2017 Results of Amherst Private School Family Survey

Choice, Charter, and Private School Family Survey

Q1 In which school district do you reside? Answered: 37

Skipped: 0

Amherst (Pk-6) /...

Pelham (Pk-6)

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

Answer Choices

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Responses

Amherst (Pk-6) / Amherst-Pelham Regional (7-12)

100.00%

Pelham (Pk-6)

0.00%

Total

37 0 37

1 / 155

Choice, Charter, and Private School Family Survey

Q2 Which educational setting is your child in currently: Answered: 37

Skipped: 0

Charter School

Private School

Public School

Other ____________...

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

Answer Choices

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Responses

Charter School

0.00%

Private School

100.00%

Public School

0.00%

0

Other ________________

0.00%

0

Total

0 37

37

2 / 155

Choice, Charter, and Private School Family Survey

Q53 Which private school does your child(ren) attend: Answered: 37

Skipped: 0

The Academy at Charlemont Amherst Montessori

Bement School

Common School Deerfield Academy Eagle Hill School

Eaglebrook

Greenfield Center School Hartsbrook School Lander-Grinspoo n Academy MacDuffie School Montessori School of... Pope Francis High School Smith College Campus School Stoneleigh-Burn ham School Wilbraham and Monson Academy Williston Northampton Other ____________... 0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

53 / 155

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Choice, Charter, and Private School Family Survey Answer Choices

Responses

The Academy at Charlemont

0.00%

0

Amherst Montessori

8.11%

3

Bement School

5.41%

2

Common School

29.73%

11

Deerfield Academy

0.00%

0

Eagle Hill School

0.00%

0

Eaglebrook

0.00%

0

Greenfield Center School

2.70%

1

Hartsbrook School

32.43%

12

Lander-Grinspoon Academy

5.41%

2

MacDuffie School

0.00%

0

Montessori School of Northampton

2.70%

1

Pope Francis High School

0.00%

0

Smith College Campus School

13.51%

5

Stoneleigh-Burnham School

0.00%

0

Wilbraham and Monson Academy

0.00%

0

Williston Northampton

0.00%

0

Other ______________________________

0.00%

0

Total

37

54 / 155

Choice, Charter, and Private School Family Survey

Q54 What grade is your child(ren) currently in? Answered: 37

Skipped: 0

Kindergarten

Grade 1

Grade 2

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

Grade 6

Grade 7

Grade 8

Grade 9

Grade 10

Grade 11

Grade 12 0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

Answer Choices

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Responses

Kindergarten

27.03%

Grade 1

5.41%

2

Grade 2

8.11%

3

Grade 3

21.62%

8

Grade 4

13.51%

5

Grade 5

10.81%

4

13.51%

5

0.00%

0

Grade 6 Grade 7

55 / 155

10

Choice, Charter, and Private School Family Survey Grade 8

0.00%

0

Grade 9

0.00%

0

Grade 10

0.00%

0

Grade 11

0.00%

0

Grade 12

0.00%

0

Total

37

56 / 155

Choice, Charter, and Private School Family Survey

Q55 Did you ever visit an Amherst-Pelham Regional School before deciding to send your child(ren) to a private school? Answered: 37

Skipped: 0

Yes

No

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

Answer Choices

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Responses

Yes

62.16%

23

No

37.84%

14

Total

37

57 / 155

Choice, Charter, and Private School Family Survey

Q56 Did your child(ren) ever attend a public school within the Amherst-Pelham Regional School District? Answered: 37

Skipped: 0

Yes

No

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

Answer Choices

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Responses

Yes

37.84%

14

No

62.16%

23

Total

37

58 / 155

Choice, Charter, and Private School Family Survey

Q57 In which grade(s) did your child(ren) attend an AmherstPelham Regional Public School? Answered: 13

Skipped: 24

Preschool

Kindergarten

Grade 1

Grade 2

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

Grade 6

Grade 7

Grade 8

Grade 9

Grade 10

Grade 11

Grade 12 Other (please specify) 0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

