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Nysmith School for the Gifted

Private | PK-8 | 590 students

Our Program is known for it's fun, diversified academics for curious children
 
 

 

Living in Herndon

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $470,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,740.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 1 rating
2013:
Based on 1 rating
2012:
Based on 5 ratings
2011:
Based on 6 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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78 reviews of this school


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Posted Friday, November 21, 2014

We have been at Nysmith for 5 years now and have had a terrific experience. I definitely do not agree with some of the negative statements below. Nysmith is by far the best elementary school in all of northern virginia. I have toured most of them. My children love going to school everyday and they can't imagine going anywhere else. The teachers know my kids extremely well and challenge them to work to their potential. You always know what your child is working on and how well they are doing. However, it is not the right school for everyone. We have one child with learning differences that needed a slower paced school. They worked with us for a year and a half giving her extra attention. We all realized (including our daughter) it was not the best fit and we moved her. They were gracious, supportive and helpful the entire way. The head of the lower school is tremendous. JOur other two children are still there and are thriving. I would highly recommend Nysmith if you have a curious child that loves to learn and has the ability to learn at a fast pace. If not, put them in a place that fits their temperment, ability and learning style.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 1, 2013

As anyone looking at these reviews can tell, the vast majority of people have rated the school five stars, while some have had bad experiences and rated it one star (with very few reviews in between). While I don't doubt the experiences of the one-stars, I have had the opposite experience for both of my children. I think Nysmith is an amazing school. My only complaint would be the outrageous tuition (and maybe there are a few overzealous parents), but the school is so good that everytime I think that the cost is too high, I think about what a huge drop in education they would get almost anywhere else. The teachers are amazing, the curriculum is incredible and the student-teacher ratio, with two teachers for a class of 16 or so can't be found many other places. To me, however, the specialization is the key. The math teachers love math, the science teachers love science, and so on. It is simply impossible to replicate that in the public schools where one teacher teaches everything. I've also found the administration to be incredibly caring and responsive. Assuming nothing changes, we plan on keeping our kids in Nysmith until graduation.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 13, 2012

Love Love Love this school! My daughter started in public school and was soooo unhappy I pulled her after only two months. She was bored and had no academic challenges. She has been at Nysmith for two months now and she can't wait to go to school. She is only in k and she was explaining to me all about cells, there DNA, nucleus and mitochondria. She has also shared with me many things about the globe, our country and the difference between the Native Americans and the settlers. She has been there 2 months and she is only 6 years old! She has math, reading and science everyday. She loves it. It is very challenging compared to the public school. It is expensive but so are most private schools in the area and this one is truly a nuturing and fun academic environment. It is perfect!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 9, 2012

We have two children at Nysmith over the last 4 years and could not be more impressed with the safe loving enviroment this school provides. My son and daughter have thrived at this school and we would never consider going anywhere else. The administrators and staff know every child's name and work hard to ensure they are having a good experience. The academics are outstanding and the children never feel pressured. We are truly amazed by what they are learning in such a gentle manner and would highly recommend this school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 22, 2012

I have two children. One of my children has attended Nysmith beginning at kindergarten, my second child has several more years until graduation. My children s experience has been very different than the previous parent. It is almost like we are talking about different schools. I spend a lot of time at the school and have seen none of the issues that the previous writer indicated. I have no reservations about the school. I have however had experience with a couple parents who seemed to be preoccupied with their child s reading and math levels. There are a small number of children at Nysmith whose parents seem to push their children beyond their ability. I have been happy with the character education program at Nysmith and love the interaction of the children both with each other and the staff. After reading a previous letter, I made it a point to ask the teachers about their degrees and experience and have no idea what the complaint is about. There are a staff members who have children at the school, but they have degrees and experience teaching. We have been very happy.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 29, 2012

Previous post defies common sense! Why would a teacher with a Master's degree in teaching take a position where they are paid as an assistant teacher and why would they want to be an assistant? The truth is anyone with a Bachelor's degree, no matter what field, is eligible to be the second teacher. I have witnessed many moms of Nysmith's students, recent college grads with degrees such as nutrition and no experience in education fill the roles of the second teacher. The principal is not a good leader for this school. I witnessed teachers coming out of a morning meeting with administrators and they ALL looked glum and beaten down with very low morale. Very rigid and unpleasant environment for children. Our child was miserable and came back to life after we enrolled her in a different school. If your goal is for your child to go to TJ, you are in the right place, but at a price. That's all the parents talk about and the administrators advertise it. For those of us who want a balanced, healthy minded child, this is not the place. Our child is very intelligent and thrives when teachers encourage her and challenge her. Nysmith gave her low self esteem with their methods.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 19, 2012

