This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Nysmith School for the Gifted5
Posted November 21, 2014
- a parent
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.
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.