The principal of WLS is an absolute rock star. She and the dedicated board have the school on solid financial ground, with money in the budget not only to maintain quality programs, but also to make improvements to the physical building each year. The Montessori method allows children to work at their own pace, rather than "tracking" kids into high, medium, or low groups depending on a single test score or small body of work. If kids go through a "learning spurt"," they don't have to wait for the teacher to decide to move them up to a different group--they can just move right into more challenging work. Likewise, if a kid is slower to catch on to a subject, they can take their time without being shamed. Kids are encouraged to focus on tasks for as long as they need to, not drop what they are doing at the end of a 40 minute period. This encourages deeper thought and concentration. They can move around and work with other classmates, which encourages social development and creativity. There is no "teaching to the test" at WLS. If you see lower test scores, it's because the kids spend all day actually learning, and not regurgitating.
Our children have been at WLS for the past four years. It has been a fantastic experience. I cannot recommend this school enough.
This school has been wonderful for my daughter who has language processing disorder. She is very visual and hands on. This school caters to her needs perfectly. The teachers and staff are very supportive, they go on awesome field trips learning OUTSIDE the classroom. The key word is they LEARN not MEMORIZE the subjects. The school is small as well, which I like! Love this school!
Our family has been at WLS for almost 5 years now. After reading through some of the reviews posted on this site, I would like to stress to parents who are considering WLS, that WLS has gone through a lot of changes over the past few years that have had a hugely positive impact on the quality of the school. The current administration, school board and teachers are all superb. Both of my children have very different learning styles (one is self directed and the other not so much) and both are thriving at WLS. For our family, there is no other place we would like to send our children and we always recommend WLS.
We love World Learner. After a horrible kindergarten experience in public school we were concerned about our son. He was so unhappy. At World Learner he is blooming. He is so excited about school. In third grade he is reading at an eighth grade level. He is so interested in learning new things and exploring the world.
We have been thrilled with the level of attention our children have received at this school. The Montessori method worked absolute wonders for my children's confidence and their love of learning. They will research the answers to problems on their own and are always excited to try new things. I have three children and they are all scoring above average, their reading and vocabulary is high, and their math skills are deeply intuitive. I wish there had been schools like this when I was a kid!
My kids attended the school for several years and they are so far behind, so we are moving to another school. Each classroom is an island and there is no integrated curriculum. So, you might get a good class or you might struggle and administration is no help when you are in a bad situation. Your only choice is to leave.
WLS has been great for our son. He can learn indepently, with others, or even one on one with the teacher. His love of learning has returned and the depth to which he is learning is fantastic! The teachers are sincere, caring, and gentle. They are highly skilled at differentiating curriculum for each child. The environment fosters community between ages and classrooms. They are constantly getting out into the community for field trips, event, etc. The only negative that I can say is that some policies seem a little 'fuzzy' and communication to parents could be stronger. That being said, the office sends a weekly email to parents and most of the teachers do the same.
I had three children in this school and then moved to a larger public school. All three were behind in reading and math. We had to do a lot of extra help, tutors and self-confidence building after they left this school. The general feeling I have is if your child is already advanced they'll benefit from the independent, project-based curriculum. HOWEVER, if you have a mainstream child, or a special needs child, Forget it! They will be left behind. When I asked my child about the lessons they learned, it was always the same lesson as before, now I don't know if they do this to master the work, but it seemed to me that they were just keeping them busy without an overall plan for learning. It's best to enter this school with a Montessori background--beginning in Pre-k. Administration seems overwhelmed. Some teachers are a bit odd.
My son is in first grade at Worl Learner School. We couldn't be happier with his progress. He comes home with spelling words and asks me to quiz him numerous times. He has come home with examples of complex addition (in the thousands), and he has already brought several books home and read them to me. I'm amazed with his progress as he was resistant to reading in his kindergarten class. At home, I've noticed an improvement in concentration and focus. The school environment is very welcoming and comfortable as opposed to institutional. As far as reviews posted regarding test scores, I'm much more interested to see what my child is learning on a daily basis and throughout the year rather than at any one point in time.
The school represents a community approach to education. It is important to be an active parent participant in any educational experience for your child. This school offers regular and on-going parent education nights -- many more than offered in a traditional public school setting. The students of parents who choose to participate reap the rewards. As a part of a smaller school community children excel by feeling connected to caring adults and feeling a true part of their school environment. We are always side to see parents enroll their child and then take a seat on the bench. Get involved, ask questions and be willing to hear different answers. Education is all about stretching possibilities -- for parents and kids!
