Tandem is great for many different types of students. It's a school that really allows everyone there to be themselves and learn to live in a community of respect and understanding. I've seen a few comments that imply gifted students do not fit in there--which I think is completely unfounded! Tandem is the kind of school where you get what you give. Any student who is willing to put effort into academics, sports, arts, etc. will leave with unique experiences that will inform the rest of their life.
for theatre, arts and language only Great staff, happy environment, best for struggling kids socially or those with learning disabilities or behavior problems. Average or gifted students will be fine in public school or other private schools with structured courses and rigorous academic standards (example- Tandem students may retake failed exams over and over until they get a good grade so as not to hurt the student's feelings). Gifted students are considered challenging. The math and science department is minimal. Graduates go to liberal arts colleges or have wealthy parents to carry them through life in other ways.
Tandem is an amazing school, I am currently a student there and I LOVE it. The teachers really get to know and understand the students and vice versa. I have many friends here and I would recommend it to anyone who can afford the tuition
Tandem is a special school, with a culture that reflects its Quaker values and an emphasis on independent exploration. It offers a sufficiently broad curriculum to challenge the academically gifted and motivate those who have learning difficulties. The teachers love their jobs and their students and the care they bring to their profession makes a personal difference in students' lives. It is a small school (200 plus) which has pros and cons. Financially, the school finds it hard to make ends meet, especially as it must compete with its much better endowed neighbor, St. Anne's. It is going through a growth transition where it must be careful not to lose its culture, values, and supportive, creative environment. If your child would flourish in a place where everyone knows his name and 12th graders are buddies with 5th graders, consider Tandem. If your child wants a football team and marching band and 40 different AP courses to choose from, this is the wrong place.
TFS is an academically rigorous school with a heart. The outstanding faculty nurtures the best in the students in a supportive, cooperative community. The new head brings great ideas and passion to 21st century education that is inspiring to the students, faculty and parents. In addition to the academics, the school places importance on community service and a student's life in his or her community. We are very pleased with the well rounded education that our child is receiving.
My daughter started here in 5th grade, and is now in 11th. She has had a fabulous education, and a great human experience as well. The community provides kids with valuable experience of understanding other people's needs as well as your own. The excellent new principal who started in July 2011 brings a new energy to the school, while continuing to respect what is already great about it.
We only have experience with the High School portion at TFS and have been VERY happy with the environment, the education, & the community. They really do try to teach students to think and stretch themselves and it IS academically challenging. The admin & faculty has worked wonderfully with us and our student to ensure he is challenged and has access to excellent instruction in science, math, language, history - you name it. There are plenty of AP classes and excellent college guidance. We are very pleased.
Much of the faculty works hard to help the students but the administration is an ongoing fiasco interfering with Tandem's functioning as a serious school. The social pressure from above at the school is rigid, and administration behavior is often hasty, unexplained and callous.
I used to go to Tandem Friends, and it was by far the best school I have ever been to. The environment is great, the classes are engaging, and the teachers really know what they are doing. I will always miss it.