Answer Choices

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Responses

Preschool

15.38%

2

Kindergarten

7.69%

1

Grade 1

0.00%

0

59 / 155

Choice, Charter, and Private School Family Survey Grade 2

7.69%

1

Grade 3

0.00%

0

Grade 4

0.00%

0

Grade 5

0.00%

0

Grade 6

0.00%

0

Grade 7

7.69%

1

Grade 8

0.00%

0

Grade 9

0.00%

0

Grade 10

0.00%

0

Grade 11

0.00%

0

Grade 12

0.00%

0

Other (please specify)

61.54%

8

Total

13

#

Other (please specify)

1

K-3

2

K-2

3

K-2

4

K-11

5

K-3

6

K-1

7

K, 1, 2

8

K, 1st, 2nd(for six weeks), 3rd

60 / 155

Choice, Charter, and Private School Family Survey

Q58 Which Amherst-Pelham Regional Public School did your child(ren) attend? Answered: 13

Skipped: 24

Crocker Farm Elementary Fort River Elementary Wildwood Elementary Pelham Elementary Amherst Regional Mid... Amherst Regional Hig... South East Campus 0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

Answer Choices

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Responses

Crocker Farm Elementary

46.15%

6

Fort River Elementary

30.77%

4

Wildwood Elementary

15.38%

2

Pelham Elementary

0.00%

0

Amherst Regional Middle School

7.69%

1

Amherst Regional High School

0.00%

0

South East Campus

0.00%

0

Total

13

61 / 155

Choice, Charter, and Private School Family Survey

Q59 If your child(ren) had not been admitted to the private school, what would you have done in terms of your child(ren)’s education? Answered: 36

Skipped: 1

Attend Amherst-Pelh...

Attend charter school

Attend another private school

Attend another public schoo...

Homeschool

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

Answer Choices

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Responses

Attend Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools

50.00%

Attend charter school

2.78%

Attend another private school

38.89%

14

Attend another public school through choice program

0.00%

0

Homeschool

8.33%

3

Total

18 1

36

62 / 155

Choice, Charter, and Private School Family Survey

Q60 How likely is it that you will send your child(ren) to an Amherst-Pelham Regional Public School at some time in the future? Answered: 37

Skipped: 0

Very likely

Somewhat likely

Possible, but unlikely

Not at all likely

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

Answer Choices

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Responses

Very likely

35.14%

13

Somewhat likely

18.92%

7

Possible, but unlikely

32.43%

12

Not at all likely

13.51%

5

Total

37

63 / 155

Choice, Charter, and Private School Family Survey

Q61 Please rank each of the following factors as to their impact on your decision to send your child(ren) to a charter school rather than the Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools.The school that we chose offers services, classes or a curriculum that was uniquely suited for our child. Answered: 36

Skipped: 1

Major

Somewhat

Minor

Not at All

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

Answer Choices

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Responses

Major

63.89%

23

Somewhat

22.22%

8

Minor

2.78%

1

Not at All

11.11%

4

Total

36

64 / 155

Choice, Charter, and Private School Family Survey

Q62 If you answered “Major”, what is the specific service, class, or curriculum that the school offered? Answered: 23

Skipped: 14

#

Responses

1

Lots of arts (both fine arts and arts-and-crafts)

2

Common School places great emphasis on their social emotional curriculum

3

Common School places great emphasis on social emotional curriculum

4

Unstructured setting/curriculum

5

The curriculum at our son's school addresses not only academic goals, but human development goals of the body and spirit

6

We valued having a play-based early childhood curriculum with lots of outside time, and waiting on introduction of technology. We also have children (2) in the 2nd grade

7

Arts and movement classes. Hands-on activities and class trips. Moving at the developmental pace of the child. No enforced test taking or academic teaching to the test

8

Hands-on, arts-centered curriculum. Also, my child has also attended Fort River

9

Small classroom size, strong sense of community, socialization

10

Our child also went to both the middle and high schools

11

Ability to put extra tailored resources and appropriate for ADHD. We also have a student in the 6th grade

12

Jewish curriculum and very strong academics

13

Much more outside time (1-2 hrs/days), plus a very rich play and experiment based learning extensive music and art programs

14

Theme based curriculum/learning. Small class size. Excellent teachers. Parent influence on child's needs. I also have a 5th grader.

