Ashbrook has it backwards. This school seems to have the misguided notion that students are very fortunate to have the privilege of attending Ashbrook. Wrong. It is Ashbrook who is very fortunate if a family elects to send their child to this school. I, along with many others, have decided not to have my child attend Asbhrook any longer, as there are far better private and public schools in town. We feel very fortunate to have figured this out sooner than later. It would behoove Ashbrook to remind itself that it is in the business of children. Thus, the decisions and actions of the administration directly affect children's lives, and caring for the students should be their number-one concern; it certainly didn't seem that way to us. I deeply regret that I subjected my child to this school, and I sincerely wish that I had not spent one dollar on an Ashbrook education for academically capable child. After the awful way the administration treated my family, and the alarming lack of care the administration showed for my child, you could not pay me to send my child to Ashbrook Independent School!
Ashbrook has been the best decision we could have made for our bright child. He attended a Corvallis public school for several years before Ashbrook. Although he did well academically, the classrooms were packed with students with very high behavioral needs, and he was rarely challenged. We also saw some significant gaps in his knowledge in subjects other than reading and math. The teachers were so busy with 34 kids, they really could not attend attend to ongoing science and history lessons. At Ashbrook, he has been challenged, and continues to love learning. He adores being in a classroom full of learners without behavioral issues. His teachers are organized and excellent, and he loves every one of them. Ashbrook is not for everyone, and they state that clearly from the onset. They have rigorous academic and behavioral standards, but if your child meets those, there is no place like it in Corvallis or the mid-valley in general.
Many teachers and families have had Alice in Wonderland experiences with this school. Be sure to read the contract carefully and understand its implications.
The school is designed for the academically precocious and infinitely compliant student. Not enough of these types of students apply so admissions is wide open and various drama results. The middle school is excellent for almost every subject, highly recommend grades 6-8. I can't recommend the lower school for any child, especially boys - it should be completely redesigned. Instruction in grades 1-5 is standardized test prep, worksheets in every class, extreme quantities of homework every weeknight, transitions too frequent, 2 teachers are very rigid and all about covering their curriculum rather than teaching the child in front of them, it's whole class instruction without joy in learning. Electives are good but too frequent (daily) and too short, chopping up the day into 20 minute blocks. The principal has no support from the staff as all but 2 requested another candidate be hired. The school has great potential and the middle school is worth looking at, just make yourself scarce and drop at the curb.
Lured by small class sizes and a beautiful facility, we were sorely disappointed to see our child's joy in learning disappear at this school. The bully administration does not follow written policies (instead, seems to make them up as they go, to suit themselves), and often treat staff, students and families unprofessionally and unkindly, at best. Valued teachers and academically excellent students have been let go or "uninvited" without sufficient warning or cause, leaving those remaining to feel fearful to speak up about obvious injustices or to voice concerns about anything. Instruction is NOT based on best practices and is definitely NOT student-centered. We even saw teachers use shame and humiliation as "motivation" tools for some students, which we found horrifying. As others have mentioned, money seems to be a bigger concern for administration than anything else. Those with a big leaf on the donor tree get preferential treatment. Think you can make up for a lack of funds with volunteer hours? Think again. Those that give the most are often treated the worst. We are so relieved that our child is now at another school, though recovering from Ashbrook may still take a while.
Ashbrook more resembles a business than a school. Its culture seems to value money ahead of the well-being of all of the students, and the school puts a great deal of emphasis on how much money each family donates (they have a "donor tree" on display in the lobby). The administration does not make decisions based on best practice and does not follow its own policies, nor does it seem to have the best interest of all of its students at heart. The teachers can be let go, and one recently was, and families can be not "invited" back without cause, which creates the culture of conformity and fear that a previous post mentioned. We chose Ashbrook for our child because of its small class size but that wasn't enough to make up for all that Ashbrook is lacking. I watched the joy of learning disappear from my child while at Ashbrook. Overall, I think the quality of the teachers and curriculum at Ashbrook are inferior when compared to Corvallis public schools. We wish we had never sent our child to Ashbrook! We recently asked our child what he thought about his new school and he said, "It is SO much better than Ashbrook!" Enough said!
