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Cold Spring School, New Haven

schoolHaven –> K-12 Reviews –> Private/Independent Schools

263 Chapel Street
New Haven, CT 06513-4214
Grades Preschool-6

December 2012.  As parents, we were looking for a school that could provide a nurturing environment where our son would be free to explore and grow.  We found that in Cold Spring School.

Cold Spring School provides a stimulating environment that emphasizes growth over achievement, where compassion is part of the curriculum, and adjustments can be made for individual students.  We love CSS for its outstanding teachers and curriculum, small class sizes and academic excellence. Equally important to us, is the school’s engagement in the greater community and its desire to teach children how to be active, thoughtful citizens.

Additionally, the parent community is so open and welcoming. We have made family friends that will last a lifetime. Its a REAL community! Cold Spring School is a hidden treasure that we are so grateful to have found. There can’t be many schools like this in the country.  Thea B-W., parent

November 2012.  My daughter is a late-comer to Cold Spring School, starting in the fourth grade after several years of New Haven public school education. While we had been mostly satisfied with her previous school, enrolling her in CSS has been one of the best decisions we have made for her. By week two, our daughter was a different person. No, that is not quite right: she is more herself than she had been in ages. A happy kid in general, she has become happier, more enthusiastic, more communicative, excited about going to school each day. She has long declared that she hated writing; now she is working on a historical fiction piece that she talks about with pride. She likes to bounce plot ideas off of us, and ask us our opinion on a metaphor she’s working on.
Here are a few things that amaze me about CSS: I love the whole school meetings run by children each Wednesday. In the car we sing the rounds the music teacher introduces us to each week at these meetings. The Spanish program is great. The art on the walls all over the school bears witness to a skilled and creative teacher. The multiage classrooms and mentoring opportunities give the kids lots of opportunities to help each other and learn from each other. My daughter is teaching all the kids on our block the games she’s playing in fitness (capture the flag, anyone?) If I have concerns or questions, I am encouraged to text or email her teachers at any time. Our family has started using the criteria learned from the new principal “Is it safe? Is it necessary? Is it kind?” as our criteria for making decisions that affect the people around us.

I think my daughter gained a lot from her time in public school, including an appreciation for different cultures and socio-economic backgrounds, resilience, and flexibility. At CSS, in a few short months, she has added to these attributes the gifts of wonder, curiosity, communication, and joy in learning.  Leslie G.W., parent

November 2012.  i have a cold spring graduate who was well prepared enough academically to go on to the Hopkins school and was able to grow in ways that i wonder if would have been possible at our local public school.  cold spring allows children to play and learn in a warm and supportive and Friendly atmosphere.  as a parent it is comforting to drop off a child and say hello to their classmates and connect with a teacher about how they might be doing that day. this kind of communication is encouraged at cold spring and it is a way to be involved with your child’s day to day.  W.C.

November 2012.  There are not enough good things that can be said about Cold Spring School.  The teachers and educational philosophy inspire inquiry and a love of learning.  It has been such a gift to watch my daughter enjoy school.  The first day she came home from the kindergaarten class and she exclaimed, “It was incredible!”  Parents are actively included and encouraged to participate in their children’s day through weekly Wednesday morning meetings, field trips, and warm, inviting classrooms.  One of the things that appealed to our family was the regualr engagement with the arts that is so evident at Cold Spring.  The music and art classes are exceptional. My daughter was right when she said Cold Spring is an incredible school!  Rachel L.B., parent

October 2012.  10 minutes into our tour of Cold Spring School (CSS) my husband whispered to me, “Do you think that we can transfer him tomorrow?” Our son started out at another kindergarten which was not a good fit for him. We did transfer him to CSS and within a month he was back to his normal, happy self. He is curious about learning and is engaged in the process. The social curriculum at CSS has helped him to grow in confidence and  respect for others.