15

Arts, music, foreign languages lots of outdoor play and activities

16

Progressive education, small classes, low teacher - student ratio, lower incidences of bullying, greater acceptance of differences

17

Small class size, Waldorf philosophy, nuturing and loving enviornment, Waldorf curriculum (developmentally adjusted instruction for the individual child) movement play, cultivation of community in smaller setting, no standardized testing! no pressure to meet benchmarks and MCAS testing

18

Rich curriculum with attention placed on who my child is an individual learner. This did not happen in grades K-1 at Crocker Farm

19

Montessori preschool/K curriculum

20

I have a Kindergartener and a 3rd grader. If they had not been admitted to private schools, we would have attended ARPS, charter or other private school

21

Waldorf curriculum

22

-Spanish classes twice a week -Student centered curriculum based on Reggio Emilia Philosophy -Physical Education every day -Physical space: i.e. own classroom not a quad

23

Language immersion program

65 / 155

Choice, Charter, and Private School Family Survey

Q63 We were concerned that the size of the classes or school was too large and wanted a smaller learning environment for our child(ren). Answered: 36

Skipped: 1

Major

Somewhat

Minor

Not at All

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

Answer Choices

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Responses

Major

36.11%

13

Somewhat

41.67%

15

Minor

19.44%

7

Not at All

2.78%

1

Total

36

66 / 155

Choice, Charter, and Private School Family Survey

Q64 It was less about the local public school our child would have attended and more about hearing good things about the private school we chose. Answered: 36

Skipped: 1

Major

Somewhat

Minor

Not at All

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

Answer Choices

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Responses

Major

33.33%

12

Somewhat

38.89%

14

Minor

11.11%

4

Not at All

16.67%

6

Total

36

67 / 155

Choice, Charter, and Private School Family Survey

Q65 We were concerned about the physical infrastructure of the Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools. Answered: 37

Skipped: 0

Major

Somewhat

Minor

Not at All

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

Answer Choices

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Responses

Major

18.92%

7

Somewhat

16.22%

6

Minor

32.43%

12

Not at All

32.43%

12

Total

37

68 / 155

Choice, Charter, and Private School Family Survey

Q66 The private school we chose seems to have more children learning at a higher level. Answered: 37

Skipped: 0

Major

Somewhat

Minor

Not at All

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

Answer Choices

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Responses

Major

32.43%

12

Somewhat

24.32%

9

Minor

18.92%

7

Not at All

24.32%

9

Total

37

69 / 155

Choice, Charter, and Private School Family Survey

Q67 We were concerned about budget cuts and the threat of cutting programs like the arts in the Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools. Answered: 36

Skipped: 1

Major

Somewhat

Minor

Not at All

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

Answer Choices

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Responses

Major

41.67%

15

Somewhat

33.33%

12

Minor

16.67%

6

Not at All

8.33%

3

Total

36

70 / 155

Choice, Charter, and Private School Family Survey

Q68 We visited an Amherst-Pelham Regional School and came away unimpressed. Answered: 34

Skipped: 3

Major

Somewhat

Minor

Not at All

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

Answer Choices

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Responses

Major

14.71%

5

Somewhat

17.65%

6

Minor

14.71%

5

Not at All

52.94%

18

Total

34

71 / 155

Choice, Charter, and Private School Family Survey

Q69 We wanted our child to be academically challenged and the Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools did not offer a sufficiently advanced and challenging curriculum for more academically gifted students. Answered: 36

Skipped: 1

Major

Somewhat

Minor

Not at All

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

Answer Choices

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Responses

Major

27.78%

10

Somewhat

22.22%

8

Minor

11.11%

4

Not at All

38.89%

Total

14 36

72 / 155

Choice, Charter, and Private School Family Survey

Q70 We were concerned about bullying and/or the physical or emotional safety of our child(ren) in the Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools. Answered: 37

Skipped: 0

Major

Somewhat

Minor

Not at All

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

Answer Choices

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Responses

Major

21.62%

8

Somewhat

27.03%

10

Minor

13.51%

5

Not at All

37.84%

14

Total

37

73 / 155

Choice, Charter, and Private School Family Survey

Q71 We had anticipated, heard of, or personally experienced too many behavioral problems among students in the classrooms of the Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools. Answered: 37

