Outstanding parent community that is welcoming, inclusive, and constantly seeking to involve all parents in their childrens' education. Incredible PTA and Foundation create a "private school" enrichment experience at a public school. Everything we ever wanted in a suburban K-8 experience after living in NYC and SF. Teachers who live to teach and do so because they want to, not because they have to. SMART teachers - valedictorians, published authors, etc. Amazing specialists. MANY second generation students whose parents wanted their kids to experience what they did. Simply the best educational experience we could ask for our children in Marin, public or private, hands down.
Great families/kids/teachers. Not wowed though hard to believe same school w the stellar reputation. Seems average (test scores slipped; remains to be seen if "core transition" to blame). Worry children aren t receiving necessary foundation to succeed academically beyond the easy early years. Seems like no one will push them to achieve, for fear they will break. Math instruction is light; many kids have their eyes opened in middle school. Do additional math work at home/with private tutors/classes (whatever works for you, as there is very little math-facts homework). Little HW overall, compared to what's expected as they move up through school. Elem & middle school do not seem aligned on the HW issue, despite Principal s insistence they are; she doesn't truly address parent concerns (smiles & cheerleads). Shame. Parent community is amazing involved on campus & very generous, giving tens of thousands in volunteer hours & in dollars to PTA & foundation. Teachers seem caring/prepared/well-meaning; spend many hours in teacher development during school year (each Wed is 1/2 day while teachers in training). Personally, wish kids were the ones in class those hours instead of teachers.
It looks like the word is out about Bacich. It is so sad to see a school go from an excellent school to a poor school. We have just moved out of state and one of my children was average at Bacich in reading. At this new public school, she is at the absolute bottom of her class. She goes to the schools tutor every day because they want to bring her to "their" grade level. When I see what the kindergarteners are expected to learn at this new school I know why!!! Bacich no longer teaches the kids math and reading and it does not believe in homework. Also the teacher are too business getting "additional training" that they miss up to 30 days a year in the classroom. It is such a shame for the children. They deserve better!!! See Bacich's drop in Star testing results from 2012 to 2013 2013 Results: http://star.cde.ca.gov/star2013/ViewReport.aspx?ps=true&lstTestYear=2013&lstTestType=C&lstCounty=21&lstDistrict=65334-000&lstSchool=6024319&lstGroup=1&lstSubGroup=1 2012 Results: http://star.cde.ca.gov/star2012/ViewReport.aspx?ps=true&lstTestYear=2012&lstTestType=C&lstCounty=21&lstDistrict=65334-000&lstSchool=6024319&lstGroup=1&lstSubGroup=1
I just wanted to chime in on the parent below me regarding differentiation learning. So true, I have been patiently waiting as well. I was hoping for progressive Differentiated instruction and assessment to provide my child with avenues to learn effectively, as she is a high achiever and motivated. In short, I haven t seen it. The aftermath, means that after a 10 hour work day, I work with her every evening to ensure she stays challenged. This is a time she should be able to play a little longer during the evening. As a parent, I have become frustrated as there appears to be a sense of entitlement at Bacich, and the Facility seems to think they can rest on their laurels as the premiere public grammar school in the region. Bacich has now dropped to an API rating of 8 , behind Glenwood (San Rafael), Lower Brookside (San Rafael), Dixie Elem (San Rafael), Old Mill Elem (Mill Valley), Ross Elem (Ross), I can go on. Bacich is now middle of the pack which is embarrassing compared to the potential and resources.
We specifically moved to this community to attend Bacich and Kent. After several years in the district, we left and have gone private. The administration is not focused on the children or improving or being innovative in their approach to teaching, instead using their energy to pat themselves on the back for what a great job they are doing. This is a not a school that does anything beyond what is absolutely required to address any special needs of the children who attend and if your child is advanced, he/she will be bored out of their minds. They talk about differentiation but I've never seen it done in any effective way. The community is cold and unwelcoming and the school is too big. Lastly, the office staff is rude.
Amazing how the expectations have changed since I was in grammar school. What my kid is NOT learning at Bacich is downright daunting. But, what can you do, the state dictates curriculum to public schools. That aside the school is well kept up, safe and clean. A bit impersonal though, but that is a reflection of the community in general. Just too much time being spent in the classrooms and out, on nonsense that will mean nothing later in life. I would prefer the time my kid is at school, be concentrated on subjects that he will need to enter a venerated university one day. The last time I checked, having full knowledge of the endangered Mission Blue Butterfly was a little less important, than understanding how to apply and problem solve long division and fractions. There are worse schools by far, but what I cough up on the non-stop fund raisers, I could send my kid to a private school. For that amount of scratch, I expect a quasi-private school education.
My child is in her third year and understand that special attention cannot be applied to each child, but get a flock mentality here. What I do not understand, is that the class sizes are small. Bacich is well known for protecting the Kentfield border and not allowing those in who do not belong if you know what I mean. No complaints there. It is a safe environment, but not sure it is doing any better of a job than the surrounding grammer schools.
I understand the parents frustration below. I believe the faculty at Bacich okay, not good, not great. I believe the largest problem is that the Teachers have become "pleasers" first and Teachers second. At parent teacher conferences, the teachers seem very nervous, telling the parent what they want to hear and not the true peformance of the student. Teachers take the same approach when grading, fearful of upsetting an influencial parent base and passing out many unmerited high marks. I am unsure if this is pressure from above being pushed down. Because of this, I am nervourous that my child will have a skewed idea of how life works, and the competition that lies ahead; and like the parent below, study excellerated subjects with my child every night. I believe the parents and Teachers must come together, put political correctness aside, and begin the process of responsibly educating these kids. Like is hard. It is possible to allow a child to enjoy their innocant years, however simotaneously expose them to challenging class work, that one day they will be at the top of the list when being considered for Stanford Pre-Med.
