This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
New Garden Friends School5
Posted June 22, 2014
- a parent
My daughter is a rising 10th grader and she has been a part of the ngfs community since kindergarten. The education and whole child development that my child has received is priceless! She has grown into a remarkable young lady, this in large part is due to the nurturing environment that ngfs provides .
This is my son's first year at NGFS Upper division and he has felt at home from day one! He is challenged and respected by all of his teachers. He also values the diversity and inclusiveness of the school. My son has a health related learning disability and the staff were all very interested in understanding and accommodating his potential issues if necessary. Our family would highly recommend NGFS!
New Garden Friends School does care about all families regardless of wealth. They offer a substantial amount of help to various families but there is alway family sacrifice, I know we have to figure it out every year. Attending an independent school is a huge commitment and it can be very hard, and very painful when we realize it is time to move along. If I have to make that choice one year I hope I do not try to share sour grapes as I leave. The teachers are committed, caring and the reason we stay. We love NGFS.
Unfortunately this school care much more about their perception than the actual children that attend. The lack of leadership at this school is abundant and clear. While the concept is great in theory, it lacks the basic progression for the average student and focuses more importance on the children of the very wealthy (donors). Theories don't teach children, teachers due and unfortunately the weakness at NGFS is in the teaching and staff member involvement.
School continues to lack the basic physiological and safety policies and procedures needed in any system for real learning to occur. There is no hot lunch and student almost burnt the building down (wouldn't school's insurance company love to hear about that?). School wants to be Greensboro Day but doesn't provide the opportunities, equality and systemic structure that better schools have. If you check out the schools attended by graduating seniors, it's the same as any other public school in North Carolina. No real opportunities for the price you pay. Also administration caters to two groups-major donors and scholarship students. Missing the boat with the middle of the road PAYING constituents. Beware if you have a special needs student-school has a history of avoiding/ignoring IEPs and individualized learning.
I have worked in and have seen a lot of public and independent schools, and NGFS ranks among the very best schools in North Carolina. First, their curriculum is top-notch. You will not find another school in Greensboro that has a curriculum that is as well-rounded. Students regularly engage in 21st century skills, including critical thinking, creative problem-solving, collaboration, and development of independent thinking. Their drama and arts program is fantastic. The writing instruction is phenomenal. Students' individual gifts are celebrated and nurtured, and they are appropriately challenged. I have two children who have attended this school for 5 and 7 years respectively. Both children are strong academically and well adjusted socially, and I credit the school with cultivating their gifts. My children LOVE going to school everyday and are given tremendous leadership opportunities and enrichment. They feel cared for and challenged by their teachers and by the curriculum. The experiential learning is threaded throughout the school day, as are the values of empathy, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship. NGFS is one of the best kept secrets in Greensboro.
new garden friends school is an amazing place! our daughter has been there since pre-school and is now in 4th grade. i can honestly say that she would not be the outgoing, kind, inclusive, and confident girl that she is without the guidance and support that she received from the exceptional staff at ngfs. the school is strong in academics and the social curriculum is like no other school in the area. the students gain so much through service learning projects and the many field trips that they go on. i value experiential learning. one of the most special things about ngfs is the fall and spring trips that the students go on. our daughter is already looking forward to the 6 day spring trip that she will go on when she gets to 5th grade!
Some bright spots: good teachers who embody the qualities they advertise, low student to teacher ratio, excellent sports opportunities for all and great fine arts program. Unfortunately school is going through leadership changes which is currently causing growing pains and policies and customer service is getting lost in the process. As former students indicated, bullying is an ongoing problem even for such a small school, currently no hot lunch is available, scheduling and communication are problematic and there is still no security at the school. Also no choice in classes for middle school in terms of electives-schedule is given to you. No worse but no better than public school.
My children were both victims of bullying at other schools. The Quaker values and educational style were great fits for them. The culture of the school is the most tolerant and caring I've ever encountered. The student body is incredibly diverse. There are kids from many different countries. There are also students from many different cultures and faiths. The faculty and educational offerings are top-notch. The new Arts & Athletic Center is a great facility. I wish it had been completed when my kids first started. I have recommended this school to several friends and many of these placed their children there.
NEW GARDEN FRIENDS SCHOOL is fantastic! I cannot say enough wonderful things about this school. The best way to experience the magic of New Garden Friends School is to come see it for yourself. It is difficult to describe the feeling of peace and happiness I have always felt sending my child to New Garden Friends School. He loves going to school each day!