We have two children at the elementary school at Northside and are extremely pleased with the education they are receiving. Here’s why: My kids are learning how to be at the driver’s wheel of their learning experience, which is a lesson that they will carry with them throughout their lives. It thrills me that both of my kids honestly want to go to school every day and love learning. I am witness to the fact that they have an insatiable hunger to keep exploring and digging deep into the subjects that they are working on, which may be true for every kid, but at WNS, this natural hunger is paid attention to and it is used as the driving force fueling the topics and lessons. To me, the fact that the school takes the time to focus on building an honest foundation of comprehension in core subjects is priceless. And as that foundation develops, I see my kids building on it quickly and efficiently, surpassing even my academic expectations, which are high.
I like that my kids are seen and treated as individuals and the staff really makes an effort to work together to know and support them with appropriate expectations. All of this to say that my kids and their school peers are shaping up to be these intelligent, articulate and thoughtful individuals, which I think has a lot to do with the educators at WNS.
Another reviewer referred to the staff as "sweet", but I'd describe the lower school classroom and enrichment teachers as fierce, passionate and knowledgeable. They are the real assets in my experience.
Some reviews site the admin as being a problem, but I'm seeing that the growing administration is listening to and working with the parents, teaching staff and students to build an environment where everyone is respected and valued. Surely there is more to do, but the big picture is shaping up successfully.
The main sell for me is that, particularly for the very young ones, the school is not driven by the race to see how fast kid can “learn” but they are more focused on how they learn, how deeply they understand what they are learning, and how genuinely they want to know more. And then academic rigor picks up significantly as the kids move through their elementary years.
This is why I think WNS is a great school to consider. Don't let the price stop you from checking it out either, there's a solid system for financial aid, thankfully!
WNS is an engaging and exciting place for young minds! My son attended this school for three years and I am glad he started out here. He received the foundations needed for a healthy educational beginning. Most schools start drilling their young minds with academics, academics and more academics, however WNS focuses on the development of social emotional skills early on, which is the key to a successful educational beginning for any child. Thus, children automatically develop a love for learning and sharing their thoughts openly. Teachers aren't driven by test scores but are driven by the thoughts and ideas of their students.
My son has been attending Williamsburg Northside since he was 5 months old and we could not be more pleased with his progression throughout each division of the program. He started off at the infant and toddler center where the staff quickly eased any worries we had about leaving him with a new caregiver. We were easily able to build trusting bonds with his teachers and never had a doubt in regards to whether he was in a safe, nurturing environment. We were also impressed by both the beautiful and spacious classrooms along with the many activities he was exposed to on a daily basis such as clay, painting, and sprinkler play in the backyard. The same held true for his time at the preschool where the fabulous classrooms (along with the art studio, gym and beautifully renovated rooftop playground) and dedicated staff made going to school each morning a pleasure. Both programs also offered numerous opportunities for our family to be involved ranging from Parent Association meetings to family potlucks, to simply reading a story to our son's class on his birthday. I highly recommend this school. Our family is looking forward to moving on to the lower school this fall and continuing to be a part of the Northside community.
Great teachers and leadership team. The school's philosophy is nurturing and creative, perfect for elementary level. Our daughters are both happy here and clearly benefit greatly from the teaching style.
My 5 year old daughter has been attending WNS since she was 8 months old and continues to love the teachers, her classmates, the curriculum, and the facilities. The administration is very communicative, personable, and will work with you in terms of finances and schedule. I highly recommend exploring the UPK program, the diverse, well-rounded education, and exciting afterschool programs. My expanding family looks forward to being apart of this warm, creative neighborhood school and watching it grow with the community and expand to grade school.
We were originally happy here but only with the ITC which is the Infant & Toddler Center. Thereafter, a true disaster!!! Not worth the money!!! Parents never know what is going on, meaning teachers do not give updates on a daily basis nor are trained properly. The whole Reggio Emilia Approach is a tactic used to get you into the school (not followed by teachers).
We sent our child to this school for his first school experience and deeply regret it. Uncaring teachers and staff and the opposite of nurturing. Pretentious and hyped. Teachers were not experienced and did not have a strong presence. I don't understand why so many people have such great reviews of this school in the community but this is one example where spending more money does not ensure quality. School is currently far more focused on expanding themselves than providing quality education.
Great transition program for 2-yr-olds. For older years, sometimes they don't meet the promised teacher-student ratio if a teacher is out, etc. (but they do meet the DOE ratio). Very strict payment policy -- be absolutely sure you want to attend before making any payments. No refunds,no transfer to another student, no credit towards future year. All in all though, a good preschool inspired by Reggio Emilia pedagogy.