Pros: 1) 15 to 1 teacher student ratio (Intoxicating for yuppy parents) 2) Teachers are great and tolerant of kids needs Cons; 1) Physical Plant lacks Security, There is no Gym/Auditorium/Lunch Room, Library is small, Poor Technology Integration 2) Principles can be totally unprofessional to the point of toxic in some cases. Carole specifically, but Bobbie's friendlier demeanor does not balance the pair into a net positive. There is no real School Board providing any checks and balances over the Principles. If you are considering Benchmark, I HIGHLY recommend you ask for a meeting with Carole and ask the following: 1) What security measure are in place to protect my child? Is the main gate always unlocked? Are there camera's? Will I be notified of a lock down? 2) How much warning do you give parents when you change something significant at Benchmark? For example, how much warning can I expect to receive that you are changing the hot lunch program? Can my child get milk during hot lunch? 3) How does money raised by the PTO get spent? What are some of the projects the PTO fundraising paid for recently? How did those expenditures advance students education or experiences?
I agree with all the recent posts about this school. Maybe at one time it WAS a great school. Maybe the waiting list to get in went to at least one principal's head. But as a family who did wait outside overnight to send our kids here a few years ago, we are finding out this school is not what we thought. The teachers want Stepford children who act like robots. Any child who is different in any way will not be accepted, and will be bullied by both teachers, administration, and other students. The school has lost multiple students recently, and it's no surprise. My children, who love learning, no longer love school. Something is wrong if that is the case. We'll be pulling out as soon as we research our other options.
Very interesting. That 5 star defensive post which was obviously and inappropriately made by the principles didn't once address the parents reasonable and accurate issue with the security of the school. Sadly, it attacked a parent to whom they have had issues. Were is the Professionalism? Maybe there is something to all these posts about the Principles.
The most recent review of 5 stars is Benchmark administrations' approach to any parental concerns brought to their attention. The best advice for parents who choose Benchmark comes from that review... present your issues and concerns anonymously otherwise you are viewed as a complaining and angry parent with excuses-- who will be outcast. Real accountability and work ethic is doing something about the lack of supervision on the playground during recess and allowing first grade teachers to show over 13 Disney movies in class. When parents bring these concerns to administration, they are told to stop complaining and that their reputation will follow them each year. My child learned a sad work ethic at Benchmark because he was told to watch a movie for two days so the teachers could complete report cards during class. He was told it was part of Common Core, which is complete absurdity. The whole idea of partnership exists if you agree to everything the teachers do, even if it's wrong. It is not a solution based school but a school that bullies parents who are not on board with teachers and administration at all times.
I have found by talking to other parents, that this is the place for kids who have parents that consider themselves partners in their child's education. If you want your child to excel academically, become responsible for their own behavior and work ethic, and become a better friend and citizen, this is the place for them! If not, and you just want to complain and make excuses and get mad when teachers hold your child accountable for work they missed while you were in Disneyland for a week, homeschool them.
I completely 100% agree with the 1 star rating and everything said by "submitted by a teacher". We were thrilled to enroll our daughter at such a highly rated school. We were never informed of any issues with our child until our mid year teacher conference. At that point we were told our child would not be welcome to continue at Benchmark no matter what our child accomplished or learned in the last half of the year. They even implied our child had a learning disability. We immediately withdrew her and put her in a top rated "10" public school. We had her tested through the district and she actually tested above her age level. She is so much happier now! If your child doesn't fit perfectly into the Benchmark mold, the teachers and staff make you feel like there is something wrong with your child. Getting our daughter out of that school was one of the best things we have ever done. In my opinion, the only reason Benchmark is rated a "10" is because they only keep the children who are able to perform at a specific level they expect, which is unrealistic for some children. The ones that require teaching or any extra attention are pushed out. - Disappointed parent
This is interesting. I posted a comment on this blog and it has been removed. It stayed on this blog for a couple of months so it wasn't outside of the guidelines, but it was honest and something all parents should know. Administration and teachers are quite dysfunctional in the manner in which they approach families and children. If a parent has issues and attempts to communicate with the teachers, their response is very intimidating and quite bullying. I found it interesting that a problem I had was how my nephew got to watch Fifteen movies in class thought the school year. When this was brought to the teachers attention a group of five teachers met with the parents and made them feel inferior and demeaned their complaint. I myself am an educator for public schools, so a decision on a charter was difficult for me, and after denoting the several attempts made to communicate legitimate issues, it validated that public education is the better way as someone is held accountable. Administration and teachers here are related in some fashion so if you go above heads it creates more issues than solutions. Talk to other parents before enrolling kids here, trust me!
Benchmark is known for its amazing core knowledge curriculum and awesome teacher enthusiasm. My kids love going to school everyday!
Benchmark continues to go above and beyond all state and federal standards. The students are always highly motivated by the enriching curriculum. The leveled groups also help to provide every child with the education they deserve.
