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Greenfield Center School

Private | PK-8 | 100 students

Our school is best known for our individualized approach & social justice focus
 
 

 

Living in Greenfield

Situated in a small town neighborhood. The median home value is $160,300. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $820.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

5 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 6 ratings
2013:
Based on 7 ratings
2012:
Based on 1 rating
2011:
No new ratings

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Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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24 reviews of this school


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Posted May 6, 2014

The Center School is amazing--- a totally different experience from the spirit-crushing, toe-the-line, no-cheering, no-talking, do-as-I-say environment of Deerfield Elementary School. At CS, kids sing, cheer, jump up and down, run around, play in the woods, hike, swim, ski, draw, write, and solve problems while learning to accept and celebrate each others differences. My son used to hate school; now he can't wait to go, and often asks to go to school to play on the weekends. He is a happy, articulate kid, who is valued for being himself. The community is warm, welcoming, and fun. Monthly events for parents/staff, and for whole families. The staff always participates in school events, allowing parents and kids to interact with staff outside the classroom. The school cares about kids, learning as individuals, and creating a better community both at school and in the world. I wish every kid could go to a school like Center School!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 30, 2014

The Center School is a wonderful place for children to grow and learn. Academics are rigorous and taught in a way that students feel good about themselves. They are also tailored for each child--so kids can move ahead or get extra support if they need it. Academics also don't just mean "reading, writing and math." Music, art, Spanish, outdoor exploration, storytelling are just some of the things incorporated into their everyday experiences. Children are taught how to be kind, creative, engage with their world, ask questions and allowed time to play. My son is about to finish his first year (K) and we could not be more thrilled with the education he is receiving. The community at this school takes care of another and no one falls through the cracks. I have my PhD in Education and have worked in/visited many, many school. The Center School stands out by far in its ability to nurture and educate our children.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 29, 2014

A friendly, comfortable place for kids who don't thrive in "Core curriculum," stay inside the box public schools. Lots of physical activity, art, music, and encouragement for the kids to follow their own curiosity within the topics studied makes reading, writing, math and science necessary skills to do the kids want to be able to do, and they learn the foundation skills cheerfully. With the BEST parent-teacher communication I've ever encountered, I feel like I really know what and how my son is doing in school and that my interest is welcomed. Amazing, creative use of limited physical resources also takes the kids out into the community more than any school I've seen. My son comes home enthusiastic and eager to talk about what he's learning, wanting more, wanting to explore further, and in third grade he is actively carrying the learning process beyond the school day into his free time. The best of what education can be, and unfortunately all too often isn't.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 29, 2014

The Center School provides a warm and supportive environment for children to learn and grow. Each individual is celebrated and actively participates in the larger school community.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 29, 2014

My kids switched to GCS in first and fifth grades. My older child (fifth grade) is an atypical learner and she was really starting to struggle with self-esteem at her previous school. She was also starting to hate learning, associating it with failure and stress. My younger child (first grade) is more of a typical learner, but he found school overwhelming. GCS is a dream come true for us. All of the teachers and staff really do get to know the students individually and they meet the kids where they are. The work the kids do is developmentally appropriate and the teachers work hard to make the material interesting and the projects fun yet challenging. The curriculum is supported by numerous activities -- skiing, swimming, canoeing, field trips, and the families are invited to participate in all sorts of after school and weekend activities. The best testament to GCS is the kids who go there. Polite, kind, confident, and secure, they're also relentless learners and incredible advocates for themselves. I would recommend this school to any parent looking for a progressive, child centered, incredibly fantastic school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 29, 2014

Greenfield Center School is the real deal - this is what childhood and school should look like. We drive from Easthampton and would drive further. It's that good.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 19, 2013

I love what this school has provided my child. Not a "one size fits all" approach, rather one that actually sees the individual child and responds to their strengths and challenges. Highly recommend, and very happy with the Center School.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 29, 2013

GCS prepared my child for high school by developing his self confidence and teaching him multiple ways of thinking and viewing the world. He learned how to express his unique personality and also to advocate for himself at school. He is able to show respect for other people's opinions but firmly voice his own, including to adults and teachers. At GCS he uncovered many hidden talents through exposure to diverse arts, culture and independent study. I was a little nervous for him going into a more traditional school from the small classrooms of GCS but he has transitioned very well.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 20, 2013

