A wonderful, warm and nurturing place. A hidden gem of a school at half the cost of a typical private school tuition in Manhattan. True, they do not have their own gym (hence the yellow bus taking the kids to gym elsewhere), or cafeteria. So, if you are into gleaming facilities and insist on your child taking an elevator (in my view, the more stairs, the better), at present, this is not for you. However, next year this is supposed to change as the school is moving to a new building, where all those small inconveniences will be rectified. What will stay the same are small class sizes and solid academic approach. The rector of the school is a wonderful highly respected educator with decades of experience, and has an amazing vision for the school. At the same time, the school is small enough where she knows every family and every student by name. The school has a well thought through curriculum and a unique system of combining English and Italian instruction. At present, very happy there.
A nightmare. The structure is very depressing. School services are null for twenty-four thousand dollars a year. There isn't a canteen (children eat in their class), there isn't a space for recess (they play cards in their class), there isn't an elevator (my son continue to make many floors walking every day), there isn't a gym (despite of a snowy winter, last year they moved children with the yellow bus from the school to another place), the management style of the school is typically Italian (submitted to nepotism and cronyism), the parents' association is totally compliant with the School behaviors (losing any capacity of criticism), bullying prevail among children (teachers are totally silent and absent, without any efforts of integration and support). A real nightmare. I'm really sorry to say this because we are Italian and we never imagined to find a situation in NYC so dysfunctional and superficial. The way of teaching of Italian language or ESL is out of date. The curricula of teachers are ridiculous and not available on the website, their salaries are disproportionate when compared with those of teachers of American schools with more respectable academic bio. A poor and expensive structure that really dishonors the image of Italy.
I couldn't be happier having both of my children at La Scuola d'Itlalia, and we are not Italian. I am very impressed with the high level of their curriculum, the scope of the subjects taught and the teaching styles of their teachers. Every child is approached individually and received maximum attention. The classical European education starts in the lower grades. Starting in the 4th grade, children have monthly trips to the Metropolitan Museum and learn about art (in Italian!), then write essays (also in Italian) on what they have learned at the Museum and discuss in class. The academic level compares to higher grades in other schools and the upper grades study advanced college courses. The teachers and parents form a warm family-like community. This school is the best kept secret in New York!
As an american freshman i could say this school sucked. It had cliques of italians who were not welcoming. The facilities sucked but they were a couple of teachers who helped me become a better student.
It is understandable as to why parents have complaints such as lack of emotional development or focus on American subjects. It is modeled according to the European system. If your child can master multiple languages and, even more, multiple cultures, he or she will be able to adapt to different settings, whether it be college or the work level. This school will mold your child into a citizen of the world, not of the United States. There is a difference. My kids were born and bred at this school (10+ years). They are now in private, American universities, and excelling with minimal effort. They think in a global sense that can only further their success. I believe La Scuola played a key role in this, and will always be grateful. As far as the 'nurturing' or 'emotional' comments go, this school is the most nurturing school I've ever heard of. My children's teachers loved them, the environment is very personal and the teachers care for every one of their students. My daughter used to go to her professor's house on a Saturday to go over homework before an exam! This nurturing allows students to develop a confidence level that will only bring them ahead, and La Scuola is truly unique.
Wonderful warm school. The Italian teachers are excellent. My English speaking son was comfortable speaking Italian after a year or two at the school. The English teachers also do a great job. All of the children in my son's first grade class were reading ABOVE grade level in English AND Italian by the end of the year. The Math curriculum, done mostly in Italian, is similar to the word problem solving and mental math found in American curriculum. If you are an English speaking family considering this school, please know that your child will improve their Italian only if you support them. We took advantage of the Italian summer program and after school Italian tutoring.
The quality of the teaching is poor. especially in the areas of Italian as a second language and mathematics. You will be lucky if your child knows how to say more than spaghetti and gelato after a couple of years if you are not Italian yourself. Math is taught pretty much on a rote basis. It's hard to believe that this is the same country that gave birth to Montessori.The school is primarily oriented toward children of Italians who plan on going back to Italy and of course the Italians love the school. The teachers typically spend twice as long with the Italian parents as with the non-Italian parents at parent-teacher conferences. Few if any students beyond elementary school are non-Italian.
The comment below is most likely posted by a parent who has not had a child enrolled in the high school. Math and Science are the two subjects that are most focused on in the high school. After all, it is called 'Liceo Scientifico'; Physics, Science and Math come first. Then there is always Italian literature, Latin language, Latin literature, Italian language, English lit, Art history, World history, Philosophy, Economics and more. Not the typical 5 subjects most students have to take. A typical semester at La Scuola involves 12 subjects. Well-rounded is the first word that comes to mind.