The students have to sit still?! Homework for everyone??!! Who even thinks of these torturous methods! And what is this homeroom? I have never even heard of such a concept! Surely Garden is the only school in New York to have this "homeroom". Yikes.
The school is great. The teachers are great. My child loves it here. The only problem is an outrageous sense of entitlement exhibited by some parents. This is hindering our children's education. Let the teachers teach. Let the students learn.
The school is running off the rails this year. Fourth grade teachers punish the entire class for the actions of a few. One kid out of his seat? Homework for everyone. Two kids talking during "homeroom" (twenty minutes at the beginning and end of each day when no instruction of any value takes place at all)??? Then the lights go out and the entire class has to sit perfectly still...if anyone moves, the entire class gets recess detention.
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.
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.
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.