I have two kids who graduated from Green Acres after attending for 9 and 10 years, respectively. Green Acres helped inspire a love of learning in my kids, instilled in them the importance of service and community, and bolstered their confidence to speak out for themselves and what is right.
I've had two kids at this school since they were in Kindergarten, with one still there in the middle school and the other graduated into high school. Both have had teachers that have encouraged them to flourish academically and individually. And both have truly enjoyed going to school--not just seeing their friends, but learning new things. Thanks to Green Acres, my oldest was admitted to a very competitive high school and is thriving there.
My children have been at Green Acres since PreK and have absolutely thrived over the past several years (in both lower and middle school). They love going to school and are excited for each new day. The teachers are very attentive and nurturing and provide a comfortable environment for them. The academics are presented in both traditional and nontraditional ways. Most importantly, they learn how to apply concepts to everyday life and often come home with insights and connections that just amaze me. They are taught to be inquisitive and active participants in learning. The teachers are phenomenal in integrating learning in all crevices of their day to day, including free play.
To address some of the negative comments about the school, all schools have circumstances that are not ideal and no school is perfect. There will be bullying, problems with academics, and teachers that may not click as well with certain children. Green Acres tackles these issues, and others, in the best way possible. They take each situation and look at the information, and determine various problem solving options. When my children have had negative experiences, we have collaborated with teachers and administrators as needed, but, ultimately, our kids have figured out a way to advocate for themselves to reach the desired end result.
Some families believe the academics are lacking. I believe that one of the main reasons for this perspective is that Green Acres kids are not conditioned to simply regurgitate facts and think about content in concrete ways. This inevitably will not translate well to tests etc which require rote memorization. Green Acres kids are taught to think more abstractly, which is a far more complex and advanced way of processing information. The teachers are incredibly skilled and passionate and this enthusiasm is clearly transferred to students.
In reference to outside tutors, kids work at their own pace, whether they need extra time to conquer a concept or need to be challenged. All needs are accommodated. However, if there are specific deficits which go beyond the scope of the curriculum and teacher capabilities, the school helps the family determine the appropriate resources.
We have been so thankful to the school for creating an environment where our kids are continually evolving as thinking, caring, and creative individuals.
Green Acres teaches kids how to do homework. They start homework in 3rd grade with kids reading every night. Each school year introduces more grade appropriate assignments. Students are taught how to manage their time and prepare for assignments due daily or weekly, or by semester. Most kids are not taught how to "do" school and consequently have significant struggles down the road. Green Acres is very calculated in their approach to homework, which by no means, indicates it is not challenging its students. As a result, Green Acres kids are better prepared down the road and have a much more stress-free academic experience than kids at schools which unnecessarily overload students. This allows for deeper learning, unclouded by the unrealistic demands of conventional homework assignments.
Teachers and administrators alike are totally focused on the well-being of every child. My children gained a love of learning, how to advocate for themselves and what it means to be a part of a community.
There is a reason behind everything this school does, everything is deliberate - the children are so busy learning and doing all day long, the amount of homework is consistent with what is APPROPRIATE at each grade level.
3rd generation Washingtonian that attended all private schools, co-ed and then all-girls.Mother of a current Green Acres 1st grader, I'm happy to write a review of this exceptional school.Environment is challenging, stimulating and the teachers do a wonderful job of focusing on the social and emotional health of children, the importance of which cannot be emphasized enough. Faculty/staff work simultaneously with parents to enrich each individual child's experience.Son has flourished, self-confidence has grown, he's engaged academically,loves school.Hands-on approach to learning is what's absent in other area schools, but it is a core element of the Green Acres program and philosophy. The fact that the school ends in 8th grade is an ADVANTAGE I feel prospective families need to understand this: your child changes each year, so the student they are in 3rd grade will grow and evolve by Middle School.Green Acres does such a fantastic job with their Middle School kids, preparing them WELL for the next chapter : how to self-advocate, how to organize, how to approach teachers, how to work collaboratively as well as independently. All you need to do is look at where the 8th grade class has been accepted, and that these children have options.Other area schools actually seek out Green Acres 8th graders. Finally, I want to address the importance of a school that ends in 8th grade. I understand that many families do not want to switch schools at high school time for reasons such as "they won't have as good a chance of getting in if we wait for high school" or "we want a school that goes 3-12 and it is easier," the admissions process in 9th grade is different - MANY vacancies open up as schools EXPAND their classes in 9th grade so keep that in mind. I personally know multiple families whose children started at schools beginning in 3rd grade and they thought they were all set until 12th grade only to discover, that sure enough, the high school was not a match and they wound up transferring.Talk to current families as well as parents of graduates, tour the school and spend time on campus especially observing classrooms, meet the Admissions folks, and by all means, stop by and meet the Head of School, Neal Brown!