This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted October 08, 2013
- a parent
Our daughter recently started kindergarten at Edgewood and we have been very happy with how it's going. There are two kindergarten classes and both teachers are excellent. Parents are very involved and the school is truly a community school. We considered several options for our daughter, including one of the many private schools in the area, but we chose Edgewood (and were able to get in through the lottery, with preference since we live in the neighborhood) because it seemed like a place that our daughter could 1) learn and play in balance, 2) grow with children in the neighborhood - truly feel like she's part of a community and a village, and 3) go to school in a diverse environment reflective of the real world, which would prepare her for living as a citizen of the world.
Let me start by saying that recently, there was a change in leadership at Edgewood. This change was met with optimism, at first. I returned a year later to find that Project Pride, the Eighth Grade gym program, had been discontinued, despite teaching about good ideals such as teamwork, and huge success on the overnight trip to Camp Cedarcrest, to name one. As for the new administrators themselves, they'd added the referral system, which took trips for every referral. I am not exaggerating when I say that the administrators went trigger happy with this system. For example, a friend of mine exhaled, and received punishment. She inquired if she should stop breathing, and got another referral. When she told us, she got a third. One of the administrators overheard HALF of a conversation, and the students participating received referrals. A more notable incident: an Islamic student took major prejudice from a self proclaimed priest substituting for a teacher, and when the student got in trouble, the sub called in an administrator, and the student got a referral. I'm saying that Edgewood was a great school under the old principal, but is now a sinking ship of a school, at this point.
We have been very impressed with Edgewood School. We had concerns coming from a small private school, but Edgewood has got to be one of the district's (if not state's) best-kept secrets. The teachers go above and beyond, the parent involvement is strong without feeling exclusive, and the leadership seems experienced and capable. Other highlights include the art program (the kindergarteners replicated Matisse, for example!), the music/band program, and the volunteer-run elective enrichment offered to the 7th-8th graders. The free breakfast and lunch - provided to every child - with whole grain breads and low sugar cereals and local produce, also stands out. Okay, no school is perfect - no child, class or teacher is either. But Edgewood's a wonderful example of a school that is soundly beating the odds in New Haven.
Edgewood is a very high quality school. I care about my daughter's education, and I'm glad she's going to Edgewood. The parental involvement provides students AND parents with a wonderful way to be included, involved, and social. Students can participate in the school play, the school garden run by parents, one of a great many afterschool programs and classes run by parents, jazz band, Soccer, and so many other avenues of participation. Parents can volunteer to help with many of the aforementioned programs (there's also a great many social events that take place that are usually planned by parents). And every other Friday morning, there's even Cafe' Edgewood, where students and parents play music while parents and staff socialize. One concept that has always struck me is the admin and teachers really care about the students and the Principal provides good leadership and is responsive to parental concerns.
This school is fun and provides a very good education for not only students but parents as well. The parents can come to school and participate in everything from the PTA to the school play to just spending a day in their child's classroom. The education standards set by teachers are very high and they encourage their students to think outside the box and in new ways. The kids welcome new classmates but retain bonds with other aquantances they have known since kindergarden. The school has a wide range of activities in and outside of school, including:chorus, drama, band, music, dance, gym, art, math, and much more. Edgewood is also very fun for students because they attend trips, listen to speakers, have a monthly meeting where they display what they have been learning, and create projects that relate to their studies in a creative way.