This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
The Mead School5
Posted August 29, 2014
- a parent
My son has been at the school for 7 years. His Mead experience is by far, one of the most important foundations he will carry with him throughout his entire life. Mead does what I have never seen anywhere else, they listen and grow with each student, at the same time as they consider the school community needs. The kids are encouraged and nurtured to be strong self advocates. To stand up for them selves as worthy members of a larger society. Their voices are honored, valued and recognized as individuals. Critical to Mead's astounding and continued success is the fact that Mead School does not buy / purchase rote, regurgitated curriculum but rather builds fresh and consistently high quality curriculum around the current interests of the students. All this while nurturing the students academics in tandem with their social and emotional growth with great balance. Mead does what I have never seen anywhere else, they listen and grow with each student, at the same time as they consider the entire Mead community needs. He will have 11 teachers this year, often getting 1/1 attention. Students have a sense of where they stand academically, socially and emotionally.
I'm a long time parent of the school and can say unequivocally that a Mead education is helping to shape and create my children into great learners and people. Over the years I've watched graduates give incredibly moving and insightful speeches about who they are, and what they have learned at Mead. You forget that these are 13/14 year-olds on the stage presenting to hundreds of people!!! They all posses a je ne sais quoi.....a quiet maturity..... a type of charisma that comes from being comfortable in their own skin... no matter what their unique skills and abilities are. It is something that even local public and private secondary schools remark on. As they are giving their speeches, I reminisce about what they were like in 1st grade, or 5th. They didn't get this way overnight, they had lots of practice! It starts with group sing, sharing assembly, Primary Play and snowballs throughout the years with so many experiential opportunities for learning. Learning how to manage their emotions. Learning how to collaborate. Learning academics. Mead's program is based on a progressive education philosophy, so do a little research then come see how truly great Mead is!
The Mead School is a truly unique school. Kids who attend The Mead School are happy and whole. They are self advocates. They are autonomous learners. At a very young age, they learn academic, social, and emotional skills. Where else can you find Third Graders who say, "I don't understand this. Can you explain it to me again in a different way?" and "Mistakes are not bad. They're part of learning." If you have a child who hates school, The Mead School is the place for him/her.
One parent and 2 former Mead students have their own personal estimates as to when the school will fold. The school begs for new leadership. It is a fantastic school, and I believe wholeheartedly in its approach to social-emotional learning, but it lacks professionalism. Where is a biannual school bulliten? Where us an open house where the school is operating during that time? Where is there a proper reading curriculum in place? I realize that Mead is into organic learning but there must be some sort of scaffolding ax there was when my oldest daughter started at the school. And yes, my 3rd daughter was bullied, but she was always blamed, and it was not handled appropriately.
As a parent of a student for many years, I cannot speak highly enough about the wonderful staff and administration at this blessing of a school. My child prior to Mead was ostracized and because they weren't insanely competitive were cast aside by students and teachers at their old school. At Mead, my child is honored for who they are, supported to find out who they want to be and taught in a way that makes sense for them. The fact that reviewers come on here and make fun of people's weight clearly shows someone who has an axe to grind and someone who just doesn't get it. If at any point I've needed/wanted something for my child I have gotten immediate communication and action from the staff. Not only that but the idea of the Alumni talking "bad" about the school is preposterous. Just take a look at Light and Life or the Spring Fling performances where there are dozens of alumni coming back "home" or some of their testimonials about their Mead experience and you will truly understand how Mead is a school with an incredible and special connection with all that have walked through their doors.
My child graduated from the Mead School last spring and I am blown away by the skills she learned that other kids her age don't have. Not only did Mead give her the academic foundation she needed to go on to a very demanding private school, but their preparation has allowed her to navigate complex social issues in a mature and confident way. The admissions officers at all her schools said she had "an old soul." What she really has is a "Mead soul."
My child just started daycare at Mead's infant center a few months ago, and it has been a wonderful experience for both of us. They really do tailor the infant program to each individual child's needs, and my child is always so happy every morning when I drop him off. He gives each of his teachers/ care givers a big smile when he sees them. It makes it so much easier to be at work knowing he is so well cared for. Further, he seems to be developing so fast. Between teachers that really pay attention and notice what skills he's ready to practice, and the great set up in that infant room, I couldn't ask for a better learning environment for someone his age. I haven't decided if he will stay on for the toddler program or pre-school---I will have to investigate those programs independently. But I would recommend the infant center at Mead to anyone without hesitation.
I just left the Light and Life celebration at the school. The evening was wonderful, engaging, and filled with student enthusiasm. The students demonstrated hard work as they were key in each aspect of the evening-- performances, choice of music, stage management, lights. The academics have been challenging yet responsive. The teachers love what they do. The creativity is matched with a desire to balance challenge. I might like my child to have more homework but my child takes responsibility for the work which is better than what happened at the last school. The school has been a great choice because my child loves it, wants to excel because the environment demands it and provides the structure. We are delighted to be here.
I have been a Mead parent for a dozen years. Sending my children to Mead has been the most important and beneficial decision we made for our children and our family. Two of my children have graduated. I love what the school did for them when they were there, as well as what the school has given them for the rest of their lives. With one in college and another in high school, they seek the intellectual stimulation, the love of learning, and abiding friendships that they developed during their many years at the school. My third child is still at Mead. I could imagine no better place. The faculty and administration intimately know my child and are focused on enriching her academic and social development. If you can't tell, I think it is a magnificent and unique school that is decades ahead of other schools.