We are long time Garden School parents who now have been able to see the magic that goes on here. Not every second of every day but much of the time and the end result for so many of the students we have known for years, it that they are young people that you would really want to know. They are engaging, energetic, full of ideas, caring and often highly intelligent, free thinkers. V. happy with what we see and this is a long perspective lens on all good and less good that Garden School has to offer. Compared to other independent schools in NYC, it's affordable and if you look closer at the many specific offerings it is a savings for those who do a lot of enrichment activities for their children. There are students going for a prep level instruction as well as students who need more TLC in a classroom and there is no stigma either way. This school is a true asset to Jackson Heights and we have heard students thanking their parents for placing them in this school.
staff is kindly and awesome. my daughter will go to Prek this September. I wish they will have a dual language class for prek also.
I went to Garden School from 1961 until my family moved in 1972. From Garden I was enrolled into Locust Valley High School. Where I was so far ahead of the other students I never picked up a book and got my diploma 2 years later.
Daughter has been attending for 3 years and it works for us. We like the fact that she has Chinese instruction, music, PE, gym, and many after school options at such a young age.
Garden School says it's a small school doing great things. I agree. Great is subjective, but to me it means graduating students with a solid academic foundation, a strong sense of community and the confidence to think and act critically and independently. These values are not sexy or trendy. They just build responsible young men and women.
Having had my son at Garden School over 10 years I would recommend to any new parents to think long term with your child's education and not react so quickly if they have a dissappointment or the teachers or administration are not doing what you want them to do. They know what they are doing. I've trusted them (even though there were times when I questioned things) and now really see the results of their methods and experience as my son is an amazing teenager now and will soon be getting ready for college. He'll be leaving his Garden home as an independent thinker, caring and considerate person, and someone who understands the meaning of committment, long term friendships and trust, and has a great love of learning. This and more he learned by our Garden School family who has nurtured him, disciplined him and most importantly understood and challenged him to be a better citizen who cares about the world around him. Kids love consistency and thrive in a loving, accepting and challenging environment. This has been our world at Garden and we are forever grateful to them for it.
Teachers(most) and administration don't show care or concern. There are bullies all over the place. Administration likes you if you agree 100% with them. Students who transfer out are ridiculed and made to feel terrible. What's even worse is that they withhold official recordsif they catch wind that a child is leaving. When we left we had to practically beg for records!!!!! this place coould be so much better-but buyer beware!
We are looking forward to having our child at Garden School for a third year in a row. The school has a very carefully thought-out curriculum: it retains traditional elements where they make sense, and incorporates new idease based on research and common sense. I am constantly amazed at the systematically reinforced intellectual foundation that my child is building -- especially considering that the school also wisely allots plenty of time to gym, recess, lunch, music, art, science, projects and school-spirit activities. The school is immune to the fads that beset our public schools and even some independents. Every day you see the school's values of courtesy, kindness and respect played out not only among students and teachers but also with parents and visitors.
It's a great school. The academics are sound, the teachers are attentive. Because of the smaller classes, the teachers truly can be effective; the classes get a little bigger after 5th grade, but still they're a great size. Our daughter is happy and really learning, year after year. In addition to strong core classes, attention is paid to the aspects that so often get cut at public schools: art, gym 3-5 times per week, music. I see the older kids graduate and go off to good universities, and I hear back about how well they are doing. For a small school there is a respectable amount of extracurricular activity -- sports, clubs, etc. The social aspect, despite the occasional posting here by an apparently bitter former parent, is not problematic. I am not a pushover, and I know that discipline is important; I do see it addressed here when necessary, as at any school. Overall, I'm positively impressed by what this small school does.
Pervasive bullying abounds in this school. Tests from 6th grade onwards on almost a daily basis so there is no freedom from endless testing. School is not very clean. Administration takes responsibility for very little. They like to present the idea that they are efficient however look closely. This school has very small classes but guess why?
