My son has been at Merritt for almost three year in the preschool program. His teachers have been excellent every year. The administration is open and available to talk whenever I have had a question or issue. During the winter season they are usually open when county is closed so I don't have to miss work. I couldn't be more pleased with the experience.
My daughter attends Merritt and has been in the school for 1 year. While she's only 2 1/2 years old the amount of knowledge she's gained this past year is amazing. The younger students aren't in the typical daycare setting, it's actual school and she loves it. The faculty and staff are friendly and truly care about student achievement and the overall academic environment. Weekly newsletters keep you informed of all that happens in the school and the active PTO makes the school so much better.
We have two daughters at Merritt Academy; both our girls and us love the teachers and the administration. Any problems that have cropped up are addressed professionally and efficiently by the administration. I highly recommend Merritt -- especially the infant / preschool programs.
We are very satisfied. Our daughters have been attending Merritt for eight years. It has been an outstandingly rewarding experience for the entire family. Merritt provides a well-rounded academic and character education. Our daughters are thriving and very happy due to a combined team of professionals at Merritt who partner with us as parents. Our children have performed very well on the IOWA, SCAT and SBT tests. We attribute these successes in large part to the valuable Merritt education. Our children love school and have developed into very confident, caring, and respectful individuals. The values taught, demonstrated, and built into the core of all aspects of the school are unique and priceless. Merritt has many special programs and milestones at each developmental stage. The intergenerational program is very unique and not provided anywhere else. The arts are a wonderful part of the school. Merritt provides a well-rounded, affordable education.
I have two children at Merritt who have been going to this school for 4 years now. We are very happy with this school: academically (both children rate much higher than the national average according to the IOWA test performed annually and one of them is in the honor's reading program) and socially, both kids have great friends and are constantly involved in different challenging activities. The school listens to the parents' concerns and is very open to any ideas or suggestions. I recommend this school to any parents who want a quality education without paying the exhorbitant tuition seen at other private schools in the area.
Merritt has been a wonderful, enriching experience for my son. He has been able to grow socially, developmentally and intellectually since K4 and he is now in 4th grade. You have direct access to the leaders of the school and the teachers really care about your child as if they were their own. They are also very aware of food allergies which alleviates worries for parents. Merritt is a great place and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a great, positive and academically challenging school.
Merritt Academy has provided a wonderful learning environment for its students. My son has attended Merritt for two years. Through several school-wide transitions, the children seem to be a priority in every area. As in most private schools, there are many of my peers (parents) who think that because they PAY for tuition, that they should have have their way! This is an unrealistic expectation and frankly is a problem. Those who have something negative to say are those parents who want their children to be treated differently or special, although all of the children are special. It's unbelievable that people can ignore the phenomenal education that children are receiving and can so easily focus on the negative. We will remain at Merritt and look forward to more and more experiences that our child can treasure throughout his life, like the ones that he has had thus far!
Merritt went through rough times a few years back, but I feel it has made a strong comeback. It is a good value. Merritt has an excellent team of middle school teachers in place and I think that both the new director and the principal are doing a great job. Unlike public junior high schools, there is no marijuana at Merritt and the school is bully-free. Although Merritt has very small enrollment, they don't allow bullies to return the following year (even if the bully has 3 younger siblings). Merritt is also a great place to be a big fish in a small pond. My daughter (a very good soccer player) was a great soccer player at Merritt. Only playing for Meritt could she have scored 7 goals in a game. Merritt has been great for my children's self-esteem and the small classes are great.
I love my school so much. I've been going there for about 7 years and will continue until I graduate. It focuses on character and academics mostly and I get lots of education.
Potential parents beware!!! As a former Merritt student parent, I would strongly urge you to do your homework before sending your grade school child (ren) there. I would agree with other comments posted that the Preschool program is good but the grade school is another story. Lack of communication, poor administration, no stability with teachers, and not enough students. The decisions made by the administrators don't seem to be in the best interests of 'ALL' students. The focus is no longer on students and families which the school prides itself on. For a school of character I don't feel as the actions/decisions support the mission.
