‘Flip the switch’ in your child’s brain

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Pear Tree Point School is nestled along Pear Tree Point Cove off Long Island Sound in Darien.

Pear Tree Point School is nestled along Pear Tree Point Cove off Long Island Sound in Darien.

At Pear Tree Point School, Headmaster David Trigaux sees firsthand how individual attention, a nurturing environment and comprehensive curriculum can change a young child’s educational experience.

When a new student arrives at the PreK-6 independent school, nestled along Pear Tree Point Cove off Long Island Sound in Darien, the child’s needs and previous experience in the classroom are clear to staff.

“You can tell when a child has been bored in the classroom — they are starved to be challenged,” Trigaux said. “On the other side of the spectrum, you see the students who have high anxiety — who were feeling the pressure and not getting enough attention or a clear explanation of material. School has not been a happy place for them.”

That’s when staff at Pear Tree Point get to work. The school, with 140 students, offers an atmosphere that Trigaux says feels like a second family and is coupled with a comprehensive academic program, recognized both nationally and internationally.

Common feedback from families who come to Pear Tree — whether from a public school system or another independent school —  is that the school stands apart with small class sizes, better teacher-to-student ratio and a more personal touch.

“I just had a mother of one of our newer students say to me ‘I don’t know what you’ve done but it’s like you flipped a switch in his brain,’” the headmaster said. “He is excited about learning.”

Pear Tree uses the Core Knowledge curriculum. Learning takes place through both direct instruction and exploratory learning. Hands-on learning and critical thinking skills are embedded in the program; so are positive character traits and community service.

Trigaux says the success of the Core Knowledge curriculum is obvious. The school uses the John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth national ranking as a benchmark of academic achievement.

“Using that as a measurement, we have 70% to 73% of our students rank in the top 5%, nationally,” he said.

The John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth has recognized Pear Tree Point as a top school.

After attending Pear Tree, students move on to excellent placements in preferred schools. About 75% attend independent secondary schools, 23% choose to attend their local public middle schools — including Middlesex in Darien and Saxe in New Canaan — and 2% attend renowned international schools abroad.

The scale of the school and the environment created by staff and families is essential to building those strong foundations for the future, according to Trigaux.

“We know every child by name, every parent — we know the dogs,” the headmaster said.

More info: PTPSchool.org or call 203-655-0030.

Teacher Pam Fulton works with Lily Hudson at Pear Tree Point School, where individual attention is one of the keys to a young child’s education.

Teacher Pam Fulton works with Lily Hudson at Pear Tree Point School, where individual attention is one of the keys to a young child’s education.

Open house in June, easy transition this summer

Families interested in exploring Pear Tree are encouraged to attend an upcoming Admissions Open House. Open houses are scheduled for Wednesday, June 1, at 9:30 a.m. and Thursday, June 2 at 7 p.m.

This summer Pear Tree offers a summer arts camp — a relaxed environment — run by the school’s teachers that gives new students a chance to get to know new classmates.

Transitioning is also made easy, thanks to the school creating a “buddy family” relationship for new arrivals. Pear Tree is offering rolling admission through the summer, with a few spots open in each grade, available to new families.

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