My daughter came to Wingra 3/4 of the way through kindergarten (sadly she did not thrive in the public schools in Madison and had a miserable experience there). The entire Wingra community (teachers and students) accepted her with open arms. Within a week my daughter's joy for school returned and for several years she thrived at Wingra. Due to my husband's job, we had to move out of state. Leaving Wingra behind was one of the hardest things about our move. My daughter is back in the public schools in third grade (due to all the school testing, we know her reading and language level are at the 4th grade level). In addition to learning, my daughter got to experience an open, trusting, loving community that accepted her and never judged her, where she always felt welcomed and "okay." Wingra is a wonderful school that fosters a love of learning. We miss it a lot and recommend it highly.
This school works well enough for many children, but high IQ boys with inattentive ADD will NOT do well here. I know a few, including my own son, who were miserable, despite the admininstration's promises. If you child is a truly divergent thinker who marches to his/her own drummer and is not terribly interested in pleasing the teacher and being a follower of group activities, they will not be happy here. We are homeschooling now. They were also not able to meet some of my son's medical needs, which made his time worse there. Quiet kids who get lost in the shuffle of regular school may do fine here. If your kid is gifted in math and science and language, I do not advise you send them here. The staff do not understand gifted kids with learning differences, even though they SWEAR up and down that they do.
This school is perfect for parents looking for an alternative to schools and programs for their gifted child. Children are given challenging work without testing, labelling, or comparing. Wingra is also fantastic for children who are sensitive and creative, or who tend to learn and think in unusual ways. I've seen children enter the school self-conscious, suspicious, angry and frightened and by spring, they're skipping down the hallway, performing in the monthly follies, and authoritatively explaining their projects to an audience of students, parents and teachers. I've never before met children so completely comfortable with themselves as are Wingra students. When my child was crying because he had to go home sick, five children from his class and two from other classes stopped by to ask him what was wrong and offer words of comfort and sympathy. My son (normally a dawdler) never has a problem getting ready for school in the morning since he started at Wingra and a threat of "You're going to be late for school," is enough to get him moving. Over school breaks, he's always asking, "When can I go back to school?"
Wingra School is a progressive school that truly teaches to the whole child. We have one child who has graduated from Wingra and one still there. The teachers are dedicated, creative, and very competent. They teach concepts in context and make instruction very practical. Students are well-prepared for high school and many high school teachers say Wingra students are creative, higher order thinkers. As an educator who's worked in the public schools for 23 years I can truly say that Wingra students get a wonderful education in a caring, respectful environment.
I have two children at Wingra and we all love it. At Wingra, my kids are challenged to reach their goals in a supportive and compassionate environment. They are active participants in their education. They have a voice in what they learn and how they learn. What I love about Wingra is that students are really learning about themselves as learners and developing a clear sense of what drives them. This is something, I feel, is often lost when students are working primarily for a test score or a grade. At Wingra, my children at gaining the academic and social skills they need to follow their dreams, be a caring community member. The teachers at Wingra are top-notch professionals. They are dedicated to the students, families and their profession. I am so thankful our family chose Wingra!
Both of our children began going to Wingra School in Kindergarten. What we love most about Wingra is that our children LOVE going to school. The fact that they love school does not mean that learning is easy at Wingra. Students are challenged according to their learning level and abilities, pushing the envelope of their comfort zones. Our kids delve deeply into each subject, discovering how it applies to real life through field trips, hands-on projects, experiential learning and collaboration. What they learn sticks with them because it all feels relevant, applicable, and interesting! Kids are also expected to work in groups, collaborate with their peers, and learn to respect and listen to one another. As a result, our son and daughter have developed excellent leadership skills, empathy and self-confidence. Not only does Wingra nurture our children as learners, but the staff also works with them to be good friends and community members. Finally, what we love about the school is that our kids are allowed to be who they are and, with the help of Wingra, are developing into their best selves. Thanks, Wingra School!
Wingra is a small, welcoming community of thoughtful, dedicated, creative educators. My children are taught to be thinkers and doers at Wingra. They are given regular opportunities to express themselves freely, to lead, to follow, to be challenged and to consider many viewpoints. We are so lucky to have Wingra for our kids!
My children attended Wingra school for all of their elementary and middle school years. Wingra school embodies the principals of social justice. Wingra honors and nutures the unique qualities of every student. Wingra is a safe place to learn and grow. Wingra allows students to explore their interests, express themselves, and even learn from their own mistakes. The kind and caring community of parents is outstanding. The scholarship program allows for students of various economic backgrounds to have access to this amazing program. There is no testing, drilling, or torturing of children--learning activities are engaging and well-planned by a amazingly talented and passionate teaching staff. I feel so lucky to have my children at Wingra School.
Our child attended this school for several years. While the teachers do their best to foster a positive and "joyful" learning environment, and the educational component is excellent, we were very disappointed with the treatment our daughter recieved by other children within her class and throughout the school. For a program that favors individualism, it felt as though the children had learned little about courtesy and kindness towards their peers. We have since enrolled her at another school, and our child now comes home happy instead of in tears.
Motivated to Learn! My daughter loves Wingra School. Each morning she is motivated to get to school. Each afternoon she's excited to talk about the new thing she discovered or a new perspective on a familiar topic. I am happy to send her to Wingra School and know that her teachers, all the teachers (and staff), are engaged in the learning process of each child. I have seen my young child relish learning math; get excited about scientific inquiry; and request that she read to me. Without a doubt, Wingra School was the right choice for our family and we have had a wonderful learning experience there.