This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
The Wood Acres School5
Posted December 11, 2014
- a parent
This is our first year and we have a pre-K and 4th grader attending the school. The teachers are engaging and my previously "bored" 4th grader, has not once woke up begging not to go to school this year. People have made comments about the teachers not being welcoming but I must be missing this. As apposed to the previous public school where I was never allowed in the classroom I have always just walked right in at Wood Acres. When calling I am always answered by a friendly voice and my questions answered promptly. All 5 teachers email me every week with updates about what my children are learning and what they will be doing next week. Also, if there is a concern with with anything the teachers call and email me immediately. We chose WA because we wanted our children to enjoy school, get a solid education, have the teachers notice them and have a true interest in their education. So far this year all of these things have happened. A previous post mentioned no after school activities which they do have, plenty. Another post offered no tutoring? the teachers offer "free" tutoring 3 days a week. Great school!
We just finished the 8th grade after being there since Pre-K and cannot say enough GREAT THINGS about it! Wood Acres is an International Spanish Academy which allows your child to converse with ease IN SPAIN during their 8th grade trip there. Their Spanish program there is second to none. My child will leave 8th grade ready for Spanish III in high school as a freshman! I read in another post about not being hands on...can you then explain how there has never ever been a science textbook??? It is 100% hands on! The teaching is FULL of imagination! Spanish Role plays, power point presentations put on by students, outdoor science fair, Greek/Roman day, the list goes on and on. Community service you ask? Girls clothing drive, Must food drives, MLK work day, and more. Might I add, ALL of these functions are put into action by the kids. They do the planning and advertising, they work the drives/functions and clean up after while learning organization and leadership skills. Parents are welcomed AND encouraged to be at the school. We are heartbroken it was time to leave as we will never find another Mrs. Thigpen, I am afraid. My child left WA happy, healthy, loved and very well educated.
Our child started at Wood Acres in PreK and is a raising third grader. Wood Acres has set the course for my daughters entire education by making learning fun. The teachers have high and reasonable expectations and care about teaching an accelerated curriculum as opposed to just learning for the test. The student ratios are low compared to other schools that have 25 plus students per classroom allowing more one on one availability. The administration encourages parent involvement has an open door policy and strives to instill the natural love of learning.
Wood Acres is a fantastic school and it is NOT dying! In fact, it is growing by leaps and bounds. Not only is my daughter thrilled to go to school every morning, but her teachers are thrilled to teach her every day! As for parent involvement, I have been a room parent, a mystery reader, helped with the Science Carnival, helped out with Constitution Day, helped out with Family Picnics, helped out with Field Day and I have helped out in the classroom many times! We have been at Wood Acres for over 3 years now and it is like a second home to our family. We are extremely happy, our daughter is learning so much every day and we are here to stay!
Wood Acres has the potential to be a fantastic school - the campus is beautiful, the Spanish program is great, the classrooms are calm and well kept and the class sizes are small... it falls very short of meeting it's potential. The leadership is weak, the school lacks direction and has no connection to the community. The teaching staff are disconnected between grades and within grades, operating as individuals and not a cohesive team. The curriculum and teaching is unimaginative and lacks creativity - desk bound and workbook based. If you are looking for hand-on experiential learning, this is not the school. They are unwilling to work with different learning styles and do not encourage parental involvement. The playground is frequently closed if it is a little too wet, and recess is indoors if it's a little too cold. There are inconsistencies on which classes in a grade make use of the science lab or library. The level of homework, especially for the younger grades, is extreme and, for the most part, adds little value to the day-to-day curriculum. Wood Acres has great potential but in reality offers little more than a good public school, other than campus and class size.
My children have been at Wood Acres since Kindergarten and we have been at the school for 6 years. This is our last year. The teachers are wonderful. We just cannot continue to send our children to and hand over our money to a dying school. Over the last few years the administration has become non-responsive and relies on the teachers to do everything with no support, which has made the turnover quite high in the last few years (teachers even leave in the middle of the year). The teachers never complain about the lack of support but when any issues come up, the leadership just tells you what you want to hear and then never follows through. It is really disappointing. The school had such a great reputation and shows well, but the leadership just seems to hold disdain for the parents and really doesn't want them on campus unless it is to pay or drop off/pick up the kids. We were hoping for a more family-like school and each year that never materialized. The Spanish program is nice, and those teachers are really great but even that is not enough to keep us. So sad.
Absolutely beautiful campus! What I love about Wood Acres is how it feels like you're part of a family. The teachers, staff, kids and parents all seem happy to be there and love to learn! Class sizes are small, typically under 14 per class. I highly recommend coming to the Woods!
I have two children who have attended WA. One is a graduate of the middle school program. I think many of the reviews for the upper school have been unfair. The upper school is essentially a new school and it has had its growing pains. However, the school excels academically. My child was extremely well prepared for the high school magnet program as was rest of the class. I have found that there is always a lot of complaining to the wrong people. The dean of students is extremely involved and more than happy to hear any concerns a parent has about their child or the program as a whole. She will work with you to best serve your child. You may not always like all of the answers or policies, but no one is 100% elated, all the time anywhere... not in public school or if you are paying $20,000/year. This may not be the right school for your child, but I firmly believe it has nothing to do with the intent, care and concern the teachers and staff have for the children, from early school through middle school.
This school has gone down over the years and it's sad because it has a potentially lovely campus. From the staff to the curriculum activities to the grounds, it's as if someone is trying to save money and it shows and it's a private school!! Even the summer camps have gone to straight babysitting with some nominal acitivies. We had a just average preK experience that didn't make it appealing for me to want to return. The parent involvement is next to nil because the administration doesn't encourage it!! Maybe the parents like the lower student to teacher ratios, but there needs to be more substance behind just that. No thanks, but keep trying Wood Acres if you want to retain or even increase your enrollment. There are too many private let alone outstanding public options these days in East Cobb and North Fulton.