Both of my daughters attended McKenzie and I couldn't be happier with their experience there. While there were teachers we liked better than others, all were extremely skilled, caring and dedicated. The administrators were responsive to our inquiries and, above all else, the community was incredible. While very different in temperament and personality, each of my daughters was extremely well prepared, academically, socially and emotionally for the next steps in their education. I cannot imagine them having had a better elementary school experience.
The principal pioneered a social-emotional curriculum that is now used district-wide. They practice and model this fabulous program for the kids. Consequently the kids learn to navigate friendships, identify when they need help, and practice ways to deal with uncomfortable situations.
My kids are practicing how to be good citizens, not just good students.
The principal and staff are amazing! They know and practice a large variety of A+ teaching practices, including a powerful social-emotional curriculum. Differentiated teaching occurs at all grades, helping kids learn in ways that work for them. Consequently, the kids enjoy school, do well, and like each other. I can't imagine a better place for my kids!
Our experience at McKenzie has been positive. One of our children has ADHD, some processing issues and social challenges. This is a student who started off at McKenzie in kindergarten with an IEP. Teachers and administrators worked with us and with each other collaboratively with a focus on successful learning outcomes. This same student met all agreed goals by Middle School, outgrew the need for an IEP, and is now earning As and Bs in highest honors classes at New Trier. We attribute much of that success to early intervention and the McKenzie school experience. We have another child who has always been a quick learner, highly social, and with very few challenges. McKenzie teachers differentiated well, with flexible learning groups in math and reading. And, if a student typically excels at math, but (for example) finds fractions a harder nut to crack, then the student may be placed in fast-moving math groups generally, but an in-depth and easier paced group for fractions. We are impressed by the school’s assessments and reports with attention to individual growth of our children, rather than emphasizing standardized comparisons on statewide tests. McKenzie is a school that has been well-equipped to teach two of our children who are very different learners. And, we are really glad to part of a friendly and welcoming parent community.
I am a former 3rd grade classroom teacher in District 39. Having taught in four different states, I have seen many, many different kinds of schools. McKenzie's reputation among both teachers and parents is outstanding! There is strong leadership, an immensely satisfied parent community, and an emphasis on implementing current research on technology, non cognitive skills, and differentiation.
As teachers are often known to be the pickiest of parents in dealing with their children's education, I chose to raise my own children in Wilmette, specifically McKenzie. I am now a full time mom of three children- one child went through McKenzie, one child currently there, and one headed that way. We have been overwhelmingly pleased and would not send our children to school anywhere else.
Lastly, as seen by reviews on YELP, a random individual negative review is not an accurate representation- an angry person is the one likely to seek revenge on a review site. There are thousands of positive experiences at McKenzie.
We've had a great experience at McKenzie, and can't imagine sending our kids anywhere else for elementary school. We have a student who will be heading to middle school next year, and he is already feeling nostalgic about his time at McKenzie. He has been supported socially and academically, and we're happy to call this school our home. I seriously question the perspective and motivation of a couple negative reviewers on this site, and can't help wondering if they have a twisted personal vendetta against someone. There are a couple negative reviews cited here that are simply not representative of the student or parent experience at McKenzie. I understand and respect constructive criticism, but the couple negative reviews I see here do not seem to have any productive or objective goal in mind. I genuinely hope that potential parents researching schools understand that there are 400+ families at McKenzie in any given school year, and a couple spiteful and questionable reviews should not be afforded meaningful significance. I wholeheartedly and confidently recommend that prospective parents visit the school, take a tour, meet with a PTA school-visit representative, and see firsthand that McKenzie is a fantastic place.
We have our first and second son at McKenzie now, and it's amazing, as well as the overall community for families with young children. A nurturing community and all of the opportunity you could ask for in a school.