The small setting makes individual behavior more prominent, and the school has a focus on developing these kinds of character traits. When students do run into interpersonal challenges, some teachers hold "town hall" type discussions to facilitate ways the kids can work through issues. The off-site field trips, like the ropes course/teambuilding one also help foster positive culture in the classroom. I see my child thinking through issues and learning empathy, teamwork and respect for others at the same time, which is great.
These reviews are a little misleading. Some positives - the teachers are not bad and gardening class nice - but the high test scores are directly related to the socioeconomics of the area. There is not good funding for this school. There is no art teacher and the music program is constantly in danger of being cut. Classes are overcrowded - most upper classes with 32-35 kids each. Teachers rely heavily on parent volunteers - some even ask parents to grade papers! For the privacy of other families and because parents may not be qualified, they should not be doing this. PTA meetings usually have less than 10 in attendance - and the teachers don't seem to care about the T in PTA. Because of funding issues, families are asked to donate over 300 dollars per student each year. The other fundraiser is an auction where families that bid the most get prizes and special outings - those with less money have no chance. Child supervision on the school grounds is lacking - often only 1 adult. Teachers have expressed a lack of parent volunteers, but teachers should be there to fill in at least! The academics were fine, and our experience here was not terrible. It was just not a 10.
I have a 7th grader and a kindergartner at Bay Farm... I'm halfway through what will end up being 18 years at this school! I don't mispeak when I say that... the community, the parents, are as much a part of this school as the kids, teachers and staff are. Together, this community works toward a common set of goals: Giving each student a great education, creating a safe and scintillating environment for them to learn in, and putting them on a path to success. Many of us feel as if we've stumbled upon a piece of near perfection. The principal, Mrs. Freitas, is dedicated to the betterment of the school at every turn, and the teachers and staff are absolutely fabulous. With a hugely active PTA and parent community, you just can't go wrong. I'm so thrilled my kids have this place!
We have been at Bay Farm Elementary for 3 years and are very proud to be part of this school. There is a great partnership between parents and teacher/staff. Our child is challenged and excited about class.
Last year we celebrated our 20th Anniversary at Bay Farm School, and I couldn't be prouder of all that we have accomplished over the years! We've come a long way since we opened our doors to just over 250 students! We are now over 500 strong, with a staff who is committed to making Bay Farm a safe, fun, and challenging place to learn and grow. We have replaced overhead projectors with document cameras and smart boards, are in our second year of our K-8 implementation, continue to move forward into our 21st Century Innovative Plan, and have an Outdoor Learning Center and Go Green program that is the envy of districts near and far. Our greatest legacy, however, is our continuing relationship with our students who have grown and left us to make their way in the world. They have gone on to high school and college, are making the world a better place in their chosen fields, and, most importantly, are raising their own children to be strong, kind, and independent. They come back often to check in and to take part in school activities and celebrations. They share their memories of their experiences at Bay Farm and their goals. They remind me, day after day, why I do what I do!
Bay Farm school is wonderful. This is the first year it holds seventh grade, and it has two classes. The teachers are phenomenal and balance each other's strength. One is a Math and Science genius, while the other is an English and History buff. I have twins and one kid in each class. Both of them respect and admire their teachers. They actually enjoy learning and look forward to going to school. Of course, they love their weekends too. Just incredible how Bay Farm and their teachers created an environment in which my twins are engaged and are blossoming. When I drive up to the school each morning, I see a clean, well-kept grounds. There a true sense of safety and caring. Little safety monitors help direct all the crazy bicycle, car and people traffic. Today was "Walk to School" day, and the community had the local police also guiding traffic. They were even smiling. The children gather in the courtyard for morning announcements, and each child who has a birthday that morning is brought up while the entire school sings them a song and wish them well. Can you image how special that makes a kid feel? If only each day can be that extraordinary. Oh wait, it is at Bay Farm.
BayFarm school is such a strong school due to the tight knit sense of community among children, teachers & parents. Most of us walk or ride to school and find we have a lot in common: a high value place on education, a strong sense of drive and desire for our kids to excel and be contributing members of our community. I am grateful to live in such a supportive neighborhood and participate in such a wonderful school community.