tool for the teachers.
My kids love Wesley. They are happy, learning and flourishing in a safe environment. As a parent, those are the most important things I hope to see from our school choice. Everyday, I see a smile on their faces after school and their knowledge is expanding daily. Wesley must be doing something right.
I have found Wesley to be a very warm and grounded school. The administration has always addressed my concerns and questions in the most professional and understanding manner. The teachers in the early elementary grades are very talented and the kids love them.
We were a long time Wesley family. My child (an honor student) graduated this past June. l- I'm sorry to say I will not recommend the Wesley School. The bullying problem is out of control. All attempts at instituting an anti bulling program are a dismal Failure. The problems are endemic within the structure of the school. I don't know what else to ad except- I wish we would have left years ago.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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