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PK-8
Private
Herndon, VA
Students enrolled: 590
Before care: Yes
After care: Yes

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13625 Eds Dr
Herndon, VA 20171

School website
(703) 713-3332
(703) 713-3336
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Nysmith School for the Gifted address.

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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
August 01, 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
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
December 09, 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
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
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
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
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
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
June 04, 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
April 01, 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
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
January 03, 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
May 21, 2010
I have two children at Nysmith. We have been at Nysmith for more than 4 years. My children enjoy school, are well adjusted, and are learning more than my friend s children who attend some of the very school mentioned by the previous parent. The teachers reach out to the children. The levels of challenge at Nysmith are exceptional. My fifth grader worked on robotics in fifth grade, I am not aware that the other schools introduce robotics until high school if then. I am not sure about the question about whether the school walks the walk. But if they don t, they fake it pretty good. Over 30 percent of the graduates go to TJ, 19 of the 47 students accepted at TJ from private schools this year, came from Nysmith. Nysmith scores in the top 1% on standardized testing with minimal prep. Nysmith is the only school I have ever seen that posts the actual Standardized Testing results on their website. I cannot imagine a better school for my children.

- submitted by a parent
April 21, 2010
Why do teachers post thier promotional stuff here? It sounds defensive, at best. Nysmith talks the talk, but does not walk the walk! Not a true school for the gifted, by a long shot. If it were, they would be paying attention to intellectual and cognitive abilities of kids who come to Nysmiths, not their regimented discipline routines. Truly gifted children are often less adaptable socially, so if gifted were, in fact, the target audience for this school, they would be less concerned with the organization and more with a child as a whole. Go to Potomac, Flint Hill or Sidwell, instead, where kids feel and look happy and get a great education. FCPS GT programs rock by comparison with Nysmith.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 21, 2010
I've found this school to promote a comfortable and positive learning environment for the students where they can explore and find their own passions. Students learn beyond their grade level and as a result enter into high school confident that what they've acquired will provide a solid foundation for future academic challenges.

- submitted by a community member
no rating April 13, 2010
As a teacher at Nysmith for over five years, I continue to look forward to coming to school and interacting with my students. The energy the students bring each day creates a dynamic environment and allows each student to not only learn the material being introduced but to apply these concepts in creative ways. With two teachers in each classroom, we have the time and opportunity to work closely with each student and provide additional support when necessary. The students are a big part of what makes Nysmith a magical place but it wouldn t exist at all without the foundation of caring teachers, administrators and support staff. Although I never had the opportunity to attend a school as unique as Nysmith, I am grateful I have the opportunity to spend a part of each day where everyone supports, encourages and challenges students to excel in ways they could not imagine.

- submitted by a teacher
March 13, 2010
I am currently a teacher at the Nysmith School. Even though I have worked at the school for quite a while, I believe that the atmosphere is most disappointing. The only reason that I hang on to my job at this school is the downturning economy. The pay at this school is a bit below public schools, and the benefits are much lesser. I don't think that it would be a great idea to send your child there, I think the only really advanced curriculum is Science.

- submitted by a teacher
January 31, 2010
I am currently a high school senior. I owe a lot of my success to the nysmith school. I along with my brother and sister all when to nysmith or both elementary and middle school. Nysmith is a great school and an excellent learning environment for students. The students start reading Shakespeare in 4th grade YES 4TH GRADE. There were several kids in my grade who were talking pre calculus in 8th grade. Every student is taught a foreign language even in pre-pre-k (beginners). The students who go to this school are advanced and push each other to do their best. The competitive environment allows each student to reach their full potential. The taeachers get better as the students get older the best 3 teachers I have ever had are at Nysmith and I want to thank Mr. and Mrs. Stephens, and Ms. Novotny for inspiring me. Nysmith IS WORTH IT!!

- submitted by a student
December 23, 2009
My child is in the forth grade, and has attended Nysmith since she was three years old. I work, so the before and aftercare program, tutoring options, band and music, are nice options. My child has friends, loving teachers, and a LOT of activities to keep her busy every day. My child has been taking science, math, reading, computers, and foreign language since she was three. She is getting a very well-rounded education with accelerated classes. She is reading at 7th grade level and working math at 6th grade level. I highly recommend this school. She gets individual attention from her teachers and is also learning how to give presentations, write papers, and word processing and computer programs. They really have something here at Nysmith. Contrary to some reviews I read, the directors and teachers are, for the most part, outstanding.

