My children love going to school every day...to the point where they were upset to miss two days of school to go to Disney. I think that sums it up. I currently have two children who started in the Montessori program at age 3. For me, the Junior Level Montessori program (grades 1-3) is unlike anything I have seen at other schools and what sets the school apart. The children of all three grades are in an open classroom and work to both and help and learn from other students in their class. Independent work gives them ownership and accountability. As a parent of a child with some learning challenges, this has provided a challenging yet non-competitive learning environment. On the social side, for the younger children, the multiple age/grade classes is great. By the time they are 5 year olds, they will know their entire grade level, their entire class of 3-4 year olds, and all of the 1st and 2nd graders who were in their 3-5 class. Going to 1st grade is exciting to see which older kids they will rejoin. Sounds confusing in print, but it creates a very close community for the kids that also carries over to the parents. All in all a great school.
NFA is a little-known gem. Its excellent reputation is by word-of-mouth in this area of NW Philadelphia (and surrounding communities) among the generations of families who have been part of the NFA legacy. Among its greatest assets is its Montessori program beginning at age 3. Admittedly, I didn't know much about the Montessori curriculum beforehand (and the school could do a better job explaining/promoting), but it's an educational approach that is much needed in today's world. With my daughter now in 4th grade (and having completed the NFA Montessori program through 3rd grade), I am indebted to her NFA teachers for developing her critical thinking skills and passion for learning. As a sponsored work of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, the school maintains a more open-minded, spiritual approach to nurturing Catholic values and faith, which, in my opinion, is also much needed in today's world! At the same time, the school actively seeks diversity and has a larger percentage of non-Catholic families/students than other Catholic schools in the area. The current Head of School continues to build on her vision of the school, and the community of parents is active, engaged, and inviting.
I am the parent of 3 children currently enrolled at NFA. We chose the Montessori program for them to begin their education at NFA. We are in our 8th year there and have been so pleased with our decision to send them to this school. NFA has a very dedicated faculty and administration. The academics are strong and the social environment is welcoming. The student-teacher ratios have been ideal. The extra-curricular activities offer wonderful opportunities for students of all ages and interests. Their outreach programs and service learning experiences have afforded my children the opportunity to give back in their community and participate in events that have taught them about compassion and acceptance. I am a proud NFA parent that feels the investment we have made in their education is one of our best investments yet.
NFA is an outstanding school which prepares its students to go onto the next level of educational opportunities. They have an incredible array of co-curricular groups/sports for our children to join in. Especially wonderful in this day and age considering the cost cutting measures most schools are having to deal with.
Norwood Fontbonne is a great school with an amazing Montessori program. The students stay in the same class for the pre-school years (3-5) and then move up to the Junior level for 1-3rd grade, which creates a unique mentoring environment for the children. The students work at their own pace and the teachers are a wonderful balance of nurturing and fostering of the students' independence. The teachers are dedicated and you can see through their teaching that they have a true calling. The classrooms are spacious and open and the students have beautiful materials to work with. When we visited Norwood, we were blown away by the learning environment and the mutual respect of the teachers and students. I highly recommend visiting the school to see the classes in action. It's a very illuminating experience. We have been more than pleased with the teachers, curriculum and the community. Norwood has a very active parent association which raises a considerable amount of money for the school and for charity. Community service is also a focus which provides a great example for the students. The group is very inclusive and friendly.
NFA is a fine school, with dedicated teachers who uphold high academic standards as well as a broad and challenging curriculum. The relationship between the recently replaced Principal and parents varied significantly. Favoratism sometimes prevailed. In contrast, Mrs., Wood the new Head of the Upper School has an very good relationship with most parents and is not prone to favoritism. All of the issues regarding the past Principal hopefully in aqua pasada. Any attempt to portray the negative influence she had on the school environment and on enrollment is patently false. Just last week I encountered a parent of a student who transferred out because of the Principal. He will not be attending a Catholic High School because of his experience with said Principal. Thankfully, the SIsters of St. Joseph, with the Lord's guidance, have now set the school back on a the correct path. Parent involvement is excellent.