I have four children and 3 goes to Merritt Academy. We pay too much for the academic learning they got. We decided not to continue with Merritt; due to the poor adminstration and their poor quality of their academic standards.
My child is in pre-school. He has academically developed so much ever since he started going to this school. The teachers work very hard with every kid in his classroom, even the problematic child and are not afraid of giving the parents their honest opinions even if they are bad news to parents. They strictly follow their set lesson plans and yet give the kids enough time to play, and teachers show affections to every kid. I really appreciate their honesty and their effort to guide my kid to grow into a well-mannered and well-educated person.
Merritt Academy has an excellent academic experience and is doing much to respond to parents needs -- but you never make everyone happy. For example, Merritt groups readers in different categories, the best readers together, the medium readers together, etc. Parents complained that the kids in the slower reading group felt 'bad'. These types of issues vex school administrators. I personally send my child to private school to excel -- and she currently scores two grades ahead in the VA state testing and on her Iowas. That's what I'm paying for. I'm also paying for a nurturing environment with positive discipline, attentive teachers and a responsive administration. It's a small school and they seem to be responding very well to me on these issues. My daughter is happy, doesn't want to leave school and is achieving great things. She has great friends and she is in great hands every day.
Our child, a first grader, has attended Merritt since she was two. The pre-school is top-notch, most of the teachers have been there for years, they're very good. Kindergarten, and so far first grade, are equally well-recommended, and we've been very pleased with our child's development. I'd favorably compare her education with our public school, as well as the nearby private options, nearly all of which are significantly more expensive. The grade school has seen some problems with staffing and some boneheaded decisions by the administration. But, at this point, at least through the fifth grade, that seems to have settled down and the school is in a good groove. Perhaps its a sign of the times, but the administration is definitely working hard with parents, moreso that prior years. We've known several parents who tried other options and came back. Most of all, my daughter is happy.
Our two children attended Merritt Academy for many years. Unfortunately, we echo the comments posted on September 9th, 2008. They are exactly correct. We have removed our children from the school. The school administration has evolved over the last several years from excellent to nearly dysfunctional. Parents have engaged in open dialogue with the administration to address the major issues, but neither the principal nor the senior staff are willing to correct the school's shortcomings. Until these individuals are replaced, I would recommend to prospective parents that they look elsewhere for their child's education.
With the change in leadership at the beginning of the 2007-2008 school year Merritt had real problems both academically and environmentally. Teachers were changed in the middle of the year, sometimes without warning, and in one case students were not allowed to say goodbye to their teacher, causing confusion and fear . The school has hired inexperienced young teachers and failed to provide the mentoring to teach them how to control a classroom and teach effectively. Teachers resort to yelling at children. Academics past second grade have been weak, failing to prepare students even to go to the public school classroom. Teachers are moved from grade to grade rather than being dismissed. OK for Kindergarten through second grade, but not higher grades.
Poor experience, high teacher turn over and administration turnover. My son would be entering the 6th grade and each teacher from pre-k through the 3rd grade are no longer with the school. They are on their 3rd principle in 6 years. Only 11% of the staff have advanced degrees and teachers like to yell togain control of a student.
Our son has had a wonderful K4 and Kindergarten experience, both academically and socially. As a parent I am especially delighted by the early curriculum in reading and written language. The printing demands for a 4 year old in K4 were developmentally advanced, especially for a boy. His teachers have all been fabulous and incredibly dedicated. The new program presented by the guidance counselor teaches empathy and helps children to express their own feelings. It is a wonderful new addition to the curriculum. Merritt Academy has given my son an outstanding foundation for continued love of learning. Thank you to the Merritt staff and Merritt Academy's wonderfully supportive and dedicated families!
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