Our child attended Williamsburg Northside School (WNS) for a couple of years (first at the Infant and Toddler center and then at the 2's program) because there were no other options in the Williamsburg area. Although we liked the teacher's personalities (they were sweet), I cannot say the same about the school administration. They don't seem to care about the kids and their education but are far more interested in shaking the parents down. Unfortunately the teachers don't see any benefits of this considerably high tuition school as many of them have to take 2nd jobs after school. As a result, there is a massive turnover and good teachers don't stay.
Many parents I've spoken to have said they were very disappointed in the repetitive nature of the school's program which doesn't foster independent thinking or growth. Others have said that WNS is not transparent and hid the fact that their children were not receiving art or music weekly which they found out only when they asked their children. The parents brought up this issue to the administration to correct but were unfortunately brushed off.
We finally decided to pull our child from WNS as a great Montessori option opened up in the neighborhood and we are so thankful that we did. Our child has developed to be more independent, is far less shy than at WNS and is making huge strides in all areas of development including adding a 2nd language.
Do yourself and your family a favor. Please do the research and look at other options in the neighborhood. You will be glad that you did.
My recommendation would be to stay far away from WNS. They're far more interested in your money to pay for their expansion plan than in your child's development and education.
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.
Our first year at WNP in the 2's class we were very happy with our child's experience. It was nurturing, educational, empowering and the children thrived. We soon learned in our second year that this was only due to the wonderful teacher we were paired with and nothing to do with the overall philosophy or expectations of the school. Year 2 was very disappointing and instead of empowering children and continuing to build their confidence and skill sets, it was basically day care. When we brought our concerns to the administration we were basically brushed off. The only plus is the space is lovely and they have a gem of an art teacher. We are now at an amazing school and unfortunately our child is behind on math and reading skills as there was no focus on letters or numbers. I highly recommend looking elsewhere unless you can personally spend the needed time at home on the academics because from most parents experiences moving into P-K the kids are behind other schools.
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.