Academics were a disappointment. It was very difficult to discern true performance: We rarely saw any in-class work, and there s no homework. Sparhawk places great emphasis on art and does that well. Outside of art, the curriculum is limited. For example, a yearlong science project focused on local bird habitats and basic facts while ignoring the essence of scientific discovery. It was more important to be able to draw a bird than to characterize a bird. Foreign language is taught but not well. You ll learn most of the kitchen utensils, but not even the simplest of sentences (e.g., My friend s name is John.) Communication, be it teacher to student or teacher/administrator to parent, is poor. We found the school s leadership capricious, reactive and lacking integrity. If your child is not predictable and composed, this NOT THE PLACE. The administration is intolerant of children who show any form of externalizing behavior (e.g., crying, emotional responses). Those who plan to transition to public school should expect to be behind peers, as Sparhawk doesn t hold students accountable for learning. Finally, if you leave mid-year for any reason, you still owe the full year's tuition.
We have three children who have thrived at Sparhawk School over the past 11 yrs, one exceptionally gifted, one musical and kinesthetic with ADHD, and one a quiet, observational learner. Each has been nurtured at Sparhawk, as a learner and as a person, and each has learned to love learning, make good friends, and want to engage with big ideas. Their very diverse needs as students were met through Sparhawk's differentiated approach to curriculum, and the math whiz, the artist, and the science/ELA lover were all challenged and nurtured at the school. The artist is graduating from college next weekend, and I attribute this in no small part to the love and support of the teachers at Sparhawk, and their responsiveness to the way HE learned. The math whiz is at college, forging a path towards sustainable energy and building small, zero impact housing. Sparhawk taught my children to envision a future of limitless possibilities and a commitment to positive social change, and gave them the skills to pursue their goals. The science/ELA lover is in middle school, still loving learning and school. Who will she be? I don't know, but I trust that, at Sparhawk, she'll be the one to decide.
My son attended Sparhawk School for four years. He forged bonds with teachers, administrators, and fellow students and learned that school can be a positive and healthy place, rather than a drudgery. The Sparhawk Middle School and High school experience taught him to use his creative thinking, trust his writing and math skills and to build upon and improve those skills. He worked hard and learned so much while at Sparhawk. He appreciated the opportunities available to him in math, drama, music, and writing and learned so much from 8th Grade Speech and Novice Synthesis. The school does a very good job keeping class sizes small, but as a result the social scene is smaller. I wish this school could increase the number of students in attendance so that there is a broader peer base. We felt like we were in a caring community and currently stay in touch as often as we are able. As parents, we were in control of how involved we were- we helped PTO, gave presentations in the classroom, and helped out the drama program. It is a great place!
My families experience with Sparhawk School has been exactly what I had hoped it would be. My son is in his second year with the school, and he is absolutely thriving. He is not only excelling academically with their dynamic curriculum, he is excited to go to school and absolutely loves it. In a day and age when so many schools are cutting back on their art and music programs, it's refreshing to find a school that emphasizes their importance. The teachers are thoughtful, kind and dedicated to creating the loving community that truly feels like home. Every day when I pick up my son, his reacher takes the time to engage with me and share at least one special moment from the day. In addition I often receive photos in my email showcasing his classes adventures. I can not say enough positive things about this school.
You can see from the reviews that this school is somewhat polarizing. That's because Sparhawk is great for some kids and parents and not for others. If your child is having a hard time firing into the public system or a larger school Sparhawk can be a great place for them to learn and thrive - in particular the High School or Lower School. As with most schools, the Middle School is the most problematic for many reasons but again, including teaching and leadership quality and a lack of process around disciplinary procedures but some kids and parent thrive there. Parents can get as involved as they like - this is encouraged - but if your child hits a roadblock communication with parents, throughout is weak. We have had mixed experiences there so really I would encourage a visit to the school and decide for yourself.
