We chose FWA because it truly offered a personalized learning approach for our son. More than just the words in the brochure or the presentation, they delivered on all of their promises. Our son showed up as a shy, quiet boy and left FWA with self-confidence and a great foundation with which to continue his learning. He is now graduating from high school, after coming a member of the National Honor Society and is on his way to Curry College outside of Boston with a significant merit scholarship. FWA is a gem within the Fort Worth Educational Community--there would be other place I would have my children go.
I have three children, now ages 12, 14, and 16. I started all of my children in a Jewish pre-school that went through kindergarten and transitioned them to Fort Worth Academy in first grade. Before choosing Fort Worth Academy for our oldest child, my wife and I visited all of the local private schools that had no religious affiliation. Since we are practicing Jews, the local Christian schools were not an option for us. After visiting the secular private schools within a few miles of our house, we selected Fort Worth Academy. The experience has been terrific. Our children has have learned a great deal. My older daughter had an excellent foundation for the Honors Program at Paschal High School, where she is now. Fort Worth Academy is flexible in the way it addresses the particular needs of individual children. Our children are all different. Our middle daughter is academically gifted. She was way ahead in mathematics. The school recognized that talent and accelerated her a grade level in math a couple of years ago.
We wanted our children to study Hebrew language, in addition to Spanish. About 12years ago, a Hebrew language programs was established as an extra-curricular, non-credit elective. My wife and I took over the program 10 years ago (when our oldest daughter enrolled) and it continues. 8-10 students participate each semester, not all of them Jewish. Fort Worth Academy provides free space for a Hebrew teacher to teach Hebrew language 2 days each week for families who want it. The teacher's salary is paid by parent contributions and by support from the local Jewish community. The Administration works with us coordinate the Hebrew program with the regular school schedules of the kids who enroll. The flexibility and cooperation is gratifying.
For a small school, Fort Worth Academy had a good athletic program. All of our children are athletically active. My older daughter played volleyball and basketball at Fort Worth Academy. She now plays club volleyball and plays for Paschal High School. Our younger daughter played volleyball for Fort Worth Academy. She now plays club volleyball and also wants to play for Paschal. Our 12 year old son plays basketball and baseball, while also playing baseball for a Little League team. Fort Worth Academy has helped all three of our children develop as athletes and as sportsmen.
Some are better than others, which true in any school, generally they are effective. Different students react different to different teachers, which normal. My son is very fond of his history and science teacher, who is also the basketball coach. He has learned a lot in both subjects.
My son came to Fort Worth Academy in the 3rd grade; we had moved from St. Louis, the place he knew as home. The transition was challenging, but my boy is not shy and approached the school's amazing head, Bill Broderick, and shared with him his former school's great project, THE EGG DROP. Suffice it to say that the school is now celebrating its own, very innovative fifth year doing an egg drop. What is significant about this experience is that the Academy, and its amazing faculty and staff, are responsive to the innovative spirit of its students. This experience not only helped my son feel more a part of a new school, but he had the chance to actually do the work and to demonstrate how to be a leader and a follower all at the same time.
The Academy has been a fantastic learning environment for our 3 children. We love the teacher and the parents! Our kids learn how to deal with technology. The parents also learn from experts (lawyers, technology specialists) how to help children use technology in a positive way. This is so important because the world our children live in is so different from the world in which their parents grew up. A few years ago our oldest child graduated. When you graduate from FWA, you are heavily recruited by premier private and public high schools. When she graduated she had several options on where she could attend high school. She was accepted at both Fort Worth Country Day and Trinity Valley schools. She was also accepted into the Paschal Advanced Academics Program (formerly known as the Scholars Program). She did extremely well her freshman year of high school. She attributes that to being very well prepared by The Academy. Her parents totally agree! Do not let the K-8 model scare you. It is a natural break for kids to move on after 8th grade. During their "senior year" the students feel like they are "big men/women on campus." We have had children at FWA since 2006. It has been wonderful! We wouldn't change a thing about it!
Right away we were impressed with the professionalism of the administration and faculty. We also love the small classroom environment. The student to teacher ratio is 12:1. That's important for our daughter who is initially soft-spoken. Children with this personality are often labeled with learning disabilities. However, at Fort Worth Academy she discovered her love for entrepreneurship, and this discovery became a motivator. Our daughter found another way to engage academically. As a result, we learned how to motivate her in the learning process at home. We also discovered different ways to motivate our other children educationally. The personal attention she received was an important step to determining how she learns.
If you want a school where the administration and faculty care about the whole child while maintaining a competitive academic experience with a personal touch and high parental engagement, look no further!
I have two children at Academy. Our experience has been very positive. We moved them to Academy lower school from a public elementary so they could benefit from the small classes and engaged teachers. We've found the curriculum and homework to be challenging but appropriate. There is an open and fluid feel to the school- students are challenged to their individual abilities but they are also allowed to be kids and their unique interests and backgrounds are respected and seen as a strength. The headmaster and staff strive to be innovative and forward-thinking which translates to students who think outside the box and who are valued for their unique contributions.
The school has the reputation for taking kids that no other school wants. Lots of behavior problems. Teachers aren't given the liberty to discipline. Not structured enough. Kids have too much freedom. Principal defends any action that happens regarding staff. Will not accept constructive criticism. Has two sides to his personality. Sadly, money talks at this school. If you aren't donating, then you aren't key to the success of the school. Too much emphasis on computers for everything and less emphasis on handwriting. Computers are always needing work. It's unfortunate the way it is run, as there are some very good teachers there that have their hands tied so to speak. My advice is to look elsewhere.