Walden is the best private school in Louisville. My children started in kindergarten & one has graduated HS, the others plan to graduate from Walden too. The small class size allows teachers to know each student & give each student individual attention. If the student who transferred to another school is struggling to get decent grades something else must be going on. Walden teachers are great in preparing students for the top colleges, I can't see not being prepared for another school. My high school child says the best thing about Walden School is that students are "challenged every day". No one is held back, students who need extra help are brought up to a higher level. How to rate a school? Are students safe, happy at school and learning advanced work? Are parents satisfied with the education? Are the teachers qualified, passionate about their subject & have freedom to teach? Do the student like their teachers & the teachers care for their students? Does the administration listen to, work with & include parents? At Walden the answer is YES to all of these! Walden is a family school centered on helping students lean to to be well rounded, successful adults of the future.
When I left Walden and moved to a different school, I felt very behind. At Walden I excelled and had straight A's. At my new high school I am struggling to get decent grades. Walden has not prepared me for the real world.
My son is in 5th grade at Walden. He has been there since Kindergarten. He has blossomed academically and socially. The school instills a thirst for knowledge, an understanding of the importance of community and core values that will make the children responsible, engaged members of society. In my book, for my son, it doesn't get much better than that. Also, with impressive incoming new leadership, great faculty and land in the heart of St. Matthews, I believe Walden's future is bright.
I am surprised to hear that a student had difficulty with math when he/she transferred to a near by public high school. I am not sure what would have caused this. It is my experience that the academics at Walden are very high. My son attended from K to 12 and received a 5 on the AP calculus exam, got a full scholarship to 2 different universities, and is at the top of his class in engineering. Walden is a wonderful school for academics and for a child's social environment. We loved it.
Like the student review that was written earlier, I, too am now a student at DuPont Manual who attended Walden for a lengthy amount of time, but my opinion is much different. I adored Walden, and I think it really prepared me for Manual. And, no, I am not 'slow', which I think is a ridiculously derogatory word. Walden has never once kept me from advancing, which I certainly have. When I was in Sophomore Advanced English, not Freshman, we spent a whole semester covering how to write a five-paragraph essay and conducting a thesis statement, things I had learned in 7th grade at Walden. Ironically, it was the supposed 'most advanced school in the state' that kept me back, not Walden. Where at Walden I had teachers who knew me and the way that I learned and advanced, at Manual I have a teacher who routinely calls me by the wrong name and never has anything to say during Parent-teacher conferences. Now, I really like Manual, and they're doing a good job educating me, but there's absolutely no way I could ever say that Walden hadn't equipped me to handle the rigorous schedule they give me. Walden was a fabulous school, I really could not have asked for better in educating me.
As a former student who attended walden from first to eighth grade, I was very unsatisfied with the academics and teaching Walden provided me. I had steller recommendations from all of my teachers to attend my dream high school - Manual. I was at the top of my class, taking high school math when I was only in 8th grade. I thought Walden would have challenged and prepared me for duPont Manual. Once I went to high school away from Walden, I found out my academics background was far behind all of my classmates. I struggled to achieve B's and C's at Manual's MST program, when I was a straight A student and the winner of the math and science awards at Walden. Now reflecting back at my younger years at Walden, I understand why Walden can never provide the same high-quality education that duPont Manual challenged me with. Walden is simply not big enough to provide advance classes to students. All students are held to the same standard. Therefore the slowest student in a class will hold back the brightest student. This may be a good thing for the slow student, but the brightest student will always be at the disadvantage at walden.
I love this school. They have done a great job with my children. The staff is friendly and effective. There are a lot of nice kids that attend and families that are involved. The academic curriculum is excellent. It can be difficult to tell how good competing schools are unless you have kids that attend them. We have friends who left for economic reasons to join the Jefferson County Middle School Advanced Program. By comparison, they were disappointed in the Advanced Program curriculum and hope to make it back. I wish our friend had a better year but it was good feedback to help reinforce that Walden is the best choice for us.
As I write this, I am trying to decide whether or not my child will return to Walden next year. The past year at Walden has been problematic. Even now, as the teachers and administrators appear to know we are contemplating leaving, no one has asked us why or expressed any concern about the fact that one of their best students is likely going elsewhere. There is little follow-through when problems arise. And a lot of defensiveness and denial when it comes to dealing with the occasional less-than-stellar faculty member. We were very pleased previously but things have taken a dark turn at Walden in this past year.
It's a small intimate school. Academic standards are high but at the same time we don't feel our children are forced into a mold. The focus is on the children. They really try to instill a love of learning. Classes are small with a lof individual attention. Because the school is smaller, we know a lot of the other parents (and teachers) well. This provides a greater degree of social control. Potential problems like bullying for example, are recognized early and quickly addressed. However, the school has an easygoing, tolerant atmosphere, accepting of students with many different backgrounds, cultures and religions. We love the school.
The theory was great until the economy took a dive. Money became the focus over the children. Despite what appears to be very hands on individual attention, parents are not informed of their child's progress. Their website has been an endless disaster for many, many years and most parents cannot get on or navigate the grade system online. Even if they can, it still doesn't tell the story of where your child is - including if they're failing. Student led conferences only 'celebrate' the good work. They refuse to make a phone call directly to parents if there is a problem. We were at the school daily and still in the dark on our child's progress. Save yourself $15,000 a year. Local public schools are on par with this school and with less hounding for money at every turn. We were one of many families who left in recent years due to poor academic management and when we left they really couldn't have cared less. Not even one phone call. So much for individual attention.