As with any school - you get out what you put in. Schools like this are successful not only because of the affluent area (financial support/local business support) but the parent participation. BRE is special because people do what they can at whatever level they can. And yes, for some that level is quite high. Donations - We want to because we know we are getting more from this public school than it can give on it's own. We should not take this gift without adding to keep it going for the future. We volunteer - Have you ever been in a 2nd grade science class after recess? There are 24 kinetic bodies, 1 teacher, and 25 different levels of engagement. Volunteering is essential in public schools for learning. BRE has all the right stats to be a 10, but that is 1/2 the story. The foundation (volunteers) raises money to add f/t and push-in teachers and to keep the arts, music, PE, and technology. There is also Green Team, Science Fair, Peace Patrol, Running Club, Sports Day, School Beautification, Cultural Arts / Character Education, Playground Partners, and Safety Patrol. It is not perfect, but this public school is doing what it can to be the best with the resources it has.
"When in Rome" - I like how some parents have this perception of being a wealthy school equating to everyone should carry a guilt... I think not. This is an amazing school and it is primarily children that come from parents who are professionals (not those living off of lottery winnings). So the assertion by some that this is a 'rich' school is ridiculous. Don't confuse rich with educated, hard working, career oriented, and successful. And that is what makes a difference at Birdrock. It has a majority career oriented and educated parents so they understand the importance of education for their children. These negative reviews should be evaluated closely for context. Many of us grew up without a silver spoon and feel no guilt for trying to give our children a better life. Some families donate money, some donate time and energy, but we all try to donate something. Birdrock is a wonderful school in a Norman Rockwell neighborhood. Children are often a reflection of their parents, so if your child feels out of place, perhaps it starts with the parent dropping the baggage. I am very critical and see this as the ideal gem to raise my children.
BRE is a great Elementary School which provides a lot of good teaching for the kids. Nevertheless, it does not provide social skills for the kids who are unprepared to establish enriching friendships. Since it is located in a rich area of La Jolla, it is noticeable some discrimination and arrogance coming from local parents. To be better recognized by school, parents and kids HAVE TO get involved. In some way, it is annoying the pressure that is done for involvement in fund raisings and money contributions! Intellectually, my kid learned a lot at BREl, but he did not make friends at all. In fact, to arrange play dates for him was terrible (of course, not if you are a great fund raiser and a rich family person sharing your front-beach house). So, I decided to take my kid out of this school. I still prefer having my kid enjoying good friendships and having some more fun instead of too much information and pressure to succeed at young age. I personally don't remember what I specifically learned on the first grades, but I do remember the friends and the games I used to play. In my opinion, this is what makes the difference in the society nowadays: social skills.
One word - Exceptional. My son started attending kindergarten this year and thus far my wife and I have been very impressed by the teachers and the exceptional parent involvement and support for the school. The parents of this school have a sense of entitlement and if the school needs anything we all contribute whether it be with our time or financial support. This year the school will raise approximately $250,000 to pay for additional teachers and to support programs for the children. When school lets out daily you will see almost every parent standing outside the classrooms to pick up their kid.
Excellent school with exception parent involvement ( can be overbearing). A little homogenous but all in all a great experience. Art, music, PE, library and computers have all undergone dramatic improvements in the last couple of years. 5 stars.
Thanks to funding from the Parents' Committee, Bird Rock has re-introduced music and art classes for all grades this year (2006-7). My first grader transferred from a blue ribbon East Coast school at the start of the school year and I have been very impressed with the high quality of the teaching staff, the curriculum, and the extensive parent involvement in the school. The reading and writing programs are especially strong at the first grade.
Bird Rock used to be considered the premiere elementary school in San Diego but in recent years the programs and leadership have diminished. Also, they have no music classes and limited PE and Art classes.