The Harvey School in Katonah is a wonderful school where students thrive. They have a dynamic faculty who encourage, support and challenge the students. My husband went to Harvey and loved it. Now, our son is there and he loves it. The film and theater dept. is exceptionally inspiring even for non theater types. There is a warmth at Harvey that just isn't always there at other private schools. Students go on to great colleges, IVY league and otherwise. I always say a school is only as good as the feisty parents behind it and this school has some of most energetic, professional and competent parents I have ever encountered.
I have two kids in the Harvey Middle School. We brought them to Harvey because our kids were getting lost in the public system. They were too smart to get extra help from the public schools but needed more educational support to reach the excellence status. Harvey has delivered excellence in this regard - both are enjoying school again, are making honor roll and are regaining their confidence to succeed at a high level. The teachers take the time, are skilled in educating and communicate constantly with the parents by phone and email. My kids actually prepared and followed a study schedule for the week before exams! This was not happening before we sent them to Harvey. Additionally, both kids are individuals in their own way - they didn't fit the traditional "popular" mode and public school was making them fee insecure about this - at Harvey, differences are truly embraced and valued with both kids coming through adolescence with their self-esteem intact. The culture and support at Harvey is exceptional - our kids are happy, kind, well-adjusted and well educated - exactly what we were looking for their middle school experience to be.
Harvey is an exceptional school. Great teachers and caring staff. Superior eductation and athletic opportunities.
Do you want your kid to be inspired? Do you want your kid to love to learn? Do you want your kid to have teachers who know him/her? Do you want your kid to like things you never thought he/she would like opera, Latin and poetry? Do you want a kid who loves to go to school everyday? Do you want a school that challenges your kid and provides a logical, well-rounded and well-executed curriculum? Do you want to be a person and not a number? Then, look no further than Harvey. From a parent who put their 2nd child in Harvey after a disappointmenting experience with a bright John Jay student (ie: 30 kids in a class, eating lunch on the floor, having no practice because there were no fields, teachers that don't know students' names, teachers that can't teach - just to name a few items...)
Funny thing about reading these negative reviews - we could not find anyone with actual experience with the school say anything but good things about it - including Administrators at other schools who have their kids here. We have been exceptionally pleased with our experience with the school. The teachers and administrators not only 'talked the talk', but 'walked the walk' as well.
This was a solid school years ago. Unfortunately, it has lost its way. The lack of clarity of mission has led to a lack of support for teachers, and ultimately a bad experience for students. Can your child get the necessary grades required to get into the college you desire for them? Yes, just demand it, if that is all you seek. Will your child get the type of education required to thrive in that college once admitted? This is a big 'maybe', and depends upon whether your child is lucky enough to interact with the small number of great teachers who will succeed in any environment, even one that is as fractured as this one. But hurry, because the great ones are unlikely to stay here long. If they are forced to stay for economic reasons, the greatness will be beaten out of them, if not they will leave soon.
I don't understand the bad reviews for this school. My son attended a couple other private schools with little success. We found Harvey and he thrived. He is now attending Columbia University, which would not have been possible without The Harvey School.
The Harvey School is a wonderful, small and caring school that offers students the opportunities to utilize their strengths and reach their potential in a warm, supported environment.
I go here and I don't know why there are so many bad reviews. Public school was a horrible experience for me and I don't know how I would have ever gotten into college if it weren't for Harvey. Lighten up, this school helped me reach my potential and they really understood me. It's also fun.
I don't know how the other reviewers managed to get such a negative impression of Harvey - I went to school here and I loved it! The teachers at Harvey clearly care about their students, and it reflects in how they teach. Most of the classes are only eight students, and the small size allows students to seriously immerse themselves in the subject. It also allows the teachers more one-on-one time with their students, to assess their learning styles and make sure they reach their potential. The Harvey School college advisors want to make sure that their students are going to a college they will like and be able to flourish at, rather than going to an Ivy League school just because it's 'better.' Students from The Harvey School are currently attending Cornell U, Boston U, Oberlin, Columbia, Barnard, Bennington, Elon U, Villa Nova, and UNC at Chapel Hill, among others.
This is a high school of missed opportunity and a huge disappointment! It has a beautiful campus, small class size, and offers sports and arts but is unable to achieve what they claim in educational and philosophic goals. They accept many children with learning differences but are unable to cope with the educational and emotional needs of this population. The administration lacks a fundamental will to provide consistent structure and discipline. The result is a general lack of respect of the teachers for students and students for teachers. Teachers are not properly trained and often not mature. The administration does not respond to parental concerns so that families are forced to withdraw their children.
The teachers here have only bachelor's degrees from mediocre colleges. The headmaster has been there for 25 years, has no children and has never continued his education past a BA. You would think he would want to pursue a masters or doctorate in education. The board is a good old boys network, appointed not voted on by the parent community. They have gone through 3 student deans in as many years, with the last one being a parent with no experience or qualifications. Teachers do not respect each other, students do not respect teachers and the administration turns its head to count all the tuition money.
Small class size in a nurturing environment is what sets Harvey apart. Teachers work hard at having students achieve their maximum potential. Teachers and Administration listen to the concerns of students and parents. It is a fabulous school and our children love it!
Harvey is, at best, medicore. The Upper school is a mish mash of experienced but mostly inexperienced teachers. I would not recommend this school - you are not getting what you pay for - students do not have a great college track record - you are better off elsewhere. Public School is superior if you're looking for trained teachers and administrators.
The Harvey School has not been able to define itself. Is it an academically challenging prep school or a special needs feeder school? Is it a performing arts school or an outstanding athletic school? It is mediocre at everything. If your child requires special help, it is at an additional cost and at $30,000/year what do you really get?
The academic programs are organized in such a way as to include the 'student of varying ability' as well as the college prep student. This is due to the teachers' unbelieveable attention to each student. With a small student/teacher ratio, each student can be nurtured. The arts at the school are especially good.
Teachers are not trained to handle children of varying ability at this school. This school tries to be everything to everyone and has not been able to define themselves. The new Art Center is too big and too costly with not enough students to fill it so they try to attract artsy students and by doing so, the sports program fails miserably. Parent involvement is welcomed, but only for writing checks,not for opinions or suggestions.
The Harvey School was a good choice for our son. The teachers really get to know each student. Their program is flexible enough to accomodate the needs of students of varying abilities; which was wonderful. The low student:teacher ratio meant that no student got lost in the crowd.
Used to be much better, but the quality of the administration, and consequently of teaching and advising, has declined terribly, especially in the upper school. Many students are struggling and, despite the school's stated commitment to great individual attention, the teachers fail to inspire them to do their best work.
The Harvey School is a very mixed bag. The best thing about it is its commitment to providing extra help in every subject every day, which helps put the emphasis on learning rather than on testing. Other, less positive aspects: The teachers vary widely in quality, with too many under-qualified new college grads just passing through. The school also seems unnecessarily coy and ambivalent about its mission to 'help students of varying abilities maximize their potential': The vast majority of the students have learning differences, yet the administration often seems to want to pretend it's a high-powered prep school. The general headmaster, Barry Fenstermacher, is an inspiring leader, but he seems to have little to do with day-to-day operation; and the lower-school headmaster, Brian Mahoney, seems more effective at connecting with students and parents than the upper school's Robert Cook.
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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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