We have three students in the middle and upper schools at Steward. Each of our children approaches homework differently. The mission of the school encourages intellectual growth through robust academics as well as engagement. Sometimes that engagement comes in the classroom with little follow up needed independently at home. Other times, engagement comes during study hall where they seek out clarification from their teachers. Often, the day's lessons are solidified by extra practice and extension at home. We have yet to experience a class where out children feel overwhelmed by homework that has been given just for the sake of giving homework. What the kids do at home has purpose and meaning to what they have done in the classroom and is generally a valuable teaching and practice tool.
The Steward School challenges my students both in and out of the classroom. Whether it is stretching their comfort level academically, asking them to rise to the challenge of a difficult project or an out of the box writing assignment, or raising the bar on the playing field by putting them in a new position or testing their skill level with a new drill, faculty and coaches encourage my kids to keep trying until they achieve a certain level of mastery.
As parents of middle and upper schoolers, we have interacted with so many teachers over the years and with very few exceptions have found them to be enthusiastic, experienced, dedicated, and knowledgeable. Their understanding of tweens and teenagers has helped us as parents. Teachers and administrators are pretty good about communicating through phone calls or emails and are always welcoming of our questions or concerns where are kids are concerned. We feel that the working relationship we have with the teachers at Steward is above average.
Steward is an incredible community. We looked at many of the private schools in richmond and found many to be arrogant and pretentious. Many of the children at the other schools seemed to have a sense of entitlement and were unaware of their role in the larger community. With steward we found a diverse group of people for richmond, rigorous academics, and an environment that strives to help the children development self confidence, independence, social responsibility, and celebrate their individuality. The teachers are top notch. the curriculum has traditional elements enhanced by innovative methods. It is not a Montessori or Emilio Reggio system. The school, however, will see to it that your child is pushed academically as far as they can be both cademically and psychologically and help them set and achieve their goals. Students are taught to respect one another and they treat each other as family--in a good way! I have been most impressed with how the school and teachers have helped my daughters navigate the challenges that occur between female friends as they develop and grow. These life long skills will stay with them forever. My only criticism, per se, has been that there were many administrative changes over the last few years. Yet, overall these seem like smart decisions made in the interest of the children and with the desire to grow the school even more. Steward is a gem and we are privileged to be part of this incredible community.
We have three children at The Steward School and have been at the school 6 years. Each year we become more invested, enthusiastic, dedicated and involved in this amazing community. Each of our children excels at Steward in different ways. For one, it was the academic challenge they needed to step it up a notch. For one, the academics and social climate were just right for meeting them where they were and carrying them further towards thier potential. For the third, the class size provided the environment for the teachers to really get to know them and draw them out in their weak areas and help them trust and believe in their strengths. For all three, the athletic program has truly enhanced their natural talent and introduced them to activities or sports they would not have tried otherwise. The lessons learned being part of a team and out on the field have enhanced the lessons they are learning in the classroom. The athletic department views the students as "student athletes" and places high value on academics as well as athletics. We feel so fortunate to be a part of such an amazing school community.
Having been able to experience Lower, Middle, and Upper School, I could not be more pleased with my children's opportunities at Steward! Lower School is a place of magic and warmth! Learning, thinking, and doing are always first and foremost of importance, but there is always an adventure to be had as well! The Middle School fosters independence through its combination of academic challenges and co-curricular activities. The Upper School delivers robust academics, leadership opportunities, international travel, and a plethora of sports and clubs. All of this is done in an environment that challenges each individual student to excel, while at the same time fostering a great sense of community!
I have two boys at the Steward School. One is about to enter high school and the other will graduate this year. The "loving push", as I call it, that the faculty, administrators, and coaches have given them has taken my children beyond my expectations and their own. The teachers and facilities are second-to-none, and there are challenges and opportunities to meet the students where they are and take them where they never thought they could go. The culture of integrity, kindness and respect is ever-present along the way.
Today was the last day of my son's first year at Steward. We are all sad. This has been his best year ever. He started this fall in the 6th grade and had we known how wonderful this school is, we would have started him in kindergarten. His self confidence went through the roof this year and this is thanks to all the wonderful people at Steward. Everyone is truly incredible at this school. Everyone I have met working here is passionate about their jobs and the children they teach. I feel so lucky to be a part of the Steward family.
Our Steward story began 9 years ago when we first stepped foot on campus. Although we had driven by the school hundreds of times in our daily comings and goings, we had never taken the time to take a closer look. The tour of the facilities knocked our socks off, but we were even more impressed by what we saw happening in the classrooms, studios and on the fields - true engagement. As you search for independent schools in the Richmond area Steward is a must see - WOW! Steward has been the perfect fit for all five of our children.
Enrolling our son at The Steward School is hands down the best decision we have ever made for him. He is happy, thriving, and loves going off to school each day. The small class sizes (13-14 per 2nd grade class) and nurturing environment have instilled a sense of confidence in our child, and he is simultaneously being challenged at an appropriate level. We looked at many schools before deciding on Steward, and can honestly say that no school in town -- public or private -- could be doing more for him. Happy child, happy parents.