I taught at Sparhawk for many years and then I left to publish books and consult in the field of education. After visiting dozens of schools over the past few years, I can confidently say that Sparhawk is an amazing place for teaching and learning. The teachers are there to help students on a deep level, but that means that the students must be committed to the learning process. The complaints about the school that I have read translate to the idea that some students just want to glide through school without actually challenging themselves as academics. Sparhawk is designed to "Celebrate Ideas" and "Honor Children." This means that students are given every chance, every individualized chance to be successful. Whether they (or the families) take advantage of powerful learning or not, is up to the student. I have been to dozens and dozens of schools as a consultant in the past three years, and I have never come across a better school. People who want more should choose Sparhawk. Period.
There are not words that can describe sparhawk school the teachers are all kind and have a genuine understanding and respect for kids! The schools academics are out standing and it is a shame all kids dont get this kind of learning experience. Having been to sparkawk school i know first hand that it was the best school experience of my life. possibly one of the most important over all experience of my life!
A truly inspiring school where teachers love teaching and children are part of a community surrounded by respect and encouragement. My son is highly motivated in part because his teachers never fail to challenge him or encourage him to take risks. A nurturing enviornment for all learning styles and backgrounds. I am also thrilled with Sparhawk's assistance with college applications and the entire process.
I recently changed schools and let me tell you that this school was AWFUL. I am back with normal people and I have been getting much better grades since I transfered! The people here were very suspicious...the teachers would converse with the SOME students and give them chances to make up papers or turn in a paper a day late and still get credit.That didnt happen to all students though, only a "special" few. The staff have weekly meetings and gossip, gossip, gossip about students, parents etc. If you walk the wrong way they will all talk about it. (not litterally) Basically what im trying to say is if you go to this school theres going to be alot of gossip. Not only that but the students are very, very, arrogant. People probably dont read these reviews, but I hope they do. There is nothing good about this school. And this is a student writing this.
The parent posting in regards to students wearing slippers is likely referring to the blatant disregard for basic health needs such as having students in slippers when the heat has stopped working, children out in the cold and rain without appropriate attire. The comments referring to the school as tolerant are not credible. Children are often unsupervised as teachers flock together and chat. My own child was bullied there extensively. The lack of quality in the academic experience there for my child was shocking. We have since switched to a private school with a long history of excellence in academics and an appropriate and kind culture. I would send my child anywhere but here. I also spent a significant amount of time at the Sparhawk campus when my child was enrolled.
My child recently completed 8 years of schooling at the Sparhawk School. I can t imagine a better place for a child to grow up, learn and become the quality of human beings that our world needs more of. He is a respectful, thoughtful, curious, intelligent and tolerant child, all of which were qualities nurtured at Sparhawk. Sparhawk breeds tolerant individuals who are independent thinkers as well as strong community members. Sparhawk also provides dynamic curriculum that both challenged my child and made learning interesting and engaging. The director of the school is infinitely versed in child development, as are the faculty. I felt the school was always an extension of our home, in that, the people that my child was in the hands every day deeply cared about his social, emotional and academic growth just as much as I did. The administration and faculty works tirelessly to provide a healthy and holistic experience for each child and are always on hand to field questions and concerns along the way. The 8 years my child spent at Sparhawk were 8 of the most positive and enriching years of my child s (and consequently our family s) life.
Here is the difference between a Sparhawk student and the parent who previously posted: A Sparhawk student judges people by the content of his or her character, not by what he or she is wearing. Those slipper wearing students are loving, kind, creative thinking individuals who go on to college prepared to be successful citizens and engaged learners. Shame on that parent who can't see beyond a student's style to the person inside. Shame on an adult picking on a child. I am a Sparhawk teacher and my "pajama wearing" students are wonderful!
I hope people these reviews before sending their child here. The school lacks stability as stated below. Usually they are wearing pajamas occasionally slippers. To say that I am horrified is putting it mildly.
