My 3 year old son has been enrolled in the preschool for 5 months now and I am continually impressed. At first he used to cry when I would bring him, but now he is much more excited about arriving. I love the way the teachers treat each student as an individual, giving each student attention and care. I love the multi-age grouping, allowing students to excel or get extra help as they need, rather than based on their age. I love the early literacy exploration activities, where the students are individually asked fill-in-the-blank statements and teachers personally record their answers. This gives the child a sense of importance and encourages critical thinking, plus it provides some precious answers! I am really looking forward to watching my son grow at this school and to see how he develops, both academically and emotionally.
My three y/o son has been attending Whittier Friends School for a little over a month and I cannot believe how much he has already learned. He has gone from knowing the first letter of his name to knowing the first letter of all the important people in his life and he is so excited about sharing this new discovery. He points out letter wherever we go and will even tell me the sounds that those letters make. Even though he does not have the fine motor skills to write his name, he is constantly "writing" and practicing on his own to get the first letter of his name written correctly. I "catch" him singing new songs and playing in new ways. The curriculum is a blend of open ended play, guided exploration, and traditional academics. I was very worried about him having behavior problems at school, but the teachers strike an excellent balance between clear, consistent expectations and patience. The students know the classroom routines and are able to meet the behavior expectations without constant reminders. My son really likes the teachers and is disappointed if one of them is out. We love this school. Check out the discoveries the kids make on their blog at Whittierfriends.blogspot.com
Small class sizes and individualized instruction are the focus here. I find that our son recieves the one-on-one instruction he needs to grasp new concepts and absorb infromation. He's in the pre-K class right now and will be entering Kindergarten in the fall here. The class sizes are kept intentonally small so no child gets "lost in the shuffle". Our child is already doing K-grade writing and math and I couldn't be happier with his progress. The instructors seem to really care about the students and will always engage them as necessary. While other reviews have criticized the staff for a lack of leadership, one needs to realize this is a small school, with limited personnel. They truly work miracles with the resources they have! Parental involvement is strongly encouraged and volunteering opportunities abound. Highly recommend this school if you like small class sizes, and focus-oriented-instruction for your child.
Enter the school grounds and you will be pleasantly surprised. Their outdoor area is clean and provides different landscaping that's perfect for a child to explore. There's a grass area, a sand area, concrete for a water table/chalk, a garden, wood chips under the slide, and a couple of trees. The classroom is CLEAN, and neatly organized with learning materials. I emphasize clean because I know how difficult it is to keep classrooms clean and it is an important factor in keeping children healthy (especially as full-day students nap there). There are currently 2 qualified preschool teachers in my son's classroom for about 12 students. They divide the students into 2 groups for small group and I love that there's a sensory activity every afternoon (I feel children learn best when using their senses to explore foods/materials). I also like that students are exposed to different holidays when most public schools are moving away from it. For Christmas, my son's teacher taught them how to sing holiday songs using sign language! They even hire work study students from a local community college to assist in the classroom, making the adult to child ratio even better. My son and I love it.
This school has gone through many changes since my son started attending about 5 years ago. I think the current teachers and adminstor are excellent and the environment is much improved. This is a small environment with tailored instruction. The elementary teacher is credentialed and dedicated. The instruction is tailored, thematic and challenging. A few years ago there were some real issues with the administrator. That person is gone and so are the real negatives I've seen in previous years reviews. There are field trips, science fairs and performances. the school is currently trying to add a middle school and I hope they are sucessful.
I recently enrolled our son into Whittier Friends School due to him being bullied at the public Emenentary school he was attending. I found that the classroom size was small (8 kids total in classroom) and the teacher gives him personalized attention he was not getting at the public schools (31 students in classroom). My son is no longer getting bullied and now has kids he can call his "Friends". Since the classroom setting is so small, it feels more like family than just a classroom. My son looks forward to going to school and that is a great thing.
Whittier Friends School has been a savior for my son s education. After several psychologist and public school administrators told me that my son would need to be placed in special education I went in search of a school that could give him that extra attention needed. With their small class sizes and individualized lesson plans my son is reading and writing above grade level. His personality is allowed to shine and he is encouraged to do so. My younger son is currently enrolled in their pre-school program and will continue kindergarten there next year. He is already above kindergarten level reading and math. I couldn t say enough great things about this wonderful school.
