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Lyceum Kennedy French American School5
Posted November 30, 2014
- a parent
My children have attended the LK Ardsley campus for three years now and we are *extremely* pleased with the school. The teachers are excellent and the Ardsley administration is very responsive/organized. There is a new head of school for the Manhattan and Ardsley campus, who seems competent and passionate about bilingual education. Hopefully that will address some of the concerns that other reviewers brought up a few years ago regarding the Manhattan campus. There is a very active parent's association which organizes many social events with the families (Halloween pumpkin carving and potluck, end of year picnic, etc.) and as a result the community is incredibly close. Everyone is welcome and people here are so kind to one another. Families that have aged out of the school/transitioned to other schools still come back for these events to reconnect with friends and teachers, if that tells you anything. Families considering the Ardsley campus may wonder why there is a smaller student body--I did too. The reason is there is a bit of turnover when our expat families move back home. Many see the smaller size as a benefit and I appreciate the diversity of cultures these families bring.
My children attended this school for a number of years. Our experience with the Maternelle was excellent--although the French teachers can be rigid, the Preschool Director is up-to-date on education, communicates well with parents, and is a wonderful and compassionate advocate for the children. The lower grades in the elementary were OK. The English language teachers tended to be good-quality and caring, but frustrated. The French teachers tended to utilize archaic teaching styles (imagine being in the 1880's) and compartmentalize children--write them off as "bad" or "poor students". The middle and upper schools were a complete disaster, and we left ASAP. There a couple of good apples teaching there, but overall, just a complete mess. I'd say if you need a French language school, this place is good in Nursery through K, passable in grades 1-5, and woe to all those stuck using it beyond that point.
This school has a serious mismanagement issue. Leadership is inexistant and communication with parents is terrible (they even don't reply to emails). The mgmt team is unorganised and it is completely understaff: the head of school is the math teacher, the middle and high school coordinator. Same for the elementary coordinator where there is no leadership but only confusion. They focus on details that are nothing to do with the education of our kids (no boots at school during winter) and on money, money, money. So why do i have my kids there? the teachers are wonderfull and super competent. The curriculum is intense (both french and english). The kids do end up bilingual. It is very unfortunate that this school is extremely mismanaged, it has a lot of potential and hopefully the next head of school will be able reverse it and have competent staff as coordinators.
I have kids on both campuses. Ardsley (Westchester) is a small, kids oriented campus with focus on each kid individually. Fantastic teachers, good communication with parents. This school is amazing ! The Manhattan campus has also really great teachers and this year the board really made an effort for outside recesses (rooftop and park). Bilingual program is excellent ! They could just improve the communication with parents.
May 2013 it was announced that some 10 teachers and the Director of the school and lower school Director would leave the school - after it was too late for parents to leave. Unfortunately this turnover happens every few years - and school excuse that it cannot extend teacher visas...but truth teachers do not want to stay. For a yr 2012-2013 if not more the children hardly did not go outside for recess due to "construction on roof" and school did not arrange alternative solution despite pleas of parents throughout the year. Only provided excuses and a dark stuffy gym without windows for children for recess. Our kids will most likely never go to an outside to a park the 2013-2014 academic yr due to low teacher/student ratios. Entire classes do not go outside and breathe fresh air at all for days at a time while at school from 830 to 330 - including kindergarten. Academic standards are extremely poor and well below par for American schools. Classrooms have no equipment, smartboards. Only 1 in preK. Take a tour you will see yourself, ask the classroom teachers how many times did the children go outside that week - to recess on the roof - or to the park in last month.
This school is amazing! The Ardsley Campus is smaller and can focus more individually. The teachers on both campus' are amazing and love their jobs. The Director of Admissions is so nice and helpful! I wouldn't have sent my kids there if she hadn't been there. I must note, however, that the board and staff don't focus on the kids and instead focus on money. The COO can be downright nasty. If the Director of Admissions or any teachers leave, I'm pulling my kids out; they are the only good thing in Lyceum Kennedy.
the teachers are the only good point in is this school. I have kids there for the last 7 years. This is a for profit organization and the children are not the center of interest. The teachers have to fight to have the minimal material. The parents have only obligations but no rights. Everything is about money. once again I have been happy because my children had wonderful teachers but if you have other options consider them.
I have 2 children in this school and wish I'd never have considered it. Whilst teaching is more or less OK, children don't have a single outdoor recess for months. All they do at recess is TV. Buildings are polluted and old-fashioned, management is only interested at making money to finance the Japanese American part. Strongly recommended TO AVOID!