I attended Cobblestone from 2nd-8th grade (September of 2000 to June of 2007), and I can say it was a good experience overall. I found that most of the kids and teachers there were very nice. I even said that if I ever have kids, and Cobblestone is still in business by the time they start school (and sadly, it has already closed down for good), I would want to send them to school there (although, I did enjoy Victor Senior High too).
I liked how they used the word 'assessment' rather than 'report card.' And I liked how they didn't just base the assessments on school work, but also on behavior and demeanor (if that was an issue at any point during the year).
Another thing I liked about Cobblestone was how the teachers would meet with the parents or guardians privately, rather than just having a 'parents' night' once or twice during the school year. That way, the parents/guardians and teachers can have more in depth conversations about how a child is doing. At 'parents' night' at some other schools, teachers only have so much time to talk with the parents/guardians about how their child is doing, and how they (teachers) feel about having their (parents') child in class.
I alsoliked how Cobblestone School usually started in mid-September, as opposed to starting right after Labor Day, because then I was more likely to want to show off my new fall clothes at the beginning of the year.
One thing I would want to change about Cobblestone (if it was still in business) would be that they start preparing the students in the upper middle for high school (especially the 8th graders). If they know which high school(s) an 8th grader is looking at, maybe they can try to get into contact with some of those high schools, and see about setting up a few days when the individual can go and sit in on some of the classes at each of the schools s/he is considering, before deciding which ones s/he wants to attend. This can also give the student a little more insight to what high school is really like.
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.