Brown School has been an excellent choice for our two children. The teachers are incredibly dedicated, knowledgeable and flexible about accommodating a wide variety of learning styles, and clearly love their work. Their joy and positive attitude permeates the culture of the school. The administrative infrastructure of the school is professional yet personable. And last, but certainly not least, the school's generous financial aid has made it a feasible choice for our family.
We initially enrolled our three kids in Brown as it had an all-day nursery/pre-school program; we intended to leave once they reached school-age. We stayed, and there are several reasons we decided that Brown was a worthwhile investment.
First of all, all of the children and staff seem to truly love the school and care about each other; there is very much a sense of pride and a sense of community. Older children are matched with younger children in a “buddy” program, classes collaborate on projects and activities, parents are engaged, teachers are passionate, creative and caring. Additionally, class sizes are small and learning is very individualized. Our children have different strengths and they receive a significant amount of individual attention that has allowed each to work at his or her own ability level. Furthermore, we are very impressed with the academics offered. There is a lot of focus on making learning fun, and on decreasing/managing pressure and stress, while holding children to high standards and providing the building blocks to meet those standards. Brown does not participate in extensive testing but does stay on top of educational trends (eg: “common core”) and from all accounts I have heard, Brown “alumni” have excelled when arriving in high school or transferring to other districts. While “traditional” academics are strong, significant attention is given to other critical areas - arts, music, mindfulness, compassion, community engagement. It is a “whole person" learning experience. Our children are excited everyday to go to school and we thrilled with the education they are receiving.
So why did we choose Brown? We wanted a genuine, authentic environment that fostered a love for learning, without gimmicks. My son is not just a name, or an attitude, or a grade. He’s a boy going in and out of developmental phases, with various things going on in his life at home. And they get that, and embrace it.
Kids and teachers walk the halls with smiles on their faces. What impressed me (and still does) is how the older kids and younger children interact with such respect towards each other. It is a community of kindness and compassion in a world that can be anything but. I am so glad for Brown’s PreK-Grade 8 spectrum which gives young students opportunities to see what’s ahead, and lets the older ones guide those who are up and coming.
Should you be concerned that Brown is all about environment, and not content, let it be known that the kids who come out of Brown are routinely placed in AP high school classes. The academics are challenging, for sure. There are so many bright kids at Brown who will knock your socks off when they open their mouths to talk. I am also really impressed by all the hands-on classwork they do. Lectures, note taking and exams are NOT the model here (thank goodness!) There is lots of collaboration, discussion and action!
The lack of standardized testing for the young children allows Brown teachers to go beyond worksheets, and into hands-on exploration of both academic subjects and the arts. Yes, the arts! The interior hallways of Brown are covered from floor to ceiling in the student’s colorful artwork. My husband, who is an art professor, noted that many of the 8th graders in Brown are more skilled than his college freshman. Music and drama are also given the same kind of attention which is such a treat when most schools have cut them entirely.
As a parent of an energetic child, I am happy to report that he comes home not just academically and emotionally satisfied, but physically content as well. There is plenty of recess, physical education, and music/movement time. Even within the classroom, he is not expected to sit at a desk all day long. For those who are kinetic learners, students can sit on yoga balls in lieu of chairs. What a relief to know that he wouldn’t be labeled as a hyper child because he needs to move, and instead is accepted for what he is: an active, healthy boy.
From the moment I met with school personnel about a mid-year transfer for my two children out of the public school system I could tell I had entered a school unlike any other. Brown School is simply outstanding in every way. The extraordinarily professional staff is highly motivated to do what is in the best interest of every single child. Brown School offers developmentally appropriate education for all of students with small class sizes, nearly more curriculum hours than any other school in the Capital District, the individualized learning experience of the I.G.N.I.T.E. program, MindUp, a research-based curriculum that uses the latest information about the brain to dramatically improve behavior and learning for all students, a strong arts program, open communication, and holistic assessment of student performance. Most importantly, however, everyone - students, staff, and parents - at Brown is genuinely thrilled to be there. Beautiful student artwork adorns the hallways, smiles abound, and academic achievement appears to happen seamlessly. My children are excited to go to school each and every day. My family simply holds Brown School in the highest regard.
When my husband and I decided that we needed a change from our public school s increasing class size, decreasing budgets, and almost complete reliance on then test, test, test model of education, we toured many private schools. And while many private schools offer small class size and families who value education, we found that Brown School offered something that no one else did: a learning environment that truly educates the whole child, and teaches them to be confident and independent thinkers. Brown accomplishes this with dedicated and caring teachers, who go above and beyond to provide a creative, project-based, hands-on curriculum where children thrive. Brown offers diversity, in both the student population and in educational opportunities. Brown School employs a reading and a math specialist, to offer additional support to children who might need it. They also have, on staff, a teacher certified in gifted education who, working in partnership with the classroom teacher and the student, develops personal and scholastic goals for each student a truly personalized and customized education based on a child s individual strengths and weaknesses.
My kids love learning at Brown! The programs, class lessons, special classes, and extra curricular activities are amazing. In addition to art, music, P.E., computer, Spanish, and library classes, my Kindergartener will be taking a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) class twice a week. For my middle school children, I am constantly amazed at the depth and diversity of their curricula their favorites: art, technology, guitar, science, history of rock n roll (an elective) as well as the after-school activities available to them.
My daughter has had a wonderful experience at Brown. She started in Pre-K and is about to enter third grade. The teachers challenge their students in a supportive and nurturing environment. There is an emphasis on character development which I really appreciate. The kids treat one another with kindness and respect. The focus is on matters of importance--academics, the environment, social responsibility--and not overly focused on pop culture. It has been a great fit for my daughter and well worth the money we pay.
Our son has attended Brown School for the last three years. It has been an amazing experience for him and our entire family. Our family was quickly included into the Brown School Community. The school has provided a quality education, utilizing a small class size. His teachers have been kind, loving, and creative. They have also addressed his individual learning style, while going above and beyond what is expected. We are so thankful that we found Brown School for our son's education.
Brown School allows our children to thrive in a nurturing, comfortable and challenging learning environment. The children explore a variety of topics from multiple perspectives. They hear, touch, discuss and engage friends in projects related to the topic they are discovering. They are taught to be leaders, good friends and encourage all to find their voice. Everyone gets a chance to perform on stage, present to a group of peers as well as parents and play sports. The remarkable glue that knits this community together is the sense of family that allows for resolution of conflicts as well as individual growth. We always walk away from school events with a huge smile knowing we are giving our children the best learning opportunity. Watching the children run into school every morning is a great way to start my day.
Brown School offers our children what few other others in our region are able to do: the opportunity to grow into confident, independent and joyful learners. At Brown, my children have thrived and have developed remarkable critical thinking skills and creative expression. Brown School's commitment to educating the "whole child" is clear and their celebration of the Arts is impressive. One of the most amazing things about Brown is the opportunity for children to feel at ease participating in diverse activities without being "judged," or stereotyped. For example, this year my son quite happily joined the Science Bowl Team, starred in the School Musical, played in band, joined select strings and competed on the soccer and volleyball teams without being "pegged" as a "geek," or a "jock." I love that at Brown, kids have the chance to explore their interests freely and to express their enthusiasm without fear of being teased or bullied. Brown School is a fantastic place, and I highly recommend it!