Couldn't be happier with the school. Am a long time parent and have seen the ups and downs of this school and am pleased with so much that is accomplished educationally, socially, physically and creatively at Garden School. I am comparing our experience to what I see in friends children's schools and other choices in the community and thank our stars that this school exists here in Jackson Heights. Students are given opportunities to shine in this smaller school environment in any number of talents they may have- some of which their own parents did not know they possessed! And as for the homework, middle school is difficult for many students (and their parents) as it's when the real need to work on your studies comes into play. There is a reward though and parents of students long term here at GS see the gain from the middle school pain, even as they feel for those currently involved. I would send 25 children here if I had them and could afford it. This school is the kind of option that every family should have in terms of education in the US. If I had a time machine and could redo my own schooling, I would choose Garden School in a heartbeat.
Our son just started second grade at GS and so far the school has exceeded our expectations. It is such a nurturing and welcoming atmosphere. His teacher is very patient and supportive. The children are really engaged at this school due to the small class size and receive individual attention when they need it. I like that he is being exposed to sign language, Mandarin and the arts. This is what a well rounded education should look like. I am only sorry we did not enroll him earlier.
I am a recent alumnus of Garden School(2010). I could not have been happier with my education. I was very well prepared for college and made the Dean's list my first semester. The small classes are a definite advantage, because the teachers make sure you learn. Out of my graduating class of 28, 2 students went to Ivy League schools, 2 were accepted into CUNY Honors (4 years of free education), and other very strong schools like Penn State, Marist, and St.Johns. Because the class sizes are so small you develop very strong relationships with the whole high school. I have thanked my mother many times since graduation for allowing me to go to Garden.
The Garden School has both advantages and disadvantages. There are some excellent teachers, while others are quite lacking. Classes are small, but if the teacher in a given discipline is lacking, class size is effectively pointless. On the high school level there is a dearth of AP classes, and within the AP classes given, students are not performing well on the exams. While it is true that the college counselor is well-connected, the question is, will your child be able to handle a challenging college curriculum and environment once ensconced at said college? I encourage all parents to seriously look at the curriculum in the upper school, especially the high school years. The environment is far less challenging and intellectually stimulating in comparison to the elite public high schools. Another caveat, while Garden boasts about the excellent colleges the seniors get accepted to....this is really not quite true. Some students get accepted to competitive institutions, but most do not. The college counselor may be able to work her connections for the small senior class each year, but shouldn't education be about so much more?
As new parents to Garden school this year, we could not be more happy with how things have turned out. The kindergarten experience for our child has been exceptional and his teacher and assistant are outstanding, dedicated, and experienced. The class sizes are small, so there is lots of individual attention. It is a warm and nurturing environment. We cannot say enough about how positive our experience has been.
We have researched schools across Queens and had not found a better school. Our children have been at Garden for several years now. At a very young age Garden's kids are exposed to all facets of education. They learn to become mature youngersters. Our children have become well rounded individuals. From our observation and experience Garden has responsible, respectful, well-mannered, intellegent children througout the school. Our children are very happy to be at Garden. We see Garden as our second home. The Staff and Faculty care very much for their student's well-being and that is definitely a unique quality that we have not experienced anywhere else. The PTA and parent-body seem to be involved and understand the end goal, which is getting a great education for their child. The after school programs are also terrific. It is well organized and it's conveniently located in the school. We could not see our kids anywhere else.
My child attended Garden School for 7 years. She was very well prepared for college and life in general. Garden School taught her to think independently and motivated her to achieve. The classes are small and the teachers are dedicated. Students, parents and staff have free access to the administration, who know every child by name. We found it to be a very safe and caring place, that felt like a big family. She has achieved her goals and two more degrees, and credits Garden with preparing her for this educational journey.
As a former student of Garden School for 6th grade to 12th grade .I appreciate the education , which prepared for University education .Classes were small and teachers knew their subjects they taught
My daughter attended Garden form K-12. She was one of many "lifers" in her graduating class. She received a well rounded education from an outstanding faculty with an emphasis on academics, particularly writing and was taught to think on her own and take on responsibility. Students at Garden are encourage to express their opinions, and engage in intellectual dialog and by so doing, are well prepared for college. Our College Counselor is well connected within the field and gives one on one attention to all students. Garden is a community made up of students, parents, alums, faculty and administration, all working together for the greater good of the school. We feel that our daughter received an excellent education.
I couldn't be happier with my child's progress in the upper school. She is taking Latin, is involved in the writing project and volunteers in various clubs and extra-curricular activities. While getting off to a slow start when she first came, she has thrived from the personal attention she has received and the friendly and nurturing environment. I highly recommend Garden School.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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