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Why ACS?

Posted By Christopher Portman, Monday, January 30, 2017

Last week was National School Choice Week, and Student Council members, teachers, and staff – along with Freddy the Fighting Seahorse! – celebrated through dance!

Sue Gould, the parent of a recent graduate and a current student, also shared the reasons that she and her husband chose ACS for their children…

We made a choice 10 years ago to become a part of the Avery Coonley family.  My son started in Junior Kindergarten in December 2006, after we were disappointed in the educational experience he had in his previous preschool.  At the time we weren’t sure ACS was the right place for him long-term, but our decision was affirmed when he was admitted to Kindergarten, and it has been reaffirmed by our experiences year after year. 

The term “like-minded peers” is thrown around quite a bit, but it has true meaning in a place like ACS.  Both of my children (ACS Class of 2016 and Class of 2018) are surrounded by other kids who love to learn.  ACS is a place where it’s cool to be smart.  When gifted children are in the right environment, they realize pretty quickly that critical thinking is a lot more interesting than just memorizing facts and formulas, and ACS classmates learn from and push each other in the best possible ways.

And while it is important that my children are challenged academically, it is equally important that they remain with their social and emotional peers.  Gifted children are intellectually advanced, but that does not mean they are ready to deal with the same things older kids can handle. ACS understands and addresses all of the needs of our gifted children.

Having experienced ACS for so many years, I have witnessed hundreds of small differences along the way. At the at the end of their ACS journey, our graduates are a different kind of student compared to their peers at other schools.  But seeing it is not enough - I’m a big believer in external validation.  I knew that ACS was great, but then I discovered that the most selective boarding schools in the country actively recruit our students. No matter what school they choose after ACS, our students are prepared for the most rigorous academic programs available to them – and my son’s limited experience so far in high school has confirmed this.  Seeing and hearing about the amazing things our alumni go on to do provides additional confirmation – no doors are closed to them.

At the end of the day I believe that while both of my children would have done fine in another school, I truly feel that they are the best versions of themselves for having attended ACS – and for that I am grateful.  I know we made the right choice.

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