My son has attended BCS for 3 years, from Kinder. My daughter started Kinder this fall. The program is unlike any other school I have visited. BCS has specialist art, drama, language, technology/science teachers that challenge and inspire students of all academic levels. The leadership and vision of the school is based on developing passionate learners! Every teacher I have encountered at BCS is amazing. Lately my son chooses to be in the library after lunch, exploring, instead of playing four square. It's cool to study and want to learn 24/7 and BCS has brought out the love of learning in my children. I would recommend to any parent in the area a close look at this amazing program. Your children will thank you!
My daughter was attending private Christian school. We checked out their open house. Their focus was on innovation and being the best education system possible, which is great to us.As an alumni of Google, I love their "out of box" thinking and investments in high tech equipment. At first we were not selected in their lottery. We were #16 on waiting list, which told us that there is a big demand for their 4th grade class. We were like it that her teacher assigned a classmate to mentor her. Another classmate adopted her and invited her to play dates at her high-end home. (We are renters).Later,she was invited to at least three other play dates at fancy homes. Her classmates were well mannered- they obviously come from fine families. My girl got along fine with everyone. She loved her teacher. All the class parents were polite to everyone and very classy. Almost all parents volunteers - a lot. Staff preaches adoption of 6 good characters traits. The 3 Principals had to be tough - they had to deal with the bullies/trustees at LASD.There are 2 new trustees now, so Bullis will be better this year.
This is the only public school that I have known where the teachers are held to a standard that is expected out in the corporate world. The teachers at BCS decided collectively *not* to form a union, but instead to grade each other on their own performance and reward each other base on merit. As a result, we get a much better quality of teachers... and more importantly, teachers who actually care about the children. All three of our children are very different, and we have been more than pleased at the individualized attention and support that each have received. I would highly recommend this school to any parent.
BCS has been a great place for my kids. I love the fact that it is a K-8 and there are innovative and creative teachers, who know how to teach and keep the kids engaged and inspired. With the 6-8 program currently at another campus across Los Altos from the K-5 program, the 6-8 students enjoy a more intimate school with their older cohorts. The STEAM lab and maker space are fantastic (because of the teachers). The STEAM lab is one of six in the COUNTRY affiliated with Stanford University and the teaching techniques, not the space, is what makes it special. As with every school, there are "issues" but the quality of education here far outweighs any "issues" that may be undesirable to some. CPM math is great!
Do probe beyond test scores and the hype. The school lacks processes found in public schools. A custody agreement? Be prepared to deal with administrators who cannot read English. They will create confusion and may create a legal bill for you. Want to place out of grade level math? Students who are favored are invited to take math placement exams much earlier than those who are not. Those not favored will be graded severely so that they do not pass to the advanced level. One teacher lied about not calculating a score on my child s multiple choice exam. Promises to design a curriculum for your child will not be met. A carefree summer? Many parents hire math tutors prior to their children transitioning to middle or high school just so they can place at grade level. Administrators are wedded to word based math approach and dismiss problems with math concepts. Bullying? The principal collects data by asking students in front of visitors and their peers. Not surprisingly no student speaks up. Is this the culture you want your child to be immersed in? The principal identifies her favorite BCS teacher at school wide events. She hounds students and parents for negative online reviews.
Except for the half day KG which is a pain for working parents, this school is fantastic. The teachers seem genuinely interested in teaching, experimenting and even growing themselves- which is so refreshing in a public school.
We love this school, and our son does too. After a few years of trying, we finally "won the lottery" and were able transfer from Gardner Bullis to BCS this year. We are very pleased with what we see and how our son has responded. The co-curriculars, extra curriculars (especially Mandarin) at BCS are real differentiators, as are the sessions our son gets to take at the BCI campus with the Fab Lab and Maker Space. Our son loves these programs. The only downside we have seen so far is the logistical challenges we sometimes face with there being a split campus between the BCS site at Egan and BCI at Blach. The District (LASD) ought to be ashamed of itself for not doing the right things by the kids and finding space in one location (like at Convington site instead in place of the district offices). That being said, we are affected only occasionally and in minor ways, thanks to the efforts of the teachers and administration to keep things well oiled and humming along. It is well known that people move to Los Altos for the schools. After experiencing Loyola (K), Gardner Bullis(1,2,3) and now BCS (4), I am convinced that BCS is the best within this exceptional district.
I was present at the school's inception and taught there for five years. I won't go into how outstanding the school is and what unique and wonderful programs it has. I do believe they are amazing, but I let the parents be the judge of that. I am posting this in response to the "staff member" who commented on the Principal being "soulless." I find it interesting that this same person who is obviously disgruntled had to admit that the school has amazing programs such as Mandarin. I must point out that programs like these are put and kept in place by this same Principal. Yes, the school gets lots of funding from families and the staff members are there making magic every day, but SHE is the force behind the school. SHE implants the amazing programs, she fights for her staff and she is personally connected to each and every staff member and student. If you have anything good to say about the school, it is likely because of her.
This school is good in some regards (i.e. having students take Mandarin in Kindergarten) but horrible in others. To begin, the principal is a bully. She puts on a good front for the donors and parents but really has no heart. I am not sure if the school climate has made her become this way or she was souless to begin with, maybe it's a combination of both. The parents are also tough to handle. I think when you have as much money and power as them, you get used to getting your way, no matter the cost or who you run over. So many of them depend on hired help like nannies, gardners, maids, etc. that they see the school staff as just another service person they get to control. Also, many of them are old and since they do have so much money to spend on their 1 child, the child in turn becomes a spoiled brat. I am so glad I quit and will never work at another charter school again. Everyone- please support your local school and use your $ to help them instead of funding charters!