Picking a school to provide the correct foundation for my daughters to begin their educational journey was by far the hardest decision I have had to make. There are so many factors to consider when choosing the community to provide the right tools, and culture to help my girls succeed in life. After interviewing many schools in Corvallis, and briefly experiencing one other choice, Ashbrook very clearly stood out above the rest. My daughters are thriving academically, being taught leadership skills, and how to work graciously as a team.They are encouraged on a daily basis by the administration, staff, and teachers to try new things, and think outside the box. They are allowed the opportunity to maintain self confidence in a safe environment, which in turn allows them to look for opportunities to contribute to fellow classmates. The parent community is outstanding.You can tell each parent has a vested interest in not only their child's success, but of all children who attend Ashbrook. I believe in this school and all it has to offer. I could not ask for a better school for my daughters to develop a love of learning that they will carry with them their whole lives leading to success.
Ashbrook is a wonderful pre-k, elemenary and middle school and I can't imagine anywhere I'd rather send my children each day. The classes are small enough that the teachers can spend a good deal of individual time to get to know each student. The special programs (art, drama, music, foreign language and PE) involve high quality teachers and top-notch facilities. The culture of community at the school makes our family feel extremely welcome and taken care of. Expectations for academic performance are higher than at local public schools, but for our family, that is a big plus.
If you are looking for a school with reasonably high expectations for your child, this is the place for you. The facility is beyond compare. Where else have you seen a biology, physics, and chemistry lab fully equipped for a middle school? Here students have specialists for every subject. The teachers are the most dedicated bunch of professionals you will ever find. Students get used to excellence and producing their best work. They graduate (in a very impressive ceremony showcasing their confidence) and go on to high school more-than-fully prepared to lead and do very well. I am impressed with all levels, each staff member, and the students on a daily basis. Is this a school for every student? No, only the very fortunate.
There is no place I'd rather be! Both of my children have been at Ashbrook since Pre-K. By the way, the best Pre-K program in town! Currently, I have a child in both Middle and Lower schools. Exceptional teachers who are experienced and caring, small classroom sizes, daily classes including foreign language, P.E. Music and Drama! Our new Principal is most qualified, responsive, understanding and passionate about AIS. Everything to Love - Ashbrook Independent School is a Must See! Proud Ashbrook Parent
I can honestly say that every dollar I spend on my children's education at Ashbrook is the best value I get for my money every month. The teachers are there because they are passionate about educating our children, socially, academically and emotionally. They go above and beyond every day and individualize their lessons so that every child is challenged, but also empowered. The staff stay there for years because the administration supports them and the families. The families stay there for years because the staff and administration do everything in their power to help their children reach their full potential. I've seen tears in the principal's eyes when she sees a child excelling after working so hard to overcome a challenge. The joy in the hallways comes from the teachers and the students--everyone is there because this is really where they want to be. Please consider a tour and see for yourself what an amazing community Ashbrook is.
Worst school experience ever. This school seems to care more about the donor tree in the lobby than the well-being of all students and their families. We saw awesome teachers dismissed or forced out without cause, while cheaper, inexperienced staff took their places. We saw children unfairly targeted and families asked to leave the school when they had done nothing to warrant such action. We saw the retiring principal usher her assistant into her the corner office, even though the former college cheerleader had only a few years of teaching experience, and then an even less experienced educator chosen as the new assistant principal. The board of only five people (including the couple who founded the school, the outgoing principal, and two handpicked parents) provides no real oversight, so admin does whatever it wants, whether according to policy or not. There is an emphasis on compliance and conformity here, as well as little tolerance for kids outside a very narrow behavior bandwidth. Most of the school s issues appear to be with young energetic boys (doesn t matter how smart they are), so steer clear if you have one. Looking for joy in learning? So were we. It wasn't here.
