My family is new to The Geneva School this year. Our son Landon is in kindergarten. The school has done an excellent job of providing information on activities, weekly itinerary, and information concerning the school calendar and policies. It is almost impossible to make a mistake, because you are given this information in both paper format and through emails. The ECC provides such a tender loving atmosphere. I have never questioned my child’s safety. I know that when I drop him off, he is being “loved on” by the teachers and other staff at the school. As a new mother to The Geneva School, I have been welcomed by the school and other mothers. The school has gone above and beyond to help our family stay involved and connected. Above all of this, Landon has made friends with other children who are being raised to love their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I couldn’t ask for a more precious gift.
As the time drew closer for my first child to start school, my questions and worries grew. In order to find the best match for my child I researched many area schools: public, private, Christian, etc. I kept an Excel spreadsheet of the similarities/differences/pros/cons. But what guided my decision the most were not the talks with the administrators or the nice brochures or the easy-to-use websites. What had the biggest impact on me was spending time observing the classrooms in action.
I realized that I didn’t want a little robot who could repeat lots of things to me, and I wasn’t worried about test scores in kindergarten. I also realized I wanted a place that could offer more to my child than what I could give him at home at this time. I wanted a place where my child’s character would grow. I wanted a place where he was moving, touching and feeling the world around him; not just hearing about it. I realized that the best technology in the world doesn’t replace the basic foundational elements of reading, writing, speaking, math, and art.
The Early Childhood Campus of The Geneva School had a very different feel from any of the other schools I looked at, and it has proven to be what I hoped it would be. It is a place where children learn to love learning. It is about experiencing what they learn. It is a place where I am confident in the guidance he is getting as he learns how to interact with peers. It is a place where we feel deeply cared for and loved as a family.
Why choose The Geneva School Early Childhood Campus? We have been a part of the Early Childhood Campus for two years now. We have one child that is now in the first grade and one child in kindergarten. The best way I can sum up how we feel about ECC is “family”. The teachers, the aides, the administration, and the aftercare staff have all touched my children in such a special way that we will never forget. The best example that I can give is that my kindergarten child always stops by his old pre-K class to hug his teacher from the past year, everyday! Once my kindergarten child goes to the first grade, I know I will have to stop by ECC to see my “family” often. I am already anticipating missing everyone at ECC.
When you take a walk through the Early Childhood Campus of The Geneva School, you are bound to hear laughing, learning, playing, and so much more. We were amazed when we brought our son to the pre-K program. The teachers and staff are loving, caring, and compassionate. The curriculum is perfectly crafted with reason and thought. We especially love the way the children learn in an integrated fashion. For example, they learn about pilgrims and the Mayflower during Thanksgiving by reading stories, dress up like pilgrims, they eat pilgrim food, draw pilgrims, perform a play, and truly feel what it must have been like on the Mayflower. The children are learning by doing and immersing themselves in the subject matter and the best part is that they are having fun doing it! Most of all, Geneva develops each child’s heart for Jesus. Each week, the children learn verses from the Bible, they act out parts of the Bible, and they live it out through their kindness towards their friends in class. Everything they are doing all points the focus back to Jesus. The ECC Campus has been a wonderful start for the beginning of many years for our child. We feel very blessed to have found The Geneva School!
As a father, I like to think that I’m involved in the lives of my children—not as a helicopter parent, mind you, but actively engaged nonetheless in my vocation to oversee my children’s formation: heart and soul, mind and body. So when I hear The Geneva School express its relationship to the family with the Latin phrase In loco parentis, in the place of a parent, it communicates something more to me than the fact that they will be sure to teach my children reading, writing and arithmetic. It means that I’m entrusting my children to the care of godly teachers who understand the parental vocation in precisely the terms I mentioned above, and who see themselves as co-laborers in that call. My experience over the past three years as a parent of two children in Early Childhood program at The Geneva School shows that this trust is well placed. Whether it is in terms of spiritual formation, physical exercise and eating habits, or the engagement of mind and imagination in learning, I am continually surprised and delighted to see the degree of care and thoughtfulness that my children’s teachers demonstrate in partnering with my wife and me in our call to educate our children. I know I speak for both of us when I say that we could not imagine entrusting our children’s education to anyone other than the Early Childhood faculty of the The Geneva School—in fact, we look forward to the day when our youngest child will experience the same great education as her two older siblings.
From the moment I stepped into the Geneva pre-K and kindergarten classrooms, I knew I wanted my child here. I am continually amazed by what she is learning and understanding. From phonograms to metamorphosis, they learn that in everything we do there is beauty, and it is all done for the love of God.
