This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
The Potomac School5
Posted April 17, 2014
- a parent
I have 2 children who attend the Potomac School - one in K and one in 4th grade. We couldn't be happier with the teachers, the adminstrators, the community, and the curriculum. The transportation is fantastic, with late buses that allow my kids to particpate in extra curriculars without creating a logistical challenges.
My child came to The Potomac School as a ninth grader. At that time, my child was an excellent student, but had low self-esteem and was shy. High School is a tough time for some kids and I thought the shyness would get worse. Instead, The Potomac School took the entire ninth grade on a three day overnight so the class could gel. The sports teams went off on cabin trips so there was team bonding among grade levels. There are assemblies for each grade so kids can work out problems together. The parents meet to talk about grade level concerns. The community is tight and small, and all kids find a friend group that works. After the first 6-7 months at this school, my child was confident, looking for leadership positions, and happy. I hoped it would happen but didn't expect it in that first year! I gave four stars on teacher quality because there are a couple of new teachers this year that are still finding their footing. If the school does for teachers what it does for kids, those teachers should turn out just fine.
Potomac plays to the the high stress, hard driving DC /Northern VA crowd. Prepare to be cut loose from the "community" the minute your child fails in any way-really a kid that is accepted at Potomac would probably excel anywhere- so Potomac can't really take too much credit for the end result. Prestigious, indeed.. But has a hard time looking at itself critically- so be prepared for existing in a hyper wealthy community with just a hint of diversity- with really nice buildings!
Potomac is an absolutely amazing place to go to school. Unlike other schools, with numbers much bigger than ours, we can have a student that is captain of a varsity sport, participates in the school play, and plays a musical instrument. Overall the atmosphere is just a great place to be learning. Go Panthers!
Administrators are terrible and uncompassioate Teachers great No tolerance for learning differences Kids are elitist snobs No compassion in a supposedly caring community for children who do not fit the mold
It is trying to boost the science program at the moment, but it's leaving other subjects behind. An incredible amount of money has been poured into a program that ultimately leads to a narrow definition of intelligence. As a student, I have heard from many kids that this program is really a mistake. It has extremely high goals, which no one has reached, and promotes the feeling that being smart means being good at math. The school needs to focus on the rest of the curriculum as well. In stead of pumping in math/science kids, add some people who love history or who read poetry in their spare time. We need some academic diversity -- a group who will inspire the kids to teach each other. Don't kid yourself, Potomac, we can't compete with TJ's science program. I would hope that parents could bring this up because it is increasingly frustrating for high school students, and that's coming from a math/science kid. That being said, I have had a fantastic time at the school. I have had great teachers and opportunities to grow at every corner. I would *highly* recommend Potomac.
I graduated from the Potomac School and even though I do not regret my decision to attend if I did it over again I wish I hadn't attended this school. There is a false sense of community and a very elitist attitude. The school epitomizes the competitive nature of the East Coast. I genuinely believe that the school is gradually getting worse and worse as it tries to keep up old images. Some of the staff is genuinely interested in students and their success while others want to mold little robots that will donate more and more as alums.
Wonderful Middle School. We have two children at Potomac. They started in Kindergarten and are now in 4th and 6th grades (middle school is 4-6 grade). The lower school provided learning in a play-oriented and caring community. The MS is just amazing with a dynamic head of MS, assignments that are challenging and fun (moon project, class plays in a real theater, outdoor education and environmental stewardship, vermiculture, writers workshop ...). The teachers are enthusiastic and accessible. The parents care about the school and are able to volunteer if they chose (no pressure). I'm looking forward the the Intermediate School (grades 7 & 8): I think it's wonderful how the school works with these grades separately.