All three of my children have attended Cos Cob school and I am sad that this will be my last year as a CCS parent. My children are 8, 13 and 19, so I have many years of attending parent teacher meetings, events and open houses. I have nothing but praise for this school. It prepared my two oldest for successful middle school years, as well as instill in them a love of learning.
This used to be one of the best elementary schools in town but has decline sharply in the past few years mostly due to administration change. Principal left for greener pastures and a temp came in. She held down the fort but nothing advanced. New principal (Gene Schmidt) is a lovely guy but not a strong leader. The best teachers have left or are leaving and the worst hang around looking clearly disgruntled with their job leading to a clear divide in the school. The community has fallen off as the school efforts have stopped - its not that parents are discouraged but no more feather awards for being good, no more mascot and team, and it shows. The parents have disengaged too and May Fair and fundraiser has embarrassingly low participation. We have seen drops in test scores, parent and student satisfaction, physical condition, etc. Gene is nice but seems to be just riding along for the end of his career and improving the school is not the goal. Problems are not addressed substantively - they will say the right things and look at it, but nothing really changes. It was a 9/10 school and is now perhaps a 6.
Love Cos Cob Elemntary. I have had 3 children go through Cos Cob (one still there in 4th grade). All 3 went through the gifted ALP program, one had a 504 plan. Overall, it's an impressive school with a wonderful hometown community feeling - something from a bygone era. I loved raising my kids in this i environment. The teachers are warm and caring and enthusiastic about their jobs and the kids. Over the years we did run into a teacher or two that was not a great fit with one of our kids, but I honestly cannot say any teacher was bad. I did have some concerns with the ALP program - overall it's great and I awas thrilled that it offered a very challenging course for my kids. I would, however, have liked to see more organization in its administration. Often assignments were very confusing and expectations were for the kids to figure things out, as if they were far older and more mature than they really were. Still, I thought they got so much out of the program I would still do it again.
This school was terrible for both my children. The children that did the best were the one's who's mothers were constantly at the school. Unfortunately, not all moms can make that happen. There were two teachers that really were the exception, but the rest seemed to be killing time 'til their pension (unless a parent was there to supervise their own child's interests). For the grades that take the CMT's (Connecticut Mastery Tests) the students spent the ENTIRE month beforehand studying only for these tests and not being taught anything new. It's not surprising that the scores are high here given that so many school hours are devoted to only prepping for these exams. These exams test for certain markers and are not, in my opinion, indicative of a well rounded education. Both my children left this school not being able to identify a noun or verb and being unable to read or write in script. My older child finished 5th grade here, but I pulled my younger child out after 4th grade. After my youngest left the school, I had three parents approach me about how badly they felt he was treated by multiple teachers. I was shocked and wish one of them had said something earlier.
We moved here from Old Greenwich and were shocked how much more academic and intellectually stimulating this school was! Especially in the arts and music. My only compalint would be that they wait till 2nd grade to start spanish, but that's all of Greenwich.
In my opinion this is the best school in Greenwich. Teachers and Administrators are compassionate and up to date in style. Chidren are encouraged to 'care for self and others', there are multiple Advanced 'TAG' student opportunities and there seems a greater sense of community than in it's neighbor schools. I was just at a symposium at Harvard and wound up meeting three different colleagues, who'd attended Cos Cob School! (that was when we decided to avoid private and enroll with CCS).
Our child just completed kindergarten here and we were thrilled with the school. We found it a nurturing, challenging environment both in the classroom and the larger school community. We saw considerable development in our child on multiple levels, particularly writing and reading. Character development at this school is also exceptional, down to the mantra they all say each morning (it ends with "Together we fly.") We feel we are fairly discriminating when it comes to education (and my job takes me into schools across the country) and we feel this school exceeds our vigorous standards. Send your child here with confidence.
I totally disagree with this parent. There is a gifted program in every elementary school in the district. Plus at Cos Cob they group reading and math into levels. At the lower grades its done with the class and at the upper grades they group by having the kids go to the teacher teaching at their level. Its very well organized. In addition, they spend time on a computer program in math and reading and can go ahead at their own pace. This helps teachers identify children who are excelling. This was the case with my children. They are both quiet and could possibly have gotten overlooked, but their performance on the computer programs which are fabulous boosted them ahead to advanced groups.