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Old 09-13-2007, 04:55 PM
 
35 posts, read 174,800 times
Reputation: 26

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I have only been here (McLean) for 2 weeks, but I thought I could add a few things... We have 2 children at the Falls Church Day School and so far, we are VERY happy. It is a Christian based school and my 4 1/2 year old goes to Chapel 2 x's per week. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that he will also have Spanish 2-3x's per week as well. I know Claremarie sent her children there and was pleased (she is a heavy hitter on this site as far as I am concerned and take her advice very seriously!)

My point of chiming in is if you are going to be in the area, this school is GREAT and space is limited! My younger guy has speech, language, and allergy issues and they could not have been more "up" on him when we literally came through the door. If you would like more info, send me a direct message and I will help you as much as I can
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Old 09-14-2007, 10:54 AM
 
32 posts, read 151,039 times
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Hi nmlarkin - thanks for your feedback! I had heard of your preschool, but we decided to go the non-religious route. What other schools did you look at? How do you like McLean? Where did you move from? We're looking to move to Vienna, McLean or Falls Church City. Our move won't happen though until next summer. I need to get a headstart on the preschool search because we need 3 slots!
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Old 09-14-2007, 08:26 PM
 
19,183 posts, read 28,336,193 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayAreaFamily View Post
Hi Sanganista: I gave Parkwood Preschool a call and spoke to Ms. Vickery! She's quite lovely - kind of like a grandmother type.
Busy week, but yes, you have Mrs. Vickery pegged well! She is in her late 80's now, but remains active in and devoted to the school and to its children. She was Grand Marshall of the Vienna Halloween Parade last year, and in Vienna, that's a pretty big thing. The parade annually draws about 35,000 people. Not bad for a town of about half that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BayAreaFamily View Post
They don't have a website, but she's sending me their brochure. I was wondering if you could give me some feedback since you sent your children there. What are the qualifications of the teachers? Here in CA, you only need a HS degree and some college courses to teach preschool. I'd prefer more experienced teachers if possible.
I don't honestly know whether there are state or county requirements for preschool teachers. It may be that each school sets its own standards. It's not something I've ever looked into. When we went to Parkwood, it was on the basis of universally glowing reports for it from parents whose views we trusted, as well as tours and meetings with the staff, all of whom (right down to the maintenance people) were 100% bought into the mission of the school.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BayAreaFamily View Post
What is an average day like? Do they have art time, music time, playground time, etc.? Where schools do the children go on to? Did you feel your children were prepared for life beyond Parkwood? Thanks.
Lots of yesses. As the brochure will no doubt indicate, the school is on about 5 wooded acres, at least half of which is devoted to yard and a very nice and welcoming play area. The classrooms are all in cleverly converted homes, so they do not look or feel at all intimidating or utilitarian. Rather they look and feel like what young children are already used to at home. The arts are emphasized, and indeed on Parents Night we were provided with basic supplies and encouraged to create our own artistic 'surprise' to leave for our children the next morning. Most parents did. The bulk of the students go on to the Fairfax County Public Schools in their neighborhoods. FCPS is an excellent system, and while its also being very big can pose some special problems, I think it can be fairly said that they do a first-rate job. As for 'life after Parkwood', that's sort of an odd concept, most graduates being like 4 or 5 years of age, but I would have no reservations in saying that kids get out of Parkwood what they go there for. Socialization...care, attention, and encouragement...a positive attitude toward school and learning...it's all good.

By the way, if you didn't want to wait for the brochure, you could go to Zillow - Real Estate Valuations, Homes for Sale, Free Real Estate Information and put in the address (601 Marshall Road, SW) and see satellite photos of the layout. Told you it was wooded. The angled house on the corner of Marshall and Ware is the main building. The rest of the campus buildings are along the west side of Ware. The odd looking building across Ware is the Vienna Baptist Church. Neighboring on the opposite side is the Vienna Aquatic Club, which explains that blue-looking thing.
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Old 09-14-2007, 09:11 PM
 
32 posts, read 151,039 times
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Wow - what a glowing review! I look forward to touring the school - looks beautiful. I guess what I meant by life after Parkwood, was did you feel that the kids were prepared for kindergarten or 1st grade. Do most of the kids stay at Parkwood for K or do they move on for K?

