We've had a very good experience with Millwood Upper School. Our son is severely dyslexic, but also bright, and felt very out of place in our excellent public school system. Millwood is small enough to give him the support and accommodations he needs to excel. He's risen from being a C student to being a member of the National Honor Society, in no small part due to the thinking and writing skills he's learned while at Millwood.
Our experience has been mixed. The 1st grade teacher is compassionate and dedicated. We dis-enrolled based on differentiated needs our child has. They advertise individualizing for the child. They can adjust the pace (up or down) to the level of the child, but they did not differentiate approaches enough to the learning style of our child. Their approach is more sequential, rote drill and practice and knowledge reproduction. Our departing experience with administration, head of school, and school board representative has been upsetting. Once we had made the decision to not re-enroll for next year, it felt like we and our needs were disregarded. There is a small, but influential, very involved and exclusive group of parents who aggressively confront in the name of protecting a positive image of the school. Any criticism is branded as negative, and there is sometimes gossip about those not in the mold. This can be overwhelming and create an environment of distrust. The administration is listening to and hopefully addressing these concerns. Once the atmosphere is more inclusive and democratic feeling, then it will be in line with some of the other good things the school offers.
I stumbled across this site tonight and I'm sad to read the previous review from an obviously unhappy parent. I've known the head of school for many years and what she is guilty of is bad eyesight, not rudeness. I would give her the benefit of the doubt that it's hard to keep up with 400 parent names, 200+ student names and the few thousand other family and friends' names from former years that she must encounter all over town. She's been at the school for 25 years. That is a lot of names . As far as stale curriculum, I know that isn't accurate. In fact, my lower school child just started a new math program this year. And, the middle/upper school math teachers were meeting last week about enhancements for next year. My wife and I think this school is a bargain. We aren't big donors but give what we are comfortable as there is no outside funding. Philanthropy is a part of any private school education. We've never felt pressure to do anything more. It's about providing a nurturing yet rigorous education. I love the self introductions, public speaking and focus on writing and reading. I'll be sad when my kids graduate and I don't seem the other MWS families I like so much.
Pros: Small classes and community. Nice physical setting. Parent involvement. Good extended care hours. Cons: Teach the same stale curriculum (year after year). Do not teach to the child, but teach to the task. Community inclusion dependent on your donations of time and money. Focus is on displaying positive (not realistic) image of the school and perceived "negativity" of the school is censored (sometimes with a call to the person). Watch for a deluge of many positive reviews on this site within a short period in response to this review! More concerned with enrollment numbers. Head of school and founder will smile and greet you at the school, but will not recognize you standing next to you in the store (unless you are a "believer", of important status, or contribute large donations.) Unacceptable in such a small school. Millwood is better than public school, but trails other private schools in the area because they don't have a niche or specialty. They have not delivered us a product commensurate with the tuition they charge. Millwood is way too traditional and general in their approaches, making them little more than a small, generic, high- cost school.
Our middle school aged daughter is very happy at Millwood. We like the small class size and corresponding personal attention. We have been very impressed so far.
Millwood truly supports the mission of the school in every detail in their curriculum: Developing the mind, body and fostering moral values starts in JK and continues through their senioy year. Seniors engage the youngest of children, (often seen playing games on the playground) and Millwood is like our second family away from home. I could not imagine having my three kids anywhere else.
Our child is an upper school student at Millwood. Our previous experience with the public school gifted program was good, but lacking. We chose to attend Millwood instead of the one of the fine specialty schools offered through the county for several reasons. The unbelievable qualified, credentialed, and creative staff promised and delivered a superb educational experience specifically tailored to the needs and desires our child. Classroom instruction involves so many creative avenues for learning and growth. We appreciate that art and music are offered throughout K-12. The head of the school is fantastic at what she does. One of her great talents is to be able to seek out and hire the most talented and gifted teachers and staff! No detail escapes her attention. The campus, facilities, people, education, character . . . everything gets the right amount of attention and care. Lastly, communication from the head of the school, key leaders, and teachers has been open and thorough from day one. Our whole family has been made to feel welcome. This school and the people involved with it have greatly improved our lives.
My wife and I chose Millwood School 3 years ago because we value education above all. Currently we have a 2nd grader and kindergartner both attending and when our youngest is ready she will attend as well.. Millwood School offers individual attention and most important to us smaller class sizes. Chesterfield county schools are just overcrowded as I was astonished when I heard this fall 2012, there are 5 kindergarten classes with 20 plus kids per class at our own public elementary school - that just won't work for us - seems like Kindergarten at Virginia Tech.
Our son started Millwood School as a Kindergartener and has just started his 3rd grade year. The small class size and limitless curriculum were the 2 things that brought us to Millwood and they are the reasons we have have stayed. The communication with the teachers is fantastic. I feel like the staff as well as his teacher really "know" my son. We look forward to being part of the Millwood family for many years to come!
My gifted student was struggling in a "great" public school in the gifted education program. The problem was the class was too overcrowded, the teachers overworked, and they could only teach to the middle. Switching her to Millwood is the greatest thing we have ever done. They recognize and appreciate her gifts and support her struggles. She has excelled in ways that were never possible in public school. They really teach to each child as an individual and help each achieve their best. The teachers are patient but challenging and really work as a team with the student and parents. The Head of School has amazing vision and challenges her staff to do better each year. Millwood is everything you would hope for your child's education in school and in life.
