As a new Merritt Academy family, the teachers and administrators have gone above and beyond to help me and my child feel comfortable and welcomed from the day we registered. Each morning when I drop him off, I feel completely secure in knowing that he will be well cared for, and engaged in fun, stimulating activities far beyond what I am able to offer at home. I also appreciate the detailed communications and photos that his classroom teacher posts, which help me stay "in the loop." One of the things I most appreciate about the school is the sense of community that is fostered here- everyone already knows my child and says "hi" when I walk him onto campus every morning, he has already bonded with his teachers and the administrators were accessible and helpful when I had a question. I am so grateful to have found a school that feels like home, and I look forward to a great year, and hopefully many more!
We saw tremendous racial bias against minority students and that's not something we expected from a elementary school. Disturbingly, 99% of the teachers (and principal) pay more attention to Caucasian students and even favoritism in the classroom and stage performances. If you are a minority and do not planning to speak up (if you do, they don't like it, and will avoid you in the hall way), you don't belong here. Find a school in somewhere, where you will be treated fairly. We needed to pull out our son and put in another school. Now, he is very happy and treated same as everybody else. By the way, Executive Director is full of herself.
Our granddaughter has attended Merritt for two years although she is only five years old she is in the first grade Merritt offers a challenging curriculum and a gifted program that they tailor to fit the students needs and capabilities Their teachers are dedicated ,well educated and responsive to parents and even grandparents inquires and concerns. Merritt offers numerous clubs and activities such as chess, music ,dance ,foreign language,art and basketball to name only a few . In short Merritt provides a exceptional education .
BIG MISTAKE!!! I am very disappointed with the parking arrangement. They should do something to improve this area. All parents need to go to work after dropping off their children. Parking should be easy for them. I am not sure if I want to continue here. I can't be late for work everyday.
PARKING is the worst thing I am dealing with here. I am a new parent to this school and I did not know parking is that hectic. If I knew it before, I would not enroll my child for sure. They said "quick pick-up", but not that quick. Cars are line up and taking forever. Quick-drop-off?? Funny thing. If you are early (08:25??) they direct the child to go to playground which is up on the hill and need to take stairs. They are not allowed to go to classroom until 8:30. Children are on their own to go to play ground or go to the classroom by themselves. Not personally accompanied by a teacher. Young kids should be accompanied by someone. My daughter is not familiar with school campus and doesn't know how to enter the code to open the doors. I need to park illegally on the street and walk (about one block) my DD to classroom to make sure she is safe. I can't imagine in winter time walking one block and leave my child at playground (she hates cold and easily get sick). I wish they allow children to stay in the classroom if they do not want to go to playground.
As the parent of two boys who happily attended the summer program Merritt had to offer, I would like to share my experience as well. With a clear understanding that kids will always be kids, accidents happen even to the best of us, and even I can t defend my boys from all the scratches and bruises childhood has to offer, this school did the best they could and even went the extra mile to make sure I took my kids home not only in the same condition they were dropped off every morning, but also very happy and with stories to share for hours afterwards. The staff is not only professional, but is very well selected and just like the activities they are matched with the right age groups. Compared to the other reviewer, I am very happy my children are kept with children the same age; I truly don t want my kids playing, watching and learning from older kids. I could not afford Merritt regularly, but summer camp is a true saver: from the great hours of operation, to the entertaining program, to the amazing activities and projects they work on every day, not to mention the insanely attractive trips they take twice a week, I even consider myself a very happy camper at the end of each day.
Overall Merritt Academy is an above-average day-care/preschool. Its students are mostly good-mannered and well-taught. Parents are generally well educated. However, during the four years when my kid was there, its quality has significantly dropped, primarily because of its relentless expansion in the last 4 years or so. For each grade, the number of classes more than doubled during the period. Experienced teachers are stretched and many temp/inexperienced teachers have been hired, with high teacher turnover rates. Many new students join the school every year even in the middle or the end of a school year, and so classes become more heterogeneous in terms of academic and social preparedness. Student fighting and injuries have escalated, teasing have become frequent, and my kid learned racial slurs from school. Nevertheless, the school is better than average academically and in terms of the variety of activities offered.
My child attended the infant room. We have not been happy with our experience either. A bunch of us parents got together and complained to the director. She did not do anything. The management seems very weak here. We are looking at other day cares too, Winwood is one of them. Their director has since stepped down..
Just a word of caution to parents. Most of these great reviews seem to have insider language and sound pretty much the same. Perhaps they are too good to be true? Please Be cautious with this institution ....in addition to poor administration, Bad teacher quality, this academy will also rip you off. I agree with the previous 2 posts....look elsewhere for your child's education.
Hello In response to your posting of July 15, 2013 ... are you sure it wasn't you who was the main issue? The rest of the reviews on here seem to be quite high - there had to be something more to the issue and it was probably you, in need of a nanny or to stay home with your own child ... only a suggestion. My experience has been highly positive. My children love to come to school and the teachers have been incredibly involved and informative! It has been a pleasure having my kids here, at Merritt. I am a parent of a toddler and k4 student. Maybe our kids were in the same room. Would love to hear the negativity, in which you have endured.
