As for the money and sport court comment, don’t be ridiculous! Get a quote and then talk. It cost a lot of money for “plastic”. Have you bought a plastic play set lately?? This school is well taken care of and maintained. Good luck finding a school that doesn’t fund raise. With Arizona’s education being cut year after year, fundraising is the only way that schools can better your child’s education and experience. One would think a parent would want that for their child. As for the other review, NO teacher has ever, ever stated, “Oh come on, what is wrong with TV? We teachers need a break.” That is more than a false and laughable quote. We DO NOT watch TV and movies to teach or for a break from teaching!! Movies are used during heat advisory days and rainy days only during the 30 minute lunch recess period. These days are very few and far between. Yes, the teachers absolutely deserve and are legally bound to receive a 30 min lunch break without students. That doesn’t seem far-fetched, lazy or selfish. It is also very seldom, a few times per year, that a grade level will show a video to enrich our Core Knowledge curriculum. These may include National Geographic, Magic School Bus or historical clips. Fortunately, because of our team teaching, movies are not used when a teacher is absent. This is very different from all other schools. We are still quite confused why these comments stay up on Great Schools’ website as they hold no educational value and are clearly outlandish and implausible. We wish this family the best of luck with their choice at a local Montessori.
For the record, our school doesn’t serve junk food to the children. We do, however, allow children to bring in a birthday or “star student” treat of their choice. We will continue to allow parents the freedom to celebrate their child’s birthday with whatever treat they choose. I guarantee if these children live a healthy lifestyle at home these treats will not harm them or their learning. Some parents choose to not allow their child to have these treats, and we have always honored this. We have never had a problem keeping their personal “treats” for them to have at these times. The students are not singled out and it is done without any hesitation or judgement. How dare this critical person generalize on the overall health choices of the staff! We teach our students not to judge each other for their food, ethnicities or calories. We are disappointed that a parent, so concerned with adults modeling for children, would model such hate towards people. You can clearly see that nothing makes this parent happy. To say the staff models so poorly by walking around with donuts and cupcakes is beyond insane! Once again, proving this comment is invalid and outrageous. Our generous principals are kind enough to purchase donuts and bagels once a month for our staff meeting. They do not force us to eat them. Many teachers pass on the offer and many of the most fit and healthy teachers treat themselves. We also are a tight and generous staff and provide breakfast for each other on Fridays. Who would think we had angry parents watching our every personal move? That’s scary and crazy! Our principals value health and wellness so much that they provide a cardio and weight training class for all teachers, free of charge. These are a few of the reasons why amazing teachers and parents stay here at Benchmark. So to these parents, we hope you find happiness in your new school. Maybe one day these parents can let go of their anger and hate and leave our school and staff alone.
Please, please, please read the reviews before you send your children to Benchmark. All of the negative comments have the same theme....lack of professionalism and bullying! One principal in particular is just plain ridiculous. She ridicules staff in the open for everyone to see, and I have heard her judging parents as they walk to and from the school. Several of the teachers are unprofessional and bully you right out if you disagree or challenge them on anything. They ask for money constantly.....but I am not really sure where the money gets spent. They claim to have spent thousands of dollars on a new sport court that is just plastic squares clipped together. They do have really great curriculum for math, social studies, and science, I love the hands on approach to those areas. Having said that, their reading, writing, and spelling is inconsistent. Each teacher can just choose what they want to teach and when.....there is no consistent spiral through the grades. The team teaching seems like a good idea, but each teacher is teaching at the same time, and so I feel like that can get distracting for kids to try and hear their teacher and focus on what their teacher is trying to say. I have met families at the new school we are at that have several stories of why they left and the way they are treated! At least 4 at the new charter school we are at. Please read the reviews and see the consistency in what everyone is saying. You should never under any circumstances afraid to ask your school why they do things the way they do......you should never be singled out or bullied for being an advocate for your child's education!!!
Again, this is not modeled. If you discuss a problem with the school, you are told to not talk negatively about this school. If they believe in what they are doing and defend it, why are they so worried that parents are discussing it? They yell at the parents, which is an unacceptable model for my children.
While this school may have a few good teachers, I urge you to look at other schools. While here, you will be made to believe that Benchmark is amazing - but once you tour other schools, you will realize how unprofessional many of the teachers are, including one specific principal. I still do not understand why these principals think they are modeling good behavior for these students. They are incredibly rude - please read all reviews over the past 5 years.
The teachers show movies as an easy way out of teaching the curriculum - again, you will find this is a common theme in negative reviews over the last 5 years. They try to blow it off and say, "oh come on, what is wrong with the TV? We teachers need some breaks!" We have never before heard of teachers that need a break and can not get it without putting the TV on for the class! I just wish we would have read the negative reviews before attending this school. The amount of junk food served to the kids here is unbelievable - in a day where kids need more exercise and less junk. If you complain, you will be told, "oh come on, its for fun, you can choose to not have your child eat it."
But really, who wants your child in an environment every day where the other children and staff are eating donuts and cupcakes on such a regular basis?
We do not. If you try to suggest that your child not eat this food, or not watch the many Disney movies, you will be told to go elsewhere and yelled at by the staff.
When we started this year at a new school, wow, what a change. The principals say hello to the children, the teachers are not walking around with big sodas in their hand, and kids are told they are not allowed to eat junk during the school day - why? Because we all know in 2016 that your brain and body are connected and you can not learn to your best ability while watching tv and eating junk food! Our kids are at a school where the staff is professional, respectful, and the values are in line with our family. Very unlike Benchmark. Please make sure you are ok with how things are done at Benchmark before you sign up.