- submitted by a parent
December 20, 2009
As a student at Nysmith I am in 7th grade. It has been preparing me for life and giving me an outstanding education like dissecting a fetal pig in 5th grade. During this time I am looking at high schools and having to be disappointed since the standards are not as good as Nysmith. My COMPLAINTS however are that some teachers are negative, non responsive, and seem to work on their own schedule. Also, since it is a very competetive evironment there are a huge amount of cliques. I don't mind the competitive enviornment just it makes an A feel that much better. The work load varies so some weeks you will have to do SERIOUS cramming and others you are fine. Most everyone is positive and genuine while the academics are extremely rigerous. Just look very carefully before making your descision. I don't regret mine.

- submitted by a student
November 13, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
October 25, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
no rating October 19, 2009
I had two kids there for several years (middle school) and really have a mixed review. For our one that is the 'good student', meaning she is motivated and has generally good work habits, it worked out well. There were some very talented teachers, but one or two that really should be let go (didn't learn a thing, and we weren't alone in those experiences). For our child that is a smart (IQ134), but underachiever, there was almost no or very little support or motivation. For the money, you expect and should get teachers who know how to bring out the best in kids who are reluctant learners. If your kid has social issues, this school is very accepting.

- submitted by a parent
October 02, 2009
I started going to Nysmith in Pre-K where I was in the Busy Bees. Over the ten years that I went there I fell in love with the school because of our close community, our talented and guiding teachers, and the great education that the kids there will receive if they are truly passionate about learning and being the best that they can be. When I first started high school I was really nervous but Nysmith has provided me with a strong foundation that will help me succeed in life. The teachers really help students learn through new experiences. Not only do they provide depth and passion when they teach but you can tell that they really care for their students. They take the time to go into depth about lessons so the students get the best out of their learning experiences. Even though it is pricey it's worth every penny.

- submitted by a student
October 01, 2009
Nysmith is a school with overcharged tuition and unqualified administration now. We had wonderful feeling before 2005 When Carroll Nysmith run the school. After many nice and perfect teacher left school, the new director in pre-school is not suitable to work for this school and derail the original principles. Middle school director was not taking responsibility. New hired teachers are not experienced and stable. You may not get what you paid as for kids to get good education. We found our children doing very good in Fairfax county GT program. GT has lot more better student body comparing to Nysmith and responsible teachers. Current school is running as a for profit company by low admission standard and low test standard such as drop IQ tests and IOWA test for 2nd grade.

- submitted by a parent
September 30, 2009
This is the second year I have had my child in the school and she loves it. Each day at Nysmith is a good one. The cost of tuition is high but the results have been worth the cost. Great building, teachers and high quality peer students. I will be sending my child as long as the quality remains at the current standard (or better) and I can afford the tuition.

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 29, 2009
In our experience, it is a good school (though probably not worth the ever-rising tuition) for students who are bright, organized, motivated, rule-following children. It doesn t seem to bring out the best in children who don t fit into that box. We moved two of our children to the Fairfax county GT program, where they have been just as successful and challenged, and it s free! While many graduates go on to great success at local public and private high schools, I have also seen more than a few who haven t transitioned well or excelled, particularly in large public high schools. It is a for-profit school owned and run by the Nysmiths. There is no outside board or check-and-balance on the administration. I believe Ken Nysmith believes only his own press, has little vision for the school and leads simply by defensively reacting to complaints by parents.

- submitted by a parent
September 18, 2009
Please read my review. Nysmith is a private school and yes, the tuition is similar to the many of the other private schools in the area. However, there are no 'large' donation requests like other schools. Yes there is Sally Foster. It's wrapping paper folks. One humble parent's insight is this: our incredibly shy son has flourished. Just one example to counter another comment - they do place your child where he/she should be for math. Algebra in 5th grade? No problem. Balancing equations in Chemistry in 6th grade? absolutely...and THEY SOAR and have CONFIDENCE. They hold their heads up HIGH. I wish I had that confidence when I was a kid! From the gentleman that guides me thru the parking lot in the morning, to the office staff that is so wonderful and so patient with me, it's worth every extra hour we have to work! Talk to PARENTS.:)

- submitted by a parent
August 08, 2009
Our two kids have been enrolled in Nysmith for 6 and 4 years respectively. My children love going to school everyday. They are 1 to 2 years ahead of their peers (trust me I have verified this to make sure the money we spend is worth while). My daughter tested at a 7th grade level (she was in fourth) on the IOWA test. I am so happy to have my kids in such a safe and enriching environment. I think the teachers are great. I credit them for giving both of my kids such a love of learning.

