It has become very clear to us that the administration is the issue in this school. The head of school and some key "founding" administrators are very resistant to changes to bring the school to the 21st century when dealing with multicultural issues. If your child and family fit their "good White liberal" mode of being/thinking, this school is a good fit. But if you are outside of these narrow boxes, they struggle to meet your needs. Another area of concern is teacher quality. Some teachers are phenomenal if your child is lucky to have them; while others should not be teaching. These incompetent teachers are there simply because they have a "history" with the school. The school wants parent involvement as long as the involvement is about donating money and time to help out the school. If you dare to "rock the boat" to raise concerns, you often get the typical response of "I will think it over" from the head of school and nothing will be followed up. Compare to other Quaker schools, it's easy to see the shortcomings of this school are sadly from the leadership style of the top.
Why does the school appropriate an African name for its end of the year party but can't hire/retain faculty or staff of African descent? Why does the school have children of color who are Asian--male and female, and a handful of girls but almost no boys of African descent or Latino? Who will replace the "star" teachers who are leaving or cutting back hours for other jobs?
I believe a higher focus on academics is something that all parents can come to expect from the private school experience. Indeed, it is the typical 'bragging' point of schools in attaining enrollment. But what speaks to the quality of the education, as opposed to the quantity of it? In other words, how does one teach a child to learn, to be fully engaged in the process of education as well as their own personal development? You do it by creating a supportive environment, by encouraging curiosity in a constructive manner and by identifying the proper curriculum relative to a child s development. This approach is what creates and motivates a child s self-confidence; a key to actual learning. In turn, it ultimately allows a school to accelerate their curriculum and the child to excel. This is what sets Princeton Friends School apart from others. Through great thought and care, they develop a child s foundation, creating a core-strength which will carry them forward not only through academics, but more importantly, through life.
Our daughter has been at PFS since early lower school and will be graduating this Spring. She has transformed from a shy, reticent student to a self-confident, eager learner. Our daughter was always reader, and PFS nurtured and guided her in her reading as she matured. The school's math teachers took a kid who hated math when she arrived, and somehow so engaged her in the subject that she nows want to go to summer school for geometry so she can have enough time in high school to do high level math. Most importantly, PFS taught my daughter about community, friendship, kindness, stewardship and how to be, I hope, a good citizen in our troubled world.
We came to Princeton Friends School four years ago with our expectations sky high. Everyone we had spoken to reinforced our notion that the school was exceptional, but our time there has been even better than we had dared to imagine. The teachers and administration are extraordinary and work tirelessly to create an atmosphere in which the gifts of each child are recognized, appreciated and developed. Students and teachers treat one another with the utmost of kindness and respect. PFS students leave the school prepared to excel academically in a wide range of settings and many transition seamlessly into some of the most prestigious schools in the country. We have two young children at PFS -- both of them love school and wake up eager and excited to go just about every day. I would recommend Princeton Friends School highly to friends or family without qualification. We have never for an instant regretted sending our children to PFS. Instead, we are reminded on a nearly daily basis how fortunate we are to have found it.
We have three children at PFS, three very different kids with very different personalities and needs, and we couldn't be happier with their experience over the past five years. The teachers and administrators are incredibly caring and dedicated; our children are loved there, and perhaps more importantly they are truly KNOWN there, to a degree that makes it very easy for us to drop them off in the morning without worrying about what kind of day they're going to have. Our biggest problem is that our children refuse to miss a day of school to take some family time -- they love it there so much that they don't ever want to skip! As for the education, we teach at an elite boarding school in the area and I can assure you that our kids are being very well-prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. PFS has done a great job of responding to our kids' needs and tailoring things to their interests and abilities, and I know they do this across the board with all kinds of needs and abilities. PFS has built a strong foundation for our kids that will serve them well not just in school but also in life, and it's like a second home for our family. I can't recommend this school enough.
This school is not run in a professional manner. The lack of professionalism comes from the top level administration which has led the school for over twenty years, but still runs the school like a new experiment. There is a lack of clear policy for myriad issues and an overwhelming sense of the administration making it up as they go along. We started at the school for the promises of Quaker ideals and a great education. After three years we left feeling that despite wonderful intentions the school fails to deliver on all fronts. Very disappointing.