Skipped: 0

Major

Somewhat

Minor

Not at All

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

Answer Choices

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Responses

Major

18.92%

7

Somewhat

37.84%

14

Minor

10.81%

4

Not at All

32.43%

12

Total

37

74 / 155

Choice, Charter, and Private School Family Survey

Q72 We were concerned about the emphasis on testing in the Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools. Answered: 37

Skipped: 0

Major

Somewhat

Minor

Not at All

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

Answer Choices

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Responses

Major

48.65%

18

Somewhat

24.32%

9

Minor

13.51%

5

Not at All

13.51%

5

Total

37

75 / 155

Choice, Charter, and Private School Family Survey

Q73 We felt there was more accountability for teacher performance in private schools. Answered: 37

Skipped: 0

Major

Somewhat

Minor

Not at All

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

Answer Choices

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Responses

Major

21.62%

8

Somewhat

16.22%

6

Minor

13.51%

5

Not at All

48.65%

18

Total

37

76 / 155

Choice, Charter, and Private School Family Survey

Q74 We have friends/neighbors who are sending their children to the same school we have chosen. Answered: 37

Skipped: 0

Major

Somewhat

Minor

Not at All

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

Answer Choices

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Responses

Major

5.41%

2

Somewhat

29.73%

11

Minor

21.62%

8

Not at All

43.24%

16

Total

37

77 / 155

Choice, Charter, and Private School Family Survey

Q75 We were concerned about the Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools’ MCAS test results. Answered: 35

Skipped: 2

Major

Somewhat

Minor

Not at All

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

Answer Choices

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Responses

Major

0.00%

0

Somewhat

2.86%

1

Minor

14.29%

5

Not at All

82.86%

29

Total

35

78 / 155

Choice, Charter, and Private School Family Survey

Q76 We were concerned about the adequacy of special education services. Answered: 37

Skipped: 0

Major

Somewhat

Minor

Not at All

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

Answer Choices

60%

70%

80%

90% 100%

Responses

Major

5.41%

2

Somewhat

13.51%

5

Minor

10.81%

4

Not at All

70.27%

26

Total

37

79 / 155

Comments: Please use the space below if you want to share more specific details about why you opted to send your child(ren) to a private school instead of the Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools. Open-Ended Response Two students - Our child had been attending Amherst Montessori, mostly because its early childhood schedule had worked well for us. Hartsbrook, we saw him calming down, and Fort River had a lot of new things going on - new mission, new head of school, new math curriculum- so it was hard to know how it might play out. Both of our kids are athletic & artsy, and the focus on hands-on at Hartsbrook, kinetic learning and lots of running around, singing, etc, works so well for both of them that we'd rather not move them. Our older child may attend ARHS; the younger is so young, we're not thinking that far ahead yet. We learned about the ARPS building/environment issues later and had friends who struggled @ Fort River- those didn't affect our choice to go to private school, but probably helped keep us there. We chose to pull our child mid year from Wildwood as the academics felt geared to the "average" child's educational level and the class had mostly kids who were ESL students or "gifted" students. The teacher was doing her best to challenge each student but much of the time she was overwhelmed and the students were either overwhelmed or underwhelmed. There was a ton of waiting for silence, for the next directions, or for teacher attention. Students had little time to be outdoors and connect joyfully with each other and students in other grades and classroom. Learning felt top down, isolating, and regimented. We attended Waldorf Schools and were committed to sending our kids to Waldorf early childhood and elementary school. We are very interested in sending them to High School in Amherst public school system. Also this survey represents all three of our children, ages 4, 7, and 7. Thanks My son is a quiet kid with some attention and focus problems. He couldn't concentrate and learn in the public schools because there were so many disruptive kids in his class, and the teachers were so busy with the disrupted kids that my son's focus issues weren't being noticed/addressed Child with CAPD, open classroom horrible for her; and all other kids. Way too much stimuli, especially when you add an increase in behaviorally difficult kids (matched with untrained paras who do nothing) - bad combo. Not just for my child, but all. The circumstances were intolerable for any one who doesn't like extremely hard, out of control environments. Visit for lunch time in cafeteria, a ridiculous situation with untrained, out numbered staff. We wanted a small size classroom for our daughter who has social pragmatic issues. 8 anaphalaxis allergies, and communication disabilities. We had issues in the past at Crocker Farm with some of these and also had concerns about bullying. She's is doing well in a small classroom. Also, my sister lives in Northampton, and she sends her children to the school our daughter goes to. We were concerned if quiet students would receive sufficient attention from the teachers Initially, we would have sent our children to Amherst Public Schools, but then we learned about LanderGrinspoon Academy. It was been a fabulous experience for our children and our family. I

