BMA is amazing! The reasons as to why are endless. Starting from how great the teachers are, the control they have over the classrooms, to the close knit environment of all students and families knowing one another. The emphasis on getting our scholars college ready starts from their first day and I love it. From K to 8th these scholars are giving the tools they need for success and gears them up for prestigious high schools or to continue on to Aspires great high school. I am more then pleased my kids attend here. My middle schooler just started 6th and is ecstatic he gets to go from period to period, gets to choose electives, town halls, it's great. One thing I would love BMA to offer is a second language once the kids reach middle school so they can master that prior to entering high school. Aside from that, this school rocks!!
Aspire schools in general get an "F" for healthy indoor air quality. The entire chain uses intensely fragranced cleaning products that believe it or not have dire effects on people's health. Children are especially vulnerable to fragrance sensitizers and allergens. These chemicals are neuro-toxic and cause learning and behavior problems. Please see the CDC fragrance free policy. All fragranced cleaning and personal care products are banned in CDC workplace environs. Why not Aspire Schools? From my observations children behave worse and have more trouble learning at Aspire Schools more than anywhere else.
Amazing school! These dedicated teachers motivate my son every single morning while they do their class shout outs!! "Where are we headed?"-Pricipal "To college & back!"- Students I love my son's school! I wish more parents helped out & communicated to make this place a community-like atmosphere.
As a parent that has returned my child back to BMA, I must agree with the parent who posted on 2/25/11. It is a different school. Sad but I am fimding that it is maybe one of the best of charter schools who promote a social relationship with the students. They have some major issues not just as BMA but Aspire period. I am very disappointed with the results I have now experienced. I can teach my child multiplication for 0 to 13's in one week, doing it one hour a day and his teacher has been working with him and his class for over a month and a half and he only had one set of time tables down pat. It is sad. I also would like to know if these teachers go through a mental evaluation as well. These children dont see many of themselves as educators. BMA is filled with nearly all Black and Latino students but no teachers of their likeness. And for sure know the majority of the teachers only have stereotypical ideas of the childrens lives. I hope it improves soon.
I love the attention to individual kids. Even the folks managing the afterschool program know my kids' strong subjects and weak areas, I've never had a teacher there that wasn't completely on top of my kids' grades (one in middle school, one in elementary). Almost all teachers are genuinely accessible and open to suggestions from parents, really enthusiastic and competent. There have definitely been a couple of teachers that were sub-par and they are now gone - but teacher turnover happens at all schools, and fortunately the administration took action. Same is true of campus supervision and safety - the administration took action and hired a new supervisor to improve control. I expect some problems to happen, especially in the middle school, so I'm happy BMA is solving them. I also love the afterschool activities that are available - golf, speech/debate, entrepreneur's club, science club with CAL engineering students, basketball, and martial arts. I wish there was more parent involvement - there are only handful of truly active parents, since most families have tight schedules with two parents working. I love that BMA is open to parents being 'hands-on' with its success.
I agree with the post 2/15/11, The new leadership is highly questionable. BMA's once Mission Statement of Students, Parents, and Teachers has taken a turn the worse. Here's a version of my report card of BMA 2009-2011 1. School Safety: F (frequent stealing while students are on campus from outsiders) 2. Lunches: F (Recycled cold packs, hot packs, and spoiled milk) 3. Building maintenance: F ( Bathrooms STINK, non working water fountains indoors and out) 4. ACADEMICS: K-5- C 6-8- F 5. Parent Involement: B 6. TEACHERS: K/5- C 6/8- F (Lack of teacher training) even with the "FAMOUS" training from the "Teach For America", and the wealth of degrees that don't pertain to the subjects being taught. 7. AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAM: K/5- C- 6/8- F(No Enrichment Programs, after the 8 hours of a pressure cooking classroom) 8. Support Staff- F Overall, YES BMA has amazing test scores. But that's just IT test scores, BMA along with every other Aspire charter are all about the numbers (DATA). I conclude with this "Everything that GLITTERS ain't GOLD"
This school has tremendous potential and a great parent participation. The teachers are dedicated but the school is not performing well under the new leadership. Nearly half of the 8th grade class, once high achievers are now struggling to pass.