The following are verbatim testimonials received from the parents of current students and alumni.
The Henry Frost Parents
I laugh that I find myself sitting in my sunroom at the last minute writing this note. I always feel like I should start writing this at the beginning of the year because there are no words that can express how much you mean to my child and to the other children at Henry Frost. At this moment, I am hoping that it is ok to say that I speak for every parent at the school.
You have created a very special environment. That sentence can’t even bring life to what even a year at HF can mean to a child. In this case, I know this first hand because Sophie was only with you for a year but looking back on her kindergarten experience, she has navigated this year beautifully- so much of it because the time spent with her last year.
We drop our children to you each morning knowing that they will be loved, cared for, taught not only curriculum but how to navigate through the many environments that they inhabit - the chaos or calm of their homes, the inner concerns that they carry but that they have not the words to express, the melding of their worlds - home and school. We do so with full confidence in you and the house that you have built, the school that embodies yours and all of our dreams, a community where all are accepted and heard.
Each child has a story, unique and their own, and you bear witness to that story - developing the plot each and every day, recapping the events but not giving spoilers, gently conveying what we need to know and providing us with ideas on how to bring out the best in our children. I believe that the saying is true that it takes a village to raise a child and I fully believe that the village that you have created of teachers and families cannot be matched.
Parents look forward to seeing you just as much as the children. We marvel in your energy, insight and passion. For those who now send their kids to kindergarten, like myself, it is hard to imagine not bringing them to you but I can attest that you have prepared them well and that THEY WILL THRIVE. For those who will come back in the fall, there is comfort in knowing that there is more time - be it one more year or many, another child who will allow us to grace your door step and be amazed at how while the curriculum is driven by their interests, there is always the same love, joy and happiness that embodies the spirit of the school.
You hold such a special place in our hearts.
The Henry Frost Families
HFCP is a hidden gem in Belmont. Highly qualified teachers who genuinely care about your children, who are invested in their well-being and development. Great teacher/children ratio, and a small classroom size provide an ideal environment before kindergarten. Beautiful facilities. A well structured curriculum, tailored for each child based on academic interests and level. Two years ago when we were looking for a pre-school for our two boys and decided on HFCP, we were confident that we made the right choice. Fast forward two years, they managed to surpass our expectations in every aspect.
Ours wasn't a smooth start. About a week into the semester, our older son broke his leg over a weekend. We were trying to figure out how many weeks he would have to stay away from school. But thanks to his teachers, he was at the school the next day! His teachers helped him around the school all day, sat with him during outside play times. They made his recovery process much more bearable. Our son started complaining that there is no school over the weekends!
Even after our older son graduated from HF, Teacher Iris routinely checked on his progress, provided support and guidance. She contacted our son's kindergarten teacher to have an open communication channel, making sure his new teachers are aware of his academic progress.
Our younger son always looked forward to the extended day with Teacher Joan. She has a special talent helping kids rest when they are tired in the afternoon. They loved the morning meetings and outside time with Teachers Claire and Iris, especially when it involved soccer. Teacher Heather helped them discover their love for nature. Their habitat visits were always a big hit. We can't thank HFCP teachers enough!
HFCP offered our children the best foundation for their lifelong education and made a smooth transition into kindergarten possible. We can't imagine a better preschool.
Henry Frost – under the leadership and stewardship of Teacher Iris – is truly beyond what we could have ever envisioned as the first learning environment for our children. The school is nestled in Iris’ home under the shade of a majestic copper beach tree as if a symbol that a dedicated educator’s dream of creating her own multi-disciplinary approach to childhood education – if given the proper amount of sunlight, nutrition and loving attention - could not only flourish but thrive and inspire.
It is in this cozy home environment that the magic begins to unfold. Henry Frost is purpose built with detailed thought and attention - every book, every material and every lesson has purpose and intention –everything matters at Henry Frost. Henry Frost at its core is all about the children – and the teachers are willing to guide the children down the paths the children choose. Henry Frost’s emergent curriculum inspires our children’s imaginations and carries them to wondrous places – like the solar system, a fine art museum, a train station even to faraway castles. Wherever the children’s’ visions take them, Henry Frost follows their lead and expands their horizons all the while engaging their hearts and minds.
By way of background, my husband and I couldn’t decide what type of learning environment would be “best” for our twin girls aged 2 ½ at the time that had entirely different learning styles and needs. Settting out, we canvassed a myriad of schools and pedagogies and each time found things we thought were wonderful and found things that gave us pause. So we continued on our quest. 12 schools later we happened upon Henry Frost…we observed….we looked at one another….we knew. This was the place where our children could be begin their lifelong journey of finding wonder in their exposure to and understanding of new things, be challenged to grow and learn and find time to imagine and play along the way. Just as we weren’t satisfied by the other school environments that limited themselves to one approach to learning – neither was Teacher Iris. We firmly believed that if anyone could tackle the profound task of integrating different learning approaches into a seamless and profound learning experience for children - that person would be Iris.
Our children skip to school every morning – literally rushing through breakfast so that they can get to school in time to maximize their time in dramatic play and learn the day’s agenda. It is truly no wonder. Everyday brings new challenges and interesting topics for the children. Every teacher that works at Henry Frost is passionate and inspired. Teacher Claire joined this year and immediately gained the trust and love of the children with her affable, fun-loving and compassionate aura. Teacher Heather has made the outside classroom her home and our children already know more about animals, bugs, plants and trees than we do. Teacher Alastair is a music phenom. A gifted and talented singer and songwriter in his own right – he makes pure magic with the children. You can often hear the Henry Frost children’s album playing at our house with songs written with Teacher Alastair and the children – you can’t be but uplifted from the joy of listening to tunes that will have your feet tapping and your face smiling – all with lyrics crafted with input from your children. Teacher Joan is the afternoon favorite – her loving and warm after school care has our children begging to stay after school.