I believe Amherst Regional Public Schools are doing a good job trying to keep up with services other private schools offer. Teacher to a test, however, is a major road block to achieving that standard, as it limits important aspects of curriculum, like at, music or outside time. I hope to see more individual freedom being given to teachers and less focus on tests that don't really matter. Happy students do better at school and this happiness will bot be achieved through limited and punitive methods that are prevalent in public school system We started our boys in the nursery classrooms at the Common School. They were at Amherst Montessori school but it was not a good match. We stayed at the Common School because it was a good match and the boys were happy. The theme based learning technique was better suited for our boys. Class size and great teachers was better for us. our plan is to send the boys to the middle school after the Common School. The Common School has enforced many things we teach the boys as parents...respect nature, respect others, no bullying, be kind and fair, etc. and when an issue came up we could go to the director and have our concerns respected and acted on The private school we chose has an excellent preschool program and have chosen to keep them there for early prek - 1st or 2nd grade but then will likely switch to Amherst public schools. I was originally concerned about standardized testing but so far have felt Amherst does not focus solely "teaching to test" but rather provides a sound curriculum of which the testing is but one part The relationships that develop between the school facility and staff are very strong, esp. if attend throughout elementary years. Kids are truly known at school. Individualized attention and planning is HUGE. Much easier to build community and other families Our daughter was failed in K and 1. Her teachers did not work to understand who she is as a learner. She loves learning and reading, and sh was not challenged or trended to. In fact, her needs were put aside multiple timer. It was very disappointing and discouraging for all of us. She remembers being told she couldn't read more books at quiet time in 1st grade - only 2 book/week from library. Also, at conference time, her teacher barely knew who she was as a student. His hands were full with behavioral issues. He needed an aid in the classroom! She will go to ARMS and we are keeping our fingers crossed for a better experience The questions here don't capture why we chose Hartsbrook for our child. The reason we chose to not send our child to public school, any public school, our knowledge of the state of public education. In particular, the teacher-to-the-test approach to content knowledge; the intense focus on academic disciplinary knowledge while forsaking creativity, play, socio-economic skills; and the competitive atmosphere these elements foster on school settings. This is why we chose an alternative form of education our daughter, one where the focus is on fostering love of learning, a sense of community, a deep appreciation for the extra (performance and visual) and life-long intellectual curiosity. Its really not about ARPS, its about public U.S. offer We will send our child to Fort River for first grade next year. My main concerns are the infrastructure excess resources devoted to special ed and not enough support for students who excel, and potential lack of discipline regarding behavioral issues in the classroom. But we do hear many good things about Fort River and are excited to give it a try

I will try to briefly summarize here (although I can do it better verbally) Our decision had nothing to do with Amherst Schools, we never heard or thought anything but good regards. Instead we were drawn by the Waldorf as a child and our belief that it was/is the way we felt was best for our children. A gift we are giving them, if we didn't do this and they went to Amherst schools I am certain they would receive an excellent education provided by dedicated, good, caring teachers. I guess we believe we are getting more than an education at Hartsbrook. We feel the school is also doing an amazing job developing them as good people. This though, one can definitely argue all schools do. So in the end our choice is based on a belief in one education model with nothing against others We are relatively new to the area, and would probably have tried to live in the Jackson Street School Northampton district if this school weren't an option for us. We never looked into A/P public schools because we had chosen Waldorf before moving here. As far as we know, Amherst schools are pretty good! We are very pleased with Waldorf and will stay as long as possible.

Final Amherst Private School Survey (final).pdf

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Editorial Assistance from: John S. Loder, Carey A. Maines, Charles Schweizer. ISBN-13: 978-1-58428-245-7. Library of Congress Control Number: 2007926665.

Amherst Central Schools encourage collaboration across grade levels ...
Making technology invisible ... Logging onto devices used to eat up 15 minutes of instructional time, and now ... Integrated technology into every lesson plan.