I would second the previous rater's description of the school's educational offerings and emphasis on Christian values and service. The animus indicated toward the departing principal is troubling however and leaves a misleading impression of the atmosphere of the school. No school is exempt from parental disgruntlement. To suggest, in a time of economic distress and shrinking family size, that the decline in enrollment is a direct result of the alleged personal failings of one person is to betray a strong personal bias that has more than a touch of vindictiveness itself.
NFA has a strong curriculum, caring teachers, and nice families. Hopefully it can start to heal now that a new principal is in office.
Norwood is an excellent school with a kind, smart teachers and good families. The current principal, Sister Jean Laurich, has been a strong leader who truly loves the kids. Fortunately, the parent who has caused the school the most grief is gone.
This is a school that has great teachers and a strong curriculum. Teachers go out of their way to help students learn the material.
My children have attended this school throughout their primary school years. Our total tenure is over 10 years. It is an excellent school with high academic achievement and learned, caring teachers. The diversity is actually quite good. The community outreach and service learning program, incorporating into the curriculum, distinguishes this school. NFA produces wonderfully educated, kind children. The children and families are great and parents have multiple opportunities for lots of involvement.
I went to Norwood and had a wonderful experiance they really prepare you for high school they helped me get into my high school of choice
My daughter is in the Montessori preschool program at NFS, and I couldn't be more pleased. The teachers and entire staff are so nurturing and supportive. My daughter has learned so much. The school provides a safe and suppportive environment for all students. I love the emphasis on values, service learning, and discipline, which are evident throughout the school. The curriculum is broad and challenging. The extracurriculars are great, every kid can find something to love.
Norwood provided me with an excellent education and helped shape my childhood. I highly recommend the school to any family who is interested.
As a student that attended Norwood-Fontbone and graduated in 2002 I would highly recommend Norwood because of the great education that your cild will recieve. There are plenty of extracurricular activities for your shild to participate in such as the drama club, art, CSC and sports. Parents are very involoved at Norwood, especially Family Fun Day. As a new parent I would sen d my child to Norwood.
Norwood Fontbonne provides caring and conscientious teachers who educate children in a nurturing but challenging way. The students love their school and have access to high quality facilities and extracurricular activities including most all sports, ,music, the arts and community service. My child loves the school, having transferred from another well respected private school. He is most happy with the friendliness of the students and their parents. An atmosphere which reflects that of the teachers and the administration. The athletics offering are extensive and of high quality. Both boys and girls have many opportunities to participate. The coaches are excellent and the level of competition is high. The Parent Association is very active, yet the parents who participate do not create a political environment. Parents contribute time, treasure and talents to ensure the continued nurturing, education and socialization of the children.
This school is top notch. My child has gone to this school since the first grade. It offers high quality academic programs. Music and art are taught in each grade from 3yr to 8th Grade. Extracurricular programs are diverse and offer children a wonderful assortment of well-rounded activities from sports, drama, ceramics, oratory, chess club, and Community Service Corp. Parents are very involved at Norwood-Fontbonne. The Parent Association is a vibriant and dedicated organization that provides the fundraising and fun and family oriented programs on campus. Each child is encouraged to do their personal best without being labeled as the smart or dumb kids. The teachers at NFA are highly skilled and work hard to bring out the best in each child. The principal is kind hearted and knows each child by name. The curriculum is challanging and the school technology is state of the art. It is a great school.
I attended this school from Pre-K through 8th grade some years back. I must agree with other reviewers that the education at Norwood is top notch in some aspects. The level of parent involvement is very high and the availability of music, arts, extracurriculars, etc. is great. However, one place that it falls very short is in the are of diversity. My experience here was that Norwood was lacking in diversity of almost any kind in terms of both studens and faculty. This is not reflective of the 'real world' that we live in (at least as I have experienced it) and I think the students at Norwood deserve better. thus although Norwood remains a top school it is more than 20 yrs behind the times in terms of diversity and multiculturalism.
This school is currently a good buy for the money. I've been around to other private schools to evaluate them for my daughter, and Norwood-Fontbonne Academy gives more 'bang' for your 'educational dollar'. It also provides a spiritual aspect which I felt that my daughter needed. The school is small enough to have your concerns heard and valued. The teachers are usually able to be contacted via e-mail, when you have a concern. I would recommend this school.
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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.
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