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.
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.