For my family Foote has been an amazing community. The focus on respecting and supporting individual children and encouraging kids to stretch beyond their own expectations has had a lasting impact on my kids' confidence and ability to pursue their interests. Foote is diverse in a lot of ways. Culturally for sure, as they occasionally demonstrate with 20+ languages spoken - also socioeconomically. Two years ago I saw a listing of financial aid at independent elementary schools nationally and it showed Foote as number one school in financial aid offered per capita. My own children have developed friendships with kids who have more than they do and kids who have less than they do. There are definitely challenges in having kids together who have a broad range of socioeconomic experiences. They will have different vacations, options etc. But I found a lot of support for the individual interests of kids and the idea of "being yourself" that helped with those things. Overall, my view is that no place is perfect, but Foote's teachers and a lot of Foote families put a lot of effort into building a strong, supportive school community so the kids are comfortable and happy.
I have 2 kids in the lower school, and will agree with other reviewers that my kids love to go to Foote. It is what they say and experience with their peer groups that challenges my husband and I. Foote is an elite school. My kids expect us to belong to swimming clubs, have a multiple homes, take amazing vacations and go to sleep way camps. This is not our reality and we work really hard to help our children have pride in what we have, My kids have told me they are embarrassed about the house we live in and that we do not have cool stuff. They both struggle with returning to school after vacations..they get really stressed out that they will not have a story to match their peer groups. As parents my husband and I feel disconnected,we feel the dividing line between parents and are hesitant to come to campus. We do not feel that parents are as welcoming as the school says they are . During school functions we are acknowledged, but not really engaged by other parents. There is a dividing line Again, my kids are happy, but every year we struggle if we are making the right decision to send our kids to Foote, and wonder would they be better served in a more diverse environment.
Fabulous Learning Support program. My daughter received invaluable help with writing, editing, and study skills.
We have 2 children at Foote and have been fortunate enough to be part of the community for the last 5 years. Foote is an amazing place in every way. The children love to learn, they are inquisitive and confident and able to self-advocate. The teachers are nurturing, warm, bright and outstanding; they are the heart of the school. They care so much about each child. Each year I am more impressed by the quality of the education and am overwhelmed by the dedication of the teachers. The small class size only furthers their ability to be so attentive. The exposure to diversity and culture has been a huge positive. The administration is equally as wonderful. The Head of School has an open-door policy and is truly involved with the students, parents and families. When we were first touring the school several years ago we met her- in a smock, in the art room, participating in a lower school pottery class getting to know the students- she is warm and yet a truly outstanding leader. The staff is equally as wonderful. Foote is a special place; not just a school- a community that creates life-long learners and enhances the values we all hope for in today's world.
I cannot begin to describe the magical,joyous experience my children experience every day at the Foote School.We feel beyond grateful to be a part of such a loving, warm community,that strives and achieves academic and personal success within each child that attends this incredible institution.My three children are excited to go to school every day. Each of them thrives on the positive energy,avid learning,community building and confidence the school has given them to be the unique individuals they are.I myself feel that as a parent Foote has taught me how to be a better mom to my kids.I am forever in the school's debt because I come away each day thinking,"wow, how do they always get it just right!" From academic excellence to amazing social and community skills they instill in each child a love of learning that stays with them throughout life.Just looking at the success of alums you can see what this school does for a person.Its not common that grads look back and thank their grammar schools,here they do!Not only do children achieve academic success but they come out of Foote with a deep moral fiber and a passion to enrich their own lives and give back to the community.
My son is delirious with joy @ Foote. He is a second grader who loves every minute of his day. We love his teachers who are creative, passionate, emotionally intelligent, and rigorous. As working and middle income parents, we haven't experienced the rift that others on greatschools have found. Au contraire, have found a good community of people in similar situations. We particularly enjoy the high concentration of international or internationally-focused families. The sports facilities for our very active child were also a big draw in addition to the arts. We would like to see more attention to foreign language but you can't have everything. I only stumbled upon this site and was surprised by the negative comments because we have exclusively heard extremely positive views from highly informed lower school parents.
We withdrew our child after only a few years - couldn't deal with the bias against parents of middle income and those who actually work for a living. The school wants cookie cutter kids only and children of alumns / Yale profs...if you're not...you're on the outs. Too many children of faculty who are favored in all aspects. All in all, an awful experience for our kid.
Totally agree with the poster who noted that Foote offers a painfully traditional education. The administrators think the school is progressive because there are a bunch of fake hippie baby boomers amongst the faculty members, but the school actually fosters very traditional, non-creative and non-abstract thinking. Why is it that I struggled academically throughout my entire time at Foote, yet in college and grad school I was praised repeatedly for my analytical thinking skills and considered one of the best in two highly competitive institutions of higher education? Makes you stop and think...
I visited the school one day with a parent of a student there. One occurance had an impact on me. I was walking into a building and some children were around it outside. I went around them, but then I heard a girl loudly call a younger boy "rude" for being in the way. I did not think the little boy was being rude at all, but maybe that Foote puts too much weight on perceived rudeness. And it teaches kids from a young age to put down each other by calling them "rude." It is good for children to be polite, but inculcating shame is not good. This was just an impression though, so the actual experience of being a student there may be much better.
