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  1. #1

    NEST vs Lower Lab

    Help, I'm torn! It seems like LL has many more specials/enrichment than NEST, probably because it's such a small school and the PTA raises a ton of money. I'm inclined to rank it above Nest, but Nest scores are higher AND it goes all the way through HS (though I'm really more interested through MS).



    Anyone have experience with either/both schools that they can share? I feel like LL is a "better" school compared to NEST from k-5, but NEST has the advantage of going all the way through MS/HS.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by toomanykids View Post
    Help, I'm torn! It seems like LL has many more specials/enrichment than NEST, probably because it's such a small school and the PTA raises a ton of money. I'm inclined to rank it above Nest, but Nest scores are higher AND it goes all the way through HS (though I'm really more interested through MS).



    Anyone have experience with either/both schools that they can share? I feel like LL is a "better" school compared to NEST from k-5, but NEST has the advantage of going all the way through MS/HS.
    I am at NEST, our first cousins are/have been at LL (we dont live in D2, so I didn't look at LL myself, and so I only have second hand general impressions). NEST also seems to raise a ton of $, but I wouldn't be surprised if the LL population raised more $ per child. Only 1/3 of the NEST students choose to stay on through HS, which is not a screened or specialized HS. But you're right, it is an option. It is also nice not to have to worry about middle school. On the other hand, I assume you'd have more local kids at LL, although there's hardly a shortage of D2 kids at NEST+m.

    Maybe this is really a personal decision...do you feel as if you could fill in the gaps on the NEST vs LL enrichment/specials with after school programs? Is the commute to one school or the other much easier for you, and does that matter to you? Does volunteering or participating in school programs (e.g. NEST has "Family Fridays") matter to you, and would it be easier at one school or the other? What about on-site after school programs, or the ability to get to preferred after school programs near you--is that a factor?

    In terms of specials at NEST, I will say that in K-2, we are very happy with the music, art, PE, and chess. There are a bunch of super chess-focused families at NEST, we aren't one of them; my daughter really likes to play, and I think she'll miss not having it as a special starting next year, but she doesn't particularly want to compete, etc. We are less excited about the science program, unfortunately. They only just upped it to two-periods a week last year (replacing Mandarin), but i think it's been a weak link, particularly this year (new teacher too, that changes things).

    In terms of academics, we've been very happy with the Teachers College ELA and Singapore Math, but I am sure that LL is terrific.

    If you have any more specific questions about NEST, feel free to post or DM.
    Last edited by InwoodParent; 05-10-2019 at 11:05 AM.

  3. #3
    InwoodParent, thank you SO much for your thoughtful response. It's very helpful.



    Do you find that the administration is stretched thin because of the four classes for each grade AND MS and HS? That's a particular worry of mine. I just imagine that a small school would have much more personal attention and resources. FWIW, I went to Stuy and found that the sheer number of kids limited resources for each student.


    Also, language study: Lower Lab kids study Latin from grades 1-5. I believe NEST does Spanish, but do you know when that starts?


    Singapore Math sounds like a big plus for NEST. I wonder why more schools don't use this.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by toomanykids View Post
    InwoodParent, thank you SO much for your thoughtful response. It's very helpful.



    Do you find that the administration is stretched thin because of the four classes for each grade AND MS and HS?
    The fact that they have separate Assistant Principals for each school (Elementary, MS, and HS) helps. The Assistant Principal seems to know all the kids. But, yes, I wouldn't be surprised if there's more attention and better communication in a smaller school. I will say that NEST seems to have a policy of not engaging in back and forth communication; I'll get an email from a teacher or other school official, and I'll respond...but then not get a response in return. At first I thought it was just her teacher, but now I realize that's been a pattern with most of the administrators. Except the Principal, we've had a few exchanges about various things.




    Quote Originally Posted by toomanykids View Post
    Also, language study: Lower Lab kids study Latin from grades 1-5. I believe NEST does Spanish, but do you know when that starts?
    Not in the lower school. The lack of language is a disadvantage. Many families try to make it up with after school. While I really don't like the fact that there's no language, o the other hand, I also understand that having just one or two periods of language a week isn't really enough for most kids to learn much.

    Quote Originally Posted by toomanykids View Post
    Singapore Math sounds like a big plus for NEST. I wonder why more schools don't use this.
    It has been great for us. Our family is very arts and language heavy, so I wanted to pick a school that would help her think in terms of math. I'm sure other curricula will get kids to the same place, but I've been really impressed by the way that it's helped my daughter piece apart problems she doesn't know the answer to, or when she hasn't learned that particular aspect of math yet.
    Last edited by InwoodParent; 05-10-2019 at 11:06 AM.

  5. #5
    Insideschools.com shows the 2017-2018 school survey. Only 44% teachers consider the current principal to be a sufficient manager in Lower Lab. It is like the rock bottom out of all the schools I looked at. I read the reviews there. Quite some good teachers left. Families complaint about the administration's bully policy, etc. Good luck with the decision making process!

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