The Greenfield Center School is just what I hoped for from the school I carefully chose for my son. Its progressive and process oriented approach has offered a creative and inspired academic environment. But the real magic comes from the way the staff cultivates in each child a clear sense of self and a deep respect for the community as a whole. My son, now in the second grade, is learning how to think critically and articulate what he perceives. The school's organizing principal is social justice which is not only a curriculum component but the foundation of how the school functions as a community. The Center School is educating children to be self aware, compassionate deep thinking people. It is a place where the kids have fun, build cities in the woods, choose poems by Walt Whitman to recite to the whole school at All School, design airships that fly, write plays, read complex stories about difficult topics and have the support of a fabulous staff that guides them to go deeper and to feel safe on their journey. My son is happy to go to school every day and I am happy for him to go to a school that is so conscious and conscientious. We drive from Northampton!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 20, 2013

Greenfield Center School is so much more than just a school. Its is an intentional community of change-makers, creators, listeners, supporters, and explorers. My child's last school was wonderful, but she was bored by the last few months of her second year. I didn't believe her until she went to GCS and was flourishing within days. GGC challenges her to be a better person, student, friend, community member, and peer. She is sad when it's the weekend because she can't go to school. I only wish every child could go to such a school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 20, 2013

Both of my children go to Greenfield Center School. One has special needs, the other does not. One in 8th grade, one in 6th. Each has been given state-of-the-art instruction, tailored to their individual learning styles and needs. They have been challenged academically -- this year, my 8th grader was reading an anthology that is routinely assigned at Hampshire College. They have learned critical thinking skills that have, at times, approached at least a high school level, if not beyond. The instruction is rooted in a social justice curriculum, which means that it is consistently connected to current events, politics, and social studies, as well as a healthy look at the way each individual's behaviors influence the social sphere, even at the kindergarten level. The kids learn how to work with each other, and to respect each other's differences, even when it's difficult. They are proud of their school, and proud of what they have learned in it -- and they are proud of who they are.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 8, 2013

My stepson has gone to the Center School for the last 2 years. He was in a great public school (Conway Grammer Elementary), but his mother has always had her heart set on this school. He loves it and doesn't want to go anywhere else EVER. The projects he works on are pretty awesome. My issues w/ this school is that it forces the "everyone must get along and love each other" way too hard. Some people just don't go together. And that's okay. I'd rather he learn how to work out his differences with people who don't agree with his opinions than just plaster a smile on, fake hold hands and light a peace candle. The real world does not work this way. Iguess what I'm saying is I love that my stepson loves his school; I just wish his school was more honest with him and told him all the sides to every story and not just what their beliefs are. Because isn't the Center School all about acceptance?
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 6, 2013

My sons are thriving at the Center School. They go outside several times a day, they do lots of interesting projects, they have friends of both genders. Right now, our 2nd grader is learning about Air and Space and they made real airships that flew in their classroom! The 4th grader just finished a geology unit where they made seismographs. Every week we go to All School and they sing songs and share their learning. The community atmosphere is unusually welcoming and the school does many many community events for families such as game nights, potlucks and picnics. Jane, the admissions director is amazingly knowledgeable and so great to work with, so do give the school a visit if you are looking for something special for your child's education. Lots of Hampshire County families commute every day and feel it is truly worth the time spent in the car. Carpools and other support is available for farther flung families. The After School program is truly unique. Kids beg to go and hate to be picked up at the end of the long day.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 18, 2012

The teachers at the school treat my daughter with respect, compassion and dignity. It means a lot to let kids be partners in their education. She has gone to the Center School from Kindergarten through 8th grade and tells me she never wants to leave. She wants to come back as a teacher someday - the place really means a lot to her.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 19, 2009

the center school is amazing the classes are great and the kids have so much fun
—Submitted by a student


Posted February 15, 2009

Everyone at the center school is always friendly and helpful! It offers skiing in the winter for kids in third grade and up, and skating for younger kids. I myself am a hippie child from start to end, and no one has ever made fun of me for dressing eccentricly. I recomend The Center School for any kid who dreads,is bored with,or just downright hates school.
—Submitted by a student