The student retention is low. Many families including ours opted to leave for another school than staying here. WHY??? For some of the same reasons other parents have commented here. Compare test scores from 3rd to 5th grade. Ask why there is a decline in enrollment during these same years. Ask lots of questions before enrolling here.
Many schools teach to the average child, the middle of the group. The WLS teaches to the whole child. Students are treated as treasured individuals and are expected and encouraged to treat themselves, others, and their environment with respect and dignity and to expect it in return. They are not force-fed information, but are given the support to love learning and the quest for knowledge. We travel and have met children from many states. The only schools that have come close to the WLS experience are extremely expensive private academies. At WLS, the child s needs are always placed first, even above the parent s. Some parents have a problem with this and feel a need for control. If your top priority is your child s life long intellectual, social, emotional and life-skills needs and raising a confident, intelligent, and kind child, I would encourage you to check out this school.
My children recently transfered to WLS from District 112. They are happier children with more confidence in their abilities. Students here are actually kind to each other and love learning together. My 7th grader loves history and can't wait to make posters about topics. They have the internet in school and he has become quite good at finding reputable sites for reports. He comes home wanting to talk about what they did in school that day. My 6th grader loves school and prays that there will not be 'snow days.' She participates in choir and other music programs. She had very little confidence in herself before this school. Now she thinks she is smart because the teachers treat her like she is and expect her to be. This school offers a very healthy environment for children. The middle school children will remember their 'junior high' years with fondness!
I have sent 3 children thru the public school system. All have been amazed at how ill prepared they are for college. I currently have 2 children in the World Learner school. They are recieving a far better education than their siblings acquired thru the public system. I could not be more pleased with the World Learner School, the teachers and the principal. They are completing work at a much higher level and a much younger age than my public schooled children. Their self confidence is extremely high, their education very well rounded, and they have a great love and desire to learn. I cannot recommend more highly the school and feel blessed that my children are able to attend!
We have been very happy with the school. WLS creates a small, loving environment in which children can thrive. Students can work at their own pace, which is often much higher than what they would be doing in a traditional school. Most importantly, students learn about making choices and being self-directed - essential skills they will need throughout their lives. The teachers are loving, caring and experienced in Montessori education.
We have had children at WLS for 6 years, and consider it an outstanding school - certainly the best alternative for grades 1-8 in our area. Children learn to make their own choices and take responsibility for their own learning. Teachers provide guidance as needed, without 'smothering' the children or their creativity. The children's successes continue beyond their time at WLS: Graduates tend to do very well in their next school setting, thanks largely to the confidence and excellent study skills they've learned at WLS. This is a Montessori school, and therefore very different than a traditional public school, but very successful in it's educational approach. WLS offers music, band, Spanish, art, and some extracurricular activities (which will be expanded as the school grows). School leardership is responsive, and teachers are well-trained professionals who really care about the children. I highly recommend this school.
I couldn't be more disappointed in the 3 years of education my children received. My child is now struggling in the public school because he is so far behind in the reading (which was never addressed at WLS). I am personally aware of another child who left WLS after 3 years and tested so poorly in reading and math that she is now pulled out of class daily for reading and receives special math lessons 2X's a week before school to make up for the learning gaps. This school erroded the self-confidence of these 2 children who had no learning disabilities or challenges. The problem is that this school is not a teaching school but a daycare which even at that they do not do well. The board and administration is nonresponsive to input. Their philosophy is 'If you don't like it...you can leave'. My advise to you is to run!
I beg to differ that this is an inviting school. I too have had a child at WLS, but for 5 years. Yes students are left to learn at their own pace, but for a child who isn't assertive he may be left behind, as those with special needs are given attention. When there is a conflict children are told to 'work it out' not given any direction as to How to work it out. Perhaps parents who want to bring their children here need to look at the numbers, declining test scores and a huge drop in enrollment. Please ask questions. Be proactive.
I have read some of the other reviews, and I have to disagree with them. My children have attended WLS for four years, and having been in other public school settings, this has been by far the best. The school is small and inviting. The children have opportunities that they would not have in a tradtional public school. Many of the other reviews are making complaints, but it seems like they don't understand what a Montessori school is supposed to be. Children are encouraged to make self-discoveries, to become self- sufficient, and do things through hands-on experiences, not through textbooks. If you are looking for a true Montessori experience for your child, this school does a wonderful job of that. If you want textbooks and teacher led classrooms, then you don't want Montessori.
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