Best kept secret in Paso Robles! I have one college student who went through Georgia Brown. He is now an award winner at Cal Poly University, with almost a 4.0 gpa. Now I have a 5 year old going through the program. I am very impressed. Scores are low at the school because testing is done in English. Many students do not speak English yet. Also, students learn how to read in Spanish first, but standardized testing is given in English, making it difficult to obtain high scores.
two daughters have gone through the program. last one in fourth grade now. oldest told us after the first day of kinder that the only word she understood was her name. after a few weeks she got it. after 6 years she is bilingual. awesome school and a great staff. the real shame is the shrinking budget and ever increasing class sizes. we have driven 20 miles for years to take our children here. do not regret it at all. as others have stated, you must be willing to get involved and work to make this type of education benefit your child. we did and are very happy.
Immersion means just that. Many of the teachers switch back to English as soon as difficulties arise communicating their thoughts in Spanish. This defeats the purpose of an immersion program. The school wide self manager program is a waste of time and the subjective way some of the teachers carry out this program is damaging to a student's self esteem. Overall, I have found about 30% of the teachers effective, insightful, caring and engaged.
My son has been going to Georgia Brown for 2 years now, K and 1st. We are have a lot of concerns about him not understanding the teachers and being very confused on what to do. He is getting in a lot of trouble because his writing and reading are below average. "He's not concentrating, listening, or doing his writing assignments as asked". My son is very bright, that's why we chose this school, to challenge him. I can see the confusion in his face when he has a writing assignment for homework. He says he doesn't understand it. He is excelling in math! Loves it! He understands it! I now feel that he is falling behind in english and spanish and will have a hard time catching up if we change schools. I think the school is "trying" to do all they can to provide a good education but they don't have a system in place for those that might need a little more help getting their brains to learn and function in spanish. Not every child learns the same. They can't take 35 kids in the same class and expect them to learn the exact same way. We have approached them about this but overall haven't seen any difference. We were so excited about this oppertunity but now regret such a hard decision.
My two oldest have gone through the program and I am pleased to say that they are 4.0+ students and never knew a lick of Spanish prior to the program. My first born just passed her AP Spanish with a 5/5 as a sophmore in High School. Bilingual education works but you must be involved as a parent. It is our job to educate our kids. We transferred in from an Orange County program, it took some adjusting but the staff is great and we are a better family as a result. "Everyone can be a critic... however those who get involved and find solutions alongside the staff and community will reap the benefits of well educated and socialized kids!"
My daughter was there for 5 years. She told me once, it took her about 4 years to finally understand what the teachers were saying... in a sufficient capacity to fully participate. What price for bilingualism? she lost 4 years of critical education and learned only that education is hard to understand, and confusing, and she felt lost. Bilingualism is great, but as an add on. This system is a tragedy and my mexican friends tell me the same thing, graduates are NOT fluent in english and will suffer the rest of their lives because of it. Fortunately, I rescued my daughter in time and worked extensively to repair the damage in time. The job of schools are not to teach tolerance, that is the parents job, the job of the schools is to prepare them for productive intelligent lives w/ a full basic education and mastery of the 3-R's
This school is one of the best in the area with their teachers and students they make the best learning team.
I am a parent of a 3rd grader who has been at Georgia Brown for four years (K-3) and we are extremely pleased with the bilingual immersion education. Even the kids who struggled with reading initially (in K and 1st grade) are now biliterate . The fact is that every kid can be bilingual and it is a shame that in America we don't teach all kids two languages (at least two!). In our case our son is very advanced and for him it is such a blessing to be learning a second language. We are not fluent in Spanish, I had four years of Spanish and my husband had about one year of Spanish. Our son left us in the dust at about mid-first grade easily. He reads Spanish chapter books and takes comprehension tests on them (AR tests), so we know his comprehension is great. The teachers are excellent.
Although I see the academic progress my son has made with the support of an excellent teacher, there are many ongoing safety concerns I have and language barriers that prevent my son from being able to communicate to yard duty staff when he is roughed up by other boys. These issues have been communicated to supervisors since first month of school.
My son, Colby, throughly enjoys Georgia Brown. He is learning Spanish at an excelerated rate and he is only in 1st grade!
I have 3 children attending Georgia Brown. This is not by default. I drive 35 miles a day and deal with 2 districts for transfer approvals inorder for my children to attend GeorgiaBrown. I do this because my children deserve the chance to become better thinkers(see the research), better citizens, more employable, and more understanding of another culture (watch the media). Our world is full of racism, ignorance, arrogance. My children are educated in a place where everyone is valued; everyone is celebrated. Yes, the test scores can be low. Yet, these are not the scores of my own children. The scores are low as a result of many children having never attended preschool, of students whose parents work 3 jobs to make ends meet. GeorgiaBrown recognizes these needs and steps up. They have fabulous after school programs and dedicated teachers. We are lucky to be apart of this terrific school.
My son is beginning the second grade at Georgia Brown Elementary and my husband and I could not be happier. We are impressed with his ability to read, write, communicate and solve arithmetic problems in Spanish. I studied Spanish for three years in High School and College, and he knows more than I do. His depth of vocabulary and pronunciation is amazing. The teachers are committed and very talented. I wish there was more involvement from the Spanish speaking parents. I recommend the school to everyone.
Our daughter is a first grader at G. Brown. We have been impressed by the quality of instruction and the commitment and concern shown by her teachers. By the end of kindergarten, she could read, write and do math above grade level in Spanish although she is a native English speaker. We chose this school so that she would be challenged academically and we have not been disappointed. In addition, the exposure to another language and culture has been invaluable and enriching to our whole family. We believe that the dual immersion program will better prepare her for our modern world as well as increase her verbal skills. The PTA is very active in providing extracurricular activities including arts programs and field trips. One area for improvement would be to engage more of the parents of English Learners as volunteers. This will be the challenge of the new bilingual principal.
I have seen a lot of confused little faces there. When an English speaking girl was asked, 'How much do you understand of what they teach in the classroom?' he reply was..... 'Oh, some, not much' I wonder what rich and in depth education they are missing as they sit there and wonder what the heck the teacher is saying as she speaks in fluent Spanish Only. By 5th grade, they do learn Spanish, but at what cost to the full and rich in depth education they could have if they only knew the words. What lesson was taught about learning? That it is difficult, frustrating and confusing? Spanish as a Second language is wonderful, but as the Primary language in the USA, is harmful to the English speakers and holds back the Spanish speakers. Check the scores. Where is the benefit down the road? Poor scores in middle school?
Our child has had an outstanding experience, and we have been very impressed with the teachers commitment level and interest in our child's development.
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