This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Georgia Brown Elementary School5
Posted September 23, 2013
- a parent
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
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.