I am so pleased with my two girls' development and academic progress at this school. The teacher personalizes the work for each student's ability level. Kids don't miss a concept because the class moves too fast, and they aren't bored either, because the work is adjusted to their challenge level. The teacher monitors student progress from year to year without losing ground getting to know students in the fall and then losing them in June. My girls are developing their teamwork, critical thinking, and investigative skills. They are also becoming confident public speakers due to the class plays (one of which the class wrote) and science fair presentations. Subjects are studied in depth accompanied by hands-on projects and numerous field trips. At a time when public schools are increasing class size, and private schools are struggling to stay open, I am so glad my kids go to Whittier Friends School.
I notice there have been no reviews since March2009. The last encounter I had was in Fall of 2009 when we withdrew our child. There were incidents with the teacher and administration, including a staff change that parents were not made aware of. The school enrollment dropped from the 20s to about 6 or 7 children in the ENTIRE elementary school. Parents were asked to sign an enrollment contract, standard procedure, in which they indicated they would owe 50% of the tuition if they chose to withdraw the student after October 1 - NOT standard procedure at all. The curriculum was lacking instruction, was not level appropriate and was disorganized. Children with behavioral problems (read: bullies) are not disciplined effectively and are virtually allowed to "act out". On the positive side, the school's staff is dedicated and cares. Great environment for those in the "in" group.
We had two children attend Whittier Friends School for grades K to 6 and found the experience to be wonderful. Both our children received an excellent foundation in academics and have gone on to excel in high school and college. Our oldest attends the highest ranked public university in the country, and the other has a 4.0 GPA in high school. The transition from small school to large public school was no problem. One of the best parts of their education at WFS was teaching the children to be citizens of the world- caring, volunteering, active in the community, etc. They learned responsibility, conflict resolution and leadership. The school offers music, art, PE, and excellent field trips.
My daughter attended K-6, was valedictorian in 8th grade & salutatarian in high school. She will graduate next month from Pomona College in Claremont & has been selected as a Fulbright Scholar. Friends schools are intentionally small to concentrate on the whole child. There is no formal religious instruction, but weekly chapel. The teachers are both credentialed. The pre-school is doing well & several kids will enter Kindergarten. Parent involvement is good. I'm impressed with current students reading and science skills They also continue doing 2 plays a year, swimming at the Y and monthly field trips. Children are happy here, have a strong sense of acceptance and ownership. The School Board is composed of several teachers, a degreed librarian and community folks who work well with the faculty & acting Head of School. Founded over 30 years ago, Whittier Friends compares favorably with other local private schools.
This school is very small, possibly too small. The class rooms are made up of Kindergartners, 1st, 2nd & 3rd graders in one room and 4th, 5th & 6th in the other room. Only two (2) teachers in the school. WFS is not doing a good job preparing our children for success. Since leaving Whittier Friends School my son has had difficulties with the curriculum at his current school due to lack of proper education. WFS coddles these children too much. For the thousands of dollars in tuition we wasted on this school, we have found that a good public school is the way to go. Yes, WFS has many field trips (that you have to pay extra $$ for) that are fun, but still this school lacks in strong curriculum and only sets its students up to fail. Makes some wonder why the enrollment at here is so little.
This school is a wonderful place for children to learn. The teachers are very caring and the curriculum is very strong. Both of my children love this school.
Two thumbs down! Think again about enrolling your child in this school. This school needs strong leadership.
Administration, daycare,and teachers are very supportive. I can get info on how my children are doing daily. Teachers always listen to parents' suggestions and try to comply. My child has never been happier in a school before. My younger child can't wait to attend school next year. I love the opportunities my son gets to have when he works with the senior citizen centers/homes. He has developed a real compassion and comfort level with the elderly and also reading his writing in front of an audience.
The children get an opportunity to work on writer's workshop. They read in the author's chair and other children give their input. It is impressive to see k-3 grade students giving positive feedback and suggestions on how to enhance the story. They receive a great deal of 1 on 1. A teacher in that school will never have more than 12 students. At the moment, the primary (K-3) teacher works with 7 students. They have a music and an art teacher. 1 trip a month to enhance their curriculum.Daily feedback.
As I find it difficult to review the school I work at, I have to agree with the other reviews. The school has opened a 'day care' on campus, although, the elementary school has a handful of children (about 6) that make up the enrollment from K-6th grade. I don't feel that the children now benefit in a positive way. Curriculum absolutely lacks, and teacher quality could be alot better. As for principal leadership, there really is none. I would call it a poorly organized school. If you want one more opinion, if I had to send my children through elementary school again a public school would be a better choice.
Low teacher to student ratio for k-6 there is a 1:8 teacher/student ratio. Many field trips (LA count fair, Culture Festivals, week camping in Yosemite, going to the theater) Foreign Languages, Art, Swimming, Computer Skills, Music and song, strong acedemics
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