We are new parents to FWS this year with a son in K and a daughter in 3rd grade. The school is a co-op and can be hard work but the payoff is incredibly happy kids. Our son had a few tough experiences in his short life and always complained about be separated from the family, he didn’t like pre-school he even complained about going to summer camps. He’s a happy little guy now. Loves going to school, loves his teacher and new friends. The variety in the weekly schedule keeps our son engaged: theater, music, yoga, clubs, trips to the local park, monthly hikes and field trips. The small class size (8) mean he gets lots of attention and he is developing a love of learning and is excited about the world around him. Our daughter is very bright and loves to learn but got bored at her well regarded public school last year as they “taught to the test” and extracurricular activities were limited. She is challenged and energized by FWS. The school won’t be for everyone. But if you are even slightly intrigued my advice is to attend an open house and ask lots of questions.
This unique little school has been fantastic for our family. I have one of those hard-to-fit "orchid children" (intellectually advanced, emotionally volatile, and very sensitive in social environments that are not a good fit). This is the first school we have found where our child thrives, and I think it's because of a few of the things that make FWS so special: small classes, a small school, a warm social environment in which kids interact creatively across different ages and parents/siblings are often integrated into the life of the school. As far as academics go, my child is young and very self-motivated, so we wanted a school that would be more about lighting a fire than filling a pail. FWS definitely fits the bill. For parents: the co-op structure is a big deal and not for everyone, but if it's for you you will know. It is a ton of work, but it means that you will get as much of an education as your child will from the school.
I am a recent graduate of Friends Western School and I would have to say the experience so far has been out of this world. On the last day of school, we had an epic dance party and when it was time to leave, I COULDN'T STOP crying because I was going to miss my friends so much and the amazing people I met there. The small class sizes were excellent for children who needed more attention and the teachers were able to teach everyone who were all at different levels. Everyone was so kind and it was a surprising considering at the beginning of my time at FWS, I was the only girl Again, I just had the most amazing experience at Friends Western School and now that I'm moving on to a middle school, Westridge school for girls, I know what I have learned at FWS will further me in my career and I will always remember Friends Western School.
Great school for parents who like to be involved and participate in their child's school experience. Coming from a highly sought after charter school, we are grateful to find a real school experience for our child. Great fieldtrips, small class sizes, and a community feel.
Our daughter is in her first year at FWS. Her first year of formal education was in a charter school. Although the charter school she attended had a wonderful mission and we saw many children thriving there, it just wasn t the right fit for our family. FWS offers smaller classrooms, individualized educational goals, and family engagement beyond our expectations. The teachers and families at FWS work together to meet our daughters academic and social/emotional goals. As a former public school teacher and parent(s) we feel fortunate to have found a place where our daughter is respected for who she is and how she learns. The growth we have seen this year both emotionally and academically are immeasurable.
FWS is a school where kids are respected and treated as individuals. In that kind of environment they thrive as learners and as friends. The classes are small enough that the children can be known for who they are, they can learn at their own pace without judgement, and they treat each other with immense kindness. My daughter loves to come to school here.
My daughters are in their second year at FWS. We feel fortunate to be at this school. The teachers are incredibly dedicated. The community is wonderful. The children are confident and friendships between students are not dependent on sharing the same age or class which seems unique and echoes the Montessori tradition. I have twin daughters and they read at very different levels: one being at her level or just under and the other being much more advanced. The teachers are able to meet both of my children's needs and there is no sense of competition. I definitely reccomend checking out FWS if you are looking for a progressive, academically grounded environment for your child.
Our daughter is in her second year at Friends Western School and loves it. The small size of the classes is great. She is taught as a unique individual based upon her own needs and learning style. There is also a great sense of community among the parents and children.
It s nice to talk about educational philosophies and field trips and community, but what parents really want (and need) to know is: Will Friends Western School provide my child with a good education? Having just completed the rigorous process of applying to middle school, I can honestly tell you that the answer is a resounding Yes. Our daughter applied to some of the most competitive schools in the area and was accepted to every school she applied to. She will be attending the Westridge School next fall and, as her parents, we are thrilled with her success. Friends Western s individualized curriculum helped our daughter not only excel academically, but also to find her voice a quality that many schools do not seem to value. At FWS, emphasis is placed on developing the whole child and we ve not only seen our daughter flourish, but her classmates as well. Childhood is a really precious time and it flies by so quickly. Our daughter's experiences at Friends Western School have helped to define her and will be a part of the wonderful and accomplished woman she ll undoubtedly become.
My daughter is in the 2nd grade and being a part of a Quaker Cooperative School has been a lovely, energetic, boisterous, frustrating, exhilarating, challenging, educational, and rewarding experience. I like the extra activities like hikes, field trips, clubs, music and art. I also am enjoying the new educational endeavors of the teachers. My child has increased her reading skills by 2 grade levels in just half a year. There are also specialty staff to assist in academic assessments as well a counsel if my daughter is having an emotional day. All the tools are in place to help her to be a well rounded adult and face educational and social challenges that impact all kids. I also really enjoy the families who work to pull it all together. When I first started I felt like we were a bunch of pirates, but we've been learning about Quaker communication styles and it seems to be helping us get needs met without much swashbuckling. The school could improve with their fundraising and grant efforts so we could better support all the sweat equity that has been gifted by parents, teachers and support staff. For now, I just need some shades, cuz it looks pretty bright.