The school has really changed over the years when my older child (freshman in college) ..Foote was a creative supporting community. However, I have noticed with my daughter ( rising 4th grader) the community is entitled and disconnected from one another. They pack too many events during the school year and for working families it is a challenge to get to all the "special events" and volunteer in the classroom. Even my daughter noticed that the same parents get to go on the field trips, come to the classroom or bring in special treats. There does not seem to be a strong support for working families. Foote does not really understand how to support their working parent community...and there is a strong divide among the parent body; which was not so much my son was at this school \
There is a need for differentiation, even with school with a well known name like Foote. Unfortunately, parental suggestions are not taken very seriously and the result is a more shallow institution. It's a shame as there are so many strengths at Foote. The arts are amazing. We should have attended St. Thomas's, small, episcopal, close by, but we are nearly done with Foote and it is too late. If you are looking for depth, shop around.
The teachers here are so unhappy. There is a disconnect between the faculty and the administration that is unfortunately resulting in the loss of some really great, creative, whole-child thinkers. An unapproachable administration that doesn't value the essence of what used to make this school amazing-- has resulted in the start of an exodus of really talented teachers. How sad this little school seems now that the teachers are so stressed and their passion is no longer recognized. I'm not sure I will be able to tolerate it here much longer. Love the parents and students and my colleagues, but the administration is clueless and downright damaging to the tradition of progressive and creative education that Foote used to embrace.
I think Foote has an excellent lower school curriculum and has great teachers, but this starts to take a turn down hill in sixth grade. Although most of the teachers are informative and do a very good job, the curriculum is weak, and the school becomes much easier. And even ninth grade lacks acedemic attention. The year is mostly focused on the China trip, and that's all that is ever mentioned throughout the whole year.
Foote School may be a better school than the public schools in New Haven, but this school basically suffers from entitlement issues. If you point out the deficiencies with their enforcement of FALSO's pride- the administration will point it out as things beyond their control - some parents are more entitled than others- and Foote School administration and staff make decisions based on appeasing these elite parents!
Foote is a wonderful school if your child is focused and self motivated, not so much if your child has any kind of learning difference. Don't expect any support from faculty or administration if this is the case. There is no testing or intervention available through the school. You are on your own. They will make accommodations for testing but not much else. There is also no support if your child is "gifted" which is unusual for an independent school. Teacher strength varies from grade to grade and heaven help you if your child gets a stinker. Administration and faculty don't work well together and there is a lack of community within the school. It was a good experience for my oldest child but not so much for my daughters who outgrew the environment quickly. Having said that, the parents are wonderful and involved.
I would agree with other reviews that though Foote has all the makings of a great school, they have not capitalized on it. There is particularly an inability or lack of interest in helping gifted children reach their potential. The curriculum is very traditional, with little interest among teachers or administrators to be innovative. Despite small class sizes, there is no differentiated learning, thus leaving those able to do more, unable to challenge themselves in the way they should be. We are parents there so it is difficult to leave a bad review, but Foote needs to embrace their student body, open their eyes to the changing nature of progressive education, and allow themselves to take advantage of the parents that so want to help take this school to the next level.
Foote produces great results, but it's hard to say for sure how much of it is actually due to what happens in school there. They get a lot of things right: small class size, supportive classroom environment, lots of art/music/library/drama/play time, which is absolutely non-existent other places. The project-based, thematic curriculum in the lower school is wonderful, in theory. It is implemented with varying degrees of fidelity by different teachers, however, and it often feels like many opportunities to make it so much richer go unnoticed or missed. Plenty of support exists for students who are "behind", but VERY few supports or avenues for further development of the gifted (or even the simply advanced), which is a huge surprise for a place whose kids come from (on average) such supremely advantaged families. MAG does not deliver on its potential. Bottom line: best school by far in the 50-mile radius, BUT....could be far better than it is. It's hard to compel people to feel any urgency when all measures show that results are "good", and the kids are happy. Hard to argue against the claim that things are going well, but looking more deeply brings a slightly different conclusion.
As an alum and a parent, I can truly attest to the amazing strengths of the teachers, community and overall education that my children are receiving at Foote, just as I did over 25 years ago. The teachers really get to know the students and there is ample opportunity for conversations throughout the year both with teachers and with head of school, Carol Maoz. Carol has brought a greater sense of community and inclusiveness to Foote, which has quite a diverse population, racially, ethnically, socioeconomically. It's worth coming for a visit and seeing the campus for yourself!
Foote is a wonderful, positive, creative and academically engaging place for a child. The teaching and learning of critical thinking skills is clearly a priority, and with the leadership of Carol Maoz, who has just begun her third year as head of school, Foote's future as an intellectually challenging institution nurturing leaders in the sciences, math, the arts, literature, languages, history and geography will continue to flourish. One must read these Internet websites with care; word of mouth remains the best endorsement. If you are thinking about Foote, talk to other Foote parents, talk to alumni, talk to all those successful students attending Choate, Hopkins, Loomis etc. And talk to the successful public school students attending high schools throughout the Greater New Haven area and the Connecticut shoreline. A strong educational foundation is key to academic - and intellectual - success; Foote provides that and more.
Ive been here for 3 years and I love it. Here the teachers are great and I really enjoy the different ways they teach to accomidate your different type of learning abilities.This school taught me how to have courage and to not be afraid to learn.
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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.
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