Brenda Esch, Head of School, is everywhere at once. She's the firm and steady leader who works with teachers to curate curriculum. She's the welcoming committee at every school event, big or small. She's an easy to talk to role model who students truly enjoy being with. She's a always responsive go-to for parents who need to talk.
My child has enjoyed the challenges, both academic and physical that FSOW has offered. A typical day may include a rigorous math or science lesson, followed by a student-led group with knee-boots and shovels working to improve the campus creek.
Friends School is a nurturing environment for all students. They are responsive to parents' needs and are focused on bringing out the very best in students. My child feels like a part of the community at Friends School. Kids are empowered to offer ideas for bettering their school and enjoy the satisfaction of seeing those ideas come to fruition. From teachers assistants to head of school, each individual who works with Friends School of Wilmington seems to genuinely care for the students. I've seen my daughter grow from a pre-K Friends School student who thrived in the nurturing and orderly Montessori environment to a middle schooler who daily gets excited by new concepts and big ideas that are introduced in class. Parents here are an excellent resource - forming strong bonds to continually improve and enrich the Friends School of Wilmington experience.
My two children have attended Friends for three years (pre-school and elementary) and we have loved it. The second year we were there (2012-2013) a new head was hired and she has been proactive in updating the curriculum, providing professional development and raising teacher pay, making a good school even more solid. The teachers and administration are always available and open to any concerns you may have and it is easy and encouraged to be involved. It is a real community. The school provides many opportunities for creativity, connection to nature and values individuality. Friends has provided such a wonderful environment where my children are inspired and love to go to school every day. The montessori program cannot be matched for early childhood education, my pre-k son is reading and writing, as are most of his peers. Art and music are not just given lip service, but given real time and value in the school for every level. I could go on and on - if you are looking for progressive education in Wilmington Friends is great and growing stronger.
My 3rd grade son has been at the Friends School of Wilmington since he was 2 years old. He has thrived in the amazing Montessori pre-school and Kindergarten program as well as the Inquiry-based Elementary Program. The school's multi-year classrooms with low student-teacher ratios ensure that his teachers know his learning needs well and can provide individualized attention both when he needs a little extra help and when he needs more challenging work. FSW's hands-on approach to learning makes abstract concepts concrete and meaningful to him. The fact that my child LOVES school is the biggest testament I can provide to other families considering FSW for their children.
Such an amazing school. We moved here 3 months ago from Boston and was concerned about education for our children. Our daughter entered 6th grade at The Friends School and loves it! She is inspired every day by her teachers who are all so wonderful. The energy is positive from the administration and it is felt throughout. My daughter is engaged in so much at school that it has made such an impact on her outside of school. She wants to read so much more, learn so much more and give so much more. Wonderful environment for any child!
If you want a school that will mindlessly drill facts into your child's brain in a didactive environment, overload them with mountains of home work and create a stressful environment in prepation for testing, then Friends School is NOT for you. At Friends School, children learn to think and analyze problems independently and creatively in an inspiring hands-on environment. They learn to love learning. They learn values to prepare them to make decisions throughout their lives. They also thrive academically in small sized-class rooms led by dedicated teachers. Kindergarteners are working on multiplication, phonetic reading and creative writing skills. Pre-schoolers have an amazing grasp of geography, early phonics, and math conceptsand are continously honing fine motor skills. And, first graders achieve amazing reading proficiency and number fluency. While other schools are cutting arts, FSOW students study art, music, PE & Spanish twice a week. I would recommmend FSOW to any parent who wants to give their children the gift of learning and preprae them to excel academically in high school and beyond.
Friends is a very special school. Over 5 years, I've watched a series of exceptional teachers truly get to know the learning needs of my very different children and tailor their experiences accordingly. One remarkable teacher brought in technical books from home to encourage reading from my mechanically-fascinated Kindergartener. Another developed a paper airplane aeronatics seminar for 1/2 graders when she saw that interest sparked in my son and his peers on a windy day. I could provide pages of such examples. Both of my children have grown into eager, curious students who analyze as habit, problem solve easily and explore constantly. Their academic success is awesome, but even greater is their love of learning. Socially, every aspect of the school emphasizes inclusion and as a result you see an unusual level of support and camaraderie among the students as well as the parents, faculty and staff. It is truly a community, a place where you can be confident your kids will be well cared for and where they will thrive. For these and many more reasons, I give the school my highest recommendation. See for yourself!
My daughter attended Friends School for three years of middle school after moving here from California. The caring teachers and principal, wonderful experiences and IOWA test scores attest to the five star rating. Although Friends does not offer high school they were able to provide an educational experience that allowed my daughter to be accepted by an excellent private high school where she has done well. I recommend Friends very highly and unreservedly.