My child attended the lower school only. The school is small and has a very diverse population which I liked. The administrative staff is very nice and professional and there is a lot of parental involvement here. The kids are bright and are exposed to a lot of interesting subject matter with hands on learning which my child really liked. The school is not for everyone and I felt that the basic skills like grammar and math were rushed through in order to spend more time engaged in projects. Especially after third grade there is little to no grammar taught. Even though these projects were interesting, I felt the school had the priorities of elementary school education flipped upside down with projects taking more class time instead of practicing basic skills in a creative way. As a result much time was spent at home reinforcing basic skills along with the hw and a lot of stress on the kids. The teachers do a good job at assessing your child's needs and progress in the school, but you will not find teachers coming in early or staying later for tutoring if your child needs extra help like in a public school. Many teachers and staff have their kids in the school and discipline is a big problem with some of the students. There are little to no consequences for bad behavior and the kids get away with a lot. If I had to do over I would not have had my child attend this school. My child learned a lot of interesting things here and is a whiz at the computer, but I see now that these early years are so important to master the basic skills needed and I feel my child missed out on a lot of them.
Our child has been a student in the lower school for four years. Wardlaw Hartridge is excellent for nurturing and bringing out the best in each student. The school has a strong curriculum that helps each student develop a love for learning.
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.