- submitted by a parent
August 03, 2009
Please think twice before considering this school. The school used to have a better reputation but has been going down hill. Enrollment is down because parents are realizing that they are not getting results for the 'college tuition' like fees they charge at this school. The principal is nonresponsive and fake. He puts on a smile in the morning when he greets the children and parents, but he doesn't care about the children and doesn't respond to parents' concerns. I am switching my child to another private school for Kindergarten and realized that Nysmith's Pre-K curriculum is not as advanced as it claims to be. I feel very disappointed off that my child didn't get the preparation he needed for Kindergarten. I will not recommend this school to anyone.

- submitted by a parent
July 17, 2009
Can't argue with success. Simply look at how engaged the Nysmith children are. Ask about what high schools the grads attend - and how they fare in the high schools they attend. And, where they are accepted for college. It's not luck. It's having a great foundation and love for learning.

- submitted by a parent
July 05, 2009
My daughter has been in Nysmith since pre school. Now she is going to 2nd grade, she feels staying there until 8th grade. She loves school environment.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 29, 2009
All about style but no substance. False claims are forgotten once your child is in this school.

- submitted by a parent
May 07, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
March 19, 2009
Really, pay attention to the comments provided by parents who rated this school w/ fewer stars. The ones who gave high marks are living in la-la land. I can't agree more about the comments on poor quality of the program for the $$, questionable quality & tactics of the teachers, the admission requirements for qualifying a gifted child if a child doesn't even speak a word of English, turn over rate of the teachers, ... A word of caution when selecting schools (much like in life) - don't fall for brand names.

- submitted by a parent
January 26, 2009
Our older daughter attended Nysmith (K-8 grade) starting in 1993. The school was well-run during most of that time (the principal was Carole Nysmith, the school's founder). Unfortunately, around 2000, most of the day-to-day operations began to be assumed by Ms. Nysmith's son. This, coupled with expansion to a larger facility (and the new debts associated with it), led to a distinct lowering of academic standards, gratuitous rules (some rather foolish ones), and a tedious, inflexible atmosphere. Talented teachers began to depart; the turn-over rate definitely increased. During this time, our younger daughter attended through 5th grade, achieving A averages throughout. However, in the spring of 2007, she decided for herself that the school was 'not for her'. She is now enrolled at Flint Hill School, where her older sister attended grades 9-12. Although Nysmith was once an excellent school, this can no longer be said.

- submitted by a parent
December 26, 2008
Great school, great teachers, great preparation and assistance with high school choices and applications. Start at this school ASAP and stay through 8th grade...you'll be glad you did.

- submitted by a parent
no rating December 25, 2008
Our son has been at NYSMITH the past 3 years (he started as a kindergartener). He is thriving at this school. The curriculum is outstanding, contents well beyond public and many other private school levels. The amazing thing about this program is that my child has been learning at least 2 levels well beyond the public school standards without any pressures or undue stress. The teachers are truly gifted and challenges my child at a comfortable level. I'm so glad I did not listen to the 'noises' and went with my instinct in selecting this school. One has to be inside this program to really understand how it is possible that a child can enjoy learning, looks forward to going to school everyday, excel academically and still have the time and energy for arts and athletic curriculum after school. NYSMITH has enabled the development of a very well-rounded child.

- submitted by a parent
September 12, 2008
Nysmith is the best thing that ever happened to our son! Prior to Nysmith, he attended a 'highly ranked' private school and did well academically but was bored with school. He's attended Nysmith (the upper school) for almost three years and looks forward to going to school every day. He's been challenged and his love of learning has been rekindled. We looked at schools all over the country and are so pleased that we chose Nysmith!

- submitted by a parent
May 11, 2008
It is excellent in academics as well as a wonderful nurturing environment .

