We have the privilege of being wardlaw parents for 3 years now and are very happy with our decision. The main factor that impresses us is the small class size of not more than 12 in a class ( a total school strength of 400) which lets the teachers really bond with the children over the year and know their strengths and weakness in order to provide a more customized education. Public speaking is taught and is an essential unit right from 2nd grade.Creative writing, technology, spanish are some of the other skills that they instill in an early learner. The standard of education in liberal arts and humanities can definitely not be compared with any public school curriculum. The teachers are highly educated, very experienced in the subject. The only big 'negative' that can be said about the school is the not so impressive college profile with many high school students not being selected in the Ivies. It also needs a much more stronger college counsellor board compared to its peers like pingry. The only factor that makes many parents stick to this school in spite of these issues is the more comfortable atmosphere that the school creates unlike the cut throat and cold Pingry school.
There are a few times in life when you are so very pleased with a decision you have made. Sending my daughter to the Wardlaw-Hartridge School is one of them. True, it is expensive but it has been worth every penny. Wardlaw is a place where my daughter prefers school to staying at home, takes Latin, enjoys chemistry, loves history, plays varsity soccer, receives peer tutoring, wants to be a peer leader in her senior year, sometimes makes the honor roll and sometimes doesn't. Wardlaw, for the past 12 years, has nurtured and noticed my daughter. Is it perfect? No, but neither are we.
My children have been attending Wardlaw-Hartridge for four years and have been in all three divisions (lower, middle and upper schools). Prior to enrolling our children at WH, we did extensive research with our children and made many comparisons with public and private schools While there are many wonderful schools in NJ, we came to see that not every school is a good fit for every child, but when we and the kids finally found WH it became clear that this school could meet each of our children s unique needs and challenge each to reach full potential. My children have been challenged academically in all three divisions and are really becoming critical thinkers/learners. The school really does a good job of integrating technology and curriculum in all subject ares with their focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering & math) learning, but also in their humanities classes. WH is a strong, diverse, community which encourages kids to participate in all they have to offer -- in and out of the classroom. We couldn t be more pleased.
I live near by and I decided to put my kids in a private school when they are in 9th grade. I applied to lot off other private schools but I end up sending my kids to WHS, the curriculum is at a higher level then public high school. Very family oriented, it's small world. My kids and I are very happy.
We loved this school for so many years since first finding it in 1999. We still value many of the LS teachers and the memories of moving from grade to grade. It really was not until our older son entered the HS when it started to feel like the wheels were flying off the bus. When our younger son joined the school in 2006 it seemed like the demographics of the enrollment started to change as well and we were never able to make the same kind of connection we did the first time around with other families. Though our older son decided to stick it out until graduation we pulled our younger son out in 2011 (at the end of the second grade) when there were major changes happening at the LS. The science and technology special was removed from the program. Though I am still not sure what the total plan was to fill this gap I do know part of it was relying on a technology solution and, at that time, the school was hiring an IT director. On top of these changes the head of the LS itself was moving on. In summary we never felt comfortable that science would be as strong as it had been with so much change happening at the same time.
I don't have a child at Wardlaw but I was considering it at one point so I made inquiries. A public school official had his child at Wardlaw but took him out after 2 years and enrolled him in public school. He said academically Wardlaw was not up to par with the public school and that he was essentially paying $17k+ per year for atmosphere. It seems that parents who don't have anything to compare this school to think it's excellent.
I took my children out of this school a few years back in search of something better. Coming out of the public system and into Wardlaw, I noticed that my children were not being challenged and there was NO difference between the public education that they were getting and this place. Once they went to another private school, I saw an difference in their work load and quality of education in what was taught to them. To me, Wardlaw is just an average regular school that just becomes selective based on how much some parents are willing to spend.
My girls go to Wardlaw for summer program, school has good teachers and the program they offer in summer is good. Most of the summer staff is great, experience is good as long as all goes well. However this summer my little one fell down at school and hurt her head and was in ER, we saw part of Wardlaw we might have not seen other wise. The School nurse was very rude and wanted to wash her hands off, I am left with all the paper work with the schools insurance company, previously we were told that school will take care of the paper work. First I got a email confirmation that all paper work has been taken care of then a week later I was informed of school process that needed to be followed that no one except the School nurse was aware of. The school nurse is really lazy and hence has a procedure in place that basically puts all the responsibility on the parents and removes any school involvement . After 2 years of my kids going to the summer program and was thinking about having my little join year round, now I don't plan on having my kids go there for summer next year. In public school there are rules, you are made aware of them up front there are no communication gaps.