I have one child at Matthew Turner now and another one who graduated from the same school who is now in middle school. The teachers and school staff are absolutely wonderful. Curriculum is top notch, as evidenced by my middle schooler who is not only breezing through middle school but constantly on honor roll. Personally, I have no problems with the strict attendance, test scores, and lots of parent involvement, etc. All of these things help them get ready for their next stage in life. Early foundation is key. If you don't want your child to excel academically and socially, then this school is not for you. Bravo to Matthew Turner!
Excellent school. I moved to Benicia for the schools two years ago and I am very pleased with that choice. A bit about my situation...I have two daughters attending this school. Neither of my kids attended preschool so I was a little concerned about their transition, particularly when the Kindergarten days were extended. I found the teachers were committed to exposing kids to the educational experience and exciting them about learning. I would say both my kids have different strengths and weaknesses but teachers (and my wife and I) worked with them and it paid off. Parent involvement both at school and at home is higher than I anticipated. Expect to be strongly encouraged to volunteer if your child attends MT. I admit, sometimes I joke with other parents that 'I don't remember it being that way when I was a kid' but honestly times have changed and I am over it. Although volunteering is an investment and it's not always easy it results in a strong sense of community here and a lot of that is due to the parental involvement. Parents recognize my kids and we recognize theirs, etc. Last I checked I thought that was a good thing and usually really good things cost a bit.
Parents and teachers are very engaged to the benefit of the students. Due to this year's change in principals, I have to rate four starts until the new leadership is established. Past leadership has balanced school funds with curriculum and parental involvement.
This school could not be better! Great teachers, great principal. 99.9% of the parents are involved in the extra activities, and a majority of the parents and students come to the extra event held after school or on the weekends. My daughter has learned far more than others her age that are at different schools. If it weren't for this schools performance our only other option would be private school. I would not feel comfortable sending my daughter to any other school in the bay area, and know that she would get the best education possible. Thank you to the staff and other involved parents at this school.
I have not been happy with this school. Am looking at other options. Teachers are great but to much emphasis on test scores which creates competitive environment in children.
It's a wonderful school. I have two boys, one now in 6th and the other in 3rd. The teachers are fantastic, and there are lots of supportive parents to help out. We feel very lucky to have this school in our neighborhood.
I have had nothing but a positive experience for my children at Matthew Turner. We have just finished our first week of the new school year, and the kids couldn't wait to get started! It is definitely not a militaristic atmosphere. There are rules and expectations which are needed to have a structured, safe, learning experience. Any parent who doesn't see the need for this needs to check themselves.
I am a parent of three children in this school. I have found this school to be cold, uninformed and downright rude. The teachers I have dealt with are full of superiority and condemnation. There is little understanding and gratefulness for the children or the parental involvement, which is extreme. A few of the teachers are wonderful, but it doesn't make up for the rest. Or the curriculum. It is decidedly militaristic with no genuine concern for your child's welfare or wellbeing. I can only imagine the kind of children the parents who have given such positive reviews are like. If you have any behavior issues at all with your child, conditioning, etc....this is definitely NOT the school for you. There is definitely intolerance for anyone who is not in the 'chosen group'. Yes, this school has higher test scores, but the pressure on the kids is not worth it! Sorry.
My son has been at Matthew Turner since kindergarten and we LOVE it. I do not agree with the negative posts by other parents who stated the teachers work well with only the 'highly motivated' children. I work in the classrooms and I have seen some incredible teachers doing an incredible job with ALL kids. I have found some children to be very lazy and sloppy but this isn't the teacher's doing...it has EVERYTHING to do with expectations at home and upbringing. The teachers cannot change these children habits when the parents reinforce bad habits at home. It is up to every parent to work with the teachers and their own child to strive for excellence.
My 2 children have attended Matthew Turner since my now 6th grader was in 1st grade (I have a 4th grader attending). I am shocked by the negative reviews given. This is one of the best schools in the district and I couldn't be more pleased. The office staff is fabulous, and really keep the school running on track. I've never experienced anyone being unfriendly or uncaring. Yes, the focus is on high achievement, but who wouldn't want their child to succeed? Both of my kids loved the school, and I feel that my 6th grader is doing so well at BMS because of what he learned at MT. You'll never hear me say anything negative - we love this school.
