Dr. Jo Gonsalves, November 20, 2012
Brookfield school has enjoyed a long standing reputation as the finest academic program in the region. It is a rigorous, accelerated program, that is not suitable for all students and all learning styles. However, we have a clear mission, that is to serve a population of students who are sadly underserved by a educational culture of low expectations. Brookfield School provides a culture where it is "cool to be smart," and students are encouraged to excell and take on leadership roles. They are expected to treat each other and the adults around them with respect and kindness. Parents are expected to monitor homework and study, and to support their child's teachers. This partnership results in happy, high acheiving kids who love school, and love to learn. That's why Brookfield graduates are highly sought after by the most prestigious and selective high schools. Check our website: www.brookfieldschool.org to view our students' outstanding annual SAT 10 scores and to learn more about our school's academic program, admissions process, and school culture.
My daughter is a first grader at Brookfield School. We love sending our child here. The teachers are very engaged and keep parents in the loop regarding the student's progress. I even get text messages when my child's report card has been posted online (to their secure server). Dr. Jo Gonsalves, the Principal has a knack for finding and hiring true gems as teachers: Ms. Angie Pfleiderer for Pre-First students, Ms. Mertel for Pre-First, Mr. David Shackelford and Mr. Davis. You can tell that all of them have found their true calling in teaching. Mr. Shackelford emails us regularly sharing the progress our child makes at the school. If your child is ready for an advanced curriculum, then this is the best place to send them. You get the sense that the teacher and the parents are truly part of the same team helping your child blossom. Kudos to the Brookfield Principal and her teaching staff for all that they do!
We love Brookfield!!! We have two children at Brookfield and are preparing to send our third in two years. This diverse school has proven over and over again to be the perfect blend of academic challenge and creativity. The kids do not even realize how advanced they are as it is all they've known. They are reading chapter books, writing essays and completing 2nd grade math problems by the end of kindergarten (pre-first). They learn in fun, unique ways and the teaching staff (all of which are exceptional) are excited, motivated and available no matter what time of the day to both you and your child. This school is not for everyone, however. You have to work with your child everyday on homework and projects. If you aren't willing to make this time, you should probably look elsewhere. For us, being part of our kids' academic enrichment is very important. The principal is also incredibly involved - she does weekly newsletters, allows for drop-ins and checks emails frequently. My husband and I never had this kind of experience as children. We are so proud to be Brookfiejd parents. :-)
Brookfield has been a wonderful learning environment for our daughter. She is learning so much in a challenging academic environment, and she absolutely loves it!
Mrs. Mertell is the msot amazing teacher. Mrs. Mertell is warm, loving, caring, never judgemental, enthusiastic, and eager to teach the children. My daughter looks forward to school every morning and returns in the evening bragging about her day. The staff at the school always greets parents and children with warm smiles and genuine attitudes. The correspondence between the school and parents is open and always flowing. I feel informed and welcome to call the staff and teachers. There have even been instances of Mrs. Mertell exchanging emails with me into the late night hours. Amazing school! I am eager to send my youngest there, once she is old enough. I can't say enough wonderful things about my daughter's experience and my experience with the school, staff, and teachers.
Wow, after reading some of the reviews I am just perplexed. I spend very little time on blogs and typically take reviews with a grain of salt whenever I am online researching anything, but I feel compelled to submit a review in defense of this wonderful little school. I relocated from the Bay Area and I come from a very high standard of academics. I have found Brookfield to be an exceptional school. Just to clarify, the school rents space from a Jewish Temple, and is a non-secular school. Tuition is about $11,000. Class sizes are very small.I have a 3rd grader we ranged from 11-14 children in the class.My child is thriving in this environment. The children are nurturing and supportive to one another. They genuinely love learning and I see excitement and drive.The campus is a bit dated, and a new school is in construction. I prioritize a stellar education over older buildings - not whether each kid has an iPad. This is a school where your child will thrive and have a supportive and positive peer group to learn with. We have great diversity and a group of parents that value education and placing their child in a safe environment.
My third child is at Brookfield right now and is receiving an amazing education, just like her two older siblings, and her mother. The standards that Brookfield teachers hold the students to are very high, both academically and personally. Our kids' test scores on the annual SAT 10(and SAT 9, previously) show how academically rigorous the curriculum and accountability is at Brookfield. They have learned how to be integral parts of teams and to hold themselves personally accountable for their school work and responsibilities. Brookfield is a wonderfully enriching environment for all students.