Posted November 16, 2007

We have had 2 children attend the Greenfield Center School, and we are quite pleased overall. Our children have learned how to learn and how to express their own thoughts about their learning. Unlike their peers at other schools, they are not fearful of public speaking. Middle school years can be so horrible for kids, yet my 8th grader is having an absolutely wonderful time with all of her friends which includes almost everyone in her class.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 23, 2007

This school saved my daughter. We transferred her to Center School in third grade from a different private school when she started hating going to school. The teachers at the Center School immediately recognized that she was a bright girl bored out of her mind. Within a month she loved school again and has been thriving ever since (four years!) I scored the extracurricular activities lower because this school doesn't have sports facilities. There is plenty of athleticism, especially in the older grades, but it lacks the facilities our old school had. What Center School does have, however, is field trips and art integration. The kids are frequently on incredible trips, which also appeal to parents. (GCS parents are very involved.) And the artwork that comes out of that place is to die for--visual, theatrical, etc. With very few resources this school really makes the grade. Check it out.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 23, 2007

My daughter has gone to GCS the past 7 years and we've been very happy. I especially like: a) the emphasis on learning how to learn, b) the ways kids learn how to get along with each other c) the connection between academic learning and the real world, including field trips, surveys, and attention to what is happening in the community and the world d) the understanding teachers have of what are appropriate ways of learning and relating at different ages e) the ways in which parent involvement are encouraged and welcomed
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 17, 2007

Greenfield Center Schools academic and social-emotional curriculum is excellent. The staff work with the children not only on academics but also on social emotional issues. Parent involvement is very high. Events are held throughout the year for families and friends to see what the children have been learning about.
—Submitted by a parent


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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

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Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

Unfortunately, this school doesn't have sufficient data to generate an academic rating.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 80% 67%
Two or more races 11% 3%
Hispanic 7% 16%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 1% 6%
Black 1% 8%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Gifted specialist(s)
Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Music teacher(s)
Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
School social worker/counselors(s)
Tutor(s)
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

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Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

School facilities
  • Garden/Greenhouse

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Improv
  • Poetry

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
School facilities
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Kitchen
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Gifted / high performing
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
Staff resources available to students
  • Gifted specialist(s)
School leaders can update this information here.

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School basics

School start time
  • 8:15 am
School end time
  • 3:30 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • After school: ends at 5:30 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • Isabel "Charlie" Spencer
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Phone
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 3 years old
Gender
  • Coed
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian
Associations
  • NAIS

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Core knowledge
  • Gifted / high performing
  • Independent Study
  • Individually guided instruction
  • Montessori
  • Multi-aged
  • Outdoor / Farm-based
  • Project-based
  • Reggio Emilia
  • progressive/constructivist
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Social justice
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Gifted specialist(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
  • School social worker/counselors(s)
  • Tutor(s)
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
  • Differentiated learning programs
  • Remediation
  • Tutoring
Transportation options
  • None
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Playground
School leaders can update this information here.

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Sports

Boys sports
  • Skiing
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • skating
Girls sports
  • Skiing
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • skating

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Improv
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • None

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • None
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

No upcoming events found for this school
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School culture

Dress Code
  • Neither uniforms nor dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Present special topics during curricular units
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • many ways
More from this school
  • Admissions visits are on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Please contact the admissions office to schedule a tour and classroom observation. We think you'll see why Center School students are so happy.
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

This school accepts applications on a

rolling basis

 
Apply now
 

What are your chances?


7 out of 10students were accepted for the 2012-2013 school year.


Students accepted for the 2012-2013 school year
26
Applications received for the 2012-2013 school year
40
Students typically come from these schools
Pine Brook Children's Center
Giving Tree School
Other local private and public schools

What does it cost?

Tuition range for the 2012-2013 school year
$6000 - $13000
Vouchers accepted
No
Financial aid offered
Yes.
School-based aid

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
Northfield Mount Herman
Pioneer Valley School of Performing Arts
Academy of Charlemont
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

71 Montague City Rd
Greenfield, MA 01301
Website: Click here
Phone: (413) 773-1700

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