So sad that Willow School DOES take a 'cookie cutter' approach when it comes to their expectations of how a child should learn. It is not individualized, and the expectation is that your child should quietly sit in their seats and follow the cookie cutter learning style. A prospective parent should inquire about the reasons why their Maitland campus quietly and quickly closed and had to merge with the original campus.
We started out as Bridges Academy and my child made huge leaps and bounds! No longer Bridges Academy! The name is now Willow Schools. They were bought out by Lady Bird Academy. It is no longer about the kids and what is in their best interests. They have changed the way they do things. It is a cookie cutter approach. They have boxed their curriculum so they can Franchise the school. These are not in the box kids!!!! They can no longer stand behind the claim to bridge. There is no scope and sequence, there is no longer remediation. My child was ahead in math when we started and now is a grade level behind. Reading made no progress this last school year. It breaks my heart. When we found this place it was our child's saving grace. This was supposed to be the last year - now we have to come from behind again. Run away as fast as you can. There is no PE. They count LBP as PE. SOI is not even individualized.They bring your child photo copies, when they are done with the "SOI" they watch movies or do hidden pictures. Fast Forward is only 20-30 minutes not the hour they claim due to LBP taking up 1/2 of the time. Science and Social Studies are only twice per week. No rotating specials as claimed on the website. For the amount of money that you pay and with the increase of tuition for the 2015-2016 school year you should be getting a lot more for your money. Art, music, PE is non existent. Barely able to talk during lunch. The Maitland campus has no outdoor area. That is not a healthy environment for elementary kids. No longer a good fit for kids with Learning Differences. They talk a good game as if it is the same. It is not what they are selling.
1st year was great! Then it was bought by Lady Bird Academy and changed the name to Willow Schools. The Administration is unprofessional! The assistant Principal/Business Administrator is unqualified and rude. Parents concerns are dismissed and treated badly. Customer Service has left the building. The website is out of date. They do nothing that they claim. It is a Cookie Cutter Approach. No more wheel. - No art, PE, etc.. The Maitland campus is the Elementary school and it has no outdoor play. No reading gains/lost ground this year! No grade level math (not my child's weakness). On top of paying tuition I had to get a tutor for my child over the summer to try and make up for the severe loss of the year! Sadly, it is no longer Bridges Academy! Do not waste your money! My child lost confidence along with math and reading skills this year!
Our first year at Bridges Academy great gains were made in decoding and confidence under Jackie Egli ownership. I should have left with my gains and never looked back. Next school year lady Bird buys it out, calls it Willow School and they make a total mess. I am not sure how one entity ruins a school in 10 short months but it was done. I was told nothing would change, not true, EVERYTHING changed. No more power writing, or 50 minute fast forward. child was getting something called SOI for like 2 full periods and LBP which was only supplemental before and only done on the 9 week wheel. if your trying to transfer to a more traditional school or any other school for that matter, both those classes don't amount to anything and can't transfer as any class. It wasn't even being used properly, They messed up the math which was not the weakness and wound up almost 2 years behind when child went in on grade level. I had to tutor in math all summer to try to put it somewhere near new grade level, which i did not achieve, the gap was to large and we will have to continue to tutor throughout new school year. It's totally unfortunate and my child was quite unhappy. Stay away, it's really not the school i first encountered.
First year was ok and my son did make reading gains. Once the school changed from Bridges to Willow everything went downhill. Teachers almost never used the communication binder and papers rarely went home for most subjects.
Major curriculum changes were announced only a week before school started. Honestly, I felt like it was a bait and switch. PE was pretty much taken away and instead of a second reading period, the choice was made to have two Structure of Intellect "SOI" periods. Many, many students are there for reading remediation, and so double reading periods not double SOI seemed like a no brainer to me. My child's reading gains were minimal and his math teacher was terrible his second year. The assistant principal does possess the tact nor personality to be in any customer facing position. And now that my child has left Willow, two months later and several requests later we yet await the records to be transferred. It is simply unprofessional and I cannot recommend this school at all despite some of the good that came of my child being there the first year he attended.
Bridges Academy is a savior for the kids that fall in the cracks of pubic school. The kids at this school learn in a different way. Once Bridges is able to fine that unique way they learn. It is wonderful to watch them their academics raises, self esteem go up and their smiles come back!! The staff and teachers are amazing!!! It is a place that feels like family and their main focus is the kids. Bridges want to fill the gaps and be able to Bridge them back into another school ONLY when they are ready. Bridges Academy is certified so the kids can even graduate from High School if that is the best track for them. This school does have a strong and loving leadership, excellent and caring teachers, and front office staff always answers the phone and helpful. This a small school that is a hidden treasure. The thing that I love to see is that the kids/students are HAPPY and smiling. Say good bye to stress and say hello to success.
This is our first year at Bridges and I am amazed at the dedication of the teachers and administration. This school focuses on the individual student and teaches to their learning style. I am so happy to have found such a wonderful place for our daughter. She loves going to school and learning in this environment. I wish every student had the opportunity to be part of such a wonderful place.
I searched for over a year for a school that would actually help my child with learning disabilities. My child was in public school from preK to 5th grade. We had an amazing experience. Then came middle school. I know I'm not alone when I say that middle school is one of the scariest times for a child with learning disabilities. They are swept under the carpet, they just exist. The awesome teachers at Bridge's have taught my child that it's ok to be yourself. If you work hard, you will be successful at whatever you set your mind too. Great job Bridges! Keep up the great work.
This IS a school for Kids with Learning Disabilities, not behavioral issues. The school did as promised got his reading back to on grade and a little above grade level. My child attended one year and I am very grateful that the teachers were able to bring back his confidence and happiness about learning that the public school had destroyed. I would highly recommend this school to a child with LD.