This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
The Unquowa School2
Posted April 20, 2015
- a parent
There are so many negative things I could write that it's pretty shocking, since there are some positive things as well. Really wanted to be happy here - but the environment is so artificial. Many teachers & staff members just aren't trained well & lack compassion & common sense. Academics should be more progressive/extensive, & should be more after school activities. As for learning skills program, really a waste. Kids just do homework. Administration is horrible. I agree headmaster is definitely insincere - watch out. School was a horrible place for my child for much of this year; at times, we could hardly wait for school year to be over. While many kids here have social issues/learning issues, Unquowa expects them to be medicated & fit one mold. Parents bring in own counselors to help "train" staff how to assist kids with learning & behavior issues! Tall order added to $25k a year. School is especially hard for socially average/"normal" boys who aren't shy & who enjoy socializing. I agree with comments about bullying - we experienced that our 1st year there (this is our 3d year). Teachers did nothing about it - esp. for new kids; very upsetting for all of us.
I like stats and I had some concerns after reading a couple reviews questioning the academic rigor at Unquowa so I did a little digging and here is what I have found... It is a very rare (7 times in the last 6 years) that a graduating 8th grader at Unquowa does not get accepted at his or her [family's] first choice of high schools. The majority of students (grades 4 and up are tested) are recognized by the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth because they achieve at the 95th percentile or higher on one or more subtests of a nationally normed standardized test (ERBs in Unquowa's case). And results from a recent survey (and loads of the previous reviews) clearly state that parents of Unquowa alumni feel that Unquowa more than adequately prepared their children for the social and academic rigors of high school. Hmmm.... academic rigor? I say 5 stars!
We could not be more pleased with our family's decision to join the Unquowa community. It has been over a decade now and things just keep getting better and better. Under the strong, visionary leadership of Sharon Lauer, the head of school, we know that there is no end in sight - new programs, new facilities, teachers that care about students, students that care about learning and alumni young and old that are ever present. We know we will be members of the Unquowa community long past our last commmencment ceremony. Thank you Unquowa!
I currently have two students at Unquowa and cannot be happier with the education they are receiving. Their continual work with shaping students to not just be academic learners but also caring citizens of the community around them is invaluable. We are fortunate to have many more years at the school and cannot wait to see our kids flourish.
Unquowa is a lovely small school which provides a nurturing environment for children to grow up in. The school community is amazing and the parents are involved. It is a perfect school for children who may feel lost in a larger school setting. While it might not be the most academically rigorous of schools, we loved the many school traditions designed to help the children feel valued and special.
I am currently the parent of a first and fifth grade student at Unquowa. They have both attended the school since PreK3 and I could not be happier with their experience. It is a truly a place where children are care for mind, body and soul! They are encouraged daily to approach both their learning and social situations with a critical eye and compassion, respectively. Problem solving from a young age and pairing younger students with older students has been beneficial to both my children's intellectual experience and self confidence. The school has recently adopted a mindfulness in education program rooted in an inner resilience program that has made such a difference at school and in the life of our family! Not to mention the fabulous Farm to Fork dining program!
Sending our two kids to Unquowa prepared them both for a rigorous, honors level high school curriculum and helped them develop the confidence and strength of character to be involved in a wide variety of activities and athletics. They continue to thrive academically and it is because of the extraordinary preparation they received from their Unquowa teachers. The ease with which they explore new and familiar activities and take on leadership roles in their new schools is because Unquowa taught them how to be engaged members of any community. Thank you!
We love that all the teachers know our child. The lunch format where all the teachers and children eat together in a family atmosphere is so valuable. The foreign language curriculum is excellent. The classroom activities are very collaborative which are so relevant to what they will need to succeed in the future.
Terrible experience for our whole family. Bullying by teachers that were using humiliation tactics and embarrassment in front of other students led us to meetings with an administration that lacks leadership and any type of effectiveness. My child is sweet, well behaved and bright. She cried not to go to school. We were promised academically challenging classes in a nurturing environment. There was neither. Think twice before exposing your child and wasting your money. I would rate the school with a zero if I could have.
As an 18-year-old alum of Unquowa, I can now see and understand how much my time there helped to shape me into the person I am today. Duing many of my 9 years at the school (K-8th) I was too young to truly appreciate the community that I was a part of, but I can now see how many of my learning habits trace back to my days at Unquowa. They are committed not only to teaching you information, but to teaching you how to learn in any environment. In their small class setting I was able to utilize the extra attention I was getting, and then with the skills I learned I turned around and was fully prepared to succeed in a public high school nearly 10 times Unquowa's size. The school community is unparalleled; even in college I am still in close contact with some of my peers and teachers from Unquowa, and I always look forward to going back and visiting. I am extremely confident that no school could have done as good a job preparing me for High School, College, and whatever lies ahead in Life as Unquowa has done for me and so many others.