Almost all of my teachers at Ezra Academy were wonderful. I really liked them while I was there, but after I graduated is when I understood just how good they were. I truly don't want to knock public education, but the teachers at my high school are just not in the same category. Some are talented and dedicated, but a lot are basically mediocre. The reason I'm a good writer is due to my language arts teachers at Ezra and not my high school classes. Also, the discussions in English, history, and Judaics were more in depth and challenging in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades at Ezra than they are in my junior year in high school. I wish I could have attended a private high school, but my parents are saving for college now. That's why I'm happy I went to Ezra, which is really what has prepared me for college. It's the foundation.
Ezra Academy is a wonderful school. All my children started off at Beecher Rd School. Two of my children are alumni and were very well prepared for a rigorous high school program, more so than their peers who came from Foote School. Moreover, the standard of education was way higher than at Beecher. My third child is currently an Ezra student and we can't be happier with the nurturing environment, teachers, principle and academics. Sending them to Ezra was by far the best investment we made.
As a teacher in the school it is a wonderful environment. Ezra is a place where you really get to know your students. We teach the whole child, not just the curriculum. The school recently adopted the model for teaching called "differentiated instruction", which essentially means that we teach each child at their own level. The school provided us with three years of training, and although it was difficult at first, I find it to be the most helpful training we ever participated in. The students really do benefit. I love the fact that at Ezra we are able to teach in depth, and that no one uses the words "cover more material". My favorite day of the year is Columbus Day, when many alumni come to visit. They could be home sleeping on their day off, but instead they are coming to share their experiences with us. They go off to Hopkins, Choate, Hamden Hall, the new Jewish High School, and public schools, but they will always be Ezra kids. I love teaching at a school where values are really the focus.
For twenty years I have sat in the B'nai Jacob sanctuary at the 8th grade graduation ceremony and listened as our students speak of the gratitude they feel that they have an Ezra education. Our school is remarkable in that the students who leave are so well prepared to face the challenges of a world very different from that of their parents and grandparents. I am not exaggerating when I say that not a week goes by without members of our alumnae dropping in to pay a visit to their former teachers--whether it is a Cornell physics Ph.D candidate or a newbie at Hopkins who just got an A on her first essay--they all tell us how confident they feel because of the superior education--both secular and Judaic--that they received at Ezra. Moreover, there is a real family feel to Ezra. Nobody ever gets lost in the shuffle. One student told me this: You already knew my name on the day I first walked into your class. My English teacher at Amity still doesn't know it, and I've been in school three weeks! The traditions of Judaism infuse the halls and classrooms with great warmth and celebratory joy on holidays, and every day. Ezra is really a home with a loving family.
Sending my children to Ezra was a difficult decision to make considering that we live in an area where public schools are very good. It was also difficult because we are middle class family and made less than 50K/year when my first son started in kindergarten. That being said, I can say with upmost confidence that sending my children to Ezra Academy has been the best decision I have made in my children's education so far. If you are looking for a place for community, high level differentiated education, individalized attention, and respect for all, with an emphasis on Jewish values, Ezra is the place to be. Lower school has been amazing and I am looking forward to the journey to 8th grade.
A disaster for our son. In the lower grades, his achievement scores hardly changed at all for the 2 years he was here. A few good teachers, but just as many mediocre ones. My impression is that the upper grades had a high quality program. The art & music programs seemed more about impressing the parents during shows, than conveying any skills or appreciation of the subject in the students. Academics very weak in the lower grades, compared to other private schools we've experienced. Emphasis on secular Zionistic, politically correct culture, rather than traditional Jewish religion....was a disappointment. A few wasted years for our kid.
I have a child there and two who have graduated. We have been so happy with the education there. Academically they were well prepared for the rigorous private high school they later attended. Also, they and we felt part of a community where everyone knows and cares about each other. It was the best decision we ever made.
I love the school. The teachers that my kids have encountered have been excellent. I have been really impressed with the reading and writing programs which have encouraged my kids to really think. It has really stretched and challenged them. The math program is superior. My kids are definitely more advanced than the neighborhood kids who go to public school. The science program is excellent. My kids go to the lab two or three times a week. I don't think the school tells us enough about the science program though. The Judaic program is wonderful. The teachers really teach a love of Judaism and Israel. The Hebrew program is improving all the time. After school activities have gotten better each year. This year students could take hip-hop, Capoeira and Chess. Not bad for a little school. Parents can get involved a lot or a little, depending on what they want.