I have been a parent at Walden for 3 years. My son is thriving in this progressive environment. The teachers and administration pay close attention to each child's individual needs to the point of not setting classroom configurations until the needs of ALL students are assessed. The school runs from the top down, lead with inexplicable attention by its Director, Matt Allio, who knows the smallest detail about every child and their family, as well as being an expert in curriculum and development. We have found every interaction with the teachers and administrators to be not just thorough and attentive but truly warm and caring. All one has to do is attend a 6th grade graduation to see the kinds of children Walden turns out - they become the embodiment of Walden's mission by questioning the status quo in an eloquent and relevant manner and by expressing and owning their uniqueness as individuals. I am nothing but proud to be a part of this community and to know that year after year my son will be held to his highest potential while being nurtured to explore his distinct individuality achieve it.
Not truly a progressive environment; teachers are pretty much ensconced in their own methodology and not really open to learning. In addition, our son was bullied and the school did not track down the problem. The teacher and the mom of the bully were friends and this allowed the favoritism/cover-up to continue. We felt the school was quick to ask for our volunteer time, quick to ask for money - but slow to address some of the core issues.
We're so happy at Walden, and credit high teacher morale and a strong, very passionate director for making it great. Our daughter is in her fourth year, has just one more left after this term. And to us Walden has provided the perfect balance for her critical, formative years. Intimate without feeling small, accessible without being coddling, it has wonderful enrichment classes that enhance a strong foundation in the basics. Our kids do get homework, but not a crushing amount. And they participate in standardized testing -- without being preoccupied with it. They take overnight trips, do volunteer service, and learn a whole lot about life and the world we live in. Walden has prepared our daughter for the next step, and whether that's a progressive or more "traditional" middle school, we know she'll thrive. Just talk to any Walden 6th grader. You'll find a bright, engaged kid who's bound for a really great middle school next year. Then talk to the admissions director at any of the private schools in Pasadena -- including those in the "top tier." They'll tell you they love Walden kids, and they'll tell you why. And for those of us here, that's no news at all.
I have two very different children attending Walden. One is an academic, driven student and the other requires a good deal of academic hand holding. Walden has been the perfect choice for both. This is what Walden does best. It provides challenging work while keeping the focus on learning not grades for very academic children. Children who require extra support recieve it along with the ackowlegment of their individual strengths.
We feel fortunate that our two children are able to attend Walden. What a wonderful school! The teachers are outstanding, the administrators are committed and responsive, the parents are active and involved, and the students are deeply engaged in learning. We've been impressed with so many aspects of the curriculum-- such as the writing program, the approach to math, the attention to science and outdoor education, and the inclusion of the arts, among other things-- and have seen our children develop strong skills as well as an ability to think creatively and independently. We recommend the school whole-heartedly.
I am surprised to read that a past parent has recently posted a less than favorable review. We have been a Walden family for the last 8 yrs and plan to spend another 3 yrs at the school, until our youngest graduates as the class of '15! Our family witnessed wonderful growth of the academic program, faculty, and administration over this period of time. Our oldest child now attends middle school at Flintridge Preparatory School and has thrived both in the classroom and as a leader among peers. Witnessing this seamless transition has further confirmed our impression of Walden as a place where children learn to think on their own, respect diversity, develop a broad world view, and love learning! I cannot imagine a better place to spend one's K-6 years.
We have 2 boys at Walden, and I couldn't be happier with the school. Walden provides an amazing child-centered program that nurtures and inspires. The administration, and faculty are committed to progressive education, and are constantly evaluating their philosophies and methods. The director of the school is amazing, and under his leadership, we've watched the school become the wonderful place that it is. Walden students typically move-on to the finest middle and upper schools in the area, and do very well. I highly recommend Walden.
We are in our 5th year of having children at Walden, and I'm pleased to say that every morning my children wake up still excited to go to school. Walden bills itself as creating life-long learners, who don't just memorize facts and figures, but really develop an insatiable curiosity about the world around them. This is exactly what seems to be happening with our children. The academics are good (our children have consistently placed significantly above grade level in the standardized tests and evaluations they have taken) and the outdoor education program is the best one I ve seen at the elementary school level including trips to Joshua Tree, Astrocamp, CIMI and the Grand Tetons. The school offers a top notch writing program, and I can t believe the writing my children are doing at their age. Walden s graduates place across the board at all of the best schools in the area from the more traditional to the more progressive.
