This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted November 06, 2014
- a parent
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.
My kids are attending the Renaissance School right now. They love going to school each day and thoroughly respect and adore their teachers every year. Most days my kids come home excited about what they have learned and can't wait to share it with me. We are planning to stay as long as possible. The teachers are highly qualified and rarely is there only 1 teacher in the room. Support staff, owners of the school and the principal are often helping in the classroom. The Renaissance education is one of old fashioned Reading, Writing and Arithmetic, What sets this school apart are the farm chores, peace meetings and kindness in the school. I like how the teachers are preparing the students for a greater responsibility for their own success. Homework is given at the beginning of the week with assignments due daily, however they can work ahead if they have extracurricular activities after school. My daughter now learning how to plan her week for soccer practice and not have to be stressed out on that evening. Recess is held on a big open field where the kids play many games. The Parent group is also an active participant in the school for parents to be more involved.
This school has such potential to be an amazing experience for young children, but falls short in many areas. The fact that it is located on a beautiful estate with a working farm makes it quite appealing to the upper class of parents that are looking for the prestigious, private school experience. Most parents are uninvolved however, and would be quite surprised at how different the actual classroom experience is from the school tours. The school tends to be a bit disorganized, unstable, indecisive, and at times inappropriate. The accelerated curriculum and lack of daily rhythm can be a bit heavy for the younger ages. It is nothing like the preschool atmosphere, and was quite the disappointment.
Renaissance School does an acceptable job in the primary (K-2) grades, but their performance declines with each subsequent grade (3-6). Pros: small class size (<14), location on a working farm, strong foreign language program, 'flexible' curriculum designed to work with students at their level. Cons: many gaps in curriculum, lack of leadership and accountability, lack of knowledge about education in general, scarce resources despite being private, lack of involvement/engagement of parent community, very poor math outcomes, extremely high teacher turnover. And that 'flexible' curriculum they tout is just an excuse to be lazy and give the kids workbooks so they can work independently. It is really a shame, because the concept has so much potential, but it is not executed well. The public schools in this area are far superior in almost every way, but Ren can be a haven for the socially awkward.