I can't imagine a better school! My daughter and son are both graduates, and though I have been involved professionally with PFS as well, this review comes from a parent's perspective. I have never seen another school care so deeply about its students and offer so much individual help in terms of both academic and emotional growth. The classes are lively and challenging. The students and teachers work together as a community. And the Friends educational values are always front and center. It's a very special place.
Leaves a lot to be desired at this price point, the faculty, with a few exceptions, leaves a lot to be desired. There seems to be an lot of inexperienced teachers. We gave PFS a chance and finally left after 2 years.
My grandson is a student at PFS and will soon be moving with his parents and sibling to a very distant new home. The loss of this extraordinary school is an enormous regret which only makes us conscious of the gap that separates the PFS experience from almost everywhere else. I echo the praise that others have offered. The kids from here must be wonderful ambassadors to the world for they radiate positive attitudes that are infectious and have genuinely caring demeanors. They are also razor sharp reasoners. There is a danger that children raised in the PFS environment might come to expect similarly respectful treatment by everyone they meet during the rest of life and then be disappointed when it does not always materialize. Fortunately, the school strives to keep them grounded in real world experiences through field studies, public service projects and interactions with children in far different circumstances elsewhere. This is intelligent education with heart.
Princeton Friends School is one of those rare attainments in education where students and teachers learn from each other in a non-competitive environment where all perspectives are respected. Students learn by doing and mentoring in an environment where the values of peace, harmony, and non-violence are more than a simple saying on a wall. These values become an integrated part of each lesson. Princeton Friends School sees children as our most valuable gift and shows its students how valuable each and every one is. This is where education is more than training students the next answer to a standardized test and instead becomes an opportunity to create a child in love with learning and creative in thought. No finer institution exists and no finer learning environment can be found.
PFS is not only a wonderful educational environment, but also a nurting second home for its students. Teachers and faculty at the school have put a great deal of time into getting to know my daughter, who she is and how she learns best. Their after school program goes until 6pm and is also wonderful.
This is a wonderful school based on Quaker values. Kind children and dedicated teachers. Only negative is that lower grade class sizes are trending up and the asst teacher is only part time. Language arts curriculum is very strong and the school is able to cater to the unique needs of individual students.
We moved here from out of state and decided on the Friends school because I wanted my kids to become community-minded. This school is excellent. At PFS, the faculty works together and are mindful of what each student needs. I have seen this and it's still hard to believe. The faculty focuses on each child's emotional and intellectual needs. They teach each child to love who they are and to give back to the greater community. I really didn't expect such wonderfulr results. Truly a remarkable place.
At PFS, the whole child is seen, honored, respected and nurtured. My daughter has grown so much as a student and as a human being in her two years here. There is NO other place I would have her, now that I know about this little home. The school is a community that gives back what one gives. It has been a wonderful experience -- truly a revelation about what education and learning can be.
I have worked at Princeton Friends School and sent two children to school there. From all perspectives, I see this school as a gift. Its students are cared for intellectually and emotionally. They graduate as confident, very well educated, and caring young people, ready and eager to make a difference in the world.
I had 4 sons attend this school, over 18 consecutive academic years. Throughout changes in the school over the years, the caring, insightful ability to educate and nourish growing students remained constant. I offer the highest recommendation, both academically and humanly.
My child attended K through 8th at PFS. I am so happy with the quality and depth of her education. She is well equiped for high school and for life. PFS offers an education in how to live also, eg, how to have a voice, how to choose wisely, what is important, how to have fun, and how to grow up. I loved this school!
Princeton Friends School is a wonderful place for a child to grow. The whole child is honored, and each child empowered. Quaker values permeate the campus. It is a nurturing, exciting place for a child to be, and I am very pleased that my son will be attending this fall.
Private school education is expensive in this tough economic climate, but considering that the model instills inate curiousity in my children, I consider the expense worth it. Coming from public school, my children recognize the difference and engage actively in learning here. They enjoy not being fed worksheets and rote material as the curriculum is constantly changing and is geared to challenge and include choice. It is a wonderful place and a refreshing experience compared to the alternatives.
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