The fact that the previous poster said that the second teacher in the class does not have proper teaching credentials is absurd. I know for a fact that my child's second teacher has a Masters degree in teaching. Don't believe everything that is posted on here!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 21, 2011

I am first year parent with a second grader. My child has a very high iq, with almost perfect recall. It has been a struggle prior to Nysmith to keep her on the right track. We have been very challenged to try and find the right placement for her. We went down the montessori trail, only to find inconsistency in the brand. We tried Howard county public school where we were told she is an average student and did not need an excellerated program. And then finally from a google search for gifted schools, we found a place she can call home away from home. They offer syllabus for every class. A different class and teacher for each subject. And an enthusiastic approach to teaching the material. Thank you forever more for have a place for my special child. Having a gifted child is a big responsibility. Its just as challenging as having any other type of special need. The children will lead us. Our gifted children will be our innovators. We are looking forward to the future at her new second home.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 12, 2011

We have been at Nysmith for 8 years and we have been very happy. Both of my children love it. The teachers are great. I spend a lot of time at the school and go on a lot of field trips with my children. I recommend Nysmith to all my neighbors.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 4, 2011

This school is great "if" your only goal is to get your child into TJ. The school's only measure of success is how many kids they get into TJ every year. So if your child is not a math genius who is two years ahead in math skills, this is not the place for your child. They offer no support or advice on entrance onto other private high schools. The "recommendation " letters they write are poorly written and prepared and they are only concerned about your child's math level. Stay away if you do not have a math genius.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 1, 2011

We have had our kid at this school since PreK and have seen some significant changes in that time. Nysmith has provided an excellent education in our opinion; our child is at the top of the class, and has benefitted from the safe and structured environment there. We still have not seen a better school. It is expensive. Other parents have commented that they see a change occurring in the culture - hopefully this will not continue to degrade, but some very fine teachers have left in recent years, and it looks like there will be some issues long-term due to this. The quality of education is far superior to what we had growing up and we've been very happy with the results. Anyone who is looking to apply should absolutely interview and compare with other schools - one always has to find the right fit for your child based on a number of criteria - for us this was a no-brainer and the best choice for location, skills, and prep for high school we could find.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 20, 2011

As a parent, we have watched our son grow to love school in ways we did not think was possible. While he is not at the top of the class as there really are some truly gifted students in his class we love the fact that he just loves school and is doing very well. His progress has been constant and his love for learning has improved greatly from his last two years in public school. We can t speak to some if the negative reviews shown here, but for us this school is truly one of a kind!! We love it!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 3, 2011

I am a parent that had paid for a total of 21 years of tuition at Nysmith with three children attending one from pre K through grade 8. The school has definitely lost its way. My eldest child struggled with Math and was placed in the lowest class with some troublesome kids but graduated with A's and a couple of B's across the board. While he tested well for high school he in no way achieved the level of accomplishment that we expected. However he is now in a High School that has been able to lead him out i every area where he is in AP Math and is achieving legitimate A's and is enjoying School. I wish I had pulled all of my kids out of Nysmith many years ago.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 28, 2010

Did parents really post these reviews over the summer or has the marketing machine been at hard work? Regardless, we had a very mixed experience at Nysmith, thus the average rating. It usually depended on the teacher. Some were great and really engaged the children; others should not be in a teaching environment. When children are 4, they fidget. Teachers should not yell at them because they plays with their jacket while standing in line. I saw this and lot of huffing and eye rolling first hand as a parent volunteer at field trips and room parties. Children pick up on the non verbals. I've since moved my children to a much more consistent, loving and challenging learning environment. They are thriving and will see their former peers at TJ, which seems to be the only success indicator at Nysmith.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 25, 2010

The best school available for gifted children that I know of. If I had a choice of Yale, Harvard or Nysmith for my children, Nysmith would win hands down. They learn to love to learn. Once they do that the rest is a byproduct of that love. hm
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 19, 2010

Nysmith has suburb teachers and an environment that make kids successful. The children are challenged to achieve to the best of their abilities but not stressed. They love learning and it shows in their happy faces. A truly great school
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 26, 2010

Absolute top notch, accelerated curriculum with extremely helpful and involved teachers - our highest recommendation for anyone who has a gifted or otherwise accelerated child in this area!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 13, 2010

The curriculum is unbeatable: *more/earlier science dissections, *top-flight math suiting all levels, *experiential/problem-analyzing history rather than rote memorization of dates/facts, *greater language exposure including French, Latin, and Spanish, *vocabulary/reading well above grade... The school & students constantly shine--from chess competitions to band competitions, spelling bees, geography bees, science/Odyssey-of-the-Mind competitions, placement in UVA/Johns Hopkins GT programs, and unparalleled entry into coveted Thomas Jefferson High School. Teachers excel--French teachers from France, math wizards, history majors from top-20 schools, jocular scientists. Kids love the after-school clubs. The facility is new & fabulous. Unbeatable teacher-student and administrator-student ratios academically & socially benefit gifted, diverse children. Leadership supports monotheistic, atheistic & polytheistic views--not censorship. You have guest teachers discussing yoga's religious underpinnings, Christmas celebrated, Godlessness of communism explored, and Jewish traditions observed. Parent involvement is simply the best. My kids are blossoming. Yours will too.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 26, 2010

