This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Virginia Beach Friends School5
Posted January 08, 2015
- a parent
I have been a Friends School parent for 5 years. Our experience in the Early and Lower Schools have been exceptional. The teachers are enthusiastic, accessible and communicative. My child is learning crucial skills such as critical thinking and problem solving skills in conjunction with the Quaker values that have produced a very well rounded young lady. I expect to keep my daughter here as long as I can because I believe in the missions, the philosophy and the teachers.
My children came to summer camps here for years when they were young. My son attended VBFS for three years (MS and US), and I substitute teach here. It is a small school, to be sure, with the smallness felt sometimes in that almost everyone has to play sports to have teams :) ... but that's about it. The lessons students learn extend beyond the "three R's" and they learn them because of the character of the school and its staff. Quaker schools are based on the idea that each person is of value. It's innate, and based on that value, each person ("even" a 3-year-old!) is deserving of respect. (It's a very Montessori-type philosophy.) We are respecters of all persons- those who look or speak differently or are differently-abled, those who have different types of families than ours, and those who have different faith perspectives. The Head of School is instrumental in maintaining a strong academic program while assuring an environment of acceptance and kindness. The students learn to sit quietly every week at Meeting for Worship (a silent 15 minutes where the whole school is together, followed by announcements and accolades). (This practice is priceless.) This is a gem of a school.
I firmly believe that this school was the best place I could have put my son as he started middle school. I went from having a child who loves to learn but absolutely hated school to a child tells all his friends how 'awesome' his school is. As a parent I found the communication with teachers and staff to be wonderful and my child got help that he had never received before. If there was anyway I could have my second child there I would do it tomorrow.
Having been a student and a teacher at Friends School, my biggest thrill has been watching children develop a sense of worth, become comfortable with themselves and thrive both emotionally and academically. It is a wonderful nurturing environment that I wish all children had the opportunity to experience.
I feel this school is on a downward slope. I would not, nor never could I recommend this school. Parents are charged for book fees that are not actually given toward the students. My child was in the upper school; although the teachers in the upper school were very caring, they were not given the support to help the children. middle/upper school students with learning challenges, some of them severe are brought in to classrooms that do not have special ed teachers teaching them. Tuition is ridiculously high for what you get! My biggest concern was finding out that with a 550.00 book fee charged, so why are teachers making photo copies of things instead of purchasing the actual materials needed! So where did the money actually go? 2 more things! Check out the paperwork you are asked to sign and check on their certifications before you spend all the money on tuition. Do that for any independent or private school you send your child to.
Enrolling our daughter at the Friends School was the best decision we made for our child. We continue to be amazed and impressed at the education she is receiving. This school nurtures the whole child which is essential for successful learning, The teachers are responsive and caring, and really support all the children socially, emotionally, and intellectually. Our child is receiving an excellent academic experience.
I have attended Virginia Beach Friends School for 5 years, going on to my 6th year, and it is the best decision my family and I have ever made. I have always felt that the teachers care and that it is a very organized school. It is sad to read these other reviews, but Friends School is not for everyone. The teachers are very welcoming and make sure every child is flying as high as they can. I found that at my old school, it was not like that. Also everyone knows each other, and their is always a smile on someones face. I strongly recommend this school to anyone who is looking for both a nurturing environment, and wanting to help a school grow. This school grows every year and can only get better in the future. I have also played many sports and mainly soccer. The athletics here grow every year as well.
BEST SCHOOL IN VIRGINIA BEACH. Friends School is AMAZING. My children are younger (pre-school and kindergarten) and they love going to school. The curriculum is very diverse and interesting. The teachers are understanding, patient, and their number one concern is the student. They work well with parents if there is ever a problem or concern. A few times I have approach a teacher with a concern about my child, and they worked with me to resolve it. The office staff is helpful, everyone is friendly, and they remember who you are, who your kids are, and what class they're in. They have fun fundraisers, and the parents are welcomed to become involved. A wonderfully supportive school, and one worth looking into for you're own kids!
Virginia Beach Friends School is a wonderful school. The teachers are dedicated and passionate about education and the success of each child. Staff identifies with the children (their personalities and needs) and parents. The faculty and staff truly teach and develop the 'whole child', grounding the students in ethics, self confidence, care for others, and decision making, as well as the common academic pursuits.I highly recommend this beautiful school.