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The Unquowa School

Private | PK-8 | 200 students

A traditional curriculum with a progressive approach.

 
 

Living in Fairfield

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $391,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,650.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 7 ratings
2013:
Based on 2 ratings
2012:
Based on 11 ratings
2011:
No new ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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38 reviews of this school


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Posted November 18, 2009

Unquowa has had a tremendously positive impact on our two children, both academically and socially. We are now in our 7th year at Unquowa and believe that there is not another school in the geographic area that would have met our needs so fully. Eight years ago we were searching for a school that offered a broad curriculum, a flexible teaching style (understanding that all children learn differently), diversity in the classroom, and most importantly possessed a highly effective, creative, caring staff and faculty. Unquowa has greatly exceeded our original expectations. Most importantly, Unquowa is a school that teaches to the whole child and consistently maintains high standards that impact students positively every day.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 16, 2009

We have a nine year old boy in his second year at Unquowa. He has benefitted greatly by the small class size and the affirming environment. He loves the school which has proven to be an excellent match for him.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 19, 2009

The school and faculty has exceeded our expectations. A rich and engaging teacing environment that stresses the importance of respect and caring toward others. Our two girls can't wait to go to school every day.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 10, 2009

We have two children who have attended Unquowa School. One is a recent graduate and one has just entered the Upper School. Our experience has been fantastic. The Head of School and faculty are exemplary. They set an excellent balance between an intellectually rigorous and respectful environment. The curriculum is fully integrated and focuses on actually teaching students how to think independently and to love learning, instead of on standardized test scores. A huge percentage of the Upper School students are John's Hopkins scholars, which certainly speaks to the caliber of the students and the quality of the education. The school community is very close, not pretentious, and kids have an easy time making and maintaining friends from various backgrounds and numerous communities. We simply cannot say enough good things about the school. Unquowa truly is a hidden gem that helps make every kid shine.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 17, 2009

Intellectually competitive, emotionally cooperative Our children aged 12 and 9 just entered their third year at Unquowa and we could not be more pleased with the school. We looked all over Fairfield County for a school with the right mix of academic rigor and focus on personal growth and Unquowa fit the bill perfectly. Our kids are happy, involved, and exposed to an innovative educational curriculum on a daily basis. Unquowa is intellectually competitive, but it is also emotionally cooperative. From the Pre-K to the Upper School, you will not find a tighter knit group of students. Unquowa School s intimate size enables a nimbleness and curiosity that larger schools can t match. Whether it s the in depth partnership programs with regional museums, the all organic approach to meals, or the energized and committed faculty and staff, you d be hard pressed to find a school as innovative and forward thinking as Unquowa.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 17, 2009

Unquowa is a great, supportive, community with a lot of leading edge programs. We have two kids there, 8 years at the school, and wouldn't want to be anywhere else. As to academics, 44% of the upper school qualified as Johns Hopkins scholars last year, so the small class size definitely results in good learning.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 5, 2009

Not academically challenging.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 27, 2009

The Unquowa School has really dissapointed me. My child went there this year and there was no academic challenge at all. My child learned much less then other schools she has attended. Also, it is an unheaalthy environment for a child to grow. The class size is so small that people are FORCED to be friends with one another. That is not right at all. Another issue we had wasthat the chef at Unquowa really did not accomplish his tasks. He would run out of food on many occasions. The chef would also be so into organics that he would just ruin the food. No flavor! Almost every food can be organic so why would the chef pick the absolute worst food items for young and older children to eat? If you are thinking about sending your child to Unquowa I would seriously reconsider.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted February 21, 2009

Unquowa is a great school. I have been there for 5 years and am very sad to graduate. The classes are very small and every one is friends with each other.
—Submitted by a student


Posted November 7, 2008

This school is very small and by definition is limited in what it can offer. Some people really love that intense sheltered environment. Others are more concerned with the curriculum's limited offerings. Unquowa promotes a basic skills approach which is exactly true. It is very traditional and does not compare with the academic depth and breadth of the other independent schools and local public schools. Many families have found curriculum gaps which require remediation when the children transfer. Children who stay there tend to be better suited to that particular style of learning and don't mind the social limitations. Student and faculty turnover is notable and the school's reputation is mixed. Some families love it but people who leave usually have valid reasons. Unquowa is so alternative it only works for some children or families. The school's emphasis on organic food and corresponding farming curriculum is unique.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 5, 2008

I had a daughter attend Unquowa for 9 yerars and a son who currently goes there. The school prepared my daughter for high school. She is in honors classes and getting all A's. My son loves it there. I can't imagine anyone not liking this school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 20, 2008

In my three years at Unquowa, I can safely say I learned only the bare minimum. To attend the local high school, I had to take remedial classes in two major subjects including English. What a waste.
—Submitted by a student


Posted February 3, 2007

My husband and I currently have three children attending The Unquowa School. This is our fifth consecutive year and we couldn't be happier. We have found that our children are thriving: academically, socially and emotionally. The faculty supports our children's individual needs, challenges our children and strives to provide an education for the 'total child', all while providing an arena for individual growth and development. Unlike larger public and private schools, we have found the perfect balance for our children: a warm, friendly environment that has embraced our children and our family while providing a challenging academic program balanced with terrific enrichment opportunities. The Unquowa School has been a true gift to our children.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 14, 2005

