My son has been at Willow Glen Academy for almost a year now. He started off with one day a week to acclimate but he's now two full days a week. I'm really happy with the level of care, curriculum and facilities. It felt like the right balance from the beginning - and the owner Randy answered my long list of questions on my tour last year. My first impression though? When I first called and spoke with Miss Shannon I could hear the excitement and noise in the background but she remained calm, upbeat and kind. I hung up my call and thought - wow, with all that chaos, she kept her cool! I need to check them out! I wanted a combo of personalized 1:1 care but not a large classroom filled with 30+ kids like many of the mega churches in my area. On most days the ratio of kids to teachers is 6 to 1 - and I felt that was just right. They also offered a hot lunch choice for $3 a day with fresh fruit and that was a nice feature I didn't expect. All the teachers from Miss Shannon to Miss Dorothy have been wonderful. They know I have a sensitive child who needs a little more help with transitioning when I leave in the morning and I appreciate that more than I can say! I like the balance of art work, stories, language development, hands on play and group time the kids get. This is a critical age when playing to learn is crucial. They do have academic based workbooks to do from time to time but its age appropriate and not overwhelming. They also allow the kids to use their abcmouse.com account if they need some alone time. Nothing is pushed, and my son needs that. I also like the gardens, redwood trees, parakeets and the shade covered playground for the kids - it's a small but lovely facility. I'm happy with my choice of preschool - and we have another year to go until Kindergarten so we will likely add more days. I know my son is learning - he's 4.5 and can already identify all letters and number plus write his name. He walks by cars now and reads off license plates to me. Simple but that all happened this summer while at WG Academy.I wanted a combo of personalized 1:1 care but not a large classroom filled with 30+ kids like many of the mega churches in my area. On most days the ratio of kids to teachers is 6 to 1 - and I felt that was just right. They also offered a hot lunch choice for $3 a day with fresh fruit and that was a nice feature I didn't expect. All the teachers from Miss Shannon to Miss Dorothy have been wonderful. They know I have a sensitive child who needs a little more help with transitioning when I leave in the morning and I appreciate that more than I can say! I like the balance of art work, stories, language development, hands on play and group time the kids get. This is a critical age when playing to learn is crucial. They do have academic based workbooks to do from time to time but its age appropriate and not overwhelming. They also allow the kids to use their abcmouse.com account if they need some alone time. Nothing is pushed, and my son needs that. I also like the gardens, redwood trees, parakeets and the shade covered playground for the kids - it's a small but lovely facility. I'm happy with my choice of preschool - and we have another year to go until Kindergarten so we will likely add more days. I know my son is learning - he's 4.5 and can already identify all letters and number plus write his name. He walks by cars now and reads off license plates to me. Simple but that all happened this summer while at WG Academy.
Like many in the Willow Glen area, I had driven by this "Yellow School" and used it as a visual landmark to see where Minnesota Ave. was from Meridian Ave.. Walking through the facility and examining both inside and outside was an entirely different experience. Yes, it's a school for munchkins, and yet the place looks incredibly fun - the outdoors have a rich variety of things and short structures to climb, ride, and run around. The indoors have many toys and play sets - and even fish and parakeets and budgie birds. I walked the area and saw no risk of children getting out, and the teachers are like sentinels around them. The place feels safe, and the kids know it.The staff are warm, friendly, highly competent and aware of a wide spectrum of emotional needs of children. My little one has been through some very hard things in the journey of life, and the owner and staff of Willow Glen Academy felt like a team I hadn't had before and was the support system I needed as a parent. Mr. Randy, the owner, and Ms. Shannon, the director, each have a great deal of emotional literacy, and they helped me assess my child's emotional well being during the day and gave me insights into how my little one was processing the challenges the faced as one so small.The school nurtured my child's creativity and Pre-K education. Soon the little one began to teach me words in Spanish I didn't know, wrote out alphabet, counted very nicely into the double digits, and developed enough hand-eye coordination to color within the lines of printed coloring art. In addition, there are occasional crafts where the kids learn how to make a flower or a bumblebee. I'm bursting with pride: my kid is smart!! Watching these teachers in action was eye-opening. With so many kids running around, each with their own personality, objective and capacity of mischief, it's amazing to see how much command of authority the teachers had, reinforcing morals, good conduct and friendship. At the shopping mall food court, I've seen kids act belligerently, talking back to their parents. The children at Willow Glen Academy understand boundaries and proper conduct.A fellow reviewer mentioned ACYCP certification, and that might give some people some assurances, but a quick check of their website of what this means shows that this simply involves meeting minimum educational requirements, colleague references, and a pledge to abide by agreements of conduct. For me personally, I needed more reassurance than this for me as a parent looking for the safest environment for my child. In my consideration of Willow Glen Academy, I was drawn to the fact that the owner and entire staff have passed FBI Live Scan (which involves fingerprinting and criminal background check - the FBI operates the largest biometrics database of criminals in the world). Passing the FBI is more important than being a member of an organization of fellows. I deeply appreciate the individual attention, quality of education and the environment of safety my child has been given. It's been about a year now . My kid LOVES this school. Even when we drive by on evenings or on a Sunday and I joke, "How about we go to the Yellow School?" my little one cheers, "Yay!". I don't recall ever having such a reaction to school when I was that age, but it must say something about the Academy, Mr. Randy, Ms. Shannon, Ms. Theresa, Ms. Shio et al have worked hard to make work well for children.5 Stars is well deserved!