We relocated just a few miles to Kentfield from San Anselmo (SA). Our son was attending Brookside Lower in SA, which was off-the-chart wonderful! We could not pass on a beautiful Victorian in Kentfield, selling far below market value. Having read up on A.G. Bacich, believed we were making a good choice. Boy, were we wrong. What we found, was a self-absorbed faculty who show little interest in teaching a strong core curriculum to children, opting instead for the distractions of social/environmental enhancement. This may make for a fun day , however not preparing our son for the challenges ahead. This goes unchallenged by plastic parents who seem satisfied that their child be simply advanced from grade-to-grade, rather than challenged and made to think outside-the-box for solutions to complex equations. To ensure our child is challenged, my husband and I spend an extra two hours above the derisory example of homework he brings home from Bacich, to ensure he is learning at an acceptable level. How quickly we would run back to Brookside Lower in SA, given the opportunity. I cannot and WILL NOT recommend this school.
Both of our children spent their entire K-4 in Bacich and we couldn't have been happier with the education they received there.
Our daughter went to Bacich. We put her in at 4 1/2. It was excellent. She went on to Kent, which was also a 5 star school. It was very together, teachers involved. It is a difficult school, but whe was ready for anything after this experience. I would tell any parent to move to this district. We did when she was 3, and we loved it.
Looks like the truth about Bacich is coming out. My daughter attended here and was not impressed. There was a huge disconnect from the principle, teachers, parents, no community feeling. I went to school in the Midwest, Iowa schools and there was a feeling of family and community. Bacich was a bunch of different people going their own thing, going different directions. I can best describe it as the Stepford Community . The school was far overrated and did not prepare the children for what lay in store for them later in life. Being surrounded by a bunch of expensive homes does not a great school make. I noticed that the curriculum/material being covered was insufficient in quantity and quality. If you have a choice, look toward Ross or Tiburon. I was very disappointed in Bacich, which did my daughter a disservice in her pursuit of learning.
This is a school that puts a child's extracirricular activities over school work and education. The teachers and district do not educate but allow the parents to dictate because of their deep pockets. The children who struggle are passed off to the next teacher. Rude staff and parents.
My son transferred to Bacich for second grade and is now finishing the third grade. His second grade teacher was very good and the current one is one of the best teachers I've ever met. We moved from Marin's Reed school district which I also gave excellent marks on this site. Kentfield and Reed are both considered in the best of Marin's public schools. Bacich has more real families -- fewer late model Mercedes and more mommies that look like mommies instead of actresses on their way to a red carpet event.
In reviewing the lower parent post, could have easily been mine. I have wanted to post for some time, and wish I had. After selling our dream home in Bret Harte Heights of San Rafael with the best views in Marin - moving our child out of Coleman which was API challenged but still a far cry better than the Canal schools; so he did not have to attend the ESL experience of Davidson, we too sold and bought in the Kentfield School District. Regret, regret, regret. Our child stopped learning once he attended A. G. Bacich. This school is more interested in telling the children what a privilege it is to attend A. G. Bacich instead of educating them. Elitism at its best. I enjoy the effort A. G. Bacich exerts in enriching our children, I am an advocate of enrichment. But come on folks!! . a little teaching to??!! How about math, science, geography, English, or here s a stretch Spelling? After our monumental move, our child now attends St. Pat s where he is again thriving, for a cost that makes me swallow every time I write that check. Like the poster below, could have kept the dream home and sent him to St. Pat s.
We, too, moved to Marin for the public schools in 1st grade. We came from a private school. My child was several years ahead in reading /vocabulary /comprehension ability (verified by testing) and the principal refused to find a way to meet her needs. At the beginning of the year, our teacher was willing to find creative ways to meet her needs (and even asked me what I thought would be helpful in the classroom), but it suddenly stopped in Nov. and my child was required to file lockstep with the rest of the class and stopped learning. NOT A SCHOOL FOR THE GIFTED CHILD. We are now back at a private school that is years ahead of Bacich in curriculum and teaching approach (true differentiation, not what Bacich thinks it is) and our child loves school again. I applaud the last reviewer for leaving midyear. Your story is not unusual.
Our family relocated from S.F. so our kids could go to public school in this district. We had high hopes for Bacich and enrolled our oldest child in Kindergarten (in 2008). Unfortunately, by midyear, it became clear that our child hated school, had essentially stopped learning, and had a dismissive and 'un-warm' teacher who failed to proactively deal with the situation (such as communicating concern about our daughter's lack of progress and coming up with a plan). We also had a frightening experience after our daughter was left completely unsupervised; while we received an apology from the principal, the teacher was surprised to learn-from us-that she had been faulted for the situation. We recognized the danger of keeping our child in a school environment that had reversed her love of learning, and we withdrew her midyear. She now thrives in a private school. I can only hope our story is unusual.
Excellent school. Gives children a great foundation. I feel that it is the best elementary school in Marin.
Bacich has been a wonderful school both of our kids have gone all the way though now. We have been exceptionally happy with the curriculum and the Teachers. The facility is fantastic. The only drawback is a few over entitled parents. This I guess is a problem in most schools that serve such an affluent population. The staff seem to deal with this well.
This is a fabulous elementary school. There is high parent involvement. Children in K don't just read about butterflies, they have butterflies in their classrooms. They have computer time once a week. They have both music class and chorus. The teachers are caring and dedicated. So is the principal.
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