We have been a Walden family for the last 7 years and are sad to see our time there coming to an end. Our child is graduating this June and we have high expectations that she will move onto a great middle school for which she will be fully, and confidently prepared. The multi-age classroom experience has been wonderful and allows for appropriate learning. Over the last few years the school has adopted Singapore Math and the Lucy Calkins (sp) Creative Writing program, both of which have made Walden academics on par with any school in the area. We could not be more pleased. Walden has fostered a love of learning in our child. I never thought I would hear the words "science is my favorite subject", but I hear it now. Our child is leaving Walden a well-rounded, well-educated, confident young teen. Great teachers, great environment, great experience.
This school seems great at first and you become sold on the things they say but it is does not live up to minimum expectations. Many left the school when we did because of its lack of integrity and academics. They fail to teach in a progressive manner. The teacher had favorites, children were not challenged. The teacher played commercial radio in the classroom. Our child was in a split class and had to move around school to find a space to do math class. We were told math was not a priority when asked why they weren't doing math everyday. Parents are distracted by all the events the school does. The administration and teachers do not listen, they don't want to listen to anyone or do anything about the problems. This school is a scam! Our daughter is now thriving at a wonderful school.
Our children have been at Walden for 3 years now and each we grow to appreciate it more and more. The students are truly encouraged to learn at their own pace and developmental level. This does not mean your child will not get a good education - what this means is your child will get a deeper education that is more meaningful to them. There's none of that competitiveness between students (and more often parents) that we see in most of the other local private schools. Students are encouraged to learn for the love it, not because of a test or grade. Walden is producing creative thinkers, which is going to lead them to stand out as adults. The new math program, Singapore Math, is remarkable. My children are inspired by math now and very confident in their ability.
Absolutely the best school in the area. We toured all of the progressive schools before choosing Walden. We wanted a school that addressed different learning styles, that focused on deep learning, and that would let the children progress at their own pace. We also wanted one that would encourage life-long love of learning, a deep sense of community, and an appreciation for individuals. Our daughters love going to school, and we're blown away by the depth of their learning, as well as the breadth of what they are learning. We feel fortunate that our children are part of this dynamic and diverse community.
We came from an international school and I find that Walden has what is good about progressive but also brings in the essential skills to live life in this and much more in the near future world. The director really knows the students and seems to be always on the look for what can be done to improve the school and it's program. My daughters love to go to school and are learning many news things in a very exciting way. We feel lucky to have chosen this school.
Skilled and caring teachers, sympathetic administration, great parents, and stupendous students.
As we watched 6th grade graduation, we were reminded again why we chose Walden. The students are articulate, confident, well read and have diverse interests. The teachers really empower them to explore their interests and express their opinions.
Really disappointing lots of (flip flop) the administration really doesn't have a clue in witch direction there going today progressive tomorrow traditional. The school is not what they sell it to be it's going on it's old reputation, they should really tell it for what it truly is. It's a traditional school and I can get that with out paying for it. I can truly say there is 4 teacher there that truly embody the progressive teaching, they currently have no system in bringing in new teachers from a traditional setting. I think they miss the point they have there eye on expanding and growing the school that they forgot the progressive philosophy and what the school really stood for. They tell you to trust the system in place and not to question it OHMMM!. I think they need to go back and revisit Waldens pond. Thanks Matt!
We are incredibly happy with Walden. The Director, Matt Alio, makes an enormous effort to walk the walk and talk the talk. He is a true visionary, and takes the time to get to know every family and child. There are tons of activities for family involvement, regardless of whether your are a working parent. I have never felt 'out of the loop' because my husband and I work full time. It may not be a 'sit down and memorize' school, but I am astounded at what my child has learned. She is learning critical thinking, to question and be engaged in the world around her, as well as all the basics. And they truly adapt to her learning style and her interests - very individualized. Most of all, she loves going to school, and we love taking her there.
Disappointing! Favoritism for certain families, lack of academic structure, constantly changing configuration philosophy, weak administrative team, dishonest leadership. Children encouraged to be 'good stewards' but community allows too much freedom with little lesson on consequence. Teachers nice but lacking development with relevant learning trends with positive outcomes. Too much 'bagels and chatter' and not enough academic challenge. Unless you are looking for a nice child-care like setting where everyone is encouraged to be nice but little attention is paid to developing skills for all types of learners, think twice and ask different types of families for their opinions, if you can find them!
We have had a wonderful experience at Walden over the past two years. Our child loves going to school every morning. He is challenged and engaged, doing work that is 1-3 levels above his grade level. His teachers have been extremely responsive to us and have kept us 'in the loop' at all times. We also love the fact that the children are encouraged not only to pursue their individual interests, but also to consider the community as a whole. We strongly recommend this school for anyone who is interested in a dynamic, child-led environment that also challenges and engages the children.
Wonderful school, passionate teachers, child-led inquiry. Everything I wanted for my children. No school is perfect, but this has comes darn close! Highly recommended!
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