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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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