My son has attended Rainard for 10 years. The teachers have all been passionate and inspirational! Learning is not only academically challenging, but learning is fun at Rainard. Students are with like-minded peers and don't want to leave at the end of the school day. They like to stay and hang out or talk with the teachers. My son has always loved going to school and never wants to miss a day. During a three-week DUKE TIP medical summer camp at A&M last year the instructor commented, "I don't know what school your son attends, but keep him there. He is receiving an excellent education - top of his class here at camp - and is a well rounded individual. Someday I'll be working for him." I highly recommend Rainard School!
Our student was always 'ok' in other schools. She made good grades and had a few friends, but it was never quite right. She was excited about learning, liked bugs and science, read voraciously, and wasn't terribly concerned with 'matching' the rhythm and rules created by the other kids. At best this meant that she was often isolated, at worst she was bullied. It was like watching a light go from blinding brightness to one that was struggling to fight the darkness. It took a few weeks of feeling safe and valued at Rainard for that light to return, but it did. We struggle to make sure she is getting everything she needs in such a small place, and the board has struggled to find a head of school that 'gets' the Rainard culture AND can keep everything in place for a K-12 school. Their new plan to hire co-heads to split and share the responsibilities has promise. It isn't perfect, but what school is? This one is certainly working to get as close as possible. If you have a kid who just seems to shine a little too brightly for the world around them, too smart, intense, sensitive, bossy, fast... come and check us out. I wish we had made it to Rainard a few years earlier.
This is a great school for students in the elite 3% of the population with 135+ IQ. My children have attended for 3 years and I am amazed at their progress. I have one in high school and one in elementary. The school uses a 3-year rotation of curri- culum so it really takes that time to get the benefits involved. My children have wonderful teachers who make up for the transitional history of administration. Sometimes change is good. The administrators are given short contracts by the board of directors for a reason. The board is a strong governing body made up mostly of lawyers and doctors. I trust their judgement but more importantly, I trust the teacher who would put herself in jeopardy to protect my child.
Probably worth waiting a couple of years and then visit Rainard to check on progress... The current admin cannot carry this school forwards as needed. My Child has attended this school for three years + and have seen much change but always for the better. I hoped this would continue but due to the recent treatment of parents and teachers we now have difficulty trusting the current admin/board. It has become almost an all parent board with current children, which is creating a non-objective and emotional environment that opens the school up to conflict of interest. Not good for the parents on the board and not good for the school proven in many recent decisions and results. The potential for a large switch out of admin, teachers, parents and kids for the next academic year is highly likely and should be considered when looking at the risk/reward for Rainard. Id wait and see how the next 1-2 years goes and revisit...
We are a long time Rainard family and up until two months ago, I would have recommended the school for anybody with a gifted child. While never perfect, the school worked with and listened to the parents. Very sadly though, I can no longer recommend the school in good conscience. The head of school firing was just the beginning. The board does not believe the parents can think for themselves regarding what is best for their child. The board has worked in secrecy until the point where they realized there was a mass exodus at the school and now they decide to try to share. Unfortunately, their direction they are only half sharing is not the best for our kids. They hire a co-head who is an amazing GT teacher but has no experience in managing faculty or dealing with kids older than 6th grade. The community, family feel of the school is gone. I truly hope Rainard can get back to the fabulous place they once were but until that time, please do your research if you are looking at the school.
My child has attended this school for several years and the changes in my child have been amazing. Yes, there are changes going on, but all good changes. Changes for the betterment of the school and the children that go there. Some of the Board members have children that attend this school and some have children that have graduated. It is a really special school for all grade levels especially when they are learning and playing together.
The Rainard School changed my son's life. After years in public school and being ridiculed and bullied for being different, he was welcomed and accepted by the community at Rainard. Saying that he has blossomed there is an understatement! Are there problems? sure....but there are in any school. We are confident that the changes being proposed at the schol will address them. The Board is made up primarily of parents from the school who are only working in the best interest of the students. When the new board was implemented last year, I don't remember any grumblings about the need for 'elections' etc, In fact, quite the opposite. The community seemed excited about the caliber of the people who VOLUNTEERED to step forward and serve. The Head of School was not doing his job and admitted to his shortcomings. Had everyone attended the Town Hall meetings this week, they would have learned the full scope of those 'shortcomings'. Our family is excited about the coming changes and look forward to another year at The Rainard School. I encourage all to come and visit the school, spend time in the classrooms and meet the people. It's an amazing place for a special group of kids.
I rate at 4 because there is some work to do, but the culture created by the teachers, students and parents is truly unique. Kids are not only valued by the staff but also by the other children. This aspect has to be seen to be appreciated. The Board has recently made some tough decisions regarding leadership that most agreed with, but some didn't. Unfortunately, some families, most of whom already intended to leave for various reasons, felt compelled to polarize the issues rather than work together on them. Prospective parents should do their research and ask questions. But if interested, you must see firsthand the accepting and collaborative environment driven by the teachers and students - that is what sold us several years back.
Rainard was a school that welcomed our family and made us feel at home. Until this year. At the beginning of the school year, parents were asked what they liked best about the school, and the administration was ranked number one in the responses received. Then, the Board completely upended the administration, resulting in the loss of the Head of School. Since that time, there have been many other losses to the community, teacher resignations, long-term families leaving. But the most important aspect of these changes for our family is that Rainard is becoming not a school for the Gifted, but a school for gifted kids with behavioral or other social issues. One of the reasons we left public school was to find a place where our kids weren't bullied, weren't required to deal with distracting or dangerous outbursts in the classroom, and where content of character mattered. We have not found this to be a guiding principle of Rainard this year, as the Board seems to be insistent on becoming a school for gifted kids who cannot function outside of this very narrow environment. If you are looking for a challenging academic environment for your well-adjusted gifted child, look elsewhere.
