This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
William Brooks Elementary School3
Posted May 26, 2013
- a parent
The major problem with this, and probably every other school in California, is the class size. They jam 30+ kids in a classroom, and due to job cutbacks many of the teaching jobs are job shares between two teachers, each teaching part of the week. So if your kid isn't quiet and conforming, they become a 'problem', because one teacher working part time simply can't handle that many kids and do much more than classroom management. Two or three kids that make noise or distract the class and its over, and there will always be 2-3 kids like that in every class. But the principal says she has a study that says huge classes are okay, despite 40 years of real studies that say otherwise. I guess when we waste our money on pork, we have to come up with some kind of explanation for short changing the next generations' education. So don't feel bad if you end up having lots and lots of meetings with school officials about your perfectly normal child. It just means they're unable to handle their classrooms and would rather that all be your problem instead of theirs.
My son was in private school prior to attending Brooks. I had a number of concerns about transferring him to public school. Those fears were unfounded. The great private education my son was receiving had him about a year behind the kids at Brooks. The staff and teachers quickly rectified that. Within a year he had caught up with his peers. He had a very successful transfer to Rolling Hills Middle School which was equally as great. He is now a sophomore at Oak Ridge High School and actively planning his college career. He is active in the community and is a superior athlete. Brooks was the best move we ever made!
The most dedicated teachers in town are at Brooks! The children love their school and are pushed to achieve academically and excel in citizenship. Lots of extras at the school: garden, cross country, after school P.E. and art, strong P.T.A support. We love Brooks!
We are new to the area and have found that the staff and paretns of Brooks have helped us and our children integrate. The school is blessed with great parent involvement and very capable teachers. We are very pleased.
This school has been the best for our family! The staff is amazing. They go above and beyond to reach the kids and provide extracurricular (chess club) activities for the kids. The standards are high and the children are challenged. I have observed unique and fun teaching strategies in the classroom. It is not just teaching to the test. My children love school and that in itself is the best testimonial from a parent!
My child went to a Montessori School from age 2 until age 6 when he started 1st grade at Brooks. I was hesitant to take him out of Montessori for fear he may go backwards in his academics, but I had heard wonderful things about the teachers at Brooks and the small class sizes. I could not be more pleased with how his 1st grade year went. His teacher was extremely innovative when it came to keeping him challenged, she was always available for questions and phone calls from me. My son made friends quickly, enjoyed going to the other classrooms for the reading programs (Bear Tracks), and he always looked forward to the after school events (Talent Show, Brooks Carnival, etc.). Brooks reminds me of the small town elementary school that I attended - where the teachers knew all of the kids names, the environment was safe and academic standards were top of mind. We are both looking forward to his 2nd Grade year!
Today was supposed to be a very special day for my granddaughter Mary who was promoted from Brooks. However, if you were to look at this year's yearbook, you would not know that she attended at all. You see, there is not one picture of her in the book. When this oversight was discovered, the quick fix was to place a last minute supplement of a certain small population of kids into the book. You see, Mary is autistic. What was more interesting is that all 9 special ed kids were excluded from the yearbook in one way or another. No special pictures at Halloween, no special pictures of them just being kids. No this supplement simply identified them as the "Special Ed Kids" that was a last minute fix. Why not have just put a bull's eye on each of these kid's backs to be bullied and set apart even more. Unfortunately, Brooks is not holding themselves accountable for this. We want our children to be accountable for their actions but if they don't learn this from those who we put in trust of teaching our children, where will they learn this from? Mary is a beautiful child who deserves the same respect as any other child. Shame on Brooks for failing to make her last year special.
The bottom line for this school, as long as you want an average kid who follows the crowd, never makes waves and strives to be mediocre, this is the school for you. If you have a kid that needs help in any way, needs stimulation, is advanced or struggling, needs to be inspired or development help then you should look elsewhere. Preferably our of this district. If your child is failing you will never be told until it is to late, the kid will be belittled and dismissed by the teachers and generally ignored. If your child is advanced they will be given work to do on their own and encouraged to excel, as long as it does not create extra work for the instructors. You will spend hours doing homework, get minimum feedback and if you dare to ask for help or not conform to the parental expectations of providing classroom help or funds then your child will be punished for your failure. And heaven help you if you have a special needs child. They will be bullied, mocked, ignored, blamed, teased and ostracized while the teacher looks on and claims that the child with the special needs should toughen up and learn to deal with society. Shame on you Brooks and Buckeye School District.
A lot of pepole might tell you that this is a great school, it's not. Iif you find yourself spending several hours teaching your child what he or she should be getting in shool from his or her teacher or spending money sending your child to get more help somewhere alse than this is not your type of shool. This is just another public school than only cares for high school rating and they will do anything to get them. For example, they have cramped everything that your child need to learn in K into 3 hours and if your child does not learn all and prove to the teahcer by the next testing day than you will be told that there is something wrong with your child. If you have a child that is gifted think of other schools fast.