The Geneva School has been a blessing to our family for the last three years. My husband and I do not have family here in town, so the friends we have made—even staff members—have become like family to us. At The Geneva School there is lots of love and community. The faculty and staff recognize that each and every child is different and unique in their own way and they focus on the gifts of each child. My six year old, who has been attending The Geneva School for three years, never showed a love for art until he started attending The Geneva School. It has been a joy to see that gift develop.
Vincent Ortiz (Grandfather)
Mom put me in a girls’ Catholic school kindergarten class because, after enrolling my three elder sisters, I could go for free. This was in 1937, and I still remember my teacher seemed like a giant batwoman in a long skirt with a long rosary hanging from her belt. Her name was Mother Redempta. My sisters and I went through kindergarten with her, and for 50 more years students were introduced to learning through her. She made learning fun. I realized, as I passed through a meat grinder in a Jesuit-run high school, that I could tolerate it because she had set me up to handle it.
So it is with The Geneva School’s Early Childhood Campus. I know it, because I have made a point of finding out. I decided, two years ago, that I would pick up my two grandsons (in the same grade) from school. It would give me the chance to peek into their classes and watch the two teachers in their classroom. Now, if you know children (and I should – we have 32 grandchildren) you will know pretty quickly that their attention span is all of five to fifteen minutes, and then they’re bored.
As I peeked in from time to time, I began to notice how magnificently easily these two teachers held the children’s attention and interest. I watched in growing fascination, which in time turned to awe, as I saw consistency too often to be just a fluke. Children, as most of us know, are sponges. They absorb knowledge, both positive and negative, whether we like it or not. It is uncanny how well the children were being filled with good stuff. These ladies fill the kids up: history, religion, animals, arithmetic, music. This year, I have my two granddaughters, my grandsons’ younger sisters, going through their teachers’ paces. I don’t watch anymore. I know. What I do now is check with the girls, every other pick-up: Were you bored in school today? They have yet to answer yes. And in the car, they’re comparing notes and singing the same songs.
We always knew we’d bring our kids to Geneva for elementary school, but decided with our first son to wait until after VPK (Voluntary Pre kindergarten, which is free). After watching him work so hard to catch up in kindergarten at Geneva, we decided to start our second son in pre-K at Geneva, and boy are we glad. The ECC is wonderful. From the administration to the teachers and the aides, everyone is there because they love young children and are passionate about providing a good foundation for their learning. They teach them, not just knowledge, but the love of learning. I’m shocked by the things that they know and the enthusiasm with which they share it with us. But what I’m most impressed with is the care for the student’s character demonstrated by the faculty and staff. One of the many catch phrases of the Christian classical movement is “Cultivating wisdom and virtue.” If you wonder what this means, send your children to the ECC. I honestly feel like the teachers care as much about my children’s character as I do, and that’s a very good thing.
We have two children enrolled at the ECC this year, one in pre-K and one in kindergarten. And although our boys have a great relationship and are close in age, they are otherwise completely different: different in learning style, personality, motivations, and interests. The small, individualized nature of the ECC has allowed both of our boys to be nurtured in the way each of them, as individuals, has needed. The results from an academic, spiritual, and social perspective have been fantastic. We initially selected Geneva for its Christ-centered environment and the unique and challenging curriculum. It has more than met our expectations on all fronts, and is a place that produces exciting levels of academic achievement without sacrificing the focus on our Christian values. We see in both of our children a greater understanding of our world as gained, by example, through the community unit for the kindergarten students. This unit has produced a curiosity about commerce in our son James and we can see him apply the lessons daily as we run errands and he focuses on the transactions or as he asks about jobs for when he grows up. We also have been very satisfied with the reading program for the pre-K students and see a real passion for reading being built in our previously only sports-interested boy. But it’s not just the academic experience that has been superior. Our children re-tell us with great interest the Bible stories they hear in chapel and apply those lessons to their interactions with their peers and their families. Additionally, Geneva even offers a nurturing sports program to the ECC students that builds confidence and sportsmanship. It truly is a special place, and a community as well as a school. Our experience alone tells us that the ECC experience is a wonderful, enriching experience for a variety of children and our family is so enthusiastic about continuing our walk as part of this special community.
My wife and I were first introduced to Geneva’s early childhood program through a prospective parents night. We immediately fell in love with the school, and have not looked back. We were impressed by the creativity on display in the classrooms themselves. The rooms had been transformed into an immersive learning environment. From the entrance to each part of the room, it was obvious that the children would be learning more than “ABCs” and “123s”. As we sat and listened to the ECC director share the method and vision of the curriculum, we were blown away. Our child would experience a holistic approach to education that was fun, exciting, and profound. Even the approach to correction and discipline was thoughtful, godly, positive, and purposeful. At the end of the presentation, my wife and I both wished we could go back to when we were 4 and 5 so we could have the ECC experience.