Inspired experience based college preparatory education for creative and intellectually curious students
Early childhood through twelfth grade

School Touring: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

When I came to Waverly for the first time five years ago, it was the last prospective school on my long tour list. I didn’t know what to call what I was looking for exactly at these highly varied campuses for my two daughters, so I toured as many schools as I could. It was quickly clear there were different educational philosophies to understand and to gather as much of this data as possible to make a “perfect decision.” I’ll admit I was tired by the time I toured Waverly. My mind was laden with the details of the other schools but I was determined to compare and contrast to the utmost degree, of course!

Looking for parking before the Waverly tour undermined my enthusiasm. Upon approach via the sidewalk, the building itself made me pause: was it originally like an office or something? Wonderful Vella greeting me at the front desk put me at ease but I became perturbed during the walk to the community room, was this fluorescent lighting in the halls? In the community room too? Wait, was this a commercial drop ceiling? I sipped the free coffee (delicious, thank you) feeling unsettled. I was not sure what to make of the surroundings.

All this to say, I left that day knowing we would absolutely apply and that the lighting was a sign that Waverly was the DIY-esque school I didn’t know I was hoping to find.

Every year since that tour, the Waverly elementary school has improved. The art room has doubled, the playground renovated, new staff offices built out of seemingly negative spaces (!), the library re-arranged and the collection completely revamped and cataloged, classrooms re-imagined, shared spaces made more efficient, and the list goes on. The school gleans what works and what it needs from year to year. It is evolving. It is not a turn-key school and thank heavens for it! The “me” of five years ago would be confused by this statement. Yes, the fluorescent lights still shine down upon us but just wait and see.

Katie Taylor
Mother of Johana (2nd) and Camille (4th)

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