We love this school and are so happy to have our two boys here. The teachers and leadership, including the head, are amazing. My boys are challenged and their teachers know them well. The community is great: laid back, involved, loyal and dedicated. My boys are happy here!
There is a problem at Annie Wright School, and it is the principal. He is rude, disrespectful, unhelpful, and many other things. When I spoke with him, he was demeaning and unyielding, and he seems to be trying to rehaul the entire school according to some ridiculous standard where he continuously fires people. I know for a fact that the school has had to settle for worse teachers because the head fires people so often that they have trouble filling the openings with qualified candidates. I have also spoken to ex-employees, and though they are general very pleasant, not a single one of them has a pleasant thing to say about him.
My experience at this school has been completely contrary to the few negative reviews posted here. I moved my children out of Tacoma Public School in Fall 2013 and I have been extremely impressed by the very high academic standards at Annie Wright. The Headmaster is charismatic, down-to-earth, and 100% committed to the long-term viability of the school. My kids both tested into the Highly Capable program in Tacoma Public Schools. They feel very academically challenged and are given extra and more challenging work to satisfy their interests and strengths. The teachers are very responsive and there is regular and detailed communication from the teachers, Headmaster, and other school leaders. Civic engagement and the development of emotional intelligence are emphasized - skills that I think are often overlooked but critically important. In short, Annie Wright is worth every penny and moving my kids to the school has been the single best decision we have made so far. With respect to the bullying comments, my experience has been the complete opposite, my children have been made to feel very welcome and they report an atmosphere of warmth and inclusion for all students.
This is a great school. The headmaster is determined to do the best for the collective and run the school based on the needs of the students...not the whims of the parent. Emphasis is placed upon academics and arts. Lots of forward thinking, end goal being to get our children into great colleges and create a generation of critical thinkers invested into community. Bullying is a problem in all schools...slowly being dealt with. Parents MUST be involved whether at AW or anywhere. Lower school improvements (IB program) at AW make me very excited. Proud AW parent. Devoted to my child's education and well being. If I weren't she'd be somewhere else. Parents are never involved enough...until they leave and write scathing reviews on the internet. I don't care where your kids go to school. As a parent, you must be involved. You're the biggest advocate for your child. Find a good school and commit to making it worthwhile for your kid...and the community. Good luck in your search!
Head of school is a bully who has driven off tons of staff the past 3 years (look it up to confirm turnover rate). Head is short-term, reactionary, and doesn't keep in mind long term health and moral growth of children. Community has been concerned with turnover at this position the past decade....TURN IT OVER. Head is toxic to the environment here.
We gave up. We paid full price for our child to attend AWS for several years. Our child did super on the standardized tests at AWS (ERBs). Sadly, high achievers are a small minority. Test scores were well below self-selected independent peer group and no better than public schools. As many have mentioned, bullying remains a serious problem and is not dealt with. Many of the teachers are good. Many, however, have fled the current administration. Top third students will be bored and unchallenged.
Our daughter is a domestic boarder. This is and has been a wonderful experience for her. For the right student, I highly recommend the school.
This school is amazing! I have been at annie wright for one year and i'm waiting anxiously for the next academic year as a seventh grader! we went on many exciting trips during sixth grade. This school is by far the best school i've ever gone to
My children have had a wonderful experience at Annie Wright. Their development over three years has been astonishing, and has clearly outpaced their peers at their old school. This is a direct result of the teaching and program at Annie Wright. The teachers truly care and the leadership is excellent. A previous contributor commented that trustees gave themselves a raise. I know for a fact that trustees do not get paid.
We have experience of both public and independent schools, and we have found Annie Wright to be exceptional. Like many independent schools, it has small classes, strong academics and an excellent range of extra-curricular activities. What sets Annie Wright apart is the student-centered environment, where every child is valued and encouraged to reach his or her individual potential. The teachers are talented, passionate and dedicated, and the new head of school is a strong leader and visionary. The parent body is down-to-earth and diverse, but they are united in their commitment to their children and their belief in an excellent education. Annie Wright is the best investment we have ever made.
