I have been a parent at FAW fo several years, and up until this year I was happy with the educational program. This year however is another story. My child is NOT getting an exceptional education, the class is far behind ALL other districts in the area and if they were to go to another school, they would be struggling to keep up. The teachers that were at the school and hired by the previous administrator are fabulous, Most of the newer teachers are not so strong. The Head of School does not do a search, she ask for recommendations from selected parents. How do we get the top candidates when there isn't even a job posting. As for the Head of School, she leads by intimidation and fear. If a parent goes with a complaint or concern, their child is targeted, bullied and harassed by the teachers and administrator. The school is set up with no governance, so the Head of School, does as she wants, with no oversight. The school is not accredited by Middle States, or any other organization and the board is not involved in governance. There are many families not returning in September- the numbers will come out in March when the contracts are due. Think hard before you enroll.
We have two kids in their first year at the Friends Academy. We took them out of a public school system and feel they are getting the best education available in the area. We are very happy with the school and their teachers. Our kids are both challenged and supported so they can thrive. the teachers encourage our involvement. It is the best money we spend. If the broad criticisms from the most recent post were even remotely true, the school would not be in business. I encourage anyone considering this school to stop bye and see for yourself. That's what did it for us.
Beware if your expecting traditional Quaker values or even a proper education for that matter, Friends Academy is not the place. The head of school is not fit for her job or even to be around children, most students are complete frightened by her except for the choice few that she favors which I can guarantee are children of the parents who gave the "school" a five star rating. There are no good teachers at Friends Academy in fact two of their teachers are other Quaker school rejects; including Mullica Hill Friends and Moorestown Friends. Graduates are left un-prepared for high school academically and socially. Most children are from local public schools from neighboring communities including an extremely rough neighborhood ( which has put the school under lockdown before). If your looking for un-qualified dis gruntled teachers and staff and an altered version of Quaker education enroll at Friends Academy and make sure you say hello to the head of school. If I could not give this a star I would .
After seeing the post of 1/10/12, I feel compelled to write my own. Our son and daughter attend FAW. I know the curriculum is rigorous because I've compared what my kids are doing to the work of my friends' kids in various districts such as Moorestown, Cherry Hill, and Mt. Laurel. Tthe teachers, who are all fullly certified and highly qualified, can give my children more individualized attention. The curriculum includes Quaker Studies...a class during which they talk about morals, values, and community service-something I haven't witnessed in the public school. One of the beauties of a private school is that if there is a student who constantly breaks the rules, they are expelled...and that has happened on a couple of occassions at FAW. Unsafe? I think not. Neither of my kids have ever expressed a feeling of being unsafe. In fact, I feel safer knowing that each staff member knows the students by name and they watch over each and every one of them...not just those that are in their classroom. They offer after school clubs, a soccer team and boy's and girl's basketball teams. Instrumental lessons are available and there is a chorus. They even have a drama program.
Be aware, if you are expecting a traditional Quaker Education. This is not the school. The leadership is not a Quaker and therefor forgets that the school should be led like one. Some children are allowed to constantly violate the school's rules. At times this can make the school an unsafe place to be.
I love the teachers at FAW and the fact that everyone knows each other and how I always score above average on my standardize tests. The students have many emotional conflicts and that sometimes presents a promblem, but this also helps develop a sense of leardership and also heps work out promblems. I will graduate FAW in 2011 and will be ready for The Lawrenceville School the fall of that year. Please consider bringing your child to the school I promise that he or she will love it better than anywhere else!!!!!!!!!
We have been very happy with FAW. OUr daughter has been here for 3 years, and our son has been here for 1 year. There are 2 exmaples I can give you of why we chose this school; a Quaker school. It's small, and every teacher and administrator not only knows my children by sight and name but knows about them as well. Also, each class, from Pre-K to 8th has a service project! CHildren are not only taught challenged to enrich themselves academically but also to improve upon their character.
