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The Swain School

Private | PK-8 | 320 students

We are best known for small classes and offering many opportunities to learn.

 
 

Living in Allentown

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $137,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $870.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
No new ratings
2013:
Based on 2 ratings
2012:
Based on 5 ratings
2011:
Based on 2 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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25 reviews of this school


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Posted October 5, 2013

We just began our second year at The Swain School and I am so glad we switched from the East Penn school system. We tried so hard to make the public school work for our gifted child, but they couldn't meet his needs. The gifted program in East Penn was 30 minutes 2 times a week. Furthermore, in class, they couldn't adjust work to be academically challenging. Mathematically, East Penn couldn't meet his advanced needs and were completely unwilling to make alternative arrangements for any gifted child. Kids are forced to learn at grade level only. The Swain school, however, accommodated his different levels in all subjects with ease, grace and open communication so that he was challenged within his class. The teachers worked closely with us to find the best methods to help an introverted child become a comfortable public speaker. For that I will be forever grateful. What they accomplished in one year of gentle encouragement was beyond my wildest hopes. I never thought I'd see the day when he would be able to stand up in front of students and parents and give a detailed presentation. It is important to find the right learning environment for your child. Luckily we did.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 7, 2013

The school is NOT academically challenging, with the exception of the science program and one kindergarten teacher. Reading material is grade level, not based on a child's instructional reading level. Reading (4th on) and math are taught as whole class instruction. Starting in third grade, they simply cut the class in half and call that differentiated reading instruction. Little differentiation in subject matters and there is simply no excuse due to the very small class size. Although math is taught a grade level ahead, the math instruction and curriculum are exceptionally poor. Bullying is rampant, especially among the girls. They simply don't know how to handle the bullying problem or don't want to anger parents whom they desperately need financially. Be wary of the promises made by the headmaster! Please don't be fooled by the picturesque building, small class size and rehearsed headmaster's speech. If your child needs academic challenge, you will be much better off at a public school with a gifted/enrichment program where they understand how to correctly differentiate and accelerate instruction.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 22, 2012

One of my children graduated from Swain, the other is currently in the middle school. During their time at Swain, I have been impressed with the intellectually challenging curriculum and the well trained and dedicated teachers. My children have been trained to think and create, communicate and analyze, and though the school spends no time on preparing the students for testing, my children have thrived when faced with standardized testing. In short, they are prepared to face what ever life throws at them. My only regret is we didn't start them at Swain earlier!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 1, 2012

Swain is a great school. It's a very "homey" and relaxed environment. My daughter LOVES to go to school here. I can't say enough about the administration - so friendly - yes, they greet you with a hug and with listening ears. They know your children by name. Teachers are very knowledgable and enthusiastic. Love the enriched curriculum, many field trips, afterschool activities, small class sizes (teachers really can connect with each child), the buddy system (my daughter knows everybody!!), wellness/peer education - (and bullying is NOT tolerated at this school), technology, community involvement, music instruction, lots and lots of family events ("there's always something happening at Swain"), parent involvement.... the list goes on. Great school to be involved with. Yes some wealthy folks are there, but not all are. The good thing is that among the kids, you just can't tell who is who - they all get along so well. As I walk through the halls I am amazed at how well the kids treat each other with compliments and such like. Great focus on kids. Yes, it is expensive, but money well spent. Highly recommended.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 17, 2012

Great School, Great People, Great Program. I have two children at the school -- for four years, thus far. We are very happy with the quality of the teachers and the program. My kids come home thrilled to be at such a great place. The program pushes them, undoubtedly, but the teachers are also there for them, are in touch with us, and welcome our appropriate involvement. Life beyond the classroom is great -- organic garden, excellent enriching field trips, and after school programs. The Leadership is experienced and knowledgeable, but some parents enjoy criticizing in ways that are not very constructive. The school is safe, nurturing, demanding in all the right ways, and very student-centric. I recommend Swain without reservation.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 3, 2012

Our two children love Swain. We havew found Swain to be safe, caring, supportive and nurturing. Both of my children at Swain have different learning styles and we have found that their teachers have worked hard to accomodatge their needs seemlessly and without making them feel anything but encouraged to face new challenges. The administration at Swain is also involved in the life of the school in ways that make families and students feel that we are all working together to give our kids the best possible experience.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 19, 2012