I have 2 children in Merritt-an infant & a 5-year who has been at Merritt since he was 1. We have had an overwhelmingly positive experience. Highlights: *Very well organized. I get daily reports for both my kids (obviously more detailed for baby). I know when they ate, how much, when they slept, etc. I get an incident report if my kid gets hurt on the playground, If another kid comes down with strep it's posted. It's alot of information but all very helpful. *The lessons are great & age appropriate. They have a weekly focus for every class- from infants up. The themes combine topical (holidays, seasons, etc.), educational (colors for little ones, letters, etc-age appropriate) and value based (thankfulness, politeness, etc.) activities. *Lots of special events (visit from local fire departments, nature walks, pretend grocery shopping, dress up, etc.) *We've had really great success with the teachers. *Very careful & focused on safety. They have MAT certified teachers & processes in place for medical issues. *The kids spend a lot of time outside- Preschoolers go out 3x/day or to the gym if its raining or below freezing. *They have great hours that accommodate all schedules.
Hello In response to your posting of July 10, 2013 I did voice my concerns with the director of your school. The administration did not help us at all. No action was taken. Infact the lead teacher was rude with us and we had to leave. My son is very happy now in his new daycare. I don't have stress of worrying about my child everyday. I have moved on and thank god I listened and paid attention to my child and not to what these people were saying.. Thank you God for showing me the way..
Dear Reviewers: I am very sorry that the poster on June 20 had a bad experience with our school. We are surprised by the accusations she is making because she did not voice her concern with any members of the staff or administration during the 9 months her child was at our school. If the child had such a poor experience-as she claims-it is surprising that she did not speak with staff or administration earlier, is it not? To her point, I would also encourage prospective parents to check ANY school's profile on VDSS's website. We have nothing to hide. We maintain close contact with our Licensing Specialist to ensure that we are following best practices in safety, training & care. When citations are made, we take swift corrective action to ensure that a safe, quality program is maintained. In fact, we are often praised by the VDSS Specialist during visits. Finally, We currently have an infant-pre-Kg enrollment of just under 300 with a waiting list of 150+. Considering there is only 1 negative review in the past 4 years, I would say we are doing things very well...but don't take my word for it- come see for yourself. Very Respectfully, Amy Pernick, Merritt Academy Dir. of Admissions
My child has been attending Merritt since she was a year old. I am a teacher in Fairfax County and very critical of the environment that I put my child in for most of the day. I have been extremely happy with the program, teachers, and administration. My child is about to enter the K4 program and she is thriving socially and academically. There are always art projects, specialties like music & foreign language and more. Parents are always invited into the classrooms at any time and every administrator has an open door. Whenever I have had a question or concern I have received an appropriate response in a timely manner. The teachers, full time and part time, are wonderful with the children and truly love what they are doing. They are professional and well trained. I am aware of the excellent quality of FCPS but even as a teacher I want my child to continue into grade school at Merritt Academy because the program is full of rigor and engaging activities and the class sizes are small so each child gets what they need. I would recommend this school to anyone looking for a quality education for their child(ren).
We have 2 sons at Merritt and we couldn't be happier with the eduction they have received for the past three years. Our oldest son was entering 3rd grade when we discovered Merritt and he was coming from FCPS where we were not happy. It was a difficult transition for him academically because he was very far behind his peers at Merritt. His teachers for the past 3 years have been fantastic and have all taken the time to teach to his strengths. The beauty of Merritt, for our family, is the small class sizes which enables the teachers to work more closely with each student. Both of our boys are thriving and happy at Merritt and I know they are academically ahead due to the advanced curriculum being taught. The only thing that could make us happier would be for the boys to be able to continue at Merritt beyond 6th grade.
We have had children in K-2, K-3, K-4 and Kindergarden at Merritt Academy. We are extremely happy with the school. All of the teachers and administrators are well-qualified and caring. Merritt offers a very international curriculum, faculty and student body. The school also has several great themed special events and after-school activities such as martial arts, ballet, math club and phonics. We highly recommend the school....
My son attends Kindergarten at Merritt Academy and is enrolled for first grade because Merritt Academy exceeds my expectations in every way. Academically, my son is talented and Merritt Academy offers honors/enrichment programs beginning in kindergarten (something public schools do not offer) that ensure academic challenge/growth for children of all abilites. I am amazed at all he has learned. Behaviorally, we had some challenges and the staff worked with us to identify postitive strategies for remediation. Hard to ask for more in a school!
My experience with the afterschool program has been different from the other person's. I know that only 2 of the people who work with children in the afternoons are in high school. All of the others are college students or older adults. I have loved that they do projects with the kids and know all of them by name. I have not seen any TV in my child's class except on one occasion when it had rained all week. If I have had questions they were addressed immediately and very well. I recommend the program.
My child goes to the afterschool program only so my rating is for the afterschool program only. As much as I heard great things about the school itself, I have been very frustrated with the afterschool program. Many afterschool program staff are high school students who are not trained adequately to work with young children. There is inadequate monitoring for children's discipline and safety. Most of the activities include unstructured play time and as soon as it rains the kids are put in front of flat screens to watch TV with no other options available. I also don't like the fact that the kids are grouped by their grade level, which eliminates any interaction my child can have with other children in older or younger grades.
Great start for new parents. It was very hard for us to choose a day care for our first baby. we visited so many schools and interviewed nannies. Merritt made our decision much easier... Our little one just finished her first year and graduated to the toddler class.. During the first year, all the teachers were nice, nurturing and caring. They made us feel like each one of them know our baby very well. once I walk in and i ask how did she do today, every single one of them would give me a detailed report on her, although they had 12-13 children in the room. They helped us schedule her naps, get her off the bottle, the pacifier and introduce all different foods. The lead teacher was very smart and hard working, she would address our concerns immediately and would have great recommendations for us if we had questions. They work on educating and challenging our little ones. I highly recommend the school for new parents... I didn't give the principal 5 stars because of the low pay to the teachers.. They pay their teachers about 10-11 dollars an hour, which is too low... I believe if they increase their pay they can recruit better teachers and make the teachers they have happier..
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