All four of our children have been so richly blessed by their Lorien Wood experience. We, as parents, could not feel more grateful to have parents, teachers, and staff working alongside one another to help equip our children emotionally, spiritually, physically, and intellectually with the tools that they need to explore God's world and to discover their place in it. If you are looking for a rich community of gracious individuals, an academically rich, and rigorous curriculum, and a school where joy is present each day, you should come and visit Lorien Wood.
I am amazed at the excitement and energy of teachers at this school. We have had three children attend, including one who has completed the k-8 program and is now thriving in high school. The school engages students in their own learning and the educational program is rigorous while providing teachers the flexibility to pursue areas of learning in an integral fashion. Parents are deeply involved in all aspects of the school providing a richer learning community. The emphasis on worthy topics and thinking produces articulate, engaged learners who are able to productively pursue paths that line up with their gifts. It has been a great place for helping our children to better understand their own capabilities, develop character, learn how to learn, and interact with adults in preparation for stepping into high school and beyond.
We have three children that attend Lorien Wood and they are all thriving. Two of my kids arrived hating math and writing and one was struggling in reading. They were lacking in both confidence and motivation. Lorien Wood has built them up to be confident and love learning. They have been stretched and challenged, but not overwhelmed. Lorien Wood accomodates many levels of learners from far above grade level to struggling to stay on grade level. The teachers and principal are excellent and have been great to work with as needed. The community has an above level of warmth and encouragement. Love the school!!!
Lorien Wood is the epitome of a Christ-centered education community. Students are developing their hearts and minds not just through "at-the-desk" learning, but kinesthetically, socially, emotionally, spiritually, musically, artistically - every one of Gardner's intelligences addressed, and then some! You can tell that a sweet, unique spirit has been lovingly nurtured in the student body from the moment you walk in. Student artwork covers the walls, kids are respectful and helpful to strangers, and teachers bond with their classes in a way I have not seen elsewhere. I know many of the families, as well as several teachers, at Lorien Wood, and am always blown away by the quality of both. Where else are middle-schoolers tromping around in their rain boots outside to study all subjects through the lens of the local watershed? Where else do parents, faculty, and board work so well together to form an evolving, growing school that is responsive to its community's needs, while maintaining its core principles? It's sad to see bitterness in two posts earlier, and I'm not sure where the vitriol comes from; I can wholeheartedly recommend this school. Get to know them! You'll love them too!
Our experience over 8 years at Lorien Wood has been a very positive. Our children have been blessed and challenged each year. The integral curriculum and the teaching methodology is innovative, rich, and effective at training our children to think deeply about topics and helps them see the connections between disciplines. The strong parental involvement component has resulted in Lorien Wood becoming a true community for all of us. Our children feel known and cared for, and the long-serving teaching staff pours their all into each student. It's a wonderful Christian school and I would highly recommend parents seeking a Christian school to learn more about it. The problem with any rating site is that it gives people a place to vent issues anonymously without any real context. Anyone researching schools would be better served by visiting a school, attending open houses, talking with parents and students currently involved in the school. As any parent knows, not every student or every family fits at every school. But our family and scores of other families have found Lorien Wood to be a true gem and a wonderful place for our children to grow and learn in a Christ-centered community.
Who could argue with the school's motto: helping children explore God's world and find their place in it? Love the concept! However, I never felt that this was really God's school. There are so many egos running the place with their own agenda and pride at stake. The day-to-day leader is not a leader or administrator, just a teacher. This school does not seem to be able to hire and keep seasoned educators. They have always left, which is a shame. (Look at the website's current faculty.) As far as the other comments re the board meetings: this is a private school. It just too bad that only certain people can make suggestions and have them valued -- not every one can because the clique is full. After being around as long as they have, they aren't going to change PERIOD. This was started as a school for the founding friends' children clearly. I too loved the parent involvement, but it still follows the general volunteer rule: 20% of the people do 80% of the work. My problem is and was that the school does not know how to deal with a diverse population. The day-to-day leader was a homeschooling parent. The lack of pupil diversity limits leadership.
I couldn't have said it any better than the parent below. This school has a lot of issues. Didn't realize how bad until we left and are now having a wonderful experience elsewhere.
My children have attended Lorien Wood for seven years. They've received an excellent education that focuses on their individual strengths and challenges. I've found the Board and faculty leadership to be thoughtful people who seek to align their decisions with the school's seven Distinctives, to establish and operate a school that serves its students and families well. As a community of families and educators it's been a real blessing to my family to be working together with people who share a common purpose and philosophy.
While the school looks good on paper, the reality is far different. Founding parents and their close friends exert too much control, board meetings conducted in secret, bullying is common, learning disabilities are not understood, some teachers are well-meaning, but are very inexperienced. Even though classes are small, curriculum is not individualized for advanced learners. The atmosphere is cult-like. If you are considering this school, ask probing questions. Ask why other families have left. Ask why board meetings are secret. Ask why there are few experienced teachers. Ask how bullying is handled. Ask why such a small school has a one size fits all approach to learning. Maybe one day they'll change. The school has potential, just not under its current leadership. Proceed with caution.
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