Prior to having children I knew Benchmark School would be my first choice. Now as a Mother of 3 (2 of which are school aged) I have no doubt in my mind I made the right decision for my family. We have been with Benchmark for 5 years now and love it! The school is amazing in every aspect. Parent involvement is very high and the students benefit greatly from that. We are blessed to have two teachers is every class from Preschool through Elementary. Any negative reviews always come from those pushy, overbearing, and argumentative parents, which unfortunately every school has. My kids tell me all the time their school is the best and that makes me happy as a parent. I don't look forward to the day my kids will no longer be in elementary school, unless the school adds 7th and 8th grade. hint, hint.. THANK YOU BENCHMARK FOR BEING SO WONDERFUL!!! --- PROUD PARENT
Benchmark School - PHX, AZ To the parent, who I suspect posted both the 10/8 & 10/10 reviews, I would like to ask why, when you feel as you do, would you keep your children in Benchmark? If my assessment was as vociferously negative as yours, I would enroll my children in another school. What is in the best interest of my children will always trump what is convenient for me including driving a greater distance to another school. Sometimes parents don t like to hear that their child may have an issue or problem, and become defensive, attacking the messenger, instead of working in concert with one of the wonderful Benchmark principals & teachers who take great personal interest in the well-being of children placed in their care, under their supervision. As the Aunt of a Benchmark student, I know that there is a long list of parents waiting hopefully for spots to open so they can transfer their children to Benchmark. We were overjoyed when our little girl was accepted. The fact that you voluntarily chose to keep your children in Benchmark speaks much louder than your vindictive diatribes. Stop the venom. Shame on you. Support the school like every parent I know or move on.
I would have to agree with the poster that wrote about this issues with the management, the principals in particular. If you spent 5 minutes in the office waiting for your child you know who it is. Having a child that spent 6 years there, if you have an issue with a teacher, you might as well be talking to a brick wall. While 1 star may be harsh when evaluating the education, overall it is within the spirit of the "unsatisfactory" rating because of how incredibly condescending they (she) is when discussing your child's issue or problem. Unfortunately the tone in the front office and makes this place very unwelcoming, unfair in how kids are discipline, with kids of parents they like getting favors and leniency and those that they disagree with not. Do yourself, and your child, a favor and go with one of the recently opened charters such as great heats, basis and other and leave the mind games to them.
As a parent of 3 children that have gone to this school, you will realize one day that the mind games and poor administration of the principals, one in particular, are not worth the anxiety and stress you will go through. There are so many charter school options now for elementary school now, much better than Benchmark, that you will rue the day you sent your kids here.
This school is amazing. Both of my children are happy and learning at their fullest potential. As far as other children leaving for other charter schools, most that we know have all since returned. The teachers are dedicated and have the ability to be creative with their instruction. We highly recommend this school.
Benchmark is a dream come true for parents and students alike. Every teacher is wonderful in my 4 year experience at the school. Each year I think it can't get better than the current year and somehow it does! In my experience, the only disgruntled parents are the ones with struggling students. They move on to other schools looking for something better and then wish they could come back. The wait list continues to grow every year with very good reason, getting in is like winning the lottery. I volunteer often and am always impressed with the wonderfully behaved students. Kids don't need 3+ hours of homework in elementary school, too many parents are confusing busy work for quality education. I only hope Benchmark can get a junior high and high school developed in time for my 3rd grader to not have to switch schools, it would be a shame to break up their wonderful group. Other schools are thrilled to get Benchmark students due to their advanced skills, so no hurry to switch here!
Many families have decided that they don't need to tolerate the administrative issues with the principal now that there are new charter choices. There has been a real brain drain with a lot of higher performing students leaving. To remain competitive, the school needs to realize changes need to be made in the office and also recruit a higher level of teachers particularly in math and science.
Benchmark School provides an environment where any family will feel at home. There are 2 teachers in every class so no child falls behind. All of the teachers are top notch or they will not be allowed to continue to teach there. The principals truly care for each child as if it were their own and are always available to talk at a moments request. The front desk greets you with a smile and can help with any questions or point you in the right direction of someone who can. This school is very unique in that we feel like one large family. It is worth every moment you might stand in line to enroll your child. I have read the negative comments and can honestly say they are just not true. When my children continue on to another school after sixth grade I feel they will be ready to exceed any expectations their future school might have from a child entering at their grade level. I feel truly lucky that we are able to attend this school.
Where else can you get a 15:1 student to teacher ratio, without paying private school prices? Not many, I know because I have looked. The supportive and involved parent community at this school allows us to shelter our children from some of the negative experiences I hear about in public school. I love this school and so do my kids!!
KYRENE DE LOS CERRITOS I have 2 kiddos in this school 1st & 3rd grade, principal and teachers are amazing.
This is our 6th year at Benchmark. Having been an elementary school teacher, I had very high expectations for what I was looking for in a school. Benchmark has hit all of those expectations. Two of my children have moved on to middle-school and they left Benchmark fully prepared with a love of learning. I can not say enough about this school!
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