Rainard is a wonderful school for the student with a very high intelligence who may not fit in at traditional schools. There is no pressure to be popular or fashionable. It is a place where nerdy kids find their tribe and positively influence each other's academic interests. The school understands asynchronous behavior and works to make students feel okay about subjects where they might struggle. We are friends with many families of students and feel right at home with them, too. It has been a godsend for our daughter.
I sent my kids to Rainard over several years. The school is excellent and clearly meets needs that many schools cannot meet. If your otherwise bright, inquisitive child does not want to get up and go to school in the morning, then you need to seriously consider sending him/her to Rainard, at least for a few years, to get that "joy of learning" back. The only negative comment I can think of is sometime the parents (especially the inexperienced ones) did not always appreciate what they had and were constantly picking at the small things and could not see the bigger picture (kids happily learning in an educational setting). Still, the school was far more patient with these folks than I would have been! -- Happy parent of nerdy and confident kids
Rainard is the perfect place for our daughter. She is challenged, nurtured, and is allowed to think outside the box. We love this school and feel very fortunate that we found it.
The new headmaster is wonderful! He has really inspired the whole school community and added some excellent new teachers this year. Our son is pleased and we are really impressed. We would send our child anywhere else.
My son is a proud graduate of Rainard School. He struggled in public school even though he is a high achiever and always maxed testing. He was in pre-ap and challenge programs but thought the work was tedious and he was used as teacher's assistant. We tried home schooling but were not successful. When we found Rainard, we felt like it was the perfect fit and it worked for us beautifully. The teachers he had were wonderful. The founder and headmaster were lovely people and he still keeps in touch with them. Most of his teachers have moved on except for one and she is the best. If your child can start early in their program they will love it. Rainard's been educating gifted children for 26 years so there must be something special about it.
Rainard is the best place for young scientists. The lower school science teacher is the most nurturing teacher in TX. She saved my son from unnecessary meds and therapy. Try her science camp ( she even teaches in the summer). The outgoing director was not the best but there's a new headmaster who seems nice.
Public or private, there is no better school in Houston for those with high outlier IQs. It is not for everyone; but that is the point. If your child is in trudging through school and looks forward desperately to the one-hour a day, or one-day a week they may be pulled out for GT acceleration Rainard may well be the place for you. Kids are not gifted only during GT pullout time. They need a full-time program. They need peer group. The need teachers who see kids like these every day not just once or twice in their careers. Rainard has proven willing to meet head on the intellectual, social and emotional needs of this amazing population. The school has been a great blessing to our family. With the new head of school, the sky is the limit for Rainard. If you have one of these kids, please don t wait as other schools waste multiple years of your child s time by making them wait and wait and wait for the rest of the class. Is Rainard perfect? Of course not. But rest assured that you'll find no zoo chow here; let your cheetah run free.
We have a six year old who is starting her second year at Rainard this fall. Returning to the public school environment would be unthinkable. Last year, our daughter researched and presented several projects to the other students and parents on topics in zoology, botany, the human body and medieval castle building technology, all within the context of the school's theme last year of the Middle Ages. During evening bath time last year she told me the story of the Battle of Hastings and the start of feudalism. (That was even one of her spelling words!) She went on field trips to the Japanese gardens, museums of natural science and modern art, and to see plays in two separate venues. We were very pleased with the education she received and are excited about the new school year. We strongly recommend Rainard to parents who are looking for an environment to allow their gifted child to excel and not be held back while the other kids "catch up" in kindergarten. Rainard has a new head of school this year, with a lot of support and a plan to grow the school to reach more students. We're pleased with the direction and excited about this new year!
We have been thrilled with Rainard for both of our children. Our son has been there for three years and our daughter for one year. The campus is quaint and the staff is unbelievably caring. More importantly, our quirky kids have found friends at Rainard with common interests. The school serves a definite need in the community. It is not a traditional school, so it might not be for everyone, but for students who need a challenging environment with flexibility to learn at their own pace, Rainard is a great option. Although in previous years I would have given a lower school based on the leadership, the new head of school is fantastic! The school is really lucky to have him.
I am a current highschool student at Rainard, and I believe that it has turned my life around. Before I began attending Rainard I was living and recieving therapy for depression at a residential treatment facility it Utah. My schooling there was not that great and I feel behind in math. It wasn't that I was bad at it, I fell behind because I was only taught the basics. This RTC was not that bad, I have been to many schools in which the math was "dumbed down." This became quite apparent when I had trouble in Geometry because I had not learned how to apply the information I learned in Algebra I. I am doing quite well now here at Rainard where I fit in, not because I'm a freak or a nerd, but because I now have the ability to use my intellect to its full potential. If I had known about Rainard earlier in my life I would have been here in a heart beat.
This is my student's 8th year at Rainard. I previously wrote a glowing review because Rainard was truly a GREAT school, but that is no longer the reality. A serious word of caution to parents considering this school for their child...request the opportunity to interview the teacher of the class your child will be placed in BEFORE you enroll. After a chaotic classroom experience in 2009-10, we hesitantly re-enrolled after an unsuccessful search for an alternative. Our experience in 2010-11 has been an excrutiating disappointment and our family (including the student) has unanimously agreed that we will not return and may not finish out the school year. Huge disappointment...the joy-filled learning environment that sustained our first 6 years has been so distorted over the past 2 years that we no longer recognize it. Truly sad.
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