You get one upset parent (because things didn't go their way), and they "stir the pot" and all hell breaks loose. Some parents want to control everything, including the school their child goes too. It's crazy that this all started because one family tried to get a band wagon together to stop children from bringing in a birthday treat or celebrating their “star week”. It was met with resistance by the school; as it should’ve been. I don't want someone dictating to me if I can bring in a treat for my child's birthday. The fact that they say that teachers are poor role models is said because these parents are upset that the teachers and the school allow students to bring in a treat on their birthday. I have many friends whose children have an allergy and are welcomed and encouraged to bring in a box of snacks for their child to have on such occasions. Too many parents are afraid to tell their children no and they put it all on the teachers. Come on people. Teachers do enough; do they really need to be my child's nutritionist too? That's a parent's job! I have had two children that completed their education K-6 at Benchmark and one going through Benchmark right now. I have many family members in education and I sought out this amazing school for my own children. I can tell you that they are highly prepared for middle and high school and are very well rounded individuals who have excelled at the next level. I have Benchmark to thank for that! I wish people could research the individuals who have given this amazing school such poor reviews. I know many of these negative reviews have come from people who have gone to other schools and seem to have a problem with all of them. They won't be happy until they find a school that they can control. That my friend is called "home schooling." I am thrilled and honored that my children have been a part of Benchmark’s amazing Core Knowledge curriculum and highly dedicated teachers and administrators. Shame on the few parents that claim you're “waiting for a better school”. Go! That's what school choice is all about. The grass isn't greener on the other side. Just ask several Benchmark parents who have come back after testing "the other side". This school is worth it!
You have got to be kidding - the last reviewer is ridiculous. Let's at least be honest here, while some people are perfectly happy staying at benchmark, not a single family would actually claim that these principals, especially Carole, is "caring, respectful, compassionate, or empathetic" or anything even close as the previous reviewer tried to claim. She is rude and unprofessional and unwilling to
even listen to the parents, unbelievably disrespectful. If you are curious, just go ahead and walk in the office any time of day - she will never even smile at you much less greet you. We've been here for years and I have yet to hear her speak kindly to anyone. She was even heard multiple times in the office bad mouthing the families who care enough to step up and voice their concerns about the curriculum.
Academically this school is just fine, not above many other nearby schools, but fine enough. However, I want my children around good role models and this environment is toxic. Parents are expected to not discuss concerns, apparently they think they have control over our discussions. Funny that it just makes us as parents all talk and complain even more. We are also not allowed to question the curriculum, and certainly not allowed to have an opinion. The teachers play favorites and give the parents an attitude if they dare to bring up their concerns.
Go look at other core knowledge schools - this school often takes a lazy approach to interpreting the ED hirsch core knowledge curriculum. Clearly there are some exceptions and some teachers who are fantastic - ones who do great projects with the kids and ones who really care. Unfortunately the environment is so dysfunctional that these great aspects are not worth being here.
And yes, we've been here for years and will leave as soon as we get a spot at our school of choice!
Oh and "safe and loving" environment like the last reviewer said, is a joke. Anyone off the street can walk straight in without being questioned. I've even had my uncle and grandfather try just to show them how unsafe this place is. They had never been there and were able to walk right in straight to the playground without a single "hi, hello, who are you? Can I help you?" Nothing!
Try it and you will see!
We have so many friends who have left and not a single family regrets leaving - the current benchmark families deserve better!
I would like to thank the Co-Principals, Bobbi and Carol, for the tireless work and the many thank-less days they spend to educate our kids in a very creative and unique way. Thank you for pouring into the teachers and allowing them to be the BEST teachers they can be for our students. Thank you for not giving up and continuing to have a place where we can send our kids, to receive the highest quality education, in a safe and loving environment. Thank you for providing 2 teachers per classroom Thank you for providing a place where our kids LOVE to come to school. You are loved and treasured!! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you and may you be richly blessed!
Benchmark is a very unique school with a fantastic learning environment. Students are encouraged to be creative while exceeding academically. My daughter has loved every minute at Benchmark. Absolutely love the teachers and administration. They go above and beyond to meet students needs, create an atmosphere for learning and help them be the most successful that they can be. Fantastic job Benchmark. Keep up the exceptional work. A million thank you's would not be enough!!!!
I believe they help develop compassion, caring and empathetic students by modeling the behavior to the students. They themselves are fantastic caring, compassionate and empathetic administrators and teachers and therefore the students learn that behavior. They love our kids.