- submitted by a parent
April 30, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
April 18, 2008
We are moving out of the region and approached Nysmith to support our application to the new schools. They enthusiastically supported our application, provided recommendation letters including conducting an assessment of our child, in accordance with instructions sent by the new school to Nysmith. The new school was very happy with the documentation provided by Nysmith and our daughter has been offered admission at the new school. We have been very happy with the education that our daughter receives at the school and are sad to leave Nysmith. We hope to come back to the school when we return to the region.

- submitted by a parent
March 30, 2008
My son went to Nysmith School for 4th through 8th grade, and we commuted about 2 1/2 to 3 hours round trip each day. Now my son is at our local high school as a freshman and is off the charts in terms of his attitiude, skills, and brains. I am extremely grateful to Nysmith for all they did for my son. They were very supportive, yet had a disciplined hand. Their teachers were excellent, and some more than that. I recommend keeping your child there through middle school; they give them loads of academic skills and maturation opportunities during 7th and 8th grade which can't be duplicated elsewhere. Nysmith keeps them focused and challenged as they journey through puberty, without the anti-intellectual culture that can be found among the bright kids in public schools in our county, that turns then away from learning.

- submitted by a parent
March 25, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
no rating March 25, 2008
Great school for kids. Loving, friendly, fast paced envirnment. Head of school is liked by all and handles serious issues very discreetly but always has the interests of children in mind. He is also very open and nice.My kids adore him. Teachers are great too. Don't miss this school.

- submitted by a community member
no rating January 22, 2008
It is indeed a great school and a tour with Carole Nysmith is the best answer to all the questions that we have. But there are a lot of attention deficit kids in the higher classes. Academics is excellent and so is safety.

- submitted by a parent
December 15, 2007
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- submitted by a teacher
December 10, 2007
I am the parent of two children who both attended Nysmith and to this day remember and love the staff, school and what it taught them about belonging. We had moved several times and Nysmith stands out as the best school the boys had ever attended. They started at the school after Christmas of 2001, having spent first semester at an awful public school. The teachers helped my boys play catch up while the kids made them their friends. My boys love to learn and Nysmith is able to bring that out in kids. Also, post 9/11 virginia, plus anthrax, plus sniper fears, Nysmith had a first rate security set up before, during and after school. 'The hardest school he ever attended' is how my national merit scholar son describes Nysmith, while the younger, a freshman, a varsity wrestler and diver says he had the 'most fun while learning'.

- submitted by a parent
November 11, 2007
My third grader loves going to Nysmith every day. Everything is very well organized, and communication with parents is very good for a school of this size. All of the faculty and administration I've dealt with have been extremely friendly. I was impressed that my child is so well known by the entire staff besides his teachers before end of first quarter. For the first time, he is being challenged in math, and they seem to have assessed him very accurately. He is reading/spelling at a 7th grade level using 7th grade textbooks. School facilities are awesome, with several computer rooms. Classes are in-depth in the subjects, with integration of curriculum across classes also. I consider this a near ideal school, hope we can continue to afford it in the years to come.

- submitted by a parent
October 21, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
September 30, 2007
Great school with fast paced learning and friendly staff providing the nurturing that kids require. It is a safe environment and has a lot of after school activities especially for the younger kids.

- submitted by a parent
September 19, 2007
This school is only for financially gifted (rich) not academically gifted. It is for people who want to tell others that their child is at gifted school. This school is overly rated to be gifted; however quality of their teachers and activities can be easily obtained at any local public school. This school care s more about money, then quality of education and students.

- submitted by a parent
September 18, 2007
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- submitted by a student
no rating August 21, 2007
Agreed that this school is expensive and I so do wish that Kenneth does try not increase them so drastically every year and teachers come and go but my kids love this school so thank you Kenneth for everything and we do accept that you are human and cannot please everyone.

- submitted by a parent
August 07, 2007
Please notice when reading the reviews here that the positive ones are from parents of very young children. It becomes obvious as your child progresses through the grades at Nysmith that the teacher turnover is very high due to lack of confidence in the administration, and that the 'advanced' education you are paying for is not accelerated enough beyond public school students in the honors and gifted classes in the local public schools in order to justify the fees. Our children had some great teachers at Nysmith, but the best ones [left] because they didn't see eye to eye with a profit driven administration. When our children left after years of straight A's, they were prepared for honors level courses, but not 2 years ahead as was promised.

