While Green Acres had been a nurturing environment for my daughters for several years, I must give it a poor rating. The ideals of a progressive education are only exercised in the admissions process. In reality, they are talked about but rarely seen in the classroom. The only problem is when many of the kids do not learn, the administrators and "learning specialists" put more pressure on the parents to supplement their child's education. It's true that the curriculum is integrated, but the academics are weak and the mere fact that over half of the primary students (I cannot speak to the middle school) are recommended to have tutors to learn to read means that something has gone afoul in the curriculum. Concerned staff encourage more support (and more money for the parents) yet rarely complete their promises for individualized instruction. It's a vicious trap that leaves many parents wondering why they pay upwards of $34,000/year yet need to employ tutors on a long-term basis.
My daughter is in her 10th year at Green Acres and my son is in his 8th year. I cannot say enough good things about the school. The environment is incredibly nurturing and it has enabled my children to thrive. The classes are small (often 12-14 students in an academic class) and the teachers know each student so well that they can tailor the instruction to each child's needs. Teachers challenge students in a way that is exhilarating rather than stressful. As a result, the students emerge as self-confident and poised young adults, fully prepared to meet the new challenges of high school. Students are taught the importance of tolerance and inclusiveness from day one, and, in my experience, any bullying-type behavior is nipped in the bud. I have never seen a group of girls less cliquish than the girls in my daughter's grade, and the boys in my son's class are equally inclusive. In short, Green Acres is a gift that my kids will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
I currently have two girls attending Green Acres and I couldn't be happier! Their teachers know them as individuals and are valued for their contribution. Academic subjects are presented in a way to encourage thought and spark imagination. The teachers and staff actively work with the students on their social and emotional health and interactions with others. I feel like this is a strong community for the whole family.
I've been a Green Acres parent for over 5 years. I'm extremely happy with the schools and feel extremely fortunate to be able to send my kids there. In particular, my two kids have very different personalities and learning needs. The small class sizes at Green Acres allows the teachers to my know my kids deeply and to respond to their specific needs and challenges. Overall, the teaching philosophy aims to be low-stress, but high challenge and my kids are thriving under this approach. I've also found the community to be quite open and responsive. Let's face it, kids can sometimes do silly things, and when that happens adults need to step in and guide them. During my time with Green Acres, whenever I've had a question or concern, I've always felt comfortable making a phone call or sending an email to Green Acres teachers and administrators, or to other Green Acres parents. I've always been listened to and always gotten the problem resolved. If you're looking for a school that will help your child grow to meet their potential, I strongly urge you to give Green Acres a good look.
Our son is loving his 5th year of education at Green Acres. Both emotionally and socially, he has grown way beyond what we were told he could do and are so proud of him. We are multi-racial and same sex family and we have never felt so welcome anywhere. Green Acres is a wonderful little island that has stood strong for 80 years against the stream of stress-and-test schooling. It truly is the place to be.
Children are allowed to bully. Academics are very weak. Administration is highly unsatisfactory. Many families leave every year due to these three problems. They are under-enrolled for good reason.
I have been a parent at Green Acres now for 11 years. It is the best progressive education school in the region, and has become a leader nationally as well. My daughter is thriving in public high school -- totally prepared, and then some, for 9th grade. She has done extremely well in academics (all honors classes), and is socially aware and able to lead and self advocate. This is all because of her years at Green Acres. My son is now in the middle school at Green Acres. The improvement we have seen in his academics over the years -- reading, math, science -- and more importantly, his confidence -- is all because of the staff at the school and their empowering him to be his very best. Thanks Green Acres; I would not want my kids any other place!
My boys left Green Acres and went to another private school. They were bullied. The administration did not intervene, despite multiple, respectful requests. Now, my children are thriving at another private school. The academics at Green Acres were far inferior to those at the boys' new school. When they started, they were behind in mathmatics, science and writing. The middle schoolers at Green Acres have too much free time on their hands, and they do not respect their teachers or classmates. Now, our children are actually learning in a warm and inclusive school, which has excellent academic & social standards and truly teaches kids to be kind and resilient. Green Acres, unfortunately, did not do this, despite its mission statement to the contrary. I do not recommend this school.
