Willard epitomizes what an elementary community is all about. The teachers/administrators truly care about students and enjoy seeing them thrive and grow both inside and outside of the classroom. They teach far more than texts/theory, but give the children a chance to apply the insights. Parents are extremely involved and put together their own out-of-school curriculum that is second to none - from international arts journeys, to cultural celebrations, to author meet and greets, to great field trips, to no-cut athletics, to the most fun classroom celebrations, the parents care about the whole community, in addition to their child(ren). And then there are the students - the lovely students who bring the place alive. They are caring, respectful, and responsible. They are active. They are smart and intellectually curious to learn more. They make the school better by excelling academically and connecting concepts from year to year; they also make the community stronger through being kind to one another, introducing each other to traditions/cultures, and showing up each and every day, ready to learn. One child of mine is at Willard and one is at Haven M.S. - they are prepared!
In all honesty, we had no idea what the schools were like when we moved to the district. What a welcome surprise that we just so happened to buy a house not too far from Willard. Willard has been, and continues to be, such an amazing experience for both my children and we as parents. It definitely is more than a school...it's a community. In general, the teachers are great and know their children and challenge them accordingly. Of course, not everything is going to be perfect, but feel that the teachers and principal are more than willing to work with both parents and students to get to their common goal. Would definitely recommend this school!
Not so much. The principal talks a good game but rarely solves problems, particularly social/bullying issues. The teachers are good at the K and 1 levels, but are hit-or-miss in the upper grades. The parents can be unwelcoming and clique-ish, just as many of the kids are (llikely from the example I see) and not much is done to correct this with the kids. No great emphasis on art or phys ed (revolving door). Teachers will move on to new concepts before ensuring kids grasp the earlier ones, which results in struggles for many. I've had three children go through the school (one still in 4th) and given a choice to begin again, I would honestly move to Dewey's district.
Willard is more than a school it's a community of lifelong learners! We have loved the experience that our two children have had in this community. In kindergarten, both of our children were exposed not only to rigorous basics (number stories, reading and writing), but also to the context around their new education (field trips, poetry, practical math and science). While both of our daughters came into kindergarten with early reading skills, even children who had limited exposure to the alphabet came away with both the skillset and the love of reading. Our oldest daughter is now in 2nd grade and the learning and discovery process just continues to grow with AMAZING teachers who care about the whole child. The weaving of PTA events to the arts, afterschool programs to classroom learnings, and community events with the fabric of the school are no doubt why Willard is an A+ school!