Thank you for looking at Rainard. It is our belief that some of the reviews here do not accurately reflect our school. It appears that families who are unhappy, and especially if they were expelled or withdrew in lieu of expulsion, may be using multiple reviews in this comment area as an opportunity to vent their frustration at the unfortunate nature of their situation. We deeply regret a family leaving our school in this way. It is an unhappy decision, particularly as we consider the potential implications for the student who must leave. However, these decisions are approached with consideration for the school experience of all of our students. Rainard has improved consistently and significantly in the past several years - each year has been an improvement over the last. To the extent that a problem with the school is legitimate or appears legitimate we welcome and address such feedback from our community. Our school meets the educational, social, and emotional needs of gifted students. We do so each and every day on our campus. It is a happy and productive place of learning and we invite you to come and visit us. We invite you to learn more about our school and program at www.rainard.org.
March 06, 2015
This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
This has been an excellent school for my family. Unfortunately, it appears as though the school is being flamed in this comment area. If you are interested in the school I suggest you talk with folks about it. I am really happy with the school.
As a parent of a former student I feel I have to share my experience at Rainard hoping parents considering this school will be aware of some serious flaws of which I was unaware until after enrolling. First and foremost is a near complete lack of communication between my child's teachers and we parents. In order to have an accurate knowledge of what your child is working on and how he or she is doing it's necessary to have 1) past class assignments graded and sent home 2) present classwork assignments and/or homework and 3) a lesson plan of what will be studied in the future. At Rainard we got 0/3 of these. No lesson plan just loose "we may study this or we may not", no emails about what's being studied currently and only after repeated requests did we get any graded work sent home and then discovered it was incomplete. We finally got it all though...in June.
Some information was provided on a website but this was full of vague descriptions, few dates and inconsistent grading scales.
This lack of communication goes beyond the classroom however, things like field trips or class events will pop up out of nowhere or morph from day trips to overnight trips with just a few days notice. Very difficult if both parents work.
But one might put up with all of this if the education was worth it. My child entered Rainard ahead of grade level math and left Rainard behind in math, so no it was not worth it. Children need consistency and predictability in order to focus on schoolwork and parents need communication. All the chaos at this school is a serious distraction for students and parents alike, I would recommend looking elsewhere.
The School Official Point of View should be your first red flag when looking at Rainard. We read the reviews before we attended and were told that the reviews were from students who were not asked to come back. So, we fell for the company line and believed the other reviews to be false. We found out the hard way that where there is smoke, there is fire. The good reviews are here because they continually remind parents at meetings to go to Great Schools and post good reviews.
I would urge you to speak to parents who are NON BOARD MEMBERS before enrolling. See how different their experience is. Take the negative reviews seriously, because we ignored them then now can completely relate to some of their points.
The reality is that we wanted to believe the negative reviews were false because we wanted our child in a place that was perfect for him. Take the emotion out of the decision out and look at what the school actually is, not what you want it to be.
$15,000+ later we know we should have taken the negative reviews seriously.
Rainard has been an amazing experience for our daughter and us over the past two years. We had a high-ability, high-achieving child on our hands and the right school selection was crucial. We wanted a school which will nurture her intellectual ability and not prune it down within the confines of an artificial age limited curriculum. Rainard has given us that. We wanted a school which will meet her academic needs while grouping her with her age peers. She found that peer group at Rainard. We wanted a school with a small class size with individualized teacher attention. Rainard's class size of 12 provides that luxury. We wanted a school where the teachers were trained and experienced in gifted education and could academically, emotionally and socially nurture gifted kids. We found that group of enthusiastic, capable and caring teachers at Rainard. We wanted a school which encouraged independent thinking and an inquisitive mind. Rainard's encouragement for analytic thinking and supplementation with project based learning and educational and fun field trips provides that.
Parents have opportunity for daily interaction with teachers both at drop off and pick up. Core subject education is very well complemented by foreign language ( French or Spanish), music, art and physical education. Many after school enrichment classes are offered. The PTA is very active and involved. The school administration has been responsive and made many positive changes. This academic year has been even better than last year.
Rainard does not have the lavish building facilities of a well funded public school or a well endowed private school. But the school has retained a natural environment with many mature trees and plants and its a pleasure to see the children laughing and freely playing under a canopy of lush green trees. Due to its small total student body, Rainard cannot provide the experience for team sports. But many students are involved in active individual and team sports outside the environment of the school.
Our daughter has made excellent academic progress with an advanced curriculum and grown emotionally and socially at the same time with similar age peers. It's gratifying to see the smile on her face when she says she loves everything about her school. We highly recommend Rainard as an excellent school for gifted education and believe it's an oasis for gifted kids.
After much research, we looked into Rainard for our child, and we couldn't be more pleased. Coming from another private school where my child was stagnating academically, being here has been like a breath of fresh air. My child is learning without being limited by traditional grade level and age boundaries - and around a gifted peer group as well. The small size and low ratio of pupils to instructors ensure students receive a lot of attention. I have to "dock" a star because the facilities could use updating and because there has been some turnover during our years here. The school is a non-profit that doesn't have many resources, but truthfully, the spartan portable buildings are not ideal. They do a good job of sprucing them up, though, and making them cheery and attractive on the inside. Regarding turnover, the school is transparent about changes. I can attest that most core teachers have been with Rainard for years, but there have been some changes with some teachers and also clerical and administration changes too. I don't like that, but the school has quickly found competent replacements. I hope we've seen the last of changes, but thus far things have been good.
Many of the negative reviews here have nothing to do with "not being invited back." Most of the negative parent reviews are made by parents who were *begged* to return and chose not to because of the horrific conditions for the students. There was no begging the Board could offer to make us change our mind and return. Interestingly, our children were behind in several core subjects when they returned to a "regular" classroom. That speaks for itself. The teaching just isn't happening at Rainard.
The school turnover rate speaks for itself. Ask how many teachers return each year (for the history of the school), how many leave each year (get specifics for each year), how many students return each year, how many leave each year (I would guess it's about 50%),etc. then you can make an informed decision.