My daughter is a high school student at Sparhawk, and what a difference this school and the teachers have made in her life. I feel like I have my daughter back, she is interested in learning again and is excelling as a result. I witnessed my daughter become a leader, speaker, writer, researcher, and uplifter -- all of these qualities I knew where inside her, but had disappeared in public school. It is the focused themed learning modules that I think made all the difference in my daughter's life as a high school student at Sparhawk.
My child has never been happier! The teachers have a professionalism and caring that is boundless. The students are creative thinkers and who are so very kind. We recommend this school wholeheartedly.
I continues to amaze me that a parent/student who is not doing well always blames the school or the teachers. The teachers at Sparhawk have office hours everyday from 3 to 3:30 and any student who is struggling is encouraged to come for extra help. It is NOT a state requirement for teachers to stay after school, but the teachers at Sparhawk do stay everyday. Sparhawk is a wonderful environment with students who are bright and love learning. The staff are caring and always willing to go the extra mile. Please do come in and tour the school and see all that Sparhawk can offer your child as well as your family.
This school is built up to be the "Best community to grow up in, where nobody judges each other and everyone gets along, and the teachers know how to talk proper English. I m not trying to be rude and pick on Sparhawk but one time in my history class the teacher gave us a worksheet with about ten spelling errors on it. I know people can make mistakes but this teacher makes way too many. The teachers give a hard time about staying after or giving extra help. It is a state requirement for all teachers to stay after and unfortunately Sparhawk didn t comply. It seemed like an effort for these teachers just to take 10-15 minutes out of their lunch or after school to help me. The students aren t the worst but they sure are "different" and everyone has their own group of friends that they hang out with. I was getting a C average in my history class but nobody communicated with me or my parents.The teachers need better communication. I suggest you tour the school and see the students and teachers before making any decisions whether you or your child should go here. I have only a few more months then I m going back sane people.
It is obvious that the previous reviewer does NOT have a child at Sparhawk School. If he/she did, then that review would never have been written. It infuriates me to have such drivel misrepresent our school, especially when written by someone who has no firsthand knowledge! I am a parent of a Sparhawk high school student, as well as a public school teacher. I cannot express enough what a difference this school has made for my daughter. She began in the eighth grade and will enter her junior year in September. SInce coming to Sparhawk she has grown tremendously, both academically and personally. Sparhawk is a school that educates the whole child. Its students are confident, well-spoken and well-mannered critical-thinkers. They can analyze and debate a wide range of subjects. Each one is recognized and nurtured for their individual talents.Classes are run like college seminars. Students' opinions are respected and encouraged. There is not enough room permitted here to include all of the gifts this school offers. If you want a true review of the school, go see for yourself. Take a tour. Meet the students. They are the best representation of what Sparhawk School is all about.
Since enrolling 2+ years ago, the transformation in my oldest (he began in 4th grade) has been phenomenal. Prior to Sparhawk, he was trying to survive a culture of bullies & academic dysfunction, where the smart & academically interested were neglected at best. At Sparhawk, in addition to the vastly improved academics, they really mean it about being a culture of kindness. There was no question about sending my second child, who is also thriving in this environment. Each of my children is now incredibly independent and responsible, their interest in learning is encouraged - learning is cool at Sparhawk - and their self-confidence is through the roof. Student-teacher ratios are better here than anywhere I know, and teachers teach to varied learning styles, it is IMPOSSIBLE for a child to "fall through the cracks." I could go on and on. Sufficed to say, we are extremely happy here.
Great kids, great teachers, what more could one ask? Since she started at Sparhawk, my daughter has been happier than I have ever see her since she started school. She has blossomed academically and she is always eager to go to school to see her friends and get back to whatever wonderful project she is working on at the time. My girl is bright and she is never bored now. The groups are so small that staff really get to know the kids and they can give them individual attention. Teachers and administration listen whenever my husband or I have questions. I feel respected as does my child. What more could anyone ask for. I am thankful for Sparhawk.
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