Today is our last day at Fountain Day School and we just feel so lucky to have found this school. We moved to LA from San Francisco, and we were worried about finding a school that we liked as much as our school back in SF. Fortunately, FDS felt like home from the first day we toured and the teachers, staff, and families are the most loving group of people you'll ever meet. Through the school, we have met so many families that have become some of our closest friends. My daughter loves all her friends at FDS but we love all the parents too! FDS is the perfect balance of academic and play based learning. Also, FDS really spoils the kids - from the swim lessons, to the field trips, to all the parties - it is such a special place. Our daughter is now a champion swimmer and we owe it all to FDS! We will miss the school so much!
Our son is graduating from pre-k this week, leading me to reflect on our three years at Fountain Day School. It's such a hidden gem! FDS has been a wonderful, well-rounded experience for our son and family...our son has absolutely blossomed under nurturing, top-notch teachers, an amazing swim program, strong academics, lots of fun field trips and special on-campus events, a diverse student body and terrific owner and /admissions office staff. He's grown socially, emotionally, intellectually...and is fully prepared in every way to transition into one of LA's top private schools. We couldn't be happier with every aspect of this school - including the hours and year-round curriculum (essential for working parents) - we'll miss everyone!!!
We are so lucky to be part of this school. The amount of special activities provided for the kids here are amazing. The school also has the only year-round swimming program for preschools in North America. The teachers are nurturing and focused, and everyone else is top notch.
I feel very lucky that our daughter (and son will..) attends this amazing school. I don't ever have to worry about her while she is here. I know she is learning, getting love, eating good food and learning to swim! I've referred several parents to this school and they have all been thrilled as well. FYI, I visited more preschools for my kids than MBA schools for myself. The teachers and administrators really love this school and it shows.
We could not be happier with our choice of sending our children to FDS. It is one of the only schools in town with a dedicated year-round swim program for the children. There are lots of animals that the children learn to care for. There are ample play areas, a garden the children tend to and tons of outside activities that are brought in to the campus for the children to learn more about (pony rides, cultural dancers, puppet shows, fire engines, petting zoos, carnival days, a day at the farm, and much more). The school does not skimp! My son has had talented teachers who mix play with work. We wanted our son to have a strong educational foundation before entering kindergarten and we believe we are getting it. He knows his alphabet and the letter that many words start with. He has homework and is now learning to write. We feel very good that he will enter kindergarten and be able to hit the ground running. We have become close with our son's teachers and simply love the folks running the school -- Mary, Andrew, Dave and company. If you want a school that has it all, this is it, including lunch delivered each day by Whole Foods and a parking lot next to the school!
We love this school -- and we especially love the Director. We pulled our son from another preschool where he was bullied by another student and then found ourselves without a preschool -- in Los Angeles. We visited FDS, met the Director, toured the school, and crossed our fingers. The Director could not have been more professional (about finding the right fit) or more compassionate. Our son went for a play-date at FDS and loved it. We enrolled but were nervous about the transition, especially in the middle of the year, but the school (everyone from the owners to the Director to the classroom teachers to the students themselves) were immediately welcoming and our son was so happy. He enjoyed the academics, the art, the music, the yoga, the food -- the environment. He similarly enjoyed the FDS summer camp. The Director was wonderful from the first day to the last -- and beyond. He even helped us sort out where we should go upon graduation! Our only complaints: We wish we started from day one at FDS. We wish FDS continued all the way through high school! And, we wish the Director was the director of our son's current school -- he's the best!
I visited more preschools than I did for my own graduate education. And, we attended another good preschool prior to this, but it was good, not great like Fountain Day School. The school is a step above other preschools with love, a comprehensive curriculum, swimming, activities and food. We looked at a range of preschool types: Montessori, traditional, high-end, and we're just thrilled to be here.
This is a really great preschool. We have two children there. Most of the kids are in the three-year program for 2, 3, and 4-year olds. Classes are divided by age, each age has several sections, and each section has two teachers. The structure gradually changes as the kids mature. There are themed units and frequent school-wide events that tie each unit together: the animal month had an event with tropical birds, another with reptiles, and a third with a truck full of exhibits from an aquarium. The school has an extensive curriculum. It is a gentle and age-appropriate curriculum, but a world away from a preschool/daycare that is mostly free play. They play, but the kids are also learning a lot: swimming; art; substantive content about seasons, animals, countries, etc. A huge asset of the school is its Director, Mr. Andrew. Like the owners and the office staff, he knows every child at the school. He checks in with the parents often to make sure the families are happy. He makes himself constantly available to any parent who wants to talk to him (his desk is the first one you see when you walk in front door of the school). And he takes parent concerns very seriously.
I am Andrew Rakos the Admissions Director. I am truly saddened by the reviewers of this school who only gave it a one star. Most of their comments were personal attacks on me. I am sorry that there are only so many spaces available per year and we do not have enough room for all the families who apply. This site is for families who have their children enrolled. If you truly knew this school you would know how far we have come in over 50 years. Its the parents and families that come here that inspire us to be the best that we can be. I have two children of my own. At this time my three year old daughter goes to school here and I am very grateful for what the school has done for me and my family.
Those of you reading these reviews and thinking about applying to Fountain Day will notice that the negative reviewer giving the school a 1-star rating didn't actually send her child to school there. She was rating the tour and her interactions with Andrew. That's horribly unfair. She's wrong about Andrew and about the school. We sent one child to Fountain Day for 2 years and are sending our second child as well because we have experience with the staff and teachers and programs and we know there is no other school for us. It's a wonderful preschool from start to finish. Take advice from parents who know, not from someone with no experience expressing nothing more than an anonymous Web rant.