Cobblestone has been an excellent school for our son. We had 2 bright, quiet kids go through Brighton Schools, but when our equally bright, but more rambunctious third child came along, Brighton just was not a good fit. There seems to have been a real shift in Brighton schools, at the lower grades, towards more lining up, test taking, etc. Plus, classes sizes have gotten bigger there. Our 1st grader was reading at a 4th grade level, doing higher level math, etc., but he just went stir crazy every day. Cobblestone was a godsend for us. The learning there is creative, focused on interests of the kids, and focused on the process of learning rather than on the products. The teachers are on the kids' side! The atmosphere is relaxed, supportive, encouraging, fun, and creative. The Math specialist is excellent! Kids are broken down into smaller groups all the time, teachers are flexible, assessment is narrative and authentic, not just test scores and check boxes. Also, they really care about your child's social-emotional growth and development. My child who used to hate school (in 1st grade!) now never wants to leave!
We were VERY disappointed. They were at one time a good school but have been declining over the years. We enrolled our child with great excitement only to be deeply disappointed. They switched teachers after we enrolled and had a big "shake up". The teacher we thought our child would get was gone and the replacement was not the same quality at all. This teacher seemed to have trouble maintaining control in the classroom and the academics were lacking. In addition, unlike other private schools, they have NO refund policy. They count on the tuition to pay teachers as they are running in the red. Do not recommend.
Cobblestone School is an excellent learning environment. My family considered several schools in the area, and Cobblestone met all the criteria and more. Student focused learning and service learning offers the students an opportunity to be part of the real world, engaged in civic and community endeavors. Kids love this school.
We considered 16 schools (public, private, urban, suburban) before choosing Cobblestone for kindergarten, and Cobblestone stood out for its experiential, interdisciplinary, arts-infused approach. Lessons are hands-on and real-world. Subjects are linked by themes, so learning is seamless from math to science to language arts (and beyond). Teachers promote critical thinking, self-confidence, a respect for differences, and the vital importance of creativity in both learning and life. Cobblestone knows that learning doesn't happen in a vacuum. Kids partner with colleges and community groups for service learning. They practice sustainability, have outside recess every day (in all weather), and absorb the many lessons nature provides. The arts are embraced for both education and cultural enrichment. Parents are welcomed at school, plus, importantly, family time and experiences are recognized as educational opportunities in themselves. (Which Cobblestone encourages by not overloading kids with pointless busy-work homework.) Our daughter just finished her second year. We are thankful every day that we discovered Cobblestone and made the decision to become part of this incredible community.
Cobblestone today is nothing like what the commenter below describes! We've been with the school since 2009, and I can say with certainty that academics are rigorous and self-discipline is expected. Generalizations about the experiences of "many" or "most" people always make me nervous, so I'll stick to just the experience of our one family. And that, I can say, has been stellar.
Fortunately, this is 2011 and the teachers, director, students, and curricula are almost entirely different from the 2005 experience of the commenter below! Curriculum is introduced in new and innovating ways, there are full-time Math and Literacy Specialists, as well as a fabulous Spanish teacher. Projects are theme based, geared toward the multiple intelligences, and interests of students are put first. Service Learning has taken Cobblestone to the next level- working with elderly, sustainability and recycling initiatives, and teaming with St. John Fisher College students for a Science Fair! The Cobblestone of 2011 knows what learning is all about!!!
As a previous student from cobblestone I feel the need to tell parents that I think cobblestone is a great place to learn social skills and other people's skills but when it comes to academics it left me in the dumps over for HS. Cobblestone gives you homework and if you don't do it they don't really give a punishment for it. As for certain subjects they're behind in Mathematics, Sciences, Social Studies (we didn't really have that) and Foreign Language. Their curriculum is extremely far behind. I have many friends as well who have been held back in high school and taken 8th grade again because Cobblestone didn't teach them much (academically). I also have a few friends who almost didn't make it because Cobblestone doesn't teach you disapline. If you didn't do a project (or no one did) sometimes the teachers would just drop it. On that note most of my friends and I agree that we would rather have been taken out of Cobblestone (around 3rd grade) or that they need to rethink their curriculum. Sorry if i have disappointed any of you but this is coming from classes since 2005-2006. I don't know about before that. Also during play week/month we didn't have class just the play.
I am of the firm belief that my daughter would not have improved as much academically and socially if she had been enrolled at any other school. She recently stated that she wished that summer was only one day long so that she could be back at school immediately. She thrived because of her experiences at Cobblestone. She had great teachers. She was able to do one full hour of physical activity/play each day, plus was able to learn a great deal about art, math, reading and writing, and science. Her skills improved dramatically during the course of the year. I would recommend this school without reservation.
We had looked at a great many schools and we were so impressed by the teachers and curriculum we happily chose Cobblestone. Very happy we did.
I am a parent of two Cobblestone children. What an amazing learning environment. Children are encouraged to persue interests of their own while also joining in with topics based on state standards. Classes delve deeply into topics making experience a top priority. My children's teachers know them as whole people. Teachers and staff spend a great deal of time continually assessing and teaching in a responsive way to meet children's individual needs. My children love school so much that it is hard to get them to leave at the end of the day!