Don't be fooled by initial appearances! Teachers themselves report that if your child has any type of learning difference, you should keep looking because Swain is incompetent to handle it, and you will be pushed out. This is not a safe environment for kids. Wealthy parents who are big financial contributors dictate to the administration about how to discipline. Many parents are worse than the children with their behavior. The politics overwhelms the school "policies." Bullying is RAMPANT at all grade levels, and nothing is done. It is a business first, before education. Question the teacher's credentials. It is a shame because many good and caring children get pushed out because of arrogant, narrow minded bullies, who harass other kids daily, while the administration ignores it because of the financial assets they stand to gain by keeping these same bullies in the school. Parents dictate the rules and discipline and the administration jumps to their commands, in order to keep the donations coming in. It looks great on the initial presentation, but once you are on the inside, you realize who is really in charge. Enrollment is down, why? Not a healthy environment for any child.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 29, 2011

I have two children attending The Swain School and they LOVE it. My husband and I couldn't be more pleased with the school, staff, and community at Swain. Both of my children come home every day so eager to tell me what they did and what they learned. The love showing off their work. They can't wait to go to school every morning. The teachers are excellent. We are so happy to have found Swain. They do a wonderful job with our children!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 1, 2011

Swain Is a school for kids that want to feel free to learn anything, if you don't fit in anywhere Swain Is the place to go You feel loved and welcomed to express yourself and to be yourself


Posted May 8, 2010

Swain is a safe, comfortable environment where the teachers trust the students. Swain makes me feel like I am at home. Swain makes me think in a fun way. I used to go to a different school, and I despised it! Now, thanks to Swain, I love school! The way the teachers teach, instead of feeling like I am being forced to learn, I simply want to learn. Even if a student is having trouble, the teachers still believe in the students' ability to learn, and the teachers and students never give up. Do your children a favor and send them to Swain, because it is an awesome school!
—Submitted by a student


Posted January 7, 2010

My children transferred into Swain from another school a few years ago. Swain's faculty and staff did an exceptional job of easing that transition. My children went from hating school to loving it. Their ability to communicate has increased tremendously, as has their critical thinking skills. The middle school director, in particular, is incredibly in tune with the needs of each and every middle school child. Though no school is perfect, Swain is about as close to perfect for the family looking for an intellectually enriched environment that is value-laden, one that feels music, art, and drama are critical to the educational development of a child, and one where they recognize that teachers need to be bright and knowldgeable not just in how to teach but in what they are teaching. Strong leadership, bright and caring teachers, dedicated and cheerful staff ... Swain!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 13, 2009

I love it here at Swain and the teachers care about you. Everybody gets along with each other it is so fun!!
—Submitted by a student


Posted May 11, 2009

The Swain School has a mixture of good teachers, and bad teachers. Their curriculum is both enriching & challenging. I have been at Swain for ten years. Sometimes it can be a little tough, but other times enjoyable. The Middle School program is very involved with community service. Most people there are kind, but some of the parents can act slightly arrogant and get a bit too involved (as in practically following their kids to school everyday). But, hey, if you have the money, it's up to you! :-)
—Submitted by a student


Posted September 22, 2008

Swain truly delivers a top quality education in every meaning of the word. My son and his classmates have gained a love for learning and rich appreciation for the the world around them. More importantly, they have developed a keen understanding of themselves and the self confidence needed to succeed in life.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 14, 2008

I'm a current student and a 'lifer.' I've been at Swain for 10 years now. The school is good because of small class sizes, but stresses me out. The teachers can pile up on too much, and some teachers give a quiz a week. A parents might read this a think 'Oh, it's just some kid,' but I assure you that this review is my review of the REAL Swain School, and not the one that they advertise as 'perfect.'
—Submitted by a student


Posted July 14, 2008

My child has been a student at this school since he was four years old. He is now going into the fifth grade. We have found all of his teachers to be very nurturing and committed to providing an excellent education. He has scored exceptionally well on all national tests. He, also, has communicated his desire to stay at Swain all the way through eighth grade. Swain provides an excellent liberal arts educational experience to all grade levels. Teaching students for life and not just for the test!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 17, 2007

This school is amazing with caring teachers, and a brilliant student to teacher ratio. I have met my best friends for life there, and have learned so much there. I will recommend this schooll for anyone because of its warm enviroment, and the non-snobbiness of everything there!