AWS: High School and Middle School possibly worth the price tag, Elementary comparable to your average public education. My experience is mainly with the elementary level. Positives: VERY small class sizes averaging about 12 kids per class, many electives throughout the school day, if your child needs additional help there are ample resources to help with learning issues, very involved PTA with fun traditions, great opportunities for enrichment in the arts and music. Negatives: Teacher morale is at lowest I've seen in my 5 years at the school, bullying issues are not dealt with, children who consistently excel are not given more challenge but remain at the same level of work as their peers, tuition increase despite the awful economy, less actives and enrichment being offered yet the tuition not reduced, shrinking enrollment, confusing and questionable process of financial aid awards.
My daughter attend a private school for 6 years before coming to Annie Wright. I can tell the difference, Annie Wright seems more advance, has more parent evolvement, the school and it s community seems more content. Yes, my daughter last school was 15K less a year but Annie Wright was very generous in giving us 10K to help cover the cost of this school. It was be nice if the school could have more of a sports program. Also reading the last review in cutting teachers and then deciding to give themselves a pay raise. I believe (in any business) You have to look at where your money goes. I would rather pay 1 GOOD person a high salary then 2 people to do one a 1 mans job.
Major changes this year, letter goes out in July 2010 from board announcing they are "engaging in critical self examination of the school" in which they laid off a group of great staff. Tuition increases to average of 18k/yr (although they say this does not cover true tuition costs which are much higher. Months later Board votes to give itself a raise. All this would almost be something you could stomach if the learning was equal to public school Ap, or even if learning took place that was adjusted to each student. It really teaches all the same just like public school but without the extra courses for highly capable etc.. Atheltics oferring is limited, new rock wall that many groups have not been invited to use, cut backs in swimming pool, reduced science class time and more..... Why is it that bellarmine can offer more athletics, better academics, and at 11k/yr but state their true cost is 15k? It seems like AWS is not being run with the same efficiencies as other privates. Lots of parents involved, but its usually for fund raising and social status not parent involvement in increasing academic challenges. The top of each class seems bored and not challenged.
This is a tremendous private school and encourages diversity across many socio-economic bounds. I have had three children in lower and middle school and believe their development both acedemically and socially to be well served.
Great environment, students are 'happy' but lower school is far too easy, and they do not adjust for the typical private school needs, in that I mean they teach down to the lowest needs, and do not have a process to pull out students who are above average and challenge them.. It is a few grades behind in comparison to higher end academic private schools. Basically a great private school feeling with public school academics minus AP. Also....an underlying habit of not notifying parents of behavior issues/conflicts, they tend to sweep it under the rug and hope no one finds out....
The school is amazing and the athletics rock. Our kids just took 5th place in the State Volleyball Championship and we play two divisions up. Teachers are amazing and the curriculum is challenging; life changing experience for every child that attends.
I am part of the Annie Wright Alumni: This school rocks, it changed my life and I am forever thankful for that. It is a great school not only for girls but for boys too. I was a boy who went there. I never felt like boys were out numberd at school. If you have a boy and you are thinking of sending him here, don't be let people change thier mind when they tell you it is a girls school. It is not, the middle and lower school are well balanced. And the boys athletic programs are good too.
My son has been attending Annie Wright for the last 8 years. It is time to move on as he completes his 8th Grade this year. We, including our son, will have to adjust not attending the school anymore. The school has excellent middle school academics esp 5th-8th grade. My son has learned alot and has excelled in a number of nationalised testing -ACT, CTY, ERBs etc. I am particularly impressed by the dedication of the staff towards the kids. Alot of personal attention is paid to them. Looking back, I think we took the right decision in sending him to Annie Wright.
The programs are great there, and the teachers are very nice. I went to one of there summer programs are they're fab!
Our oldest daughter attended AWS for 13 years and youngest is in her 11th year. The oldest daughter just graduated from UPS and felt well prepared for her college experience. Many of her fellow college students were not as prepared especially in the area of writing. She also found her computer skills far superior to most of her peers. She was a nationally-ranked junior tennis player while at AWS and the school was very accomodating to her special scheduling needs, recognizing her athletic talent. The school has wonderful music, art, language and athletic programs. We also are tuition-paying parents, but unlike the other reviewer, we are pleased AWS attempts to mirror society with it's student population, and does not have an elitist attitude, for children must learn to live and learn in the real world, with all types of people and even our children are not perfect.
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