This school has so much potential. Unfortunately it was purchased from the original owners about two years ago. The original owners started this school about 30 years ago because they possessed a passion for providing a nurturing environment where children could receive top notch academics, gain self confidence and experience hands on learning. The new owners have zero experience when it comes to running a school and are in it to build a business. Neither have classroom experience yet they micromanage teachers who have many years of experience. Neither have ever worked in an elementary or middle school setting and they have no experience with curriculum development. They treat their staff horribly. They are disrespectful and demeaning to the point that 9 out of 12 teachers left their elementary and middle schools this year, along with several other staff members. They would do themselves a service to realize that families, whether they like them or not, are their customers. They lack the social skills to communicate effectively with parents and put blame on parents and children before taking responsibility themselves in circumstances where something isn't working for a child. It is always the family or childs fault. The owner/director speaks very negatively about families that she does not like or that she feels do not support her only because they have raised questions. Families cannot speak to anyone at the school for fear of her wrath. It is a very sad situation. The only hope for this school to survive is for them to find EXPERIENCED, COMPASSIONATE people to run the school, to uphold the standards of the original philosophy, to hire EXPERIENCED teachers (which they have not been doing), to treat them well and with respect, and to pay them well and provide health insurance for them. If this were to happen and if they were to step away and remain in the office, they would see that this school would flourish and easily become the best elementary school in Vermont!
There is a focus on respect and kindness toward others which is important and appreciated. It is only the academics that are sorely lacking and isn't that one of the main reasons we send our children to school?
The most idyllic setting imaginable for an elementary school. The outdoor component of the curriculum is wonderful. The opportunity for kids to be exposed to foreign languages at this age, great as well. Academically, you might as well send your children to public schools. Common Core! YES, Common Core. They tout differentiation. I have heard from several past families and families of older children that there was a significant amount of differentiation in years past. There are now new owners. They look to the Common Core and there is ZERO differentiation on a conceptual level. In any given class, despite differences in capabilities, children are learning at the same level and pace. WHY pay for private school? I have inquired with other parents in other grades and their responses have mirrored our experience. I always heard great things about the teachers in years past as well. They now hire very inexperienced teachers right out of college. If you have any concerns or complaints, you, or your child are the problem. They are not willing to take any responsibility. They want you to have 100% trust in them, and their staff. Yet they give you no reason to have faith or trust. Very, very disappointed!
We can not speak highly enough about this school. The teachers are top notch and the opportunity for each child to learn at his or her own pace makes this school a diamond in the rough. The unique learning experiences that are offered make this an education that can't be beat anywhere in Vermont and in very few places in this country. The setting is second to none. The new owners have implemented many new and positive changes. I can not recommend this school highly enough.
The Renaissance School has a lot of unmet potential. It's located on Shelburne Farms, which is so beautiful, and there is a collaboration between the Farm and school that is a great opportunity for the students. The teachers are passionate and dedicated. The leadership is what keeps this from being an incredible school. Unfortunately, the director lacks the skills that are necessary to effectively work with parents. Any concerns brought to the director's attention are brushed off or met with hostility. It seems because of the director's tight hold and lack of transparency, student's are not able to reach their full potential. Hopefully the school will become aware of these issues and make the changes necessary to allow Renaissance to be an incredible school.
We chose to withdraw our son from a top rated public school to attend The Renaissance School this year as we were dissatisfied with the public school s standardized curriculum and the lack of interest in differentiating its curriculum to serve the needs of students in the classroom. We have found at Renaissance School that academic differentiation is more than just a buzzword. Within weeks of the beginning of school, our son s prior knowledge, interests, and learning style were accurately assessed and his instruction was appropriately individualized. Assessments have been ongoing throughout the school year and successive adjustments to his curriculum have been ongoing as well. The personalized learning environment has served my son very well as he is both engaged and challenged as well as inquisitive and enthusiastic in his learning. The small classroom size and community feel of the Renaissance School have allowed our son to enjoy close connections with his both his teachers and classmates. Our son loves attending Renaissance. The Renaissance school has exceeded our high expectations.
Our children have grown up attending both Heartworks and the Renaissance Schools. We are so pleased with the Faculty and Staff, academics, language and arts, differentiated learning, school community and of course the location. This program has helped us to instill a love of learning in our children. They are fully engaged in their education and are excited to go to school each day. Shelburne Farms is an amazing setting for this school. The children spend quite a bit of time exploring the Farm, not only with their classroom Teachers, but with very knowledgeable farm Educators. They have learned so much about the history of this farm as well as hands on learning about so many facets of the earth. This is a well rounded program that does a lot of things well. Our children are happy, engaged and educated. We know that they are well cared for and are getting the education that we want them to have to be successful as they grow up.
Our children have been attending the Renaissance School for the past three years and this has been---hands down----their best year. The new owners of the school have made a seamless transition, and are making some remarkable changes to the school. The increased academic collaboration with Shelburne Farms has added a tremendous value to my children's education and well being. We couldn't be happier with this change. We made the transition from our public school, which is a highly rated school. We were pretty happy with the school, but felt our children were missing something. The Renaissance School offers a topnotch language program, art program, and rigorous academics. Every winter, my son looks forward to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on the farm. The Renaissance School has exceeded our expectations in every way. We feel very fortunate to have our children attend such a wonderful school and are looking forward to many more years at the Renaissance School, as well its middle school. Plain and simple, our children are happy.
It is with great joy that I write this review for the Renaissance School. As an administrator often working with the faculty and the many areas of the curriculum the new school year is developing so very well. The various members of the faculty bring such a variety of skills and interest that the students are in for a real treat. The classes are welcoming, the children so well received and with the small class sizes, every child learns in a respectful atmosphere with creative, rigorous academic pacing. With best wishes for another wonderful year of rigorous education delivered with much love, kindness and respect. Do come to visit the school and farm community.
This year has been such a great year for our daughter. Even though she started late, she was so warmly welcomed by her teacher and new friends. Her teacher is simply outstanding, and such a caring person who truly loves what she does...teaching different children at different levels, while making them all feel very special. My daughter learned to read, and quite quickly, and now reads everything in sight. She loves school, and adores all the teachers and staff. This is truly a special place, and we have been quite happy there this year.