My daughter has been attending this school since pre-k and is now going to enter into the 3rd Grade. We love the school and my daughter has learned and has grown so much academically in the years she has attended Willard. She had the pleasure of being in Mrs. Soto's 2nd grade this past year, and words can not express what an excellent teacher Ms. Soto is. I can not speak more highly of this teacher. She has set the bar very high. I have no doubt that the years we have remaining at Willard will be met with the same level of care and attention to my child.
Willard is a great school with a wonderful staff and administration. Dr. DeBose is attentive to students and parents, and makes herself accessible to talk with parents about any of their concerns. As previously stated, there have been some issues with a few teachers who do not adequately teach the IB curriculum, but there are more great educators at Willard who go above and beyond to teach our children. My family is very happy with the school...can't say the same for the State's allocation of funding to public schools, but that is an entirely different discussion.
Willard IB creates true life long learners and leaders of tomorrow. I am a parent and former teacher of Willard. The IB philosophy is about students making connections to what they're learning to their own lives. This gives students ownership into their education. Education is not about imparting knowledge from teacher to student - that's what the internet is for. It's about making meaning and taking action with your knowledge. This school is different because of its IB philosophy, its international perspective, the mission of creating globally reponsible citizens. This is what our world needs - problem solvers, solving real world problems, real leaders for tomorrow.
Willard-IB is a wonderful school and we couldn't be happier with our decision to send our two kids here. A great Principal in Dr. Debose, great teachers, active parent participation, the IB-PYP programme and lots of happy and well behaved kids - that's Willard. It has so many wonderful things going on - thanks to the IB-PYP Programme. In addition to having a strong academic focus, students in each grade get to work on some fun projects. Creating and presenting models of the Mars Rover, Animal Habitats, Weather dioramas, Simple machines, Digestive System, Community Models, Creating businesses, World famous monuments - these are just a few examples of some of the excellent learning that go on at the school. K-5 also get an hour each of computer lab, library, Spanish lessons and Instrumental Music lessons (1st - 5th) every week, which is rare to find in any of the other local area public schools. The school also has a running club, PE program and a STEM club run by the PTA. My kids have a great time at school every day and are also getting an excellent education. We couldn't be happier!
This is a great school, they are doing the best with what have and they can. I have never seen a principal like Dr.Bose, she greets in person most of the kids in the school on daily basis, she is a very good role model! She tells kids every day how important for each kid to respect other kid and being empathetic at each other. They are trying hard to raise the school rating to 9. The more funding they can get from the govt and the families it will benefit the school. My son went to a private preschool. He likes Willard's better as the teachers are awesome.
I have a fifth grader in this school. While the school has a lot going against it, the majority of the teachers are really good! I've seen a few bad apples, but not many. The daughter loves it and is doing very well. She's constantly challenged. The principal is very professional and cares about the kids. She has an incredible memory for their names! Parent participation needs to improve, but the socioeconomics limit the number of parents who have enough spare time to help.
Attend an Open House before deciding. Quite a few of these exceptional reviews are over four years old. In essence, Willard is a school that is doing its best with what it has. It has quite a bit working against it, such as state wide budget cuts, a city that refuses to adequately fund its school district, and a teachers' union with an iron-grip. The building is dingy and, with the exception of one large patch of grass, the complex embodies the term, "asphalt jungle." (My husband's and my private nickname for Willard is "The Gulag.") Most of the teachers are great, but there are a few treading water and biding time until retirement. Do whatever research you can before you allow them to assign your child to a particular teacher. Good news is the bad apples are hard to miss. As for the principal, Dr DeBose is quite professional and obviously cares about the students. In so many ways her hands are tied because of all the factors Willard is up against. Parental involvement is an absolute necessity for the school to achieve its goals. I only gave it 4 stars because the parent programs are often haphazardly organized and the "homeroom parents" aren't held to any standards.
Willard is truly a school that is well supported by it's community: teachers, administration, staff, parents and others all provide a broad and strong level of support. The international aspect of the IB program provides a wonderful basis for a child's education. My son is thriving at Willard and loving it!