This is a wonderful experience for students. We both went to traditional schools growing up and did very well, but our experience taught us "stuff", not how to learn. Children thrive in this setting become masters at the craft of doing things while getting a deeper meaning in all subjects. Our student is often collaborating and cooperating with other students to accomplish individual and group goals. Additionally, Green Acres teaches students to be thoughtful citizens of the world. I could go on and on, but what makes us really happy is that our child is excited to go to school everyday, not just to see friends, but to see the teachers who are loving masters of their craft.
I do not recommend Green Acres School. The academics are weak. The administration is defensive and punitive. My son left and now is thriving and engaged in a community that welcomes and values him. He has kind and caring friends and faculty that respects him. The children at Green Acres are disrespectful to their teachers. Green Acres School tolerates bullying and even blames the victim & the victim's parents, while denying that it is occurring in the first place. The curriculum is not challenging and the kids have way too much free time on their hands. They are not actively engaged in learning and the children do not cultivate good values.
My child really enjoys the school and looks forward to returning after summer break. We are lucky that he has not needed "extra help" like many of our friend's kids. As other reviewers described, the heavy reliance on outside tutors is a costly and ridiculous downside of the school. A teacher friend explained that part of the problem stems from low teacher morale and being overwhelmed by an endless series of new initiatives put forth by myopic administrators. Instead of spending time and effort on planning and teaching, the teachers spend time on dubious attempts to enhance the school's brand.
As a parent with 2 kids at Green Acres, I could not be happier with how my kids are developing, mentally, emotionally and scholastically. My kids are excited to learn, and come home almost every day to tell us something that they did at school that day. Green Acres has endowed them with a love of learning and has fed their inquisitivness at every turn. The academics are age appropriate and tailored to the child, giving kids a chance to learn at a proper pace and never feel stressed or pressured. Given the state of education in this country at the moment, I realize how lucky I am to have my kids in a place like Green Acres. I send my kids off to school every day knowing that they are growing and learning in a nurturing and progressive environment. I'm not sure what else you can ask for!
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.