If you want your child to think for themselves and take responsibility for their own learning, you will love and cherish this school. If you want your child to be shot through a standardized, academic hoop, this school is not for you. Some of the most diversely talented, articulate and brightest students I have ever met attended this school. Many have gone to and succeeded at fantastic colleges, if that is what they so desire. Many have succeeded at small schools, if that is what they so desire. Waverly is an amazing community. If you agree with their teaching philosophy, I highly recommend it.
We love this school. My daughter has had a wonderful experience in the high school. The teachers are excellent, the atmosphere is nurturing. We feel she is really learning, not just learning how to test well.
Elementary School is excellent, but stop there and send your children elsewhere. The middle school is mediocre at best, and if you want to send your child to a different high school chances are they won't be able to pass the entrance exam if they have been attending Waverly Middle School. Don't send your child to the high school unless they absolutely cannot get accepted somwhere else. The academic program is weak, the teachers lack professional boundaries, and there is a serious drug problem at this school that the administration ignores altogether. Students who graduate from Waverly High School go on to college, but very few of them complete their higher education or succeed, because they are truly not prepared for college or the real world.
This school has taught me one thing and that thing is that if you don't understand something then it doesn't matter because the school doesn't care anyway and if you don't try then you still succeed. They "baby" all of the students all the way into your senior year of high school and when you finally get to your senior year thinking that you were an A student with an opportunity to go to an Ivy league school and then they give you your transcripts for the first time showing that you got B's and C's even though your teachers told you in their written comments that you were doing "Impressively well". After that your dreams are crushed and you end up going to a second rate community college in Bakersfield. This school has only hurt my daughters dreams and it has taught me that their dysfunctional version of progressive education shouldn't be taught to anyone.
We have two active boys at Waverly, now in 4th & 5th grades. They love it. We love it. We're sure if they were in the public school system their natural enthusiasm would be crushed. At Waverly they thrive. This is a progressive, experientially-based curriculum that makes learning an adventure. The teachers are caring and dedicated and the head of school's vision for the community is a beacon of rationality. The kids learn about the real world, whether planting crops at their near campus farm or participating in community service projects or approaching the Three R's (& more) through imaginative curriculum that immerses them in themes (the middle ages, Habitats of the World, the Role of Story-telling) that allow them to access various disciplines (social studies, math, science, etc.) in an inter-related matrix of ideas. Waverly is not cheap but it is more reasonably priced than comparable schools. It also feels more organized and less chaotic than other "progressive schools." It strikes the right balance. Some parent participation is required but it's a great community --bright kids, interesting parents and a nurturing, learning focused (not testing focused) environment.
It was the best choice that I have made five years ago to join this awesome community.
I can only speak about the middle school. It can work really well for a core group of kids: those who are basically well-behaved (perhaps inquisitive & quirky) and who have no interest in questioning authority or testing limits. Middle school kids who, in exploring who they are, speak in a way that s contrary or act in a way that is socially outside the school s ideal vision (being happy, socially- and academically-engaged, and cooperative) or challenge authority (even in minor ways that wouldn't raise an eyebrow at your local public middle school) are addressed by the administration. The problem with this is twofold: the administration tends to infantilize the kids and they don t seem to know how to reach or teach kids when they aren t perfectly compliant. It s as if any challenging behavior comes as a surprise to them. It seems as if they don t understand the complexities of identity-development and are lacking in empathy for the challenges that often a part of the middle-school years and, because of this, all they know how to do is lecture (and hope it promotes compliance) and then demand compliance. In short, it seems a good place for a very narrow demographic.
My daughter is in seventh grade at The Waverly School. She transferred here last year from a nearby school district famous for its excellent public schools. In her public middle school, she spent countless hours on homework every evening and weekend, and yet, at the end of the year she seemed to have learned very little. At Waverly, the homework load is reasonable. More than that, the homework makes them think. In fact, more than anything, in every subject Waverly teachers challenge students to think critically and to use evidence to analyze information. In this one year, my daughter has grown so much intellectually. More than than, she is happy. Happy! How many 7th graders are happy? I'll tell you: every one at The Waverly Middle School.
My child is starting his third year at Waverly and we could not be happier. The Young K program is unparalleled, and is an amazing introduction to what school will be like when the little ones get to be in the big kids' classrooms. The kindergarten class is a magical year that bridges the gap beautifully between pre-school and elementary school. And so far, 1st grade is on track to be challenging but not intimidating. The curriculum includes both instrumental and vocal music (music is extremely important to this school-- they have their own song book complete with a great repertoire of old folk songs), Spanish beginning in Kindergarten, and a great art program. What is especially nice is that it is a progressive school that has a bit of a traditional feel to it as well.
Waverly Middle School is the best kept secret in Pasadena. While the facilities are currently lacking, the teachers are PHENOMENAL! If you are looking for an affordable alternative to public school that is personal, nurturing AND rigorous, this is the place at almost half the cost of other private schools!
Looking for an excellent school with warm, creative, caring teachers. Where students get to be actively involved and excited by learning.- that's Waverly. My daughter has attended Waverly since Kindergarten. She'll be going into Middle School. Waverly's creative hands on way of teaching is the right fit for our daughter. Often students will get to have the same teacher for 2 years in a row. This is a wonderful way for students and teacher to get to know one another. This really helped my daughter blossom. Academically and socially. Waverly has developed my daughters inquisitive mind. The kids enjoy the class visits to the Waverly Farm. The administration at Waverly has always been very on top of things and respectful to our family. We have enjoyed getting to know other families at the school through volunteering in various school events throughout the
We have been at The Waverly School for 11 years. It is a wonderful school. Students are engaged, active learners and emerge as critical thinkers and ready for college and for life. Learning environment is supportive and fun. Our daughter has always looked forward to going to school, and is doing incredible work now as a High School student. Waverly is not for everyone - parents need to engage in the process and understand the progressive approach to education. But if you want your child to love school and become a life-long learner, performing to the best of their ability and enjoying the stretch - then Waverly is a great place! And you can't beat the college prep that happens in this wonderful environment. I highly recommend Waverly for students of all ages. It is Young K to 12th grade.
The May 12th Post is grossly inaccurate and completely inappropriate. Waverly is a great school. There focus is on engaging the child in a process of deep learning, not shallow test taking exercises. This is a school for loving and learning, not chasing illusionary scores. This is a school with a tremendous amount of parental participation. It is a school where children learn to excel at life. There is not one day that our daughter does not look forward to going to school and spreading her wings. She is learning more, because she wants to, not because she has to learn how to get a higher grade.
I can not say enough about this school...the parents, teachers and kids really come together for an amazing educational experience. I also strongly disagree with the earlier post about organization...the school is run by professionals and their leadership is made even stronger through incredibly high parental involvement. A progressive education is not for everyone though and if you're more interested in grades, testing, etc...then this is not the school for you.
Very disorganized and not professional run. Things are very hit and miss here and there is no common umbrella. Many families leave after a year or two. The turn over is very high. If you go for a walk thru, please note the number of students just hanging out and not tuned in during class. Our suggestion is cross this one off your list and go with a more professional situation.
This is an outstanding school! The community is wonderful. Art and Music are integrated into the curriculum on a daily basis. Parents come from a diversity of backgrounds and are very down to earth. It is a status free environment where everyone looks out for your child. While the school is progressive, the curriculum is very grounded in the basics. I highly recommend this school! The teachers are fantastic as are the parents.
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