- submitted by a parent
June 25, 2007
This school is ok. For the price, there are many others out there with rigorous academic programs, and my experience has been that the GT centers have more depth, acceleration, and variety as tailored to individual needs, at least at the elementary school level. Nysmith pre-school was excellent, but the school seemed spottier and weaker as we progressed beyond pre-school. My child learned some very advanced content, but there were also some basic skills that were skipped; this became problematic later. The facility is gorgeous.

- submitted by a parent
June 13, 2007
Best teachers with low morale. Head of school needs to interact with parents more that he ever did and inform them about the future objective and programs of this school due to the high fees.

- submitted by a parent
May 31, 2007
This school is very much worth the money. They have very accelerated learning that was very good. A 4th grader can dissect a frog and a fish. In second grade a child can go on an overnight field trip that is a great learning experience. In 3rd grade they go to Philadelphia. In 4th they go to Gettysburg. My fifth grader (gregory colella) would like to thank: Ms. Norman Ms. Sutherland Ms. Klein Ms. Buch Ms. Sutherland Ms. Blaskey

- submitted by a parent
May 22, 2007
Is a structured and stimulated environment for kids as compared to other schools in this area. Ken tries to put a smiling face but falters when interacting with teachers is required. Teachers prefer Carole to him. Best teachers ever in this whole area. A lot of challenging activites for the kids is provided.

- submitted by a parent
May 08, 2007
A very professionally managed school by the Nys. It is one of the best schools in this area and generally kids don't come back to this school for financial reasons. Has an accelerated program from the K level. My son loves his K class and is reading 3rd grade stuff.

- submitted by a parent
May 06, 2007
I think that both Carole and Ken are doing a great job and are receptive to parents suggestions. My beginner loves his school but the teachers are not capable enough of controlling the class and disciplining them. The program is great but teachers need to work harder to make sure that they achieve the objectives of this program. Also I would love Ken to visit the Beg more often so that they behave themselves. We see less of him in the mornings to welcome kids in the school.

- submitted by a parent
March 27, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
March 24, 2007
Needs to hire more diversified and young Directors for managing the school instead of the current outdated ones. Needs to interact with parents more in order to get proper feedback.

- submitted by a parent
March 18, 2007
My 2 kids are in this school and the teachers are doing a great job. I think that I am oaying for their fees is just nothing when I see them coming out all smiling and wanting to go back again the next day especially my 3 year old. It is the best school in this area and both the Nysmiths are simply wonderful. The curriculum is so much fun loving that my 4 year old can read and write also. Safety is excellent and discipline very good. Kudos to the Carole and Ken. Keep it up.

- submitted by a parent
March 05, 2007
The school is professionally managed and the mangement is always available to give everyone a patient hearing. My 5 year old loves his teachers and Ken Nysmith too who is always smiling come hail, rain or snow and is always present near the main door every morning, to welcome each and every kid to the school with his warm smile.

- submitted by a parent
February 23, 2007
Agreed that Nysmith is expensive, both my preschoolers love it and Carole may not be seen everyday but she is always there for anyone who wants to meet her and has the last word on everything. On the whole things are going on smooth where my kids are concerned and they love their school and Ken Nysmith too.

- submitted by a parent
February 12, 2007
I have two children at Nysmith - the oldest has been there for four years and this years is the first for my youngest. I think that the school is excellent - caring, loving and nurturing. The kids love to go to school in the morning the teachers are great - the school is beautiful and the education is priceless. I feel my kids are safe, well cared for and a year ahead or their peers. I feel a good educational foundation for the kids will help build a strong future.

- submitted by a parent
February 03, 2007
Worst school I can rate compares to how much you pay and how much you can get from there.

- submitted by a parent
January 21, 2007
Nysmith is a very rigid and inflexible environment. You have to schedule a conference to get the most basic information. Although Nysmith purports to service the academically gifted child, they do not make accommodations for children at the highest levels.

- submitted by a parent
January 20, 2007
This school has really lost ground as the mgmt has become more focused on finances. They will allow admission to anyone willing to pay, regardless of giftedness. This forces the teachers to water down instruction. My kids came out of there (after years of straight As) on grade level in all academic areas. That's not the accelerated education I paid for.

