Cold Spring is just fantastic. Kids get a wonderful, rich, challenging progressive education. It is a gem in New Haven. There is no other school like it in its ability to differentiate learning for its students. The approach is innovative, really having kids think through what it is they are learning. And they love it! Teachers are warm and caring, and really inspired by what they do, pushing kids to the next level. We are so grateful to have found this school for our child!
We have 2 children in this truly great school. Our children are blossoming both intellectually and socially. The teachers have been very supportive to their needs and responsive to their requests. This is the best of child directed learning in a rigorous and structured environment.
I have 3 children at Cold Spring School from preschool thru 4th grade and all 3 love school. CSS is in the truest sense a child-centered place of learning. It has a remarkable, rigorous and supportive academic and social curriculum, unlike any other I've seen or experienced. CSS nurtures the natural curiosity and sense of wonder of children. My kids think learning is fun and cool and that's because of CSS, its extraordinary teachers and its progressive approach to teaching and learning. (I think the CSS video which is accessible from the school's website gives a helpful and accurate overview of the school.) Financially I wish we had a comparable public alternative, but in my view, for these early years, CSS is absolutely worth the investment.
Step into the hum of happy activity at CSS and you know something is incredibly right. In the K-1 classroom children listen with interest as a peer makes a weather prediction for the day. Pre-K students re-enact "Caps for Sale." On the second floor, students in the 2-3 classes are clumped in small groups peer-editing the poetry they've been writing. On the third floor students, in the 4-5 classes simulate the arrival of new immigrants at Ellis Island, or prepare a podcast on the Quinnipiac river available on iTunes. In the beautifully refurbished old house next door, creativity abounds in the art studio and the music studio while the 6th graders on the upper floor research ancient civilizations or write a new constitution. My two boys loved every minute of this marvelous school, its phenomenal teachers and incredible director. Correcting an earlier incorrect review: Classsize is always 18-21 with 2 teachers.
I cannot be happier that my son is at CSS! The teachers are just great. They really care about the students. They realize each student is different and they work with them to bring out the best in each and every kid. I am honored to have my son there and would not think of another elementary school. The class sizes are extremely small and learning is fun for the kids in this particular environment. Yes, the tuition is expensive but you cannot put a price on education! I am convinced this is the best school in CT! We are hooked on CSS.
My son and daughter were at Cold Spring from K through 6 grade, then went on to public schools. They hated snow days when at CSS, but welcomed them when in public school. They wanted to get to CSS as early as possible during the flexible arrival period of 8 to 8:30 AM- clear proof they found CSS an exciting and welcoming place. During and after CSS, they've taken full responsibility for their learning- no need for parental pressure to get homework done. They did have to learn that not all assignments given them in public school were worth their best ! They tested into the talented and gifted class in public junior high, but were surprized how many of their classmates there had lost the love of learning and had the creativity beaten out of them already. Moderately priced for a private school, and worth every penny.
My three children graduated from CSS a number of years ago. I have watched their Cold Spring education become the foundation on which their very successful academic careers have flourished -- and even more importantly, it nutured a core of values and ethics that helped to produce emotionally and socially well-rounded young adults. This is a hidden gem of a school!
Truly a remarkable school. The energy and creativity in the classrooms are palpable. Children are thoroughly engaged and take an active, joyful part in their learning. As a result, students really do become the self-reliant, curious and resourceful problem-solvers that the school s mission statement promises. Cold Spring grads are also good people who respect the strengths and weaknesses of others and know how to resolve conflicts. This is not a coincidence, but the result of the school focusing as much on the personal and social development of each student as it does on math or reading. Extraordinary teachers, and despite expansion in 2003, student teacher ratio is still less than 10:1. It's been an incredible educational experience for my sons.
My grandson is a student there and and he has developed into a confident happy little fellow despite having a huge change from moving across country. I have spent time in his class room and have seen the positive changes take place
I cannot say enough great things about Cold Spring School. It has been a joy to watch the growth in my sons. There is never a word of complaint about going off to school. In fact, it is remarkable to see the number of students galloping to the school's front door each morning, excited to get going, get learning. Cold Spring's multigrade classrooms were a huge selling point for us. My sons' needs are met both academically AND socially, & Cold Spring takes social development very seriously. Bullying just does not happen here. There are two full-time teachers per classroom so groupings can happen in different ways and issues can be addressed immediately. These teachers KNOW my boys, which is apparent every time I speak with the teachers --and I always feel welcome IN the classroom/school. Also, the parent body has been warm, NOT elitist at all, & incredibly diverse.
An absolute amazing school. The master teachers are truly exceptional. The child centered/student directed philosophy coupled with a focus on the process of learning rather than the product allows for a deep level of learning (more acquisition, better retention etc...). Students grow to understand themselves as learners and don't lose their innate curiosity and love of learning. In addition, social and emotional growth is valued as much as academics. It's a warm, nurturing community of staff and families where children thrive.
Cold Spring is a truly unique and special place. Curriculum is flexible and builds on the children's interests. Learning is introduced in such a multidisciplinary way connecting art, math, science, reading, ... The children don't even realize how much they are learning, they are just having fun and they come away confident, eager and curious about the world. Children are interested in and learn from each other (no doubt in part due to mixed grade classrooms and school shares but also culture and values). Teachers respect and enjoy the children and the teacher / student ratios are unheard of in this day and age. There is a rich program of 'specials' (art, music, language, fitness) that far exceeds most schools. Staff are supportive and accommodating. There is considerable diversity in each class and there is a generous scholarship fund. We love this school!
5 years ago Cold Spring wast the school everybody dreamed of. The teacher ratio was very small for having two grades a the same time in one classroom (12:1). With the idea of expanding the school, the teacher ratio also expanded with it almost doubling the amount of children in each classroom.... For $17,000 a year you can find better places around, with the same caring a loving teachers and with more amenities...
It's a great school if you are one of the elite who can afford $17k a year for elementary school.
This is a school that understands children. The staff is warm and caring, the parent body involved and unpretentious, and there is a great diversity of students. Walk into Cold Spring and you immediately feel why this is a special community. Kids are treated with respect and the multi-age classrooms really allow an individual's needs to be met-- academically, socially and emotionally.
A great school, with the most deliberate educational philosophy of any school I've experienced. It's all about the students as individuals, and the joy, engagement in learning, and mutual respect among teachers, students, and families is evident the minute you walk in the building. Terrific music and art; a calm, supportive environment; a true commitment to learning. The Cold Spring learning experience is structured around each individual child's interests and ways of learning, building confidence and individual responsibility. I've never seen a better school.
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