My son just passed through FAW's middle school and is prepared for high school. Although the school lacks some extra-curricular activities, the teachers are amazing and energetic. My son learned and had a lot of fun! He has been accepted into various accelerated programs in high school and reflects fondly on his FAW experience. He especially loved Teachers Jerry and Jeff!!!
Although I have moved out of the area, my 4 children enjoyed many years at FAW. The academics prepared them very well for their transition into a competitive public school setting in a highly ranked NJ district. The public school placement tests placed all 4 of my children in advanced level or gifted level classes and I credit that success to the FAW experience (and a great Mom). Looking back, what I like most is that FAW allowed my kids to grow as young people and develop their own voice and confidence. The teachers and admin were always very supportive and encouraging. The staff took the time to share both the good and the bad and all worked at FAW because they wanted to....not because they had to. The Quaker way is to stand up and speak if you have something positive to say or speak if you feel inspired to talk.
We have sent our son to FAW for the past 5 school years, and our daughter for 3. The teachers have exceeded our expectations in the curriculum presented. The creativity for the classroom learning experience would never be found in a school where there are hundreds in every grade. Some complain of the lack of extracurricular activities, but with atleast 5 different club offerings per quarter, I'm not sure what they are looking for. A school this size will not field enough athletes in the same age range to form a team....but aren't most of these children participating in the township rec leagues anyway???? The new commons building is a much needed (and late) addition to a beautiful campus.
Our child has made a terrific transition to FAW! The academic program in the middle school is challenging and well rounded and the teachers are excellent. Our child has learned alot from teachers Kelly and Lisa and is very eager to have Teacher Jeff.
We choose this school for our children because it places academic excellence and social responcibility on the forefront of their lives. Tuition cost are quite reasonable compared to all other quaker schools in the area. Number one reason we send our kids there- they allways have smiles on their faces when they are there!
Comparing WFA to the public schools one begins to see that what you get at WFA does not warrant the high cost. There extra curricular activity does not compare to what the public schools have to offer and the academics do not exceed that of surrounding public districts.
Friends Academy of Westampton is a good schooll in our opinion. They have a new location(formerly Rancocas Friends Academy) that is beautiful. They have strong academics, but could offer more extracurricular activities. They offer computer, music, and foreign language. There are regular PTO meetings and all parents are encouraged to attend. There are also multiple fundraisers and activities for families of the school throughout the year.
My child has gone to Friends Academy for 2 years. The school has a family atmosphere. Everyone is friendly. Teachers and administators take time to listen to parent concerns. My daughter's teachers have been extremely helpful with problems she has had with academics and working with other children. I have been updated about all aspects of my daughter's performance on a daily basis. There are not many extracurricular activities, but they are working on creating more opportunities for students.
This is a very special school. The teachers are nuturing and very caring. They teach for the 'love of teaching'. Great academics, with a strong emphasis on critical thinking. The school also focuses on 'service to the community' and 'giving to those in need'. My daughter has been in the school since kindergarten, now she is in 2nd grade, and each year it just gets better.
This is a great school. Thier new school has now opened for pre-K through 8, and it is beautiful. The teachers are great and always available to speak with. It is a small school, so parents are able to get to know each other well and work together to improve the school. Peace and compassion are stressed, so I know that my child is learning very good social skills. My son is in Kindergarten and we love it. The class is very structured with strong academics and he is thriving.
Excellent academic school. Low student teacher ratio. A lot of parent involvement. Teacher's readily available for parents. Money goes directly to academics. Principal completly involved with staff, students and parents. Makes a point of getting to know everybody and keeping everybody informed as to what is going on. Excellent school!
Rancocas friends is a quaint little scool with lots of potential, especially when the new school open 2004. It has very good teachers in most grades. One grade does seem to lose a lot of student. The head of school is a very kind woman and continues to have an effervescent vision for the school she started in the 70's. Unfortunately, there is a bit of cliquishness among some of the parents and their kids that seems to divide along racial lines, though I do not believe this is intentional as far as the kids are concerned. I only hope this is addressed at some point, because a lot of nice families have moved on or are thinking about it.
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