EDUCATION THAT GOES BEYOND TEST SCORES
Ashley Duff’s 4th grade son has found a passion for learning since coming to Citizens this year. Ashley credits that to the school environment and teaching model being the right fit for her son. “We were looking for something that would be more hands-on and a little less structured. We wanted something that was a bit more open.”
She said when they visited the school they could just feel that it was a happy place and the focus was on the well-being of the kids as much as it was on academics -- that jived with what Ashley knew her son needed. While he was doing well academically at his previous school, he just wasn’t excited about learning. “He comes home now,” Ashley said, “and he’s really excited about what they’re doing. He just seems really engaged.”
What is one thing that has stood out to you about your child’s experience at Citizens?
His demeanor is completely different, as well as his attitude towards school. He was always great about doing his homework, but he just wasn’t excited about it. But at Citizens, he’s really connected with his teacher this year. He was sick for about 2 weeks earlier this year, and he was so sad that he had to miss school. When I asked him why, he said he just missed his teacher. I have been a teacher myself for a long time, and I want him to love teachers! He has found that at Citizens.
I’ve also noticed that he’s getting along really well with other students. He comes home and says, “The kids are really nice, and there aren’t any bullies.” Everyone is just so friendly, and that’s a big thing for us.
Excellence is one of CWC’s core values: There is a focus on rigorous academics as well as a focus on the fact that there is a lot that contributes to a kid’s success beyond test scores. How have you seen this ring true with your child?
I felt like for a little boy in particular, the learning model there is just really great. They get to move around, and they get to do projects. There’s a lot of flexibility in their schedule, and it just works for what my son needs. This was just a good match for him.
He’s really doing well academically. He’s doing really well in math and is in a different math class because of that. They also have electives at Citizens for 4th graders, and he is in engineering, which he thinks is the coolest thing! He’s also taking yoga, which I think is great, partly because he’s such an energetic boy and that helps him with stress too. The electives are a really fun way to continue to do things like math in engineering. It’s expanding on academics, but it’s not stressful. It’s one of his favorite things.
What else have you noticed about the Citizens community?
One thing I didn’t know before my child started was how nice all of the families are, and how the school is just really welcoming to families. They do a lot of things, like Friday Morning Sing at the elementary school. They want families and parents to come in, and they want people in the classrooms and to be involved. People really made an effort to make us feel welcome. I was worried about my son being the new kid in school because he can be a little bit shy, but it has been great. It’s just so welcoming!