We're going into our 8th year at Cobblestone. Most people can't understand why we choose to spend as much as we do on education now. They don't understand why we don't just put our kids in public schools and sock away the would-be tuition money for college. They don't understand why we want the best for our kids NOW and not when they get to college. Right now, I'm preparing my kids for the best college experience possible. I'm paying for their education now so they will have the capabilities to win the college scholarships later. When my son started at age 4 in pre-k, he was coming home telling us about famous artists and how the human heart worked. In kindergarten my daughter learned about how the human eye works! They have always loved school. They run in every day. As a public school teacher and a parent, once I found Cobblestone, there was never a doubt in my mind that my kids needed to be there. Cobblestone has allowed my kids to be themselves. Cobblestone School has allowed my kids to grow and learn at THEIR OWN PACE. Cobblestone School has taught my kids more than I could have ever asked for in a public education. Cobblestone School is developmentally healthy for kids.
Cobblestone has had the reputation of being the "crunchy, touchy-feely school in the area" but recent changes have put an emphasis on academics and discipline that made me happy. I like the new school-wide math program and the use of a specialized math teacher from the youngest grades. They also have a designated literacy/reading instructor. She taught my Kindergartener to read this year! I also like that they have For a small school, they also have some great extras usually found at larger schools like a beautiful campus and Spanish instruction starting at the earliest grades! They continue to have a great arts program and have started to introduce service learning to the curriculum. In my opinion, recent changes at Cobblestone have successfully kept what made the school wonderfully unique while successfully making some necessary improvements in curriculum and academic rigger! We are happy here!
Cobblestone is a great school! As a family of color, we have felt very welcome from the start. One of the best things about it is the diversity of the community. The thing that brings us all together is our shared focus on what we want for our children, in terms of education. My kids are reading more than they ever have before, and my daughter is willing to try math (instead of always shying away as she has in the past). Their projects with the elderly have my kids talking at home about the science of the human brain and the aging process, and the ways in which the elderly are treated in our society. The children especially love the art, music, and P.E. programs at Cobblestone. They also get to take Spanish, which is new for them. The teachers and principal are so kind, but also firm. They do an excellent job of helping the students make good choices and feel good about those choices. My kids were getting lost in the shuffle in public school, and I feel that they are starting to shine again.
Our daughter has been so happy at Cobblestone. It is one of the only schools in Rochester to have both Literacy and Math Specialists available to work with mainstream students who either excel or need additional support in those subjects. My child excels in one of the areas, and needed some individualized support in the other. What a difference we have seen, just within one year! Prior to coming to Cobblestone, we were worried that she was losing interest in school. Now she cannot wait to get on the bus every morning.
Our son is a first-grader at Cobblestone, and this is his third year here. We have been very happy with our experience. He has been getting lots of individual attention, wonderful peer interaction and great instruction. The academics are geared towards children's interest and get them completely absorbed. His teacher is doing an amazing job incorporating academic subjects (math, language, social studies etc.) into the 'themes' the children are learning about. It seems effortless but they learn a lot and are very motivated to learn! We are very happy not to deal with homework at this age because we feel that he learns enough during the schoolday. I love that they have Spanish twice a week with a native speaker teacher. It is a great school, wonderful staff and a real community.
My son has attended Cobblestone for 3 years. We were typical obsessive parents and looked at every private and public school in our area, before choosing Cobblestone. We are thrilled with the school! We love the small class sizes (10-12 per class) and each teacher has been impressive in their experience and dedication to the school. Our child looks forward to school every day and we are glad the school has steered clear of high-stakes testing, DIBELS, and No Child Left Behind. The Prince street campus is in a great part of the city/Neighborhood of the Arts and the children are outside every day, rain, shine, or snow. The classrooms are nurturing and with the school so small, everyone knows everybody and parents who drop off can see their child's teacher and classroom every day--parent-teacher conferences almost become superflouous. We look forward to sending our younger child to Cobblestone next year!
I was so dissapointed with Cobblestone. I thought it would nurturing, and a great learning environment for my child. Instead it was chaotic, and unorganized. There was little time for my child to get the attention needed. Children wrestling on the floor is more than I could take, and I'm pretty open to less structured learning.
As the parents of an academically gifted and artistically talented Cobblestone student, who is studying math a year ahead of grade level, and reading two years ahead of grade level, we have been very happy with our child's experience at the school. In addition to the the engaging and challenging theme-based curriculum of the regular school day, the truly excellent theme-based After School program has been a highlight of our child's experience. Originally, our one concern was whether a school with smaller class sizes would offer a large enough peer group for making friends, but this didn't prove to be a problem for us at all. Our child has made some very good friends over the past couple of years, and we've also built some close friendships with other parents. We would highly recommend the school to families of gifted and talented children.
In my opinion, if you have a child with special needs of ANY kind... RUN... RUN FAST!!!! If your child is average or a bit above average, they may enjoy the school. They do try to do some good things like blended curriculum and student lead lessons. However, they are NOT equipped to handle special needs children, in my opinion. We ended up being forced to pull our child from their school because they would not work with us or our child. Unfortunately, we were not the first nor last family with a special needs child to do this. They are not the school they once were... BE CAREFUL!!!
This school does not teach enough academics, discipline. They do a lot of arts, theater and fun but not very useful stuff...Students hardly get homework and never get grades. There are many students with special needs here. The campus is not great either, the building needs TLC and some major cleaning. Not a great place to teach or learn.
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