This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Ashbrook Independent School1
Posted November 22, 2014
- a parent
We saw both positive and negative reviews about this school before sending our child here. Figured the negative reviews just weren't "fits," but discovered that this school does not have the best interests of all students at heart. Sorely disappointed and wish we had not sent our child here at all. This school seems more interested in the fund drive than in serving the needs of students. The damage done to some students is not worth the benefit to others. Children are not disposable!
We thought that we were making a sound decision by sending our child to Ashbrook. At the time it was the only practical way to get out of our rural home school district. But after 5 years, our child was miserable and the preferential treatment we saw of specific students by teachers and of specific parents was very disappointing. Our kid left last year without a tear and without looking back and is much happier in a public middle school. The staff seem to live in a bubble and say discouraging things about Corvallis public schools which is not true - these schools are well populated by high achieving children from university faculty and other demanding professional families. We cannot, in all consciousness, recommend this school until significant changes occur in the administration. The academics are good here, but so are the Corvallis public schools - if not better.
I have been a teacher and school counselor for over ten years, and I would not recommend Ashbrook Independent School. My child had an awful experience at this school despite being an excellent student and a really nice, well-behaved kid. I found the administration to be very difficult to work with and not supportive or responsive. Ashbrook's curriculum is not unique or challenging compared to local public schools; instead, it seemed inferior in some content areas as I had to supplement my child's math instruction at home to keep him challenged. I thought the school might have a better social environment, but that was not the case. Ashbrook has students with behavioral issues, and the school's small size makes it difficult to avoid certain peers. I chose Ashbrook because of its small class size, but the school felt a little too small. Most concerning to me was the lack of care the administration showed towards my and other children. The warmth and compassion that is so vital in a school is noticeably absent from Ashbrook. Be sure to talk to current and former parents if you are considering this school. I was personally and professionally very disappointed in Ashbrook!
Ashbrook is a truly amazing educational resource to have in our community. Schools of this caliber are typically only found in larger cities. The school offers an exceptional science, language, and arts program, in additional to thorough coverage of the traditional core topics. The teachers are dedicated and talented, the facility is exceptional, and the community is generally supportive. Ask parents whose children have gone through Ashbrook, and they will tell you that their children are very well prepared for high school and will frequently place out of many freshman level courses. Ashbrook is not and does not pretend to be a good choice for everyone. Students are expected to be intellectually capable, behaviorally well-adjusted, and self-motivated. Further, parents are expected to be involved with both their children's education and with the school. We have found Ashbrook to be an excellent choice for our family and would strongly encourage interested families to visit the school and judge for yourself.
My child had a fantastic experience at this school for 10 years and has really missed the quality of teaching since she moved on to public school. Today she said she wishes she could take middle school history all over again. That said be aware that AIS has experienced huge shifts in educational philosophy, teaching style, and teachers in the last few years with Common Core and recent administrations so it is very different from when my daughter went through. Talk with current parents and teachers to make sure it's a good fit for your family. There is now a very high homework load starting at age 6, transitions are every half hour, there is little time for science or history in the lower school given all the electives which cut into classroom time. There is zero parent voice in decision making and school improvement plans, and big changes are launched without any announcement, so be prepared to take it or leave it as is.
Our school is Ashbrook Independent School, having been a member of the Ashbrook community for 7+ years I think I have a broad perspective of the school, teachers, administration and board. While I'd always thought the education my children were receiving was stellar based on their achievements both academically and socially, I now have empirical proof that the framework\foundation received at Ashbrook makes a difference. I see it in every course my high school student takes - every time the grades come home - every time I hear about the peers in the classroom. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my high school student got where she is today because of the foundation received at Ashbrook. All communities grow and change - Ashbrook is a place for both - make a difference - join our community - you'll be glad you did!
I'm grateful for the many ways Ashbrook has both challenged and nurtured our children. They've thrived all along, growing up in that supportive and creative community; now they're confident teenagers, extremely well-prepared for high school and beyond.
vI have a junior in high school who went to Ashbrook from pre-K through 8th grade and a current Ashbrook 6th grader. Ashbrook has been the perfect choice for both of them. The school provides a rigorous curriculum, creative learning opportunities (e.g., arts, music, theater, and a whole suite of amazing electives not offered elsewhere, including fly fishing!), and a supportive and safe environment. Compared to other private schools of this caliber, the tuition is incredibly reasonable.
If you are looking for a school that has small class sizes and pushes your child to learn, then Ashbrook is the place! I have two children in High School that went to Ashbrook from pre-K through 8th grade. They found the transition into High school to be very easy. They were given the tools throughout lower school to learn to think on their own and be challenged in the classroom. In addition to the core classes, they were challenged in public speaking, performed plays and a foreign language. Most importantly they learned what it takes to study to give them a leg up when they entered high school. I would recommend Ashbrook for any student who is motivated and wants to excel.
Not every student has a great experience at Ashbrook. My child has qualified for the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth and has been identified as a gifted child. My child is a leader in Scouting. My child is still recovering from the poor even nasty treatment he received from the teachers and administration at Ashbrook. It's not always about "fit", but sometimes about those in charge.