Our son just started attending Brookfield and we are amazed at how well he is doing. The school is all about the childrens learning experience with a primary focus on strong academic curriculum and personal attention. The principle, teachers, and staff are attentive, helpful, and understanding in my interactions with them. Taking all my questions and concerns and displaying a true positive attitude toward learning. I look forward to all the knowledge our son will be getting and comfortable with the schools personal attention that encourages student achievement and responsible behavior.
Brookfield so far has been very good for our daughter who is a new transfer student this year; she was in a locall catholic shool before and simply wasn't academically challenged enough. This school offers small classes and thus an intense learning environment with what so far appears to be very motivated teachers. We couldn't be happier!
My daughter is in Pre-First (Brookfield's Kindergarten) and we just LOVE IT! The Principal, Dr. Jo is amazing. The Pre-First teachers are top notch. You wouldn't believe what these kids are learning and happily...reading, writing, spelling, math!!! No waiting around for kindergarten year to "be over" so they can actually learn something (which is what all of my friends with kids in public school are saying). In addition, they are learning French...yes, REALLY LEARNING French!! And have PE and music classes which the kids just love. They are learning computer use. The teachers in these subject areas are fantastic. The student body is very well balanced, well mannered, and very bright. What a great peer group in all grades! The parents are wonderful. We are SO happy with our decision to enroll our daughter here. Thank you for being here, Brookfield!
Parents beware! The principal tries, but Dont let the pretty website fool you. I have two children at this school and have for the past two years (im currently in the process of looking at other schools). My kids have had a couple of really caring teachers. The cons: 1). High tuition for low ROI -- the academics in some of the grades are good, BUT they are on par with many of the FREE local gate programs. 2). Lots of teacher turnover. The teachers that are there now are underpaid for the demands placed on them by the owners. The art and music program for the past year has been sub-par at best 3). The facility (which has NO air conditioning in most of the classrooms, the restrooms are NO DIFFERENT than a public resttoom at a gas station, NO CAFETERIA-- so the children must eat outside, regardless of weather conditions, a sub-par sports program (in fact student teams often play against each other due to the fact that the local schools dont recognize our program as viable 4). The fact that the 2013 8th grade graduating class only had about 7 students is clear that most people learn quick and dont tend to stick around for 5th-8th grade. This school is degrading quickly.
This school is not worth the cost. The owners are running a for-profit business, so their number one goal is to make money, not care about the kids or parents.
Our child is now in her second year at Brookfield School and we couldn t be happier. Brookfield has an accelerated curriculum, but it is a vibrant, diverse, and child-centered place for learning. Class sizes are half the size of public schools; teachers are enthusiastic and engaged with parents as well as with the children. The school provides study hall each afternoon for students to work on their homework and there is a comprehensive K-8 sports program that the public schools just can t offer. The facility is a 50 s style building not unlike parochial schools in the area, but a brand new facility is on the horizon. Parents are not asked to fundraise and the tuition cost is worth every dollar spent. The school leader and principal, Dr. Jo sets the tone for the school with grace and humor amidst high expectations. We turned down one of the best public charters in the area for Brookfield and have no regrets. On week into summer vacation, our child was longing to go back to Brookfield.
I am saddened by the changes over the years and the decimation of extra curricular programs. Our middle school children no longer have a music program to participate in. The firing of the previous instructors of 40 plus years was not warranted and we withheld comment until we had a year of instruction from the new teacher. Definitely not qualifiied to teach a show choir or musical theater program. Very unhappy as we now need to find other musical outlets for our children. Nothing left for upper grade students and that has many students opting for others schools at 7th & 8th grade levels.
My son is a transfer student at Brookfield. We couldn't ask for a more welcoming place for him. He is finally challenged academically and is more at home with his peers. He told me that he "loves the school because everyone in his class is like him". He is excelling in the excellent learning environment at Brookfield.
OK, what happened to an update on school security from school owner? We were told that we are going to receive an update on current security procedures, or we all forgot Newton, CT too soon.
I am not much of a read and rate person, but following an extremely disappointing musical performance by our children last night I feel compelled to make a comment. We have several children spanning the upper and lower grade levels and thus have been with Brookfield for some time. Over the recent years we have witnessed a continual decline of our student programs. A few include