If your child is very far advanced, the curriculum will not extend far enough for them. We were told our child couldn't work further ahead because they didn't have the capacity to go that far in advance once he hit middle school. Not worth the $ if there is still not a challenge. Also felt it was very difficult to come in at a grade other than Kindergarten. Culture can feel exclusive.
We spent a lot of time looking at our area's excellent schools, trying to find a whole-child approach to education, in which the school nurtures our daughter's character and curiosity as well as her intellect. We found it at Open Window. Teachers quickly respond to parent emails and go the extra mile to make sure my child is supported and happy. We are thrilled that she gets tremendous time for music, PE, Spanish, drama and art at least once a week. She has learned, from kindergarten, how to present her ideas and passions confidently and fluently. My child is happy and resilient, and much of it is due to the Open Window faculty that nurtures her curiosity and encourages her every step of the way.
Erica Mahoney is one of the best teachers my daughter has ever had. She is nurturing and kind while also retaining high standards of behavior and personal responsibility. Since being in Ms. Mahoney's class, my daughter has grown into a tween who shows tantalizing glimpses of a future strong, independent and mature woman. Much of this is because Ms. Mahoney has taught her to respect herself, honor education, and be kind to others.
The curriculum is by far the most challenging and enriching for my child. He finished 2nd grade at 4th grade reading level and 8th grade math. My student was given exceptional attention which was a lost aspect, even in the best rated public school in Washington State. I will never send my child back to public school, especially these days when getting an education is paramount yet most competitive in the Seattle area as ever.
The curriculum spans from a very challenging (read productive) academic schedule to cultural, international, etiquette trainings along with philosophic cognitive thought training. This by far is the most well rounded school and far exceeds our expectations.
5th yr at OWS. I asked my kids," Should I rate your school?" This is what they said," Rate 100 stars! We love OWS!" Then started to sing their school song. I just wanted my kids to be happy at school. They are absolutely happy and love their school.
Our experience with OWS has been outstanding! We carefully considered 3 independent schools as well as our local public school, and we definitely made the right choice with OWS for our son. He is thriving in kindergarten- he loves going to school each morning, and raves about how much fun it is to learn! He is continually challenged at his "just right" level (class is divided into small groups for differentiated learning in math and reading). His kindergarten teacher is extraordinary! We've also been very impressed by his Science, Technology, Music, Drama, and Spanish teachers. Wonderful, welcoming community of involved parents who all highly value education. A+
This school should be avoided if your child is on the higher spectrum of giftedness. During the 3 years my child attended, the curriculum was mediocre and my child's teacher for 2 of the 3 years didn't make the grade. Teachers tended to focus more on the social aspect of giftedness and away from education, discouraging curiosity and exploring topics in depth. Also, don't expect your teacher, even with 2 teachers in a class of 20, to complete any reading or math assessments until late December. Very disappointing after paying over 20,000/ year! Now my child is in our local public school gifted program and assessments are completed within the first week of class. Don't walk but run from this school and seek getting your child into your local public gifted school program. Your checkbook will thank you for it!
Open Windows is a good school overall. The school is beautiful. Grounds are lovely and has amazing views. Teachers are friendly, professional and cordial. There's a new head of school now and he seems to be taking the school in the right direction. Our primary concern: how is OWS truly a gifted school? Our child is in the 99.9%tile and we hoped OWS would provide that differentiated learning approach for these minority students. Honestly, after several years now, we haven't seen it. There's no differentiation or special focus to enable the exceptionally/ profoundly gifted child versus the moderately gifted child whose parents want them on an accelerated track. At the end of the day, there's a vast difference in learning needs between the 99.9% child and the 95-97% child. There's also the overly aggressive parent to watch out for - they will send their child to prep classes/studies in the summer so the child will 'seem' advanced for the new school year...so one can comment there's a high level of parent involvement. These kids tend to bias the teachers to focus on acceleration vs depth and exploration. If your child is moderately gifted, then he/she will do great at OWS.
The process of finding the right fit for our Kindergartner was a stressful one. We wanted a nurturing and supportive environment as well as academic rigor. We feel that we found that at OWS. He is supported and understood as well as encouraged and expected to do his best. What more could we ask for?