The teachers at this school all care so much about the students. My family went through some very difficult times and the staff went above and beyond to not only help our children through them, but our family as well. When I was in the hospital during the holiday season, the teachers gave all of our children gifts, took a beautiful photo of the kids and framed copies for both my husband and I, and two teachers even took the kids out to a movie during winter break to give my husband a little time to himself. Our family isn't the only one the school has rallied around during difficult times either. Add to this a top-notch education, I am so thankful for Benchmark School and its staff.
Far above average education with an incredible social studies and science curriculum. 4-5 levels of math, reading and writing in each grade with dedicated teacher to each group means no teach-to-the-middle - advanced students are challenged, those who need a little catching up aren't left behind.
This school only cares about money! They have no interest in serving the parents or addressing their concerns. One of the teachers commented on this site something along the lines of, "If you don't go here anymore then grow up and move on, and if you do go here then just leave." This is the attitude of the administration. One principal in particular is just a bully and plays favorites, I have seen her intimidate and bully parents and staff members out in the open of the office. There is no consistent reading, writing, or spelling program, so the education is mediocre at best. This school is a joke, why anyone would send their child there is beyond me!!!
Per the AIMS data (azed.gov), the pass % (meet & exceed) for that class went from 83% in 5th grade to 68% in 6th grade. Roughly 6 addt l students did worse. However, since the % of exceeding students increased from 28 to 35%, the math mean scaled score remained consistent (418 in 5th to 421 in 6th). Some went down, some went up so the average result was ok typical results, right? I wouldn t extrapolate a cause to panic. It s fairly common to test prep for AIMS (now AZ Merit), the CCUSD does as well. Similar to our day, the testing is mandatory. The extra help from teachers is optional. I m sure crafting the lesson plans around testing is probably difficult & frustrating for them. I m grateful for their extra effort. I d rather my child is relaxed and sharpen test taking skills to prepare for high school/college, than be thrown into it cold turkey. Even if they are learning items specifically targeted for standardized testing, aren t they still learning? Sometimes you just have to trust that the educators, who have decades of combined experience, know what they re doing. My 0 yrs of exp. and 0 education degrees make it easy to give them the benefit of the doubt.
This Is our first year at benchmark. My kids are thriving and love going to school every day. That says a lot when your children jump up in the morning excited to begin that their day. They are so eager to get back after break. They love their teachers and friends. Thanks Benchmark for putting the love back into learning for my kids!!!
I have 3 children but only 1 still at Benchmark. (9th, 7th, 5th grade) We've been at Benchmark since 2006 and I can't say enough about the school & the wonderful teachers. My older kids have been extremely well prepared for Middle School and High School, BOTH of them achieving excellent grades in honors classes. The curriculum teaches the kids to critically analyze situations & think outside the box. The teachers are extremely vested in the students & in their success. No school is perfect & there are imperfections at Benchmark but as a whole, the school is an amazing place for kids to grow & learn. The student teacher ratio is incredible & the Montessori style approach to teaching, meaning every child learns differently, is what sets this school above all the rest. As my 5th grader continues to grow, I am struck with a melancholy feeling of leaving Benchmark for Middle School. The teachers, in my opinion, truly care about the students. I didn't have the privilege of having a child in Kindergarten but experienced 1st-6th grade, truly amazing teachers. I highly recommend Benchmark to all & I stand behind my comments. M. Lawrence proud Benchmark Parent!
I am Wendy Brady and I teach 4th grade at Benchmark. I am posting my name because I will not hide behind what I have to say. I have been associated with the school fifteen years, first as a parent and eventually as an educator. The comment made by the parent about the teachers defending their integrity is sad. Are you really surprised that we want to defend ourselves? How can you make statements about the entire staff when I have probably never taught your child? I ask this -What is the ultimate goal here? Why so much hatred? If you have left the school and are posting these remarks- grow up and move on. If you are still here, please go. You have many years ahead of you and many teachers to come across. I speak as a parent of older children- kindness and mutual respect will get you farther in regards to your child's education. Educators start avoiding the parents. Parents that spew such hatred and negativity are avoided. I know I will not go out of my way to make small talk with you- that is a shame. Your kids should see the partnership between us. I have considered leaving education because of situations like this. Flipping burgers sounds tempting - all to avoid the nastiness
I have a child with an IEP. My son is not a typical student. I find Benchmark the perfect fit for him. The Special Ed department is extremely accommodating to his needs and therapies. He has received speech (Mrs. Hopkins is amazing and has truly become a confidant for my son when he is having issues) and OT. Ms. Stone is very professional. DDD and Touchstone Behavioral health do attended my son's IEP and they are impressed with the program and staff. The Principals have always had my son's best interest in mind when an issue needed to be discussed or discipline was needed. Consequences were discussed as a team. The teachers are OUTSTANDING, dedicated individuals who truly love to teach and are patient, stern and nurturing. These kids are getting a FANTASTIC education which includes ability grouping and specials that include Art, Science/Computer/Library/Music My son attended North Ranch's Twice exceptional extremely gifted program. No comparison to the education he is receiving now. My daughter now attends Basis and is a straight A student. We attribute her success to her Benchmark foundation. I'm extremely grateful to the Benchmark staff. Grass isn't always greener.
I have 2 children that were lucky enough to attend Benchmark. Were all those years perfect? No. However, my husband and I learned early on - it was important to step back and let the teachers teach. They contacted us when needed with concerns and shared triumphs when they happened. We made sure to volunteer. We learned to balance our involvement, not meddle in the teaching, the administration. If we had concerns, we quietly voiced them, we didn't quiz other parents about our concerns trying to turn our concerns into their concerns. Benchmark is great because of: the curriculum, team teaching, project based learning, the out of the box thinking. This draws parents that think the same way! What s bad - it draws parents that think the same way! More and more, these new parents believe, because they share the same ideas that they have a right to direct: curriculum, faculty needs, even make infrastructure changes. The Principals took years to successfully develop Benchmark, why then would they let parents come in and change it? This generation of parents are doing themselves and their children a disservice by acting so entitled. Learn some balance, relish the time with your children!