Thanks for your time.
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Old 09-15-2007, 11:09 AM
 
19,183 posts, read 28,336,193 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayAreaFamily View Post
Wow - what a glowing review! I look forward to touring the school - looks beautiful.
From my experience, I think you'd get something quite similar from the great majority of past Parkwood parents. I don't at all mind endorsing those with whom I've dealt and come away thinking, wow, those people really did do a good job, and that was the case here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BayAreaFamily View Post
I guess what I meant by life after Parkwood, was did you feel that the kids were prepared for kindergarten or 1st grade.
Well, I think all children have issues to one degree or another upon first being immersed in elementary school. The intimidation factor posed by suddenly being in close all-day proximity to 11- and 12-year olds for instance is pretty much unavoidable. But in terms of being adapted to the functions of school and to the dynamics of being led and of working in larger or smaller groups of peers for most of the day, yes, I think they did just fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BayAreaFamily View Post
Do most of the kids stay at Parkwood for K or do they move on for K?
The majority takes advantage of free public kindergarten once it becomes available. Parkwood isn't expensive relative to most alternatives, but it isn't free either. The only issue I'm aware of was with respect to local elementary schools with high enrollments of ESL students. Fairfax County does not (or at least did not) do any differentiation based on language in kindergarten. That began in the first grade. Some parents were put off by that. Our own choice was based mainly on a very successful history at Parkwood. Playing a perhaps reinforcing role was the fact that the local kindergarten teacher did not greatly impress us when we interviewed with her. We saw no sense in going from a clearly strong situation to one where we had questions and reservations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BayAreaFamily View Post
Thanks for your time.
Happy to do it for what it's worth. Still just one person with one frame of reference, even if it does happen to cover a good deal of what you're interested in. The actual visit should help to put a lot of this into context.
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Old 09-15-2007, 08:30 PM
 
20 posts, read 137,716 times
Reputation: 24
Hi,

Welcome to the area. I have quite a few friends who have their children in preschools in the Falls Church area.

The Falls Church (used to be Episcopal, but is now Anglican) is very popular with my friends. Also the Falls Church Community Center has a preschool that is great, but may have a wait list, I'm not sure.

My son attends St. Paul's Lutheran Preschool on Idylwood Road in Falls Church and he LOVES to go - he absolutely adores his teachers. It's the closest preschool to our home, so it's the most convenient for us. It's not a super 'academic' program - the kids learn through play, which in my opinion, that's what preschoolers should be doing. But they have started offering 'enrichment' programs in language and math that are separate and additional from the standard preschool class, if you're interested in more challenging fare for your kiddos.

Good luck!
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Old 09-15-2007, 10:05 PM
 
1 posts, read 6,879 times
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Default I went to Parkwood

Dear BayArea:

I was looking up schools for my sisters daughter and saw these posts.

I am age 40 and I went to Parkwood. My parents STILL rave about what a great school it was. My mom was a substitute teacher there and was very pleased. I know it was a long time ago, but I had to put my 2 cents in.

Even though I was 6 or so, I remember going there and feeling very comfortable and happy. Again, my parents were 100% very happy with Parkwood. Good luck! C in Florida -- formerly of Vienna
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Old 11-27-2007, 12:42 PM
 
67 posts, read 204,947 times
Reputation: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by BayAreaFamily View Post
Hi Sanganista: I gave Parkwood Preschool a call and spoke to Ms. Vickery! She's quite lovely - kind of like a grandmother type. They don't have a website, but she's sending me their brochure. I was wondering if you could give me some feedback since you sent your children there. What are the qualifications of the teachers? Here in CA, you only need a HS degree and some college courses to teach preschool. I'd prefer more experienced teachers if possible. What is an average day like? Do they have art time, music time, playground time, etc.? Where schools do the children go on to? Did you feel your children were prepared for life beyond Parkwood?

Thanks.
OMYGOSH! Mrs. Vickery still runs the place? Thats amazing. She ran it when I was there......What a wonderful lady and preschool. I still remember it to this day. If I still lived in Vienna, I would most certainly send my child there! I would highly recommend Parkwood School to anyone!
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Old 11-27-2007, 01:44 PM
 
847 posts, read 3,235,539 times
Reputation: 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by azgirl85220 View Post
OMYGOSH! Mrs. Vickery still runs the place? Thats amazing. She ran it when I was there......What a wonderful lady and preschool. I still remember it to this day. If I still lived in Vienna, I would most certainly send my child there! I would highly recommend Parkwood School to anyone!
Me too! I went there and she ran it when I was there as well, I am 32! It is the greatest place ever, ahhh the memories. I still remember May Day.
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Old 12-28-2007, 09:12 AM
 
7 posts, read 63,632 times
Reputation: 21
Default Good Pre-school

St Josephs in Falls Church by St James School and Church
Merritt Academy in Vienna
Corpus Christi in Falls Church
St Lukes in Falls Church
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