People seriously need to get a grip...this is a great school and so much bigger than one individual. The administration works their tails off for a demanding population. If you ever cared about this school you would put your energy behind making it better with constructive criticism, not anonymous character assassination. That is certainly not a good example for the children.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 23, 2010

Absolutely the best option for local accelerated learning, low teacher-to-student ratios and superior teaching staff...great administration, flexible and responsive to all needs....we come out of Loudoun, where gifted or any type of accelerated instruction is absolutely non-existent. This is by far the best and absolutely necessary educational option for our children in the Western Fairfax/Eastern Loudoun area.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Oops! We currently do not have any student information for this school. We rely on the state Department of Education, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and in some cases school administrators such as registrars and principals for this data.

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Assistant principal(s)
Computer specialist(s)
Gifted specialist(s)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Math specialist(s)
PE instructor(s)
Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
Reading specialist(s)
Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
Foreign languages spoken by school staff French
Korean
Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Technology
Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Science lab
Visual arts
  • Architecture
Clubs
  • Gardening
  • Math club
  • Recycling club
  • Robotics club
  • Science club
  • Technology club

Arts & music

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Music
  • Visual arts
Staff resources available to students
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Architecture
  • Ceramics
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Orchestra
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • Computer animation
  • Graphics
  • Video / Film production
Clubs
  • Art club
  • Arts and crafts
  • Dance club
  • Drama club
  • Sewing/knitting club
  • Student newspaper
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Foreign languages
Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • Latin
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • French
  • Korean
  • Spanish
Clubs
  • Foreign language and culture club

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Gym
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
Clubs
  • Cooking club
  • Gardening
  • Girls on the run

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Gifted / high performing
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
Staff resources available to students
  • Gifted specialist(s)
Clubs
  • Debate
  • National Honor Society
School leaders can update this information here.

School basics

School start time
  • 8:30 am
School end time
  • 3:00 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school: starts at 7:00 a.m.
  • After school: ends at 6:30 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • Ken Nysmith
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Phone
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 3 years old
Gender
  • Coed
Special schedule
  • Block scheduling
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian
Associations
  • CEC
  • NIPSA
Fax number
  • (703) 713-3336

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Gifted / high performing
  • Project-based
  • STEM
  • Teacher-run
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Foreign languages
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Science
  • Social justice
  • Technology
  • Visual arts
  • Writing
Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • Latin
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Assistant principal(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Gifted specialist(s)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
  • Reading specialist(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • French
  • Korean
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
  • Differentiated learning programs
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Cafeteria
  • Computer lab
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Learning lab
  • Library
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
  • Playground
  • Science lab
School leaders can update this information here.

Sports

Boys sports
  • Badminton
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Flag football
  • Lacrosse
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
Girls sports
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Field hockey
  • Flag football
  • Gymnastics
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Architecture
  • Ceramics
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Orchestra
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • Computer animation
  • Graphics
  • Video / Film production

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Art club
  • Arts and crafts
  • Book/reading club
  • Boy scouts
  • Chess club
  • Community service
  • Cooking club
  • Cub scouts
  • Dance club
  • Debate
  • Drama club
  • Foreign language and culture club
  • Gardening
  • Girl scouts
  • Girls on the run
  • Homework help/study buddy club
  • Math club
  • Model UN
  • National Honor Society
  • Recycling club
  • Robotics club
  • Science club
  • Sewing/knitting club
  • Student council/government
  • Student newspaper
  • Technology club
  • Yearbook
School leaders can update this information here.

Photos

School culture

Dress Code
  • Dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Join PTO/PTA
More from this school
  • At Nysmith, we minimize the repetition, both at school and at home. We work hard to make school fun. Our daily program includes daily diversified reading and math, science, technology, logic, and much more. We change classes beginning at kindergarten so we are able to have teachers who love math, teaching math.
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

This school accepts applications on a

rolling basis

 
Apply now
 

What are your chances?


4 out of 10students were accepted for the 2014-2015 school year.


Students accepted for the 2014-2015 school year
85
Applications received for the 2014-2015 school year
235

What does it cost?

Tuition range for the 2014-2015 school year
$20000 - $30000
Vouchers accepted
No
Financial aid offered
Yes.
School-based aid

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
Madiera
TJ
Sidwell Friends
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

13625 Eds Dr
Herndon, VA 20171
Website: Click here
Phone: (703) 713-3332

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