We moved our daughter to Millwood from public education. In the public school She was coming home 3 out of 5 days sad, upset and hating school. Homework was a challenge and in a class of 25 she was invisible to her teachers. She had no confidence in herself. At Millwood she has become confidant in herself and not afraid to raise her hand for fear of being ridiculed if she had the wrong answer. Her teacher has been in contact with me since the first week of school and we have worked together on strategies that have changed our life. I rarely have to fight over homework, even though more is expected. She has not come home once sad or upset. I highly recommend Millwood School to any parent that is looking for a non secular school that does not teach for a SOL grade, they teach to each child and gives them a love of learning.
Millwood School was the best decision we have ever made for our daughter! Millwood School's emphasis on a superior education and character building practices are nothing short of amazing. I cannot say enough about this gem, class size remains small and the dedicated teachers offer the one-on-one time with children that allows them to grow. The Head of School is 100% committed to this school and cannot be matched in drive, devotion or leadership skills! I recommend this school highly to anyone looking for an outstanding education and an environment where your child(ren) will flourish!
Millwood School We have had our 2 kids at Millwood for 7-years now. It has been a wonderful experience. The teachers are phenomenal. My kids receive personal attention. Fortunately, they are able to customize the education to enable a challenge for my kids who might otherwise be bored. Wonderful experience!
We switched to public schools after attending Millwood for eight years, and I am pleased to say that the public middle school we attended did not fail to disappoint . They offered many choices for students, they did not badger you about money, and the teachers were great. Millwood lacks academically. After being "moved" to a higher level of Saxon math in fifth grade "because I did well on my testing" and literally skipping a book, I have had extreme trouble in math ever since. The only subject I felt prepared for in public schools was English. I cannot fathom the incredibly ridiculous notion of sending your highschool child to school here. In the 2006-2007 version of the school year book on page 58, it notes "...the future of Millwood's new middle school building looks bright!" As most of you know, the desolate and barren lot next door is claimed to be the home of the highschool [please note, "highschool"] building. My, how our ambitions change over time. It is great to have dreams, but for the sake of the children, keep them realistic. Build up this -elementary- school, make it better, and then maybe parents will have more confidence in Millwood as a whole.
We have two children at Millwood (1 in 2nd and the other in 6th) and we love the experiential learning the kids are getting. I pulled my kids out of public school for fear they wouldnt get the attn necessary to have a top notch education. millwood has not disappointed. The teachers seem genuinely interested in challenging my kids and the other children have welcomed them with open arms. In order to meet other families and get acclimated, I have volunteered on some comittees. I love the passion of the head of school and the warmth of the asst director. I am very satisfied with the academic rigor and the focus on citizenship and community service. I recommend visiting to get a feel for the warmth and strength of the school.
Millwood has really gone down in quality over the last several years. My child started in the JK program and had been at the school for 4 years. Each year, more programs were cut due to the bad business decision to expand to a high school. The high school has less than 10 students! This year parents had to drive the kids on field trips because the school couldn't afford to rent one. In my child's class, half of the 12 students are not returning due to the poor quality of the teacher who is also the head of the lower school. She was not very adaptive to the individual teacher and made for a very difficult school year. I would not suggest this school to anyone unless you want a mediocre education for your child. I wasted $50,000 which could have been used for my child's college tuition savings. I am moving on to the county schools which hold their teachers accountable.
This is an update from an earlier review. While my prior note is still accurate, I now believe we may have to make a change. Our friends have helped us pump money into this school and our child is being targeted as being academically slow and the teaching quality is pigeon holing this young woman / man as a educational liability without offering assistance. Please keep in mind that all extra resources for this not inexpensive school will cost you significant funds. Over the course of the year expect it to cost the same as the price of tuition. Consider this closely when looking at Millwood versus the other single sex and coeducational programs in the Richmond area.
I am the parent of children that are current current students, as well as one that has graduated and is starting college. Throughout the many years as a parent of the school, there are many opportunities for parents to participate in the education of the children. The teachers and principles take an interest in the children and care for their development. The only criticism I have of the school is that while it announces that it will work with each student to their abilities, that those with exceptional talents are not pushed to their limits. We realized this when moving from middle school to one of the private high schools in the area. Our child was not prepared for the academic rigor of the next level because she / he was not pushed enough in the middle school curriculum. The elementary school, however, is excellent. Please, whoever is reading this, keep in mind that although I have offered a constructive criticism to the middle school, I have still sent my other children to the school. It truly is a great place for young people to explore the world.
We have a daughter who went to Millwood for several years. Never once did I feel welcome by other parents or staff. As an example, tragedy struck our family and no one mentioned it or even seemed concerned. We have been at other private schools where the entire school helps a family in our situation. Not one parent or administrator even seemed to care. The family atmosphere exists only on the surface - it is not real. Some teachers were amazing, some were just average. In my personal opinion, the lower school is better than the middle school. I can't imagine sending my child to a high school with 4 or 5 kids.
I have had 2 children at Millwood School, with one recently graduating out and one in second grade. I am so thankful for Millwood School.There is a sense of purpose for the future. My only wish is that Millwood would become a high school . My son is far above all the other students in atheletics, foreign language and academics, public speaking has been nominated into the National Honor Society. He is a respectful and responsible young man. At Millwood you do not see children being disruptive in the halls and you are even greeted by the lower grade children with a hand shake and a 'Welcome to Millwood School. My daughter is happy every day she gets to go to school. They also have the older students mentor the younger, growing relationships. Millwood is an awesome school. You will not be disappointed.
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