I love, love, love this school! My daughter is in the 4th grade and she has learned sooooo much! The teachers are great and they actually care about the kids learning. The teachers go above and beyond to make sure the kids succeed. I moved from out of state and if it wasn't for this school I would have moved back home but I know it will be a needle in a haystack to find a great school like this one. I have no complaints at all! My daughter had trouble reading back in our home town and within 2 months of attending this school, she was a fluent reader. She is very excited about learning and told me she never want to leave this school. I am very happy that we found a school that cares about her education.
We have been with Seawell a few years now. We are happy with it and have gotten to know the principal, who I think is wonderful - a good and serious leader who listens to parents. She got directly involved in a situation I was dealing with this year and I appreciate very much that it could have turned out very differently with a different kind of leader. Our son has a wonderful, experienced teacher this year who is helping him love learning again. He is advanced academically and has made huge strides in reading and math after a demoralizing year last year. We have had mixed experiences with the teaching quality, and last year was a bad year for many of the kids in his class. It does depend on which teacher you get, though I have faith that the majority of teachers are good. We had many volunteer opportunities in the past and this sense of community is what we had loved. However, for whatever reason this year, communication was almost non-existent, and we have not been contacted about the volunteer opportunities that we had signed up for. Our son LOVES the school - nice kids and caring teachers - and we are happy overall.
I have had one child graduate from Seawell and another just started. Compared to other schools I know well in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, Seawell stands out for having happy, hard-working teachers and approachable, hands-on principals. The parent community is actively involved, participating not only by reading in the classroom, helping with art class, but also volunteering to maintain a wonderful hands-on critter corner, improve the landscaping, and soon build a school veggie garden. I have no complaints.
When settling in the Triangle area, we chose Chapel Hill because we had heard that the schools were the best in the area. We've been at Seawell 2 years. Our daughter had one great year (this year) and one mediocre, attitude-damaging year (last year). Of course, that can happen anywhere--and, at the elementary level the individual classroom teacher is the deciding factor in your child's experience. Last year, we were unlucky; this year we were very lucky. I am pleased by the range of 'extras' my daughter receives, including Spanish 3 days a week and a gym program that really teaches her about fitness and health rather than simply playing games. So, overall we are pleased. Our daughter has made great progress in reading and math and found a love for Spanish. We wish the science program had better support.