We have two children who have attended Wakefield Forest for a few years now. We bought our home hoping Wakefield Forest would be great for our kids and it has exceeded our expectations so far. It is a relatively small K-6 school where all students are known by name and there is a very positive school culture. There is a new principal this year, with the same caring, dedicated, stable staff. The new principal has brought a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) focus that stresses innovation and creativity. Which teacher you get each year matters but there are many good teachers each with different styles that can provide a good fit for your child. There is a supportive PTA and there are abundant afterschool options, an advanced academics program, a Strings and Band program during school, a mindfulness program, 1 to 1 computing, a coding initiative, STEAM lab, and outdoor classroom.
My child completed kindergarten in this school. It's really a crapshoot how your child will do. Very teacher dependent, and you have no control over that. My childs teacher never sent anything home ( other than completed worksheets and artwork) except for the ocassional negative comments on his work.. No discussion with the parents how to improve things, nothing. Two short parent conferences and that's it. I believe she was so overwhelmed with all the documentation required she never really got to teach. She was busy assessing to complete the documentation. The classrooms are small and packed. Most of the classes are near capacity, the kids are jammed together, the rooms are cluttered. How can anyone learn in this environment? But meanwhile the front office seems to think everything is rosy. The PTA is very active in hitting you up for money and the principal seems to be more concerned about the PTA's fundraising efforts than student achievements. They test even in kindergarten. How can someone learn if the teacher is under the gun even in Kindergarten. Maybe this is everywhere, but it seems like the focus is on doing well on the tests, not on education. How far education has fallen..
The administration spends more time planning parties than paying attention to what the teachers are actually doing in the classrooms. While there are some FANTASTIC teachers at the school, there are also some HORRIBLE ones. I know that this happens in every school, but when the school is as small as WFES, the administration has to be more involved. When we first came to WFES, I would have rated them 5 stars... the longer we are here, the more I see, and the less I like.
When reading the previous reviews of Wakefield Forest, I had to respond to the negative comments regarding this GEM of a school. As a military family, my children have been in numerous schools. None compare to this school. The administration and staff are top notch! I am amazed each day as I walk into WFES and see the caring environment my children have the opportunity to experience on a daily basis. As far as the education goes, look at the test scores and you can see the level of teaching expertise that is in this school. Yes, test scores fluctuate as tests change and demographics change and this school continues to achieve overall growth. There is more to the elementary experience than homework and extensions! Those things can be done at home by any parent who wants more. I challenge you to step inside WFES and see what goes on in any classroom on a daily basis and then you will see why children are allowed time to be children when they return home. The amount of work these children accomplish each day is more than enough to warrent a break when they get home to just be kids! Thank you WFES administration and staff for loving my children as if they were your own!
I believe that this school needs serious work as far as the administration and educational staff our concerned. They do not listen to parental advice, there is not nearly enough homework and NO study materials that come home so they parents actually know what they children are working on and can support them at home. The administration tends to side with teachers before making an intelligent conclusion based on facts. I am so disappointed in the education our kids are getting from here and have had to take it upon ourselves to supplement with outside sources. I am all for helping supplement the kids education but I feel like I am home schooling them at times! The faculty tends to focus only test scores and have difficulty in identifying bright kids who may have not taken the test or tested lower due to other reasons. Communication in performance is a huge issue and severely lacking. Teachers methods and planning are totally outdated and may have worked when class sizes were smaller but not now! I would think twice about sending your child here.
I am a former teacher from this school. Many reviewers have commented on the wonderful staff and experiences at WFES and I agree they have remarkable teachers. But wonderful stops there. The teachers are so bogged down with pointless meetings to inform the less than stellar admin about student progress or testing DRA that they have little time to plan and often aren't in class to teach. If your child has ESOL services they will not be getting them. That teacher (and reading, guidance and tech teachers) are like personal assistants to the principal. The only reason students learn here is because teachers go above and beyond at the expense of their health, family and wallets. If your child had a positive experience thank the teacher who made it happen despite the terrible policies and admin at this school.
I went to this school as a student just two years ago and had a Fantastic time but when i went to my local middle school Poe it was a culture shock but over all i loved almost everyone at wakefield forest
Both my sons are at this school, and we are very happy. Class sizes are smaller than average, and the quality of teachers is very high. The PTA is very active with fund-raising which helps the school weather the current budgetary issues. My eldest son has been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. The school has been excellent at accomodating his special needs and keeping us in the loop with respect to his performance and behavior at school.
We have our two daughters at this school and love it! The principal is extremely involved, knows all the kids and has lunch with them from time to time. The teachers are all outstanding - plan together so everyone in each grade level is doing the same thing. Wonderful experience - love the school!!