My children use to go to this school. My one child had all great teachers while my other didn't. The kindergarten teacher wasn't warm at all she would be better off in the upper grades. As far as community feel it's not a true unless you live right in the Columbia area. As far as the admin if you were not a Columbia professor they didn't have the time for you. I was very disappointed in the school. The good things were their specials, dance, art, science, spanish and wellness but that's it. Took my kids out they are learning more than they did there.
I have a child in Kindergarten and am just amazed at the individual attention given by the highly experienced and nurturing head K teacher. She spent 26 years as a Kindergarten teacher at Hunter Elementary, and the last 10 at The School at Columbia. She called the curriculum not only "integrative" but also "differentiated" and I could not agree more. At a recent parent-teacher meeting, I was shown a thick file of my child's classroom activities, and each child's file differs considerably. At the same time, the communal spirit within the classroom is strong; the day is punctuated by songs as well as group activities in art, math, and literacy. At the moment, I could not be happier. As one reviewer said, no school is perfect, but I am thrilled that the parents seem so motivated and involved, and if there are problems ahead, I believe our voices will be heard.
This school is a wonderful school very well organized!!! The parents are great you have a great sense of community all hands are on board they teach children to be themselves not only that but more so to think for their own to express themselves. My daughter loves the school wonderful oppurtunity.
The underlying tenets of the school encourage both self respect and respect for others. This school is more diverse than most and this is both a wonderful and challenging feature. The parent body and administration are constantly striving for ways to continue growing and building the community. That kind of commitment isn't as readily available in many school environments. My child has grown in confidence and ability each year he has been there.
This school teaches children to think, be practical and analyze situations. Leaders and inventors should think outside the box more often. Approaching a problem with various solutions and knowing the why's behind what you learn is important. The small class size gives each child the chance to thrive with 1 staff member for every 5 students.
I took my kids out of The School for the 11-12 school year and put them in public school. Couldn't be happier with the decision - it has improved all of our lives. We had some AMAZING individual teachers at The School but the administration was unable to address anything effectively. Bottom line - be very careful if looking at this school: what looks like it is too good to be true, usually is. Certainly don't pay for it! Your local PS is likely better.
Academically this school has a progressive and innovative vision. Socially and emotionally, however, it has real problems, so that the school doesn't cohere into a community. The teachers are, with some exceptions, very young and inexperienced, and they create a negative atmosphere in the classroom, often yelling at the kids. The management does not listen well nor does it communicate with parents. Despite the rich facilities, the good computers, the nice breakfast, I'm thinking of taking my child out.
we were not allowed to take part in lottery, although we are in district 3. this is not fair to my children. why have they no right even to apply?
I'm a community parent (which means my child got in by lottery). My son has been at the school since K and he loves it. It is a progressive school with an extremely diverse student body which is the right place for my son. It is also well equipped technologically although there is little space for the children at recess. The after school program is also very good with interesting options for the children such as fencing for the older grades. As with all new (and old?) schools, there have been some problems in administration, but they seem to iron themselves out as all matters are addressed quickly. This school does not cater for school lunches and students must bring in a packed lunch every day.
You couldn't get a more diverse population in a school than this and it is indeed a special and unique learning environment that nurtures this and more. The teachers regularly collaborate which means that the children put into practice what they are learning within different disciplines. The curriculum places importance on every subject including the arts. The class sizes are really small so it's hard for any child to slip through the cracks. However, my peeve about this school is the management: some staff make judgmental calls and clearly have inexperience in dealing with situations that don't fit into a mold that most people don't fit into anyway. This could be said of other private schools too, but needs to be addressed here as the decisions that are made are not always in the best interests of the children. Having said this, my child loves his school and I think it's the best place for her and am hoping that management improves.
The School is a wonderful learning community, our child is thriving in the environment where their thinking process is valued rather than just the notion of getting the right answer. Fantastic teaching across the board, from science, technology, literacy, art, math all the way to wellness; simply unprecedented music and dance. Annette Raphel has been a fantastic Head of School and has managed to strike the right balance between excellence in academics and "the goodies" of a progressive education.
I have a child in The School at Columbia, while no school is 100% perfect, this school comes in close. Over the last several years I have seen improvement in the Math curriculum. While I can agree with some aspects of other reviews made here, I still feel my child is getting a wonderful education.
We have been very happy with the School at Columbia for our two children. It is a unique environment, with true diversity of all kinds, providing a 'private school' education to a 'public school' population. This makes for unique challenges and unique opportunities. The teaching staff is unparalleled, the emphasis on being part of a community and socio-emotional learning is wonderful, and we are very happy with the educational experience our children are receiving. Yes, there are parents who feel the academics are not always rigorous enough, but if you are looking for a competitive academic hothouse, this is not the school for you.
I have really enjoyed my five years at The School, aside from its name the experience has been amazing. What really sets us apart is our diversity and our teachers.
This school strives to produce a balanced curriculum that focuses on interactions and collaborations across disciplines. Only down side is that the math is below par with kids having to work at below grade level and no option for advanced math. They need to divide kids in the core curriculi based on skill and then have the kids together for art/music/etc
This school is not adequately rigorous for most children of university professors. The administrators also lack communication skills.
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