Cold Spring is a really great school! We have had some amazing teachers in across our three kids in the school. If you just judge based on the homework, you might think the work is bland or not very intellectually demanding ; however, the teachers are doing engaging activities in the classroom and they find a way to make the work challenging for kids at all levels. The kindergarten teacher is fantastic and my child learned so much from her while also learning to adore school. The teachers in the other grades have also been pretty spectacular, with one or two who were good but not awesome. The schools builds upon the solid foundation set in kindergarten. It is very evident why this school is highly rated and scores high-- it's not teaching to a test, it is inspiring a love of learning in all kids. We loved Mr. B and new principal, Ms Reece, has been a delight to get to know and I'd say she is doing right by the kids/parents. It's cool for your kids to go to a small school where every member of the staff knows your kids by name. My child has a 504, and you do have to advocate for your child, both to get a 504 in place and to make sure it is kept up to date. That said, the school is very supportive of kids with all learning needs/challenges. If something bothers me, the teachers, principal, and staff are quick to respond and are just as concerned as you in making things better for your child.
The kids are nice, on the whole, and the parents are pretty down to earth. I'd worried about over privileged Potomac kids and parents being unbearable but that is very uncommon. The kids are quick to welcome new kids into the Cold Spring fold. I've been happy to find that "mean girls" haven't been problem bc when it starts, the kids and the teacher nip it in the bud. The PTA has been a delight-- everyone is welcome and there's no school fundraising by selling products door to door. I have volunteered in the class and for the PTA and the school/teachers/PTA make it easy for a working parent to stay involved.
Bottom line-- the houses may be a bit expensive but the neighborhood and the school are totally worth it.
My child's kindergarten teacher has been fantastic. She responded to all my worries about learning challenges and set up meetings to figure out if any interventions were needed. Given how stellar she is as a teacher, I determined that no additional supports were needed immediately and it turned out that was the right call.
The school promotes compassion and caring through a strong guidance counselor and having such great examples in the staff and teachers. The teachers and staff care for the kids and encourage the kids to treat each other like family (without all the sibling bickering). Caring goes beyond their immediate surroundings-- the school teaches the kids about caring for the environment, participating in their community, helping those who have fewer resources, saving the the world through big and little actions.
The kids are taught to treat each other with respect, regardless of differences. Everyone has a chance to participate in activities and the kids see very supportive of each other. It hasn't come up much but when someone steps out of line, acting like a jerk/bullying, the kids have been taught how to stand up for themselves and for others.
We pulled our kids out of the school after buying our house specifically so that they could attend it. The quality of education was lower than expected, the administration did nothing to get rid of very weak teachers, and kids got too little hands-on work and too much paper and pencil work. In an era when creative thinking is becoming more important, it was strange how little it was valued here. Way too much importance was placed on creating cookie-cutter students.