There are no grudges here. I simply found the quality of education and 'life lessons' the poorest I've seen in a private school. If I were raising a child to memorize, and copy - I would be happy with this school. However, I am trying to raise my child to understand what she learns, and understand what she does. Since leaving Unquowa my child is FINALLY happy and challenged and proud of her accomplishments.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 20, 2004

We have sent 2 girls through Unquowa: one currently attends the Upper School; her older sister graduated a few years back. Unquowa provides academic challenge and high expectations within a supportive nuturing environment. Whereas at most schools the grades keep largely to themselves, Unquowa is notable for encouraging a strong sense of community and interaction among older and younger students. Community dining at which table manners are taught and students from different grades sit down to eat together every day reinforces friendship and respect. The coursework offers all the rigor one would want from a small private school and many of the teachers are inspired. Having said this, I will note two minor shortcomings: 1) the school currently offers only Spanish as its foreign language option. (Adding Latin would be excellent!) 2) No formal orchestra or band program exists; musically-inclined students seeking this experience must participate in programs elsewhere.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 5, 2004

We have been at The Unquowa School for seven years. My older son is in 6th grade and my youngest is in 1st. I have watched my older son grow from a shy, insecure child to an independent, self-confident boy. My younger son is learning self-control and teamwork. Two very different children getting exactly what they need at Unquowa. The graduates in recent years have gone on to the top private schools and boarding schools. A high percentage of our students (I believe it's around 30%) are John Hopkins scholars. Unquowa helps each child strive to reach his or her own potential. If you're looking for a 'high pressure' school, where the child's backpack weighs more than they do, then The Unquowa School is not the place for you. If you want a school that is nurturing, with teachers who truly care about your child, as well as their education, then Unquowa is a school you should consider.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 1, 2004

At a time when public schools are overflowing with children, Unquowa's small size is especially appreciated. The school's family-style atmosphere is warm and nurturing allowing our kids to comfortably learn and grow. The children are amazingly respectful of each other and the way the grades interact is truly unique. The academics are challenging my 5th grader is learning things that I learned in high school! Unquowa's Winterfest is an incredible all-school event that brings alumni and past families back year after year to celebrate the holiday season. Unquowa is the perfect fit in my child's academic life providing a foundation that will surely carry her far!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 27, 2004

I'm a parent of high school children who attended Unquowa from preschool through eighth grade. I am writing in response to the poor review, that I believe is from a parent using this website to vent a grudge. It is highly inaccurate. Unquowa has a rigorous traditional curriculum that individualizes. The children are taught respect and tolerance through a nurturing environment. Misbehavior is rare and dealt with immediately and respectfully. Winterfest is a magical production that each child participates in, except our three-year olds. The parents and students build an incredible castle. The children act, dance, sing and create wonderful artwork. There is no money drive involved and disrupts the gym for only one week. There is so much education, creativity, independent work and practical life skills taught that the school is to be highly commended. Unquowa recently received a Leading Edge Award from the NAIS.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 88% 61%
Black 5% 13%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 3% 4%
Two or more races 3% 2%
Hispanic 1% 20%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
Computer specialist(s)
Gardening teacher(s)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Nurse(s)
Reading specialist(s)
Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
School social worker/counselors(s)
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Foreign languages spoken by school staff Chinese (Mandarin)
Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Outdoor learning lab
  • Science lab
Clubs
  • Math club
  • Technology club

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
  • Improv
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • Graphics
  • Technical design and production
  • Video / Film production
Clubs
  • Drama club
  • Literary magazine
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Spanish
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Access to sports fields
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Kitchen
Clubs
  • Martial arts (judo, tae kwon do, karate, etc)
  • Yoga club
School leaders can update this information here.

School basics

School start time
  • 8:30 am
School end time
  • 3:30 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school: starts at 8:00 a.m.
  • After school: ends at 6:00 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • Sharon Lauer
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Phone
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 3 years old
Gender
  • Coed
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian
Associations
  • NAIS
Fax number
  • (203) 336-3479

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • None
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • None
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages taught
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • None

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Reading specialist(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
  • School social worker/counselors(s)
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Counseling
  • Differentiated learning programs
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
  • Fairfield Residents Only
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Cafeteria
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Library
  • Music room
  • Outdoor learning lab
  • Performance stage
  • Playground
  • Science lab
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
School leaders can update this information here.

Sports

Boys sports
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Field hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
  • Improv
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • Graphics
  • Technical design and production
  • Video / Film production

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Drama club
  • Girl scouts
  • Inventors Club
  • Literary magazine
  • Martial arts (judo, tae kwon do, karate, etc)
  • Math club
  • Technology club
  • Yearbook
  • Yoga club
School leaders can update this information here.

School culture

Dress Code
  • Dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Coach sports teams or extracurricular activities
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Volunteer time after school
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

TIP: Don't forget to ask about documents required for enrollment, such as your child's birth certificate, proof of address, or a record of immunizations.

 
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Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

981 Stratfield Road
Fairfield, CT 06825
Website: Click here
Phone: (203) 336-3801

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