From the top down, New City School is a powerhouse. Both my brother and I attended from preschool through 6th grade, continued to thrive at Burroughs, and made it into top colleges & grad schools. What's more, NCS nourished my non-academic talents and fostered a love for social justice and service that has followed me into my career, first as a Teach For America corps member, and now in the non-profit world. I have read some commenters discussing "bullying," and failing to teach children to be nice to one another. I was actually quite stunned--I certainly didn't fit the "mold" of a private school kid, and always felt respected. Whenever I had a concern, I could take it to my teacher or to Tom, and it would be addressed. Great emphasis is placed on diversity and appreciation, so I would encourage you to judge for yourself!
I attended NCS for only kindergarten and first grade, back in 1992-94. I transferred to a public school in the second grade for financial reasons, and up until the 7th grade I had not learned any science I did not already learn at NCS. New City School was honestly the most important educational experience of my life, where intelligence and creativity was promoted and cherished - a value that has stuck with me for nearly 20 years now. I am currently doing a PhD at MIT, and I still drink coffee out of my New City School mug. Cannot recommend highly enough.
Looking back on all of my child's time spent in school, now that he is in high school, I can truly say that New City School was the low point in his education in all ways. We should have realized this when his teachers did not even know he could read in preschool. We pulled him out of New City School in third grade and he is now thriving at Burroughs. We would caution against falling for the hype about this school. If we could go back in time, we would have followed our instincts and left the school earlier when there was no follow through with our concerns about his boredom academically.
Everything about New City School is awesome. From the moment we step in the building in the morning to the amount of time it takes me to get my daughter out of the building at night. People truly love to be there and it shows by the smiles on their faces and the skip in their step. Amazing experience.
New City School is a place that encourages true learning--its what school should be everywhere. Kids tell me that they enjoy going to school there & the love of learning is evident. People smile there--you just can't help it! The school encourages creativity and brings out the type of intelligence each student possesses. Diversity is celebrated there. I like the themes that each grade devote themselves to exploring. I have seen assemblies/performances there that touched my heart enough to bring tears to my eyes.
It provides excellent education in a congenial and diverse environment. Moreover its emphasis on multiple intelligences pulls out the best in every child.
My son has been at NCS from first through fourth grades and absolutely loves going every day. His teachers have been great inspirations to his learning and have fostered even greater enthusiasm for his natural inquisitive nature. While not every experience we have in life is immediately positive, it often takes maturation to see the reason(s) for a difficult situation we encounter. This school is exceptional when parents involve themselves in the program beyond just paying tuition as some people seem to think is the boundary of their responsibility of raising kids.
It should be recognized that ANY education requires parental involvement to garner the greatest benefit for the student. It's not enough to just pay tuition, parents need to be engaged. Children with behavioral issues need to take the responsibility for their children... it is not the school's responsibility, but they can be of help. Also, young gifted students' contentment is often related to their self-worth around other gifted students so where competition is lower, they will be happier, but growth is not going to be promoted.
As an educator and life-long learner, I respect highly what Tom Hoerr and his teachers are doing for students at New City. The Multiple Intelligence approach to education is not an easy way to 'grow' a person since besides focusing on an individual's natural and preferred strengths, balance is sought by gently but persistently working in the intellegence(s) that are less-well developed and not preferred by the student. Having my son in NCS since first grade, I have watched him flourish in nearly every aspect of his growth. Despite what some reviewers say, I have found the administration and staff, as well as teachers (naturally!!) to be enthusiastic, encouraging, supportive, and dedicated to the success of every student. If I could do my nearly 20 years of 'student-ship' over again, I'd love to spend it in this environment since it encourages individual exploration and expression in a safe environment. Two thumbs up!
Sadly, we were very disillusioned. The focus on multiple intelligences is more of a marketing ploy, than a reality. As school got underway, we realized there were kids in her class that were in some instances two years older than she was. It seemed to be the norm for parents to hold their children back. I understand the school survives on contributions, but we were hounded every month to give more! It was not enough to pay a year s worth of tuition upfront and give at a fundraiser. Our kid was definitely NOT getting a superior education. If anything, my child was discouraged from exploring her artistic ability because the teacher was on a tight schedule and needed to rush from one MI station to another. Finally, after meeting with the teacher and the Family/School Liaison about the teacher and her lack of communication and follow-through there was NO follow-through.
After several years of trying to work things out at NCS, we put our gifted daughter in a public school and she thrived there. Our daughter was not happy at NCS and did not perform well there. She also had and has a lot friends outside of NCS, but found it challenging to make friends there. She is now nearing the end of middle school and continues to thrive, both in school and in her social life. We are very sorry that we could not make headway with the administration at NCS to improve matters there.
I did not like New City that much and did not look forward to going to school. It wasn't terrible all the time but it was alot of the time. Noone acted liked they cared.
It is a wonderful school for kids three through thirteen to flourish and develop book smarts and street smarts.
I loved this school with all my heart, and all of the teachers there are absolutely wonderful. It is also aesthetically pleasing with large windows and a fairy-tale library.
The preschool is fabulous. The teachers are warm and purposeful. It is not simply a day care service, as other schools for this age might be.
I got a great education there and I believe the school helps students see the differences in people, which is not often stressed at such a young age.
We weren't happy with the way the school was run or with the curriculum. When we pulled our gifted child out of the school, he flourished in a public school, but was one year behind! We also felt that school did a relatively poor job in teaching the children how to be nice to one another.
Maybe the school is good for some, but not for our child. We tried many times to address these issues with the administration, but there was never any improvement over the years.
There is no other school like New City. The entire adult community -- teachers, administrators, parents -- has a tireless commitment to teaching kids to think about what it means to be an ethical person living in a complex world. Diversity is not given lip service, but is and always has been an essential part of daily life at New City. Your child may be standing on her head learning multiplication facts, but there's a reason for that -!- and she's learning them. The curriculum is rigorous, broad and deep. My 3 children have gone on to excel at one of the top private secondary schools in St. Louis. New City's values continue to inform the way our family thinks and how we live in the world. We wouldn't have missed a minute of our 13 years at the school.
NCS has proven themselves to be one of the most influential schools in the St. Louis metropolitan area. I find it to be a one-stop shop in that everything I want for my child is being provided for. This includes academics, extracurricular, social or whatever. Contrary to the Quick Facts on this home page, NCS has a state of the art library and an excellent librarian who inspires the children and instills a great desire to read. As with any institution, be it corporate or academic, NCS does have normal issues that are handled appropriately by a very attentive and qualified staff. I highly recommend New City for all children. My only regret is that I don't have more children to enroll there.
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