My three children have attended Matthew turner since our move to Benicia in 1997 and we have 6 more years to go. Most of the teachers have been great to work with. My biggest concern was when one of my children was recommended for special. The teacher, speech and reading teachers, and principal were fabulous to work with. Very concerned and willing to listen and work my concerns. The principal backed me up many times during confrontations with a particular teacher (who thank goodness is no longer there). I feel that most of the teachers at this school are more than willing to work with parents who have genuine concerns for their children and are willing to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. I have come across many M. T. parents who are way into how perfect they and their children are. Overall a wonderful school!
I have worked at many schools, and the children at this school are wonderful. There are few playground issues, and aggression is rare. This is a school of happy, healthy kids with involved parents. All children are accepted and given support by the staff. There is a big push toward test scores, unfortunately, which comes from the top. Sometimes the district isn't able to provide the best support, perhaps because it is so small, but the teachers at Turner are caring and work very hard.
I too, am very saddened with this school. Many of the posts below echo my feelings exactly. I could have posted them. It feels very militant and as long as you have 'cookie cutter' children, you will have a good experience.
I am completely shocked at some of these negative reviews. My kids have been at this school since my now 4th grader was in 1st grade. Our experience has been wonderful. Not all teachers need to be 'warm and fuzzy'; as long as my kids are learning & enjoying themselves, that's all that matters. The principal is very hands on; with 500 students, she does the best job she can, and I personally think she's wonderful. As for the office staff, if you had to deal with 500 students, 1000 parents and 30 teachers, you might have a bad day, too. I love this school, and am thrilled my children are getting such a great education. Isn't that what it's all about?
I found the reviews of this school to be excessively harsh. Hard on working families? My daughter has thrived at this school, thanks in part to great teachers, and a great level of parental involvement. The principal may not be 'warm and fuzzy', 'hands on', but does your child need excessive interaction from the principal to do well in school? Look at the stats for this school, that says it all if you ask me. I have helped out in class both years I've attended and my experience has been very caring and very good teachers.
This is our second year at Matthew Turner. I have two children in this school. This school is very good if your children are at a high level of academics and you want them to be the number one student. The teachers are very good with students who are highly self motivated. It is very fast paced so if it takes your child a while to get a lesson they will be lost. If you have a sensitive and creative child this is not the school for them, as I have found out. Like most schools they are all teaching for tests so that they get funding. If the teachers were allowed to teach like they used to then all the students would benefit.
When I read the other reviews, I couldn't believe how accurately they described my experience. My child too, has had the opportunity to attend three schools in Benicia, and this one is by far the worst. There is no warmth, fun, playfulness, comraderie or a feeling of 'belonging'. There are some good teachers, mostly coming from other schools, and the others feel very militant. I really miss our former schools. We may even move out of Benicia because we are so dissatisfied with this school. The principal is very hands off as mentioned. The overall feeling of this school is they don't really want to be here. Sad for the children and the parents.
Last year was my kids first year at the school. One child in 5th and another in 2nd. I truly enjoyed all three of the 5th grade teachers. They were very caring and knowledgable. 3rd grade is going great so far. It is a beautiful, clean campus. Lots of parent involvement. I would recommend this school even though there is not much diversity.
This school is not focused on the whole child education. Very unfriendly and down right rude office staff. Principal is very hands off with students! My child has attended two years and does not know the Principal's name or what she looks like. Some teachers are great, but the vast are not! It's as close to a military environment as a public school can get! Schedule reflects an attitude of disgust toward working parents. Constant days off and only 1/2 days on Fridays. This schedule penalizes those of us who work. Not child friendly! I would not recommend relocation here at all.
We moved from another local school to Matthew Turner and have been dissatisfied. Too much about business, money and kids being on time and not enough about fun, love, and happy warm teachers. I don't care for this school.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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