And then there is Teacher Iris. Teacher Iris is a tour-de-force – she is a brilliant teacher, talented researcher and a dynamic and loving force deeply committed to helping foster and challenge every child that she works with. Who knew that such brilliance could come packaged in a warm and loving woman that is willing to challenge her own approach to teaching and is continually seeking to grow and learn from her stewards.
Henry Frost has given our children memories that will last a lifetime and has sown the seeds for their futures with the most essential of life-long nutrients - independent and critical thinking; problem solving skills; resilience; passion; persistence; self-control; curiosity; conscientiousness; grit; self-confidence and humanity.
Thank you Henry Frost for being. Thank you Teacher Iris for your ongoing vision and inspiration of what is possible in early childhood education. We and our children are privileged to be part of living your dream.
My daughter is attending HFCP for her pre-K year before Kindergarten. She is familiar with what a school day is like since she has 2 years of school behind her. Each day, she is excited to tell me about her day. There is always something that she wants to share with her family from baking projects to science experiments, outdoor discoveries or just swinging to a new height on the playground. It is a joy for my husband and me to watch. It is also a treat to receive the class newsletter and see the photos and video snippets that give us a view into their day. Iris and Kate provide each child with individual attention and this attention and responsiveness is unsurpassed. We are honored to be apart of the inaugural year of HCFP.
Before you start to read my testimonial, be warned, it is going to sound gushing and over-the-top! But I assure you, its all true, without an ounce of exaggeration or embellishment. Teacher Iris and Teacher Kate are amazing people. They are truly dedicated to the children that they teach. No doubt you have heard that “truly dedicated” phrase before. In this case it is for real. Like I said, with no exaggeration.
Teacher Iris has taught at prestigious preschools around the world. She has published several books. She has done research in early childhood education in three countries. I was afraid she might be so accomplished and so bright that she would be inaccessible. Not the case at all. Iris is down to earth, sweet, welcoming, generous, genuine, funny, loving, and kind. She is incredibly energetic and motivated. She really amazes me.
Teacher Kate is also an amazing person. Her love for children and true dedication to each and every one of the children at Henry Frost is remarkable. She is skilled, patient, and kind. I am so very grateful that she is part of my daughter’s life.
Iris has dreamed of having her own school for years. It is obvious to me why she asked Kate to be her co-teacher.
Thus far, I have only met Teacher Heather, the program’s naturalist, one time, and briefly. But already, my daughter is constantly asking when she is coming back to school. My daughter explained, “She knows everything all the answers to all of the questions. Everything about animals, bugs, trees, and the sky.”
Now a little about my daughter–
When my daughter is in a new setting with new people, she is very timid and shy. She had a really difficult experience at a more traditional preschool in a different community last year. So difficult in fact, that we ended up making the agonizing decision to take her out of school in the middle of November.
When she was reluctant to say goodbye to Mom and Dad last year, we were counseled to do the old “rip the bandage off” method of separation. I think that for some kids, that ‘old school’ method may work just fine. For my daughter however, it was a significantly traumatic experience.
In sharp contrast, at Henry Frost, each child’s temperament, strengths, history, personality, and learning style is considered carefully when making any plans or decisions. Because of this individualized approach to each child, Iris and Kate have implemented a plan specifically designed for my daughter. Each day her progress and or struggles are noted and the plan is adjusted accordingly.
I am thrilled to say that she has made enormous progress thus far. She is soooo happy and proud of herself!!!! And she LOVES school. Myself, her father, her grandparents; we are all beside ourselves with joy.
Before we found Henry Frost, my husband and I had planned to try another traditional preschool for my daughter. We were frankly scared and really dreading September! And then we found Henry Frost.
I am still pinching myself. It is beyond comparison. It doesn’t seem possible that this school exists and that we found it. That’s how great it is. Again, I realize this sounds over the top, a little crazy maybe. It’s just true.
I don’t think I can tell you how many times I have composed mini messages to you in my head about how happy Dave, Maisie and I all are with the Henry Frost Children’s Program. After the first week, I thought I would sit down at my computer and record some of the big “ah haa” moments that had already happened as a result of Maisie’s first few days with you. Alas, I did not get around to doing that. It’s too much pressure for me to try to write one succinct testimonial. Below are just some of the thoughts that Dave and I have either shared with each other or have been meaning to share with you. Feel free to use any or none of it, but do know it is all genuine.
When we began looking for a preschool program for Maisie, it seemed like our ideal place did not exist. We had a bit of a wish list. Some of the items on our list were intangible (the environment is welcoming, the teachers are genuinely excited about their work) and some seemed mutually exclusive (a small program that somehow still offers professional development opportunities for staff and is committed to early childhood best practice). We wanted something that would offer structure and social opportunities – that was the easy part. Exposing Maisie to other cultures, languages, nature, and a sense of shared responsibility and community were other important criteria. Most of all, we wanted somewhere that would build upon our daughter’s innate curiosity, would nurture her desire to explore and play and still provide comfort and stability while she worked on new skills. We found all of this and much, much more in the Henry Frost Children’s Program!! In just the first few weeks, Maisie has come to feel so at home at school. She talks excitedly about her teachers and her new friends. We love hearing her talk (and sing) about her day. The frequent contact and communication with teachers Iris and Kate has been tremendously helpful for Dave and I, too. Although Maisie is a great communicator for her age, she does not always give enough detail for us to understand just what she means. The emails and conversations at drop-off and pick-up are so great for sharing personalized information about how she is doing and how her day went. Thank you!!
Really, thank you!