No school is perfect, but some classrooms are. While I sometimes roll my eyes at the administration, my children thrive in their classrooms. They enjoy school (one in lower el 2nd grade, one in upper el 4th grade) and are doing great academically. Because they don't get grades, I pay close attention to what they are working on compared to their friends, who attend some of the best public and private schools in Houston. They are right up there with the level of what they are learning, but with no constant homework and no standardized testing stress. My older child was diagnosed with ADHD in 3rd grade and the school was extremely supportive. In fact, I feel certain that with or without this diagnosis, he would have been branded a "bad kid" in traditional school and probably stigmatized. School of the Woods has worked with our family to find his strengths and capitalize on them, rather than constant punishment. We are very happy and look forward to continuing on through middle school.
My child was a student there and had a teacher that was very unprofessional. She yelled at him about his ADHD medicine not working well enough and told him that if his doctor didn't get his medication right, he was going to be kicked out of the school. When I picked him up that day, he was in tears. He was eight years old at the time. I couldn't believe that anyone would say that to a child. Needless to say, he's no longer there.
The admissions director was so rude over the phone that I wouldn't ever consider this school. I shared a delicate circumstance with her and there was no compassion or consideration. Only a negative dismissive attitude. The other Montessori schools that I called, although also at capacity, were empathetic to my situation and tried to make helpful suggestions. Not the case with School of the Woods. Very disappointing. It made me choose one star. I would have given zero.
I am a Parent of a student at School of the Woods. When I stumbled on this site I was surprised by several less than good reviews. My son has gone to school of the Woods for 7 years and is now in the high school. The school is less than perfect... as are all schools. But, the school is very strong academically and its students go to colleges and universities all over the US. Every year since we have been associated the school has one or two students who place as National Merit semifinalists or finalists. NOTE: This with a high school of less than 70 students. Those are exceptional percentages. The educators here are some of the most devoted and still learning educators I have ever met and I never cease to be amazed at the level of instruction and the way the students are pushed beyond what they think they are capable of. I am very surprised that this site allows people to post reviews when they have no one at the school. You can literally post (and one does) "I read this isn't good because of ... and I wouldn't put my kid here." Instead of Parent or Teacher, etc. It should say Parent of a student or Parent of a non student with no knowledge of the school.
My son started at School of the Woods in the first grade and just began High School. I've read the other reviews with either glowing comments or vitriol. The facts should speak for themselves: In all the time we've associated with this school no child that I know of was ever dismissed unless they failed to finish their grade level work. My son received an invitation to attend Duke Tips (Duke University Talent Search) due to his high standardized test scores. He had to take the SAT as an 8th grader. He scored in the 75th percentile. They must be doing something right. At Duke, my son assimilated into a traditional teaching environment with ease and was lauded by his professor for his love of learning. Parents can be as involved as they like in a number of activities. Never have I felt that information was not forthcoming or that a teacher or administrator did not want to talk to me. In fact they bent over backward to assist him in getting set up to take the SAT. This is Montessori. It's designed to foster a love of learning and part of that is students teaching students. They don't move on until they demonstrate mastery.
I toured this school for my middle school aged son. The classroom I visited was very busy, with the kids on task and doing what seemed to be age/grade appropriate work. I saw three teachers working with different students, mostly on math. I asked about standardized test results and was told they don't share that information, I wasn't given much information about the school, their programs, what their goals are; etc. I heard they have sports but wasn't told anything about a sports program. In general, I was impressed by the classroom, but don't feel like I was given enough information about the school in general to pick this as a good choice for my son.
My daughter started going to school of the woods since she was 2 1/2 years old. This year us her second year in early childhood. She loves learning and enjoys going to school. We noticed that she is more confident and wants to be independent. Overall, we are happy with our choice to put her in school of the woods. My husband and I just completed the montessori journey training this weekend. It truly opened up our eyes to the possibilities of a montessori education. We now understand it much better and plan to keep our daughter in it till high school.
I am extremely happy with the school so far (EC-elementary levels). Almost all of my family members and extended family are/were teachers at traditional schools and we are happy with what we see. The atmosphere is great, the teachers are knowledgeable, and I see that children truly enjoy learning. The school pays close attention to child development stages, which is a big plus to me. They are also good about unstructured play time, which, I think, traditional schools lack. Wonderful art and music programs (most public schools cut those due to budgetary problems). And, what's more important, I see the steady academic progress that my child shows.
The school has been a wonderful experience for my children. The faculty and the environment foster personal responsibility and preparation for life long learning. It develops more that test scores; it fosters creative empathetic people who can make a contribution to the community.