This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted October 16, 2014
- a parent
I graduated from Chandler in the 80's and have only wonderful things to say about my experiences there. Not long ago I attended a reunion and was able to catch up with most of my classmates. They have gone on to do amazing things in life! Many of them have successful and fulfilling careers as doctors, authors, musicians, scientists, educators, artists, and business leaders. My son currently attends Chandler and he loves it. The core values that I experienced as a student are still intact. The campus and facilities are integrated with the latest technologies and are practically brand new. Plus, the teachers, principal, and staff are fantastic! Classes in the middle school are small, around 15 kids per class. We are very fortunate to be a part of this school!
I attended this school for 6th-8th grades in the late 90s and I continue to benefit from my experiences at Chandler. In fact, my wife was a classmate there, and we have more than a handful of close friends who we keep in excellent touch with almost 20 years later. The best education I received, the best friends I've made, the most fun I had in school. Period.
We have had 2 lifers that went through the Chandler School,with the youngest one in its Middle School right now and have loved and appreciated what Chandler has done to prepare our kids for high school and college . We are perplexed with a recent parent review attacking the head of Middle School and her failure to "place 4.0 students" into high school. This past June, Chandler graduated its largest class ever of 77 students. While less than a handful of students that were not placed and some maybe 4.0 students, to state that Mrs. Emerson is "useless" is harsh and unfounded. There are no guaranties that a student will be placed in any school based purely on grades. Mrs. Emerson's job is to advise students and parents to keep an open mind and apply to schools that is suited for the child. The fault should not be placed on her, if families insist on applying only to the top schools and refuse to take her recommendation on other schools. Having only being in the position for 2 years, Mrs. Emerson is doing a good job and should be commended. Chandler is not a school for every child or family and it may not be the perfect school, but it is one of the best in the area!
Chandler School is an outstanding environment for students and adults alike. The community is warm, the students are bright and engaged, and the campus is beautiful. Chandler teachers are responsive to students and their parents, and are constantly seeking new ways to engage students and build within them a love for learning. The alumni body is a group of successful people of high character who benefited from the rigor of Chandler's program. Visit the school and learn about the program. Chandler is more than just a vessel for high school placement, it is a transformative experience for students, teachers, and parents.
Chandler's curriculum is not difficult, but there is a lot of work. They value quantity over quality. The school does not teach children to be critical thinkers. There is way too much "teaching" through fill-in-the-blank apps and rote memorization exercises. The teachers and staff are good, but they are not allowed to truly teach the children. This is not the fault of the teachers or administration. I blame the over-demanding parents and the self-proclaimed tiger moms. It is a very unhealthy environment, especially in the upper school. There are high numbers of stressed out and depressed kids because of this. I found the upper school head completely useless, She failed to place 4.0 students. I still don't understand what she is doing there. She definitely brings the standards down. All in all I had a very disappointing experience at Chandler. The kids are kind and the teachers are talented. I just wish they were allowed to teach these gifted children.
The BEST K-8 school if your child is cut out for the academic rigor. The teachers are excellent and caring. The school strives for character building which includes moral development, community service as well as acceptance of all diversity. My kids were lifers and the level of work progresses each year, in preparation for middle school. Middle school is challenging and your child must have good time management skills if they are involved in many activities. Overall, my kids loved the school and we highly recommend it if your child is a good fit. The people who are writing negative reviews most likely have children that would benefit from another school. Instead of writing negative reviews they should respect Chandler and realize they applied their kids to the wrong school for their child. There are so many good schools in the area in which a child can thrive.
My children have thrived at Chandler since Kindergarten. We find the curriculum innovative, challenging and well-rounded. The teachers are passionate and knowledgeable. The community - students and parents alike - are welcoming and extremely helpful. My children loved the LS immersive learning including Dr. Seuss Week in K, World Geography field trips in 3rd, and the Boston Tea Party reenactment in 5th grade! In MS, the curriculum is rigorous, structured around core subjects of English, Math, History, Spanish and Science. It is amazing when I see an entire class conversing in Spanish, and see children engaged in games that make learning grammar fun! Chandler also has a very strong performance arts program, and the MS musicals and plays match what you see in High School. The PE program is exceptional with the usual sports (soccer, basketball, track) but also unicycle, rollerblading, and lacrosse. Chandler also emphasizes Character Education. I was impressed when I visited a classroom years ago and saw a teacher lead a discussion on the Golden Rule. 8 years later, I remain pleased when I read the homework sheet summarizing the Pillar of the week.
As an alum and now a parent, I can think of no better place for my children to get an education than Chandler. Chandler School has the challenging academics, the fantastic teachers, the amazing campus and an administration that is truly focused on improving the lives of each of our children. The Chandler community is warm, welcoming and kind. As a volunteer, there are many opportunities to be involved in school. The Afterschool program is well managed, educational and engaging. Did I mention the sports program? When would you ever get to try everything from roller blades and skateboards to field hockey and unicycles? Chandler's S.T.E.A.M. programs combine all the different parts of the curriculum into single projects that teach the interrelatedness of the real world. At the last Alumni Visiting Day, they put together a panel of 9 incredible Alumni from 1999. These incredible young men and women shared individual and unique journeys, but they were unified by the feeling that Chandler had prepared them for high school, college and life. They were inspirational. We couldn't be happier at Chandler.
Chandler provides the best K-8 education in Pasadena, hands down. The faculty is truly and consistently exceptional compared to their peers at other schools. The headmaster and the heads of the Lower School and the Middle School are the best trifecta of administrators you will find anywhere. Working together, the administrators and faculty are constantly innovating at a dizzying speed. The result is a school that has no equal in terms of its high-technology environment and integrated curriculum. Some of the Middle School classes even have the feel of college-level seminars. Entering high school, Chandler grads are way ahead of the curve and tend to finish at the top of their class. Given Chandler's rigorous and challenging curriculum, bright, motivated students do best. Chandler is not an ideal place for students who struggle academically. The facilities are first-rate, with a beautiful, brand new Middle School building and a fairly new Lower School building. The community of families is warm and tight-knit. If your child is a high achiever, do yourself a favor: take a tour, talk to teachers and students, and then talk to John Finch (the headmaster). You won't regret it.
Chandler fits all the old (and bad) stereotypes of country club private school education. An inane amount of busy work with little appreciation or support for creative thinking. In hindsight, it was a big mistake for us to send our children to Chandler. They emerged from the Chandler ivory tower experience feeling bitter and depressed about themselves and education (although they did well academically). They were constantly sleep deprived and stressed. We spent a fortune on their education and did them a disservice. They know an amazing amount of "facts" without depth of experience. We should have sent our children to public school.