I just read a new review of GAS and cannot stay silent any more. My children were bullied at GAS as well, and we felt the academics were weak. We reported the bullying, but unfortunately no action occurred to stop it. We moved them to another school, and our kids are thriving and extremely happy. Their experience at GAS was not in line with its mission statement & promotional materials. Now, my kids are in a supportive, warm and caring environment with excellent academic standards. Thank you.
I agree with all the 5 star reviews. Amazing school, warm, nurturing, family-like promoting excellent values, ethics and curiosity in learning. My kids beg to go to school every day (even after going to the dentist when offered to skip the rest of the school day). Teachers are awesome!
My son graduated from Green Acres (8th grade) last year. Green Acres left him extremely well-prepared for high school. More importantly, he is an engaged and passionate learner who is knowledgeable and articulate about current events, politics, history, ethics, educational policy, and a range of other subjects. Now that he is in a more traditional learning environment (public high school), he is realizing what a gift 3 years of Green Acres was....the opportunity to explore and discuss and experiment was just fantastic for him. He is also realizing how rare and special it was to have teachers and peers who are like family. Green Acres really fosters meaningful connections with people. My only complaint about the school (other than its price) is the lack of economic diversity. The vast majority of students are very wealthy and that gave him a somewhat warped idea of what is "normal" in terms of life experience and possessions. I am glad he is back in public school so he has a true understanding that "everyone" does not have their own laptop and "everyone" does not travel regularly to Europe!
Here we are 10 years later....we have a child that went from PreK through 8th grade at Green Acres. He is so well adjusted, loves to learn, respectful of adults and his peers, ready to question, discuss and engage and overall so ready for High School and its own challenges. Thanks a million Green Acres. You are a class act!
This is the best progressive independent school in the area. WIth a true commitment to the principles of John Dewey in its educational philosophy and to the infusion of the most recent child development and educational research, it is an amazing place for children to thrive. It has a beautiful campus (outdoor education is utilized as often as possible), amazing teachers that the school does a terrific job of supporting through staff development and other opportunities, small class sizes, a focus on social/emotional development as well as strong academics, and a commitment to diversity and social justice.
The community that has created such a wonderful nurturing environment in which children can become their best selves.
Green Acres is an amazing school and has a great hands on program, it is great because you learn visually as well as from a textbook and Green Acres is a wonderful experience and is one of the best schools in Maryland
Our first year at GAS, pre-school, was a very rich, supportive experience. Kindergarten though, fell short for preparing many of the kids for 1st grade academically. First grade was a year of academic progress solely because of the quality of one of the teachers(who has since left GAS). Second grade was very mediocre with respect to academics, and there were a number of children who experienced bullying by others. GAS staff were unable to stop the bullying. This was not in keeping w/GAS written mission & spoken philosophy. I offer for contrast, the local public elem. school, which provided a supportive environment for success academically and a safe haven for growth psychologically.
Green Acres School has been an amazing experience for my children. They want to go to school and participate at this oasis of learning. Could anyone of us 30-40 somethings remember going to school and loving it? The academics build on a strong foundation (core subjects) throughout the grades and specials (science, art, PE) while engaging students minds in problem solving, decision making, leadership, and the ability to work with others in a dynamic environment. Thanks to wonderful teachers and a challenging curriculum, I feel that Green Acres children are ready for 'life long' learning!
Green Acres is a gem. The class sizes are small so individualized attention provided. Teachers are dedicated, involved, approachable, and enjoy teaching. The setting bucolic.. Facilities are state-of-the-art--new art rooms, gym, science labs. Kids love to learn and are taught to think independently...not focused on learning just enough to pass a test. Multiple learning approaches used to reinforce concepts. Music, art, movement, sciences are strong. Sports is noncompetitive. If you have a serious jock, you would have to supplement with after-school activities. Parents can be involved as much as they want to be. Strong parental leadership.
Green Acres School is seriously dedicated to making the progressive education experience real for it's students. This is the school for you if you are interested in an emotionally supported, intellectually stimulated, self confident student. Not for you if you're after competitive sports or teaching to test. Students graduate being people you'd enjoy talking to...
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