Very disappointed in this school which operates with a culture of conformity and fear. A beloved teacher let go without cause, leaving other teachers to fear speaking up. A 28-year-old with virtually no experience (2 yrs in classroom, 2 as outgoing principal's ass't and commute buddy) selected as principal, when far more experienced candidates applied for the position. A school board that is only 4 people (2 founders, 2 parents) that provides no real check-and-balance oversight. Compliance of students is most important. There is little joy in learning here. Parents and families are nice, but also afraid to speak up as they fear retribution from administration. I sincerely wish I had never sent my children here.
Our daughter began attending Ashbrook when we moved to Corvallis at the beginning of her 6th grade year. The experience has been wonderful for her. Great friends, great teachers, and great emphasis on study skills that will serve her well in later years. She'll be starting high school this fall at "honors" level in three core subject areas. The small classes (maximum 18 kids per grade level, (I think)) make a huge difference in the amount of teacher/student interaction and keep the kids on track. She has made good friends, and we have found the other parents to be involved, caring, and good people. Given our experience with Ashbrook, if I had other younger children, I wouldn't think of sending them anywhere else.
Our family is very happy with the school. Our children are thriving and being challenged --all while having smiles on their faces going and coming from school. The teachers are caring, smart and involved. We love the project based learning our children get to do! The students are lovely, bright and polite. We are pretty new to the private school environment and many of the families have reached out to us tremendously. The parents are caring, involved, intelligent, hard working and dedicated to their children and the school. And the big plus is that the school is not prohibitive like the $20- $23k per child like in Portland or California!
The school board, consisting of the 2 founders and 2 parents, has hired for principal a 28 year old woman with 2 years teaching experience and 2 years experience as vice principal. This after a short search and a process with no transparency. To complicate matters, her communication and social skills are severely lacking and she has had a chilling effect on the climate even as VP. Given this is the most important position in any school, why were more qualified candidates not identified, recruited, or hired? As a parent I would happily pay another 1k per child if that would allow the school to recruit a qualified, experienced applicant, and one who is well suited to the parent population of the school and the town. Other private schools spend a year or more on the search process for head of school. Why so little invested into this, most important choice? Being familiar with a school's teachers and students does not qualify someone to be head of school.
Most students and families tend to find friendships and positive connections in this school community, but there's a decided coldness here crowding out the warmth and encouragement I want for my child. The academic achievement at ashbrook has a lot to do with families' worth ethic and small classroom size, not enough to do with best practices, happy teachers, or unified collaboration. Retirements may eventually bring a sense of positive energy into the mix. A prior post mentioned a "joyless" atmosphere. I agree: we're moving on to greener pastures.
I love Ashbrook. It is warm and encouraging, has lots of nice teachers and good curriculum. I admit that it is a new school. But it focuses on important things, like independence and self honesty in the students. Go and check it out. The principal is awesome!
Go see Ashbrook for yourself before making a decision. If we had done that when we moved here instead of listening to what non-Ashbrook parents said about it we would have put all our children there, regardless of the expense. We transferred our youngest kids to Ashbrook from public school after two other children had less-than-ideal experiences at Franklin Middle School. We found Franklin controlling and stifling to their creative natures, even though these same children had thrived at a Core Knowledge school in another state. Ashbrook equally values the Arts and Sciences and provides varied and exciting educational experiences. Three families we know have enrolled their children at Ashbrook because of our encouragement to tour the school. While it is expensive compared to public school, you save college tuition because Ashbrook kids get scholarships. There are generous programs to help with tuition, too, so do not be deterred by the cost.
Not what I expected for the hefty price tag. The lower school teachers are stagnant and out of touch with new methods of teaching. Too much parent involvement instead of teachers and staff doing their jobs. This school is more about money than nurturing well rounded children. If you are looking for a great school with excellent curriculum and exceptional teachers and staff look at Franklin Elementary k-8. They go out of their way to treat each child as an individual and it shows. You'll find MANY ex-Ashbrook families there and they will all tell you it was the best decision they ever made for their children.
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