Saturday, May 12, 2012
Portland Village School Charter Reviews by Parents
The parent reviews sum up this school well. For those that value alternative Waldorf methods and community, no homework, do not mind the no media at school and home policy (no TV, Movies, computers and images on clothing/lunchboxes/backpacks), this is a great school. For those that value academics, discipline, learning about technology, and enabling your child to have things in common with and be comfortable relating to kids outside the small Waldorf community, this is not the school for you. For example of the latter, attending a friend's birthday party at Chuck'E'Cheezes is not in keeping with the School's Waldorf methods. Also, be sure to check the School's report card on the Oregon Department of Education Website. I found the School's performance claims to be inaccurate.
The school is disorganized. Teaching methods do not allow for different learning styles. They give lip service to Gardner's Multiple Intelligences framework. Teachers halt all teaching of main lesson to practice for a play...for 3-4 weeks. Kids with learning disabilities are not well supported. Teachers are unwilling to change the Waldorf method in order to accomodate special needs. And the school does not celebrate diversity of thought, of cultures, etc. So, if you are of European descent (white) and have children without learning challenges/disabilities, you'll love this school. You can never question the teaching method, because it is always the student who is "behind in some developmental skill". They'll prescribe house chores, mid-line exercises, etc. to enhance the child's learning capabilites. The teacher has NOTHING to change. The onus is always on the child. The school is a great fit if you are from Portland, of European descent (white) and your children do not have learning disabilities.
Very slow track methods for learning and super old school in regards to their philosophy, of course, Waldorf. This school will be a challenge for the modern child and the gifted.
This school might work for you if 1) you don't care much whether your child learns anything, 2) you have a very high tolerance for discipline issues and a very disorganized and unprofessional discipline response, 3) you don't mind rampant flakiness such as the staff (even the administration!) not following written policies, 4) you don't mind whether your small child is properly supervised, 5) you can tolerate inconsistent and unprofessional communication styles from the staff. This school is a nightmare. Run!
The school does not focus much attention on academics and does not have the support or ability to work with children of different learning styles and needs!