My daughter was admitted. I signed the annual contract, paid the deposit, and bought supplies. We were told that we would receive our language choice. Then, they arbitrarily changed their mind. So then, instead of discussing the matter with us, they retracted their offer of admission. I was stuck with all of the books and supplies. Both my daughter and I were upset for 2 days. I called once, and no one bothered to return my call. The NGS admissions staff is insensitive, self-centered and unkind.
NGS is very strong in science and math. The middle school has used the Project Lead The Way curriculum for science for several years, and NGS is among few elementary schools in the US that were selected as a test site for PLTW curriculum. Most 8th graders take either algebra 1 or geometry. NGS won the 2014 middle school IL regional in the National Science Bowl. Their history curriculum is outstanding, and middle school world and US history curricula are as rigorous as any high school history classes. All middle schoolers take French or Spanish, and they consistently perform extremely well on national exams. In 2014, all 4 gold medal winners from downstate IL in level 1 National Spanish Exam were 7th graders from NGS, and their competition included all high schools in downstate IL. NGS won the 2014 IESA state championship in Scholastic Bowl, and they were the state runner up in 2013. English/Language Arts curriculum is also superb. PE, fine arts, and music programs are also extensive and well-taught. All teachers and administrators are friendly and nurturing. When it comes to academic excellence, NGS is as strong as any in the state of IL. I am so glad we found NGS for our kids.
We have sent 3 kids to NGS, and we couldn't be happier. The teachers are awesome, and if a teacher cannot meet the challenges and high expectations of NGS, he/she does not stay. The curriculum is very good and challenges the students. But, students are well-loved and nurtured. NGS sees your kids as you see them and values their unique qualities. I can't say enough about this school!
Incredible teachers at every level, focuses on critical thinking and discussion for the purpose of understanding rather than the "right answer." Rigorous math program, especially if your child works one grade level ahead. Stronger programs in academics rather than the arts. Top notch PE teachers. My only criticism is that there have been occasions that the administration has made certain student discipline decisions that were either too lenient or too harsh, and that the administration does not know the children as well as they should. Teachers have always been willing to accept feedback and adapt to child's needs.
I don't understand why there are so many negative reviews. I have been going to Next Generation since I was six weeks old, and I am now 13 years old. I have always loved this school. It's like one big family. I have learned so much and made so many friends. I can honestly say that I am friends with every single kid in my grade and most in the middle school. We all have a ton of fun and are very grateful for the amazing experience we get at Next Generation. The teachers are so nice, helpful, and so much fun. I didn't know how ahead I was in academics until I started going to a math and science camp over the summer. All the classes are great, and every year, when school ends, I find my self signing up for the summer scholars program to learn even more. I was recently accepted into the University Laboratory High school (Uni High) and will be VERY sad to leave this place. I think that this school was a wonderful experience. I felt safe and at home here and was never afraid to be myself. Everybody was so kind, and I learned so much. In fact, I will be taking sophomore level classes at my high school next year even though I will only be in the eighth grade. -A student
The review below makes me very sad. My heart goes out to whoever you are and I am so very sorry you feel that way about your time at NGS. Our experience has been so very, very different. My daughters have all attended NGS starting at the early education level through middle school (10 years now). None of them have ever had any issues with bullying. There were the standard issues that arise when children are together all day long. The teachers were very receptive and went above and beyond to ensure that all of the students were treated appropriately. In fact, not too long ago my 10 year old and I watched the documentary "Bully" together and she was very surprised and shocked. She had never seen students treat each other in that way. She said that she was very glad that she was at a school where that never happens and would not be tolerated. Both of my older daughters have moved on to high school and are also surprised by the stories their classmates tell of bullying from their own elementary and middle schools. Again, I am sorry that was your experience.
I went to NGS and it was one of the worst experiences of my life. The teachers are great and the facility is state of the art but the kids, the kids are terrible. If you don't start attending NGS by the third grade be prepared for isolation. The kids all have cliques. Honestly I was bullied there and the staff did nothing to help. Two kids used to have contests to see who could kick my foot the hardest. The winner was decided by who I screamed loudest for. And that is just one example of my experience. The quality of education was great but I am scared for the reset of my life. I feel I can never return to Illinois
As a Professor of Education, and former literacy consultant for the State of Illinois, I know a thing or two about curricula and learning. Our children have been better off at Next Generation than any gifted program. From day one, thirteen years ago, Next Generation has emphasized individual needs and individual enhancement in terms of learning. The program at Next Generation has enhanced and enriched our children s learning, allowing them to explore the curricula in greater depth and breadth than any other educational setting. They have prospered academically through inquiry, problem-solving and stimulation of their talents. They have also enjoyed significant instructional time in Art, Music and Physical Education. Academically and beyond, Next Generation is second to none in the enrichment of the whole student. You will find the environment at Next Generation to be great academically, while being a small enough school to also be nurturing. The teachers are wonderful and the administration is always looking to make sure that they make decisions based on what is best for the children. I can tell you that they are meeting the needs of our children to the very best of their ability.
We have 3 children at Next Gen (for 5.5 years now) starting in pre-school and now up to 7th grade. The teachers are fantastic, the curriculum is challenging but fun (my son created his own civilization) and balanced (art, PE, music). I love that they provide Spanish starting in preschool. The administrators are very helpful and there is always someone at the front door to greet the students (and parents) every morning and every afternoon. The administrators and teachers are constantly re-evaluating the curriculum to spot areas for improvement. We get an email every day from each class giving a summary of the important topics covered and what homework is due. Very helpful. Communication is excellent! All teachers and administrators are always accessible. I love this school.
Our DD absolutely loved her teachers! We loved her classmates and her class. She grew so much in a short time and we think it's due to her teachers. Unfortunately, the administrators are not so great. They seemed more interested in money than in anything else. They nickled and dimed you to no end! For example, every year you had a pay a registration fee. This registration fee did absolutely nothing! It's the same paper form that you fill out every year. Also, they had ZERO vacation policy. Our family took a much needed vacation... they refused to hold our spot unless we kept paying the full tuition - even though we had already paid registration for the next school year! The administrators were snobby and didn't really care whether parents/students stayed or not because they had other parents that were willing to pay the costs and put off with their punitive policies. With their high costs and strict standards you'd think they would treat their teachers better and have better benefits. Nope... all of money goes straight into the pockets of the administrators. We found another school, spent more time with DD at a library... and now she's doing better than at Next Gen.