This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted July 22, 2014
- a parent
I found the academic program to be less than satisfactory for the very expensive tuition. I was openly berated by a school employee on the playground when I voiced safety concerns. I attempted to address the board with my concerns with the administration, but was never able to do so.
With much intention, we selected a Progressive model of education for our children s elementary school experience. Curious and articulate children, we felt they would thrive in the inquiry-based approach. The nature of the curriculum has allowed them to learn to pose thoughtful questions, be reflective, and build research skills at a high level of engagement. They have developed long-term planning skills, as well as writing process and revision skills. Both children have noticeably benefited from the multi-age interactions, creating positive bonds with older children and developing leadership skills with peers, and mentoring skills with younger children. The nature of the Progressive Model has encouraged our children to develop strong learning relationships with their teachers. They have acquired a foundation of learning from Walden that will be an attribute to continued education when they move onto Middle School.
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.