continued review) (Foreign language starts at age 4. Student take either French or Spanish and Latin. By time they finish in the 8th grade they have finished the first two years of high school French or Spanish and first year of Latin. They compete in national competitions against high school students and win awards.
The school also emphasizes music, providing orchestra, band and singing as electives, and each grade performs in a musical or a play at least once a year. The sixth grade class acted out scenes from Richard III and the seventh grade did A Midsummer Night's Dream, plays by Shakespeare. The fifth and sixth grade students camp in a cabin for three days in the Spring, enjoying team building exercises, survival skills, a hayride and campfire, along with games, canoeing and archery. Seventh and eighth grade students take a week-long trip to North Carolina to study the importance of tidal habitats in Edlin’s Sound and Sea program.
Equally important to raising happy children is acknowledging birthdays, holding a Halloween parade, and celebrating national holidays – all of which Edlin does well, reminiscent of my own childhood, and increasingly absent from the public school system today. At Edlin, it is not a crime to celebrate a birthday with a cupcake.
Some reviewers complained about a few teachers. Are there problem teachers? Yes, as in any environment. Have I talked to the director about them? Yes. It is better to make an appointment with her to discuss problems and not ambush her in the hall or ask her at the last minute for things. As for the problems with the principal described in a prior review, the details are different than that reviewer implies. Did he have a problem outside of school? Yes. Is he addressing the issue? Yes. Was he a good principal? Yes. Just a bad situation for a good man, appropriately handled by the school when the situation was fully understood.
I read some of the negative reviews of Edlin School, and have decided to complete the picture. Yes, Edlin is a small school and they do have their problems, but all schools do. My kids have been getting a great education there, and when I compare how they are doing with their counterparts in other schools, I feel great! I would stack up the quality of the education my children are receiving next to anyone. I just received their end of the year testing and my children tested in the 97th and 99th percentile when compared to other students their grades. Their math, reading, science and social studies are at least 5 grade levels ahead.
Are other schools doing more programs or activities? Yes, but their tuition is $10,000 more a year and they are larger schools – so more students. The teachers and administrators at Edlin knows every child in the school, which makes for a genuine feeling of community and warmth. My kids are excited about learning, and they feel safe and loved at this school.
When my son finished K-4, not only was he reading, but he was reading chapter books. The science program is very advanced. In second grade, my son dissected an owl pellet and a chicken wing. In sixth grade, my son dissected a frog, squid, pig heart and a sheep’s brain. Lots of hands-on science, educational field trips, and in-school speakers, and students are not afraid to ask questions. Guest speakers have complimented the children on the thoughtful interaction, and the quality of their questions.
Language arts is typically good, there were some issues with grammar, but I think they have been addressed and the program strengthened. Each year students read classical literature in class, including works by Shakespeare. I have seen the same titles listed in other schools, but they are typically read in older grades.
My kids have been challenged by math and in 6th grade my son is in Algebra 1. He is not in the top group, and I know there are students above and below him. The point here is that the classes are small and targeted to the student’s level, and teachers not only work with them in class, but if they are struggling, they will work with them after school. (Review continued in next comment section)!
Start with that the school has tremendous potential - there are some excellent teachers, which could serve as the foundation for growth. However, the downside (or the barrier) is the Administration - does not motivate the students and the teachers. If you're looking for a new school, be very aware. Things to ask about during a visit: teacher hiring process; teacher training/certification; overall processes; teachers teaching subjects that are completely new to them; technology integration. Lots of potential; but terrible management holds everything back.
My child had a teacher who had checked out (never mind that it was topic she had never taught before) and didn't provide any homework. This is mostly the administrator's fault - not hiring appropriately trained teachers (oh, and not supporting them!!!)
The school doesn't model these attributes. Decisions are made inconsistently and the administration is often rude with parents and kids. It is hard to feel that these core values are important to the school based on its behavior.