Posted November 17, 2007

I have never seen such an amazing, challenging, and nurturing school as this one. Though expensive it is all worth it for a great education and a chance for my child to be so happy. I recomend this school to anyone, and everyone! Theere is no other place like it.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 11, 2007

This is the best school in the Lehigh Valley, though it is expensive. The people there are warm and loving and so is the environment they have created. The kids are all so content and happy and they love to learn. You could not ask for more.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 19, 2006

My two children are new to The Swain School this year. They are both challenged and nurtured and enjoy coming to school each day. The teachers have been amazing and the curriculum is both exciting and interesting to my children. The teachers really care and know my children. We are extremely pleased with The Swain School academic program and additionally impressed with the field trips, science, Spanish, music, art, and athletics. I highly encourage other families to visit and learn more about this gem in the Lehigh Valley.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
Hispanic 82% 7%
White 8% 74%
Black 6% 16%
Two or more races 3% N/A
Asian 1% N/A
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 0%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander N/A 3%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% N/A
Source: NCES, 2009-2010

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Gifted specialist(s)
Gardening teacher(s)
Dance teacher(s)
Cooking/Nutrition teacher(s)
Computer specialist(s)
Art teacher(s)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Nurse(s)
Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
Reading specialist(s)
Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
School social worker/counselors(s)
Speech and language therapist(s)
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by school staff Spanish
French
Chinese (Mandarin)
American sign language
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • None - the school offers no services
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs
Staff resources available to students
  • Speech and language therapist(s)

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Science lab

Arts & music

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Arts (all)
Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Textile design
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • Graphics
  • Video / Film production
Clubs
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Spanish
Staff resources available to students
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • American sign language
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Cooking/Nutrition teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Kitchen
Clubs
  • Girls on the run

Gifted & talented

Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
Staff resources available to students
  • Gifted specialist(s)
Clubs
  • National Honor Society
School leaders can update this information here.

School basics

School start time
  • 8:00 am
School end time
  • 3:05 am
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school: starts at 7:30 a.m.
  • After school: ends at 5:30 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • Todd Stansbery
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Phone
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 3 years old
Gender
  • Coed
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian
Associations
  • NAIS
Fax number
  • (610) 433-3844

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • College prep
  • Individually guided instruction
  • STEM
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Arts (all)
  • Global
  • Service learning
  • Social justice
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • None - the school offers no services
Foreign languages taught
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • None

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Cooking/Nutrition teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Gifted specialist(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
  • Reading specialist(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
  • School social worker/counselors(s)
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
  • Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • American sign language
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
  • Differentiated learning programs
  • Tutoring
  • reading specialist
Transportation options
  • Provided by public schools
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Auditorium
  • Cafeteria
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Library
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
  • Playground
  • Science lab
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
School leaders can update this information here.

Sports

Boys sports
  • Archery, Dance
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Lacrosse
Girls sports
  • Archery, Dance
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Field hockey
  • Lacrosse

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Textile design
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • Graphics
  • Video / Film production

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Diversity club
  • Girls on the run
  • Model UN
  • National Honor Society
  • Yearbook
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

No upcoming events found for this school
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School culture

Dress Code
  • Uniforms
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Present special topics during curricular units
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Volunteer in the classroom
School leaders can update this information here.

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TIP: Don't forget to ask about documents required for enrollment, such as your child's birth certificate, proof of address, or a record of immunizations.

 
Apply now
 

What are your chances?

Students typically come from these schools
public

What does it cost?

Tuition range for the 2013-2014 school year
$7000 - $19000
Vouchers accepted
No
Financial aid offered
Yes.
School-based aid
Tax credits

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
Moravian Academy
The Hill School
The Blair School
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

1100 S 24th St
Allentown, PA 18103
Website: Click here
Phone: (610) 433-4542

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