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.
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.
Excellent school. My daughter has a 504 plan and every accommodation has been accomplished so far (she has been there from K to 4th so far). The Principal is compassionate and very Professional. Cold Spring staff make a great team, everyone is efficient, professional and friendly. Kids work hard. It is a positive and nourishing environment with high level of academic performance. My daughter is not part of the GT and we love the regular program. Her 4th grade teacher is exceptional as every other teacher that she has had at CSES. Our little daughter has had the same teachers as the oldest and her experience has been extraordinary as well.
We have a middle-schooler who went K-5 at Cold Spring ES, and now have two siblings currently attending. We bought into the area specifically for this school and have no regrets. The Gifted and Talented Program kids do tend to stick to themselves, although the students in regular classes who score high enough in reading or math will share some curricula. Principal is great, of course some of the teachers were much more effective than others, but overall we are very pleased with CSES. Understand that this could be the only ES in the district (I'm frankly not sure) that has only single-family homes in the immediate area that feed into the school. (The exception is the GT folks.) I know parents who go to somewhat extreme measures get their kid to go here. We love the tight-knit community, great parental involvement, active PTA and volunteers, and caring environment.
We moved into the neighborhood based on the school ratings and were disappointed. My children had bad experiences with a couple of teachers. The culture of the school seems to focus primarily on the "gifted" program. If you have a child with any learning differences or special needs, stay far, far away! The best decision we ever made was to remove our children from this toxic environment because they are now thriving in their new elementary school.
I attended Cold Spring Elementary School for 4th and 5th Grade to take part in the Gifted and Talented Program. I have now graduated from one of the top high schools in the nation and I attribute a lot of my success to the great teachers I had at Cold Spring. They made learning interactive and fun. We dissected pig's eyes, put on a science-based Model United Nations, learned Latin and put on a only slightly abridged (it was in the original language and still almost 2 hours long) Shakespeare play. You cannot go wrong with Cold Spring, whether you take part in the Gifted and Talented program or not.