I was really nervous coming back to San Jose from Newark since I had a pretty terrible experience with a day care in San Jose that caused a lot of issues for my son. He was being bullied by older kids that were in a after school program with the school and I had no idea those kids mingled with the younger children, needless to say he picked up some very bad habits and suffered some emotional un-stability as well as he didn't learn anything at this crucial time for his age. He developed some behavioral issues that our Newark school couldn't handle and ultimately he had to leave that school which I understood but it didn't seem like they had any solutions to offer. I kept him out of school for few months with hopes he could return before starting kindergarten and that's when I found Mr. Randy's school and I thought I got to give it a shot because I had to go back to work and school. I was nervous putting him back in preschool especially after all the up's and downs. Mrs. Dorothy was the first person I met when I toured the school and she was awesome, very good listener and I just had a good vibe from her that she could help my son get to where he needs to be. Once I came in to sign him up and for them to meet my son Mr. Randy was there with a such a warm welcome, he was so honest and willing to help I couldn't wait for him to start. The teacher to student ratio was reasonable, the facility was organized and clean with plenty of space, their curriculum was something I hadn't seen before it made me very excited. They were very open and honest about any past issues they've had and experiences that was reassuring knowing there wouldn't be any surprises. The paperwork was insightful something I hadn't seen before and it allowed me to express my concerns as parent to them what he personally needed to grow which was a huge relief to know they wanted to know so much from my perspective about my child.
We've been so happy with the care and education our 2-year old daughter gets at Willow Glen Academy. The first time I saw it I was very impressed by all the cool stuff they have for the kids - a huge fish tank, tons of toys, a kid-sized computer desk and chairs, lots of plush pillows for those mornings when they're not quite awake yet, a big TV playing cartoons in the morning. I've stopped in at various times of the day and the teachers are always leading the group in activities - the kids are almost never left to get into mischief because they're kept busy. As a group they're coloring, singing, dancing, playing outside. I have yet to see a child act out there - they're all engaged in the activity and having fun. They teach the kids to greet one another, and to stick up for themselves. They organize fun extra activities for the kids like trick-or-treating in the neighborhood (with parent help), a Thanksgiving meal, a Christmas party and gift exchange. WGA has taught my daughter (an only child) to take turns, to share, and to count in Spanish. The best part though is how much my little girl loves going there. She's excited every day to go to "school" and most days doesn't want to leave when I go to pick her up. It's a huge relief to know your child is well taken care of while you're working. I'm so glad I found this preschool and the awesome people who work with the kids.
My daughter, 3.5, loves this place! The school is set up with lots of fun activities for toddlers and preschoolers of all ages. My girl has learned phonics, social skills, and artistry in the 3 months she's been going here - and she's only going 2 days per week. Granted, I doubt the teaching quality is top-notch, but it appears to stimulate and keep the kids sufficiently content.Their rates are amazingly low for their services. We got in during a special rate of $150/week full-time,or $35/day part-time. They provide breakfast and lunch. They work with your needs when it comes to part-time care. The staff might not seem as professional as some of the pricier places in the area, but they are down-to-earth, warm, and accomodating. I highly recommend this day care if you're looking for a reasonably priced, clean preschool with an average-to-decent level of teaching.