The only thing that I would add to the other wonderful reviews is to take a tour and observe CSS in action. It is the only way to see if it is the right school for your child.  Meg G., parent

November 2011.  Cold Spring is truly a remarkable school, and you get a sense of this from the moment you walk into the building. The energy and creativity in the classrooms are palpable.  Children are thoroughly engaged and take an active, joyful part in their learning.  The result:  kids who graduate from Cold Spring still have the natural curiosity and love of learning that they had when they entered the school, and they truly are the “self-reliant, curious and resourceful problem-solvers” that the school’s mission statement promises.

I have seen from personal experience that Cold Spring graduates are extremely well prepared academically for middle school (my twins are now in 8th grade).  But Cold Spring does more than just help students to reach their academic potential; it helps them develop into really good people.  It does this by focusing as much on the personal and social development of each student as it does on math or reading.   Students learn to respect their classmates’ strengths and weaknesses, and to resolve conflicts by talking through the issues.

All of the teachers at Cold Spring are truly extraordinary and the student teacher ratio is less than 10:1.    This school was a phenomenal educational experience for my children and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

– L.O., parent

October 2011.  I have 3 children at Cold Spring School from preschool to 4th grade.  CSS is truly a child-centered place of learning.  There’s a remarkable, rigorous and supportive academic and social curriculum, unlike any other I’ve seen or experienced.  My 3 love going to school.  CSS nurtures their natural curiosity and sense of wonder.  They think learning is fun and cool and that’s b/c of Cold Spring.  Financially, I wish we had a comparable public alternative, but in  my view, for these early years, CSS is absolutely worth the investment.

– A.M., parent

June 2011.  Our boys were early readers and are naturally very curious, so our biggest fear for their schooling has been that they would get bored or lost in the shuffle. The things I like best about Cold Spring are the learner-driven curriculum and the social curriculum. When our kids study something at Cold Spring, they aren’t learning a discreet set of facts presented by the teacher or a text. They are given a theme and guidance and expected to find what they want to learn and explore for themselves. When I was in graduate school, I found that this is the one crucial thing that you need to be able to do but unfortunately it is rarely taught in earlier stages of education.

The social curriculum is also important since so much of learning and succeeding in life has to do with being able to participate fully and comfortably in a group or community. Our kids never really get it when they read in some book about a school bully since the whole community experience at Cold Spring is designed to be a nurturing and collaborative place. If the kids have issues, they are taught to work them out together.

When we drop our kids off in the morning, they always run ahead, excited to go to school. When we pick them up in the afternoon, it is hard to tear them away. I don’t remember loving school that much when I was their age!

P.C., Parent

June 2011.  We chose Cold Spring School because it is a stand-alone elementary school dedicated to nurturing the social/emotional growth of its students and to building a love of learning.  Our children run into school every morning because they know that they will be engaged and happy throughout the day.  As parents, we have been thrilled to watch them attain fabulous academic skills while they benefit from being valued members of a community that includes children, parents, teachers and staff.

A., parent.

June 2011.  We chose Cold Spring School over other private schools in New Haven for its talented teachers and exceptional curriculum.   This is a diverse community –  socially, economically, professionally – which we find to be one of the school’s greatest strengths.  Parents have come to my kids classes to explain everything from game theory to life in a kibbutz.  Children learn to live as citizens in a changing world, prepared by classes on history, biodiversity, and social justice, alongside a fantastic art and music program.  Despite the different backgrounds, we find ourselves with similar goals that stress a rigorous education balanced by empathy, curiosity, and respect for each member of the CSS community.

K.R., parent

May 2011.  The Cold Spring School is an exceptional place for the children and parents alike.  My children (5th and 2nd graders) have been challenged academically and encouraged to take ownership of their learning.  They know from Cold Spring that there is always more to learn and that the process of acquiring knowledge and skills can be joyful.  The social curriculum at Cold Spring means that the children learn how to manage and thrive among difference, and gain important social skills that they will also use for the rest of their lives. For parents, Cold Spring is a very special community where parents come together on a weekly basis for all-school meetings and contribute in myriad ways to the school.  We feel so lucky to have found Cold Spring.

Leslie S., parent

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