The first day of school was better than Christmas!
WHAT DO OUR PARENTS SAY?
As I look back at 2017 and refresh my mental list of all things my family is grateful for, one item on the list stays right at the top, where it has been for the past three years: Karen McQuade and her team of great teachers at Cornerstone Academy. Here are some reasons why…
We all learn by making mistakes and by trying out new things. Kids at Cornerstone Academy have the freedom to do both. The environment at Cornerstone is equal parts challenging and nurturing. With the daily homework and weekly tests, the rigor is no doubt challenging. But the accepting atmosphere at Cornerstone gives kids a “low pressure environment” to evaluate their strengths and work on areas where they may not be as strong as their peer group. I’m reminded of Michael Jordan’s quote on success “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Cornerstone allows kids to “make shots” and course correct before they head into their middle and high school years.
Learning at Cornerstone is not something that is bounded within the confines of the four walls of a classroom. Learning continues in the outdoor classroom, at the numerous field trips, at the Nature’s Classroom and when they come back home. When kids advance beyond their identified peer group on learning areas like English Language Arts (ELA) or Math, they are again not bounded to stay within that group for the academic year. “Boundary-less-learning” is a real thing at Cornerstone!
Cornerstone’s education is neither one-dimensional nor bookish. Our 10-year old came home the other day from school and proclaimed his new goal was to make his own lunch for the remainder of the school year. He then set his alarm, woke up and packed his lunch all by himself the next morning. After the first week, he prodded us to take him to the grocery store as he was planning out his “daily lunch calendar” and needed to include some healthy options! Another example of Cornerstone’s unconventional yet effective methods was the recent school-wide project that involved transforming Halloween candy to working STEM models – a true win-win for parents and kids!
Karen and her team of teachers have managed to build an environment at Cornerstone that does all the above without compromising on the fun aspect. The impromptu dance parties, experiments in the outdoor and ingenuous classroom rewards are just some ways Cornerstone make every day a fun one for its students. Both our kids look forward to school every day and dread the day when they will graduate out from Cornerstone! That day will come, but till then, as parents, we take pride in knowing that our kids are in good hands and part of the Cornerstone family.
Thanks and regards,
“I just wanted to send you a quick note to tell you how impressed I was with the field trip to Concord/Boston. In particular, I truly appreciated all of the opportunities you took to supplement what the kids were learning from the presentations, placards, etc. For example, I thought it was fantastic when you took the opportunity explain a tree circle (and how it related to what they learned during the year). Although we were simply walking back to our cars, you wanted to share something new! It was also clear to me that you did significant research prior to the trip — your background knowledge added so much to the experience.
As a child, I recall being bored on field trips when my teachers used them only as a diversion from the classroom. This trip was so different and indicative of the quality education that Cornerstone provides. I loved watching these amazing kids stay so intellectually engaged — and so well-behaved — throughout a long day! One of the tour guides in Concord shared with me that he had never met such an amazing group of well-behaved and inquisitive students. Thank you for playing such an important role in their engagement.”
“We started at Cornerstone last year and were so impressed with the quality of teaching and nurturing environment that we eagerly started our second child this fall in the transitional kindergarten program. It is the perfect school for families looking for a school that truly prioritizes one-on-one teaching and developing well-rounded children. The children are kind and respectful, with all ages playing together during recess and special events. What better way for children to learn compassion than through peers and older students? We researched many private schools in the area, and live in an excellent public school district, but ultimately chose Cornerstone for the small classroom sizes and promise of individualized attention. The school has certainly exceeded our expectations.
As parents, we love that the school has no bureaucracy, and that parents get to play an involved role through volunteering opportunities. The families are down-to-earth, generous, and gracious. Cornerstone is a truly a gem.”
“Dedicated teachers and a wonderful experience for our son. He loves going to school everyday and wants to achieve more and more. The teachers know how to ease in the children after a long summer. In K he was reading at a 4th grade level and is already doing multiplication, knows time, money and place value. One of the few schools in the area that will help your child excel as far as your child is willing to go. Learning is made to be fun and that is what children need in the younger years. We have no doubt that after our son finishes 5 grade we will never have to worry about study habits or learning. The formative years are so important! A hidden gem.”
“I have had two children at Cornerstone Academy, the oldest of whom is now entering 8th grade at Worcester Academy. The education at Cornerstone is outstanding. The kids are stimulated and happy, and develop self esteem and respect for others. This is a very think-outside-the-box type of school, not because of the curriculum (which is actually very traditional) but because of the way the teachers teach. They use different strategies to enforce concepts, recognizing that not all kids learn the same way. The small class size allows for differentiated learning, which really enables weaknesses to be strengthened, and strengths to be challenged. Great school, no regrets.”
“I have had two children enrolled at Cornerstone Academy since 2004. Both my children flourished academically from the small class sizes and individualized attention and curriculum provided. My daughter, now 10, excels in public school. She has always been ahead of her peers and performs exceptionally well on the MCAS. This is 100% due to the foundation and confidence she received from attending Cornerstone Academy. My son, now in his third year at Cornerstone, excels in every facet of his education, from Math to ESL. This is also due to the superior education he receives at Cornerstone Academy. I have no doubt that wherever my son matriculates to for his secondary education, he will be more successful from the nurturing and challenging environment Cornerstone provided for him. It is my hope that some day soon my youngest child will also reep the benefits of excellent teachers and challenging academic programs.”
“I have 2 boys who have been enrolled in Cornerstone Academy since kindergarten. My oldest son just finished 5th grade and he is headed to Worcester Academy in the fall. My younger son will be a 4th grader in September. My boys have received an unbelievable education at Cornerstone Academy. The teachers are nurturing and creative and the environment is loving and warm. Both of my children have thrived academically, socially and emotionally at this school. Individuality is celebrated and acceptance of others is expected. Character development is an important part of the education at Cornerstone which sets it apart from other schools. I am constantly told that my boys are kind, polite and poised and that means as much to us as the wonderful academics at this school.”