- submitted by a parent
October 09, 2006
We have a dughter who attends pre-k and we live in Leesburg. I liked it better when Carole Nysmith was running the school as opposed to the authoritative manner that her son is running this school. But the teachers are very loving and attentive.

- submitted by a parent
September 14, 2006
The quality of education at Nysmith School is excellent. Teachers are attentive, nurturing, caring, intelligent. This is my daughter's third year (she started in the Beginners program at age 3), and unlike another opinion on this site the Beginners teachers were absolutely outstanding. My daughter loves going to this school! It is expensive -- we now pay about $25,000.00 per year, but it is worth it. Very low student-teacher ratios, and a mix of classes and activities throughout the day. At age 5, her day now consists of Math, Reading, French, Logic, Computers, Science (an all-time favorite and tons of fun things go on here!), PE, Art, Music, etc. Though it is not super-easy for us pay 25K/year, we find the school is worth it's weight in gold. There's also a top after-school program - crafts, sports, plus many options like karate, soccer, painting, craft projects. Nysmith gets an A+ !

- submitted by a parent
August 30, 2006
My son has been in this school right from the beginners program. Considering the fees that they charge, one would expect a lot of extracurricular activities for the younger ones which is not happening. Management is very money minded.

- submitted by a parent
July 22, 2006
We reside in Fairfax County and our son attended Nysmith for 6 years. Toward the end of 5th grade, we decided to transfer to public school because Nysmith lacked a sports program and our son wanted to go to school with his neighborhood friends. When we approached the Nysmith staff, requesting they fill out the necessary recommendations for admittance into our public school GT program, they became very uncooperative. It was crystal clear that the administration was unhappy with our decision to withdraw our son. Nevertheless, he went onto public middle school and took honors courses, did well on the SSAT and went to St. Albans School for high school. In contrast, our younger son has attended Fairfax County public schools from the beginning and is currently in the GT program. We found admittance into GT is a much smoother process if your child is already in the public school system.

- submitted by a parent
June 03, 2006
The beginners program has very arrogant and rude teachers who ask a conference to be scheduled just to find out how a child is doing regularly. The teachers say that a lot of politics in play in the school has led to this arrogance and rudeness. The school need to look in to this so that more people try to admit their kids in the beginners program. Also there are not many extra curricular activities considering the high fees charged by the school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating June 01, 2006
We are trying to get a GT program recommendation letter from the school so that our son can enter the public school system's gifted and talented program. We feel that after all these years at Nysmith, Nysmith teachers should know our son best. Nysmith's new policy is that teacher are no longer allowed to give such letters of recommendation. These letters can only come out of their administrative office. The administrative office refuse to give us the requested recommendation letter based on the fact that we will not attend Nysmith next year. Other parents taking their kids out of Nysmith to the public school system's gifted and talented programs have also faced obstacles from Nysmith. This does not sound right and we are trying to schedule a meeting with Carol Nysmith to get the final word on this new school policy.

- submitted by a parent
May 20, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a administrator
May 11, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
November 17, 2005
A very good school that is pretty expensive as well. If you are willing and able to spend $20,000 dollars a year on your young ones then this is a great school. More well-rounded than other schools (not academically very intense). The teachers are very good for most part - management is very money driven. No sports as extra-curricular though.

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 01, 2003
We have one daughter in grade three and one in pre-K. This is our second year associated with Nysmith. This school is a rare gem, delivering solid education in a way the kids find constantly stimulating and enjoyable. The academic standards are very high, with Nysmith a strong feeder to the best private and public high schools. A deliberately challenging teaching philosophy, fostered by the still-active founding principal, sets the foundation. Low student-to-faculty ratios and excellent facilities (e.g. computers, library, science labs, sports) add to the experience. One caveat: this is not a school for parents who don't believe in rather extensive home work and a very disciplined school setting.

- submitted by a parent
August 10, 2003
Great school for academics with caring, nurturing staff and highly involved parent community.

- submitted by a parent
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About 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.

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Nysmith School for the Gifted
13625 Eds Dr, Herndon, VA  20171
(703) 713-3332
Last modified Nysmith School for the Gifted is a Private school that serves grades PK-8
Nysmith School for the Gifted Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 89 reviews. Top