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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
the center school is amazing the classes are great and the kids have so much fun
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
There is something purely magical about the Greenfield Center School. It's not flashy, it's now well-endowed. But the quality of education, the dedication of the teachers and the way students are encouraged to be genuine thinkers and activists in the world combine to make this place hum. I have two very different children and they have both been really served here. Our whole family feels welcome. There is a wonderful, real way that the school approaches social learning. Kids are safe, empowered and learn to work in community. The academics are very strong even if they don't appear 'traditional.' My son, for example, studied the history of the labor movement and other social change times instead of wars and dates. He now attends a highly competitive prep school and is thriving. My daughter, shy and slow to read has made incredible gains socially and academically in just two years.
The Center School is very 'progressive' everyone gets together for All-School where we light the Peace Candle. There is a lot of art oppertunities and the middle school has a separate building which I think is important.
I think that the Center School is a pretty good school all in all. It does lack a certain level of exposure that I think kids need. The school offers a lot of freedom which I think kids tend to abuse. It sometimes becomes problematic for other kids who actually want to learn, because the class gets slowed down. I think it's a nice school for kids to get individual attention and the teachers can explain things to their students very thouroughly. Teachers and students develop relationships. It is sometimes very fabricated and kids are forced to like each other, or change their opinions. It's a very hippie, tree-hugging school but I like it.
This school is good but the curriculum isn't the best. Their projects are really hands on. I would advise sending your child here if you want them to have a lot of friends and a good social life. The homework isn't that bad and there is no racism or bullies. This school is all about peace and every Wednesday we have a big gathering where the whole school gets to get together.
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