This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Trevor Day School5
Posted November 20, 2014
- a parent
My two children have been at Trevor since kindergarten and are now in middle school. Both of them have received a top notch education. The faculty is outstanding. The curriculum is rigorous, but also creative and fun. From debates in History class to writing and recording songs in Spanish or French to hands-on experiments in Science, students learn by doing and by collaborating with their peers. I think the school does a particularly good job of teaching students how to write. We have found the parent community to be diverse, warm, and welcoming. Trevor has a wonderful new Head of School, Scott Reisinger, and the Upper School will soon be moving to a brand new, state-of-the-art facility at 95th and 2nd Avenue.
Trevor has a rigorous curriculum taught by dedicated, engaged faculty. My daughter has been there since Kindergarten. She is currently in high school and is confident and is an effective advocate for herself, traits that have been supported by Trevor at a young age. The teachers encourage her to take risks. They celebrate each child's strengths and try to instill a love of learning. We are excited about the new head of school and the new high school that is opening soon. The parent body is active, and of a very high quality. We have developed many friendships across a number of grades over the years.
Trevor school tries to foster independent learners from kindergarten level. Children are encouraged to self problem solve before seeking help from a teacher. You will often hear a kindergarten teacher tell a child: "Ask three before asking me." Meaning the child should ask three friends for help before asking the teacher for help, and this includes help with writing, reading, and math. If your child is not reading and writing before kindergarten or first grade, then your child may struggle with the school's approach to teaching and will likely fall behind in reading and writing as they move on through the grades. It is also very possible that your child's reading education for the entire school year will be in the hands of an inexperienced assistant teacher. I cannot recommend this school to anyone who is looking for a school to give their child a good foundation in reading, writing and math. However, it may be okay for a child who learns reading intuitively, or who is already reading independently.
My child's grade in middle school has a lot of boisterous kids and many classrooms are out of control as a result. I think the administration knows this but yet they don't do anything about it. It really short-changes the kids who want to learn. I also think the school coddles its students during conferences - even if the student does badly, it always puts a positive spin on everything. A little of that is good to boost the students, but too much of it gives the kids the delusion that they are doing well when they are in fact, not. As a result, the school does not do a good job of cultivating students who are serious about school work. There are some good teachers at the school, but no matter how painful, the administration needs to get their act together to address some problems (giving teachers some tools to get chaotic classrooms under control, making clear its expectations of student behavior, and giving students accurate feedback about their performance and practical steps towards solving their issues).
This is a typical private school where you can buy your grades and ta ticket to an Ivy league or top University. The College advisor corrects the recommendations written by teachers to make sure it fits this school or that school expectations. One issue is the lack of leadership of the principal resulting in a large turn over of teachers. The students are sweet.
An education at Trevor is unlike an education at any other school. Where other schools might focus on memorization to score highly on a Standardized Test, Trevor teaches real-world application and skills. For example, the school has scrapped the AP Biology course and replaced it with an Advanced Biology course taught by a former University of Chicago researcher. The class involves college-level analysis of DNA and genetics as opposed to the more conventional subjects taught in AP Bio. While this may not necessarily help when it comes to tests, the experience gained surely outweighs the benefits of scoring highly. Something else to note about Trevor is that the students are expected to motivate themselves and take their work seriously without too much help from the faculty. This is great for diligent students, but some students can feel left behind and others do not take their work seriously. If Trevor is taken seriously and its academics are used to their full potential, the school can be a great place for learning and provides for an outstanding transition into college life.
Trevor Day School can be considered a mixed bag, because it isn't traditional and some of the teachers have odd approaches. However, I think that the teaching style allows students to be prepared for the real world. Trevor isn't caught up in college, college, college, but how students can apply high school to their life. The spiral science curriculum is what has taught me my time management skills. A lot of the work given are long-term projects that are interesting and apply to the real world and time-consuming enough that one has to stay on top of their science work! English program is phenomenal, especially if you want a heavily discussion-based class. Art programs I personally know are good: Theatre, Dance, and Photography. My math class has been my most traditional class and in my opinion also well organized/taught. Although some of the teachers are iffy, in the past few years a couple new, really amazing teachers have come in and are helping the school meet its full potential. I think it will be interesting to see how Trevor grows when it moves to its bigger campus. Last note: Trevor is a school for independent, highly-motivated students that plan on pursuing extracurriculars.