This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
The Briarwood School5
Posted January 30, 2015
- a parent
The Briarwood School has changed my family's life! Our son has ADHD with underlying language deficiencies. He attended both a public and private school for elementary school and both failed to meet his academic and emotional needs. We moved him to Briarwood for the 2014-2015 school year and it has been the best decision we have ever made for him. It is a supportive and happy school environment that has allowed our son to shine. It has far exceeded our expectations. The teachers are amazing. They work with each child based on their needs and where they are academically. As the child is ready, they will advance the work to continue their growth. If you have a child with special needs and he or she is struggling in their current school, you need to consider Briarwood. You will not be disappointed!
Briarwood is a business. They are happy to take your tuition money for your kid, even if the kid doesn't fit their "profile". As soon as they have a more "suitable" child, your contract will not be renewed. This is what happened to my daughter. Contracts are one year, and it is NOT guaranteed that your child will continue up to the next grade. Administration NEVER mentions this during any presentation or on their website. Do not expect that your child will continue up through high school, which is what we expected!
Mainstream kids with dyslexia are the children who do well at Briarwood. All others, parents beware! The teachers, curriculum and administration are inflexible when trying to help your kiddo. They DO NOT take parent input. Parents are involved in fundraising etc but they are not welcome to be partners in the "process". It seems a shame because with a little more flexibility it would be a great school.
I truly appreciate that Briarwood meets my sons needs with the Orton/Gillingham approach and small class sizes. The first grade has only 2 students who are taught on their own level and they are combined with two kindergarten students for certain parts of the day but receive individualized instruction. Most of the older classes have 8 students. The students have multiple types of diagnoses along the spectrum of learning and attention problems, but they do not take children with behavioral issues so I know that my son is in the right environment for him with other children who he can truly relate to. I love that he has the opportunity to fit in and exhibit social skills and interactions that were sorely missed at his previous school.
Briarwood School gave our son back to us. After struggling with another private religious school that kicked us out because they would not support his dyslexia, we went to Briarwood. He is dyslexic with some short term memory problems. From the beginning the faculity, staff and our son worked extremely hard to get him caught up. There was no extra after school tutoring or him getting to school early to catch up. All of it was done during the school hours. There was no 3 hours of homework every night. There was no stress and him not wanting to go to school. He loves the school and since starting he doesn't want the summer vacation to start. He is now above grade level. The prior school did not want to take the time to learn what would help him. A little help and a lot of love have him at the top of his class. If you listen to the staff and faculty and follow their program it will work. Trust the process.
As a former teacher of this school I can not speak enough about what goes on here. The teachers and staff all care for the children and stop at nothing to help them succeed. Having now taught in both public and private schools, this would hands down be the best place I have ever had the privilege to work in. During my time at Briarwood I was able to help so many children overcome obstacles that they were facing in the traditional classroom setting. Together with my co-teacher we were able to help these children phase back into the public schools and feel that they were going to be successful. I'm not sure why the other teacher felt like they had such a negative experience. Every teacher I knew believed in each child and wanted them to be able to lead a normal educational life. Should my child ever need such a school (he's 2 currently) I would absolutely send him to Briarwood.
I wouldn't send my child here. As a former teacher at this school, I know that they do not believe in the students they teach. In teacher conferences, they discuss how middle grade students would never be able to attend college and I would be reprimanded when I would remind others teachers that they have no idea what a student may or may not be able to accomplish. Also, the majority of their teachers have little in the way of prior experience or traditional education or training in working with learning disabled students. Its a shame that this seems to be the only school that focuses on students with learning differences in the Houston area. Send your child someplace that might actually believe in his or her abilities and then stay constantly involved in their educational environment.
Former student here. I loved Briarwood. It was the best school I attended. Now, I now some people said it was not challenging. That is because Briarwood is meant to be a school you attend for a few years, then move on to a more challenging school. That is what I did. After Briarwood, I got into one of the most competitive school in Houston and did well there. The teachers I had at Briarwood were all great. They cared, they made sure you learned and they were excellent at encouraging each child's unique interests. I loved the years I spent there and thank them for my current success. I'm in grad school now and I doubt I would be here if it wasn't for Briarwood.
This is my first year at Briarwood and I think it's an awesome school. The teachers actually care about helping you learn. The sports teams are great because the coaches try to get everyone to play in the games. Yes, Language is a boring class, but I think Briarwood is awesome so far!
My son is dyslexic and has auditory processing issues that have made learning hard for him all his life. After experiencing frustration of having our son tracked early in public schools we knew we had to make a change. Our son graduated this year and will be attending a 4 year college. Challenging? I feel every educational experience can be challenging depending on the student and how much they want to be challenged. Without this school, my son would not be where he is today. He has obtained lifelong skills of self-advocacy, self -esteem, and a thirst to do his very best. Five stars is not high enough for the quality of this school.