With poor quality teaching and limited resources, Arbor does not provide more than a rudimentary education. Kids miss out on the breadth of resources available elsewhere. My lesson was that paying for a private education does not mean you get a better education. We should have moved our child much earlier.
My child has been attending this school for over six years, so has been involved in primary, lower elementary and upper elementary curriculum. The expectations that are being set for the children are high, but never above their ability to achieve. The support structure is very sound, between the director of the school, the teachers, the specialists and the other parents. There have been bumps along the way, but like any solid community, problems are dealt with and resolved, with the goal for win/win solutions always being strived for. My child has had some challenges along the way and I am extremely grateful for the support of the director of the school and other parents in working through these difficulties. Even the involvement of alumni from the school is amazing, considering the size of the school.
This is a wonderful school - I would strongly recommend it to anyone!
My son has attended Arbor for the last seven and a half years. He loves it, it is his 'village' where the staff and other parents, as well as the other children, are all involved in his life in positive ways. Besides the general studies, the lessons he is learning here include responsibility for his actions, respect for others and life skills that will carry with him as he becomes a young adult. While the school is a very small community, there are specialists in art, music, PE and outdoor ed. There is a very strong snow sports program. Parents are involved in all aspects of the school, from volunteering in the classrooms to planning fundraising events. Like any small community, there are issues at times, but the director of the school works towards continually improving the quality of the education and life experiences that her students are exposed too.
I currently have two children enrolled at Arbor Schools and am thankful everyday that we found this wonderful school when we relocated to Washington. Their primary teacher is exceptional and took the time to learn about how to manage boy energy and still have them be productive and responsible. She cares deeply for their academic as well as their emotional development and works with our family to help them achieve their best. My son is now in elementary at Arbor and his teacher has created an entire course load to specifically addresses his academic challenges. The principle of the school has personally gone down to evaluate my son and brought in a specialist to help him achieve his best. The community at Arbor is fantastic, the staff lovely and our children learn more than academics--they learn to be respectful of self and others.
Our children are in their 4th year at Arbor Elementary. While no school is without its challenges, what sets Arbor apart is its wonderful principal! When faced with the mid-school year loss of a teacher, rather than hire a substitute, Ms. O'Brien became the teacher for the remainder of the year. The situation had been quite traumatic for the children, so Mary's presence helped to ease the change and foster productivity in the classroom. Our other child required testing through our local school district for learning disabilities. Mary was instrumental in working our child's teacher to identify strategies and supplemental materials which could be used in the classroom to address the needs outlined in the test results. Both of our children are thriving at Arbor academically and socially. We are not a wealthy family, but the support, love, and passion of Arbor and its staff justify the expense.
After 5 years of experience as a parent with 2 childrend attending this school I can say with conviction that there are better alternatives for academic excellence. There are some very bright spots within the teaching staff but it's spotty. Be prepared to supplement your childs academic program as many former students have been lagging behind their peers once they've moved on to the next school. The program is very good through kindergarten and becomes weaker as you progress through the elementary grades.
My son has gone to Arbor since he was 3 and he is now 6 and about to start the 1st grade there. I love this school. He's done very well there. He's reading at a level far above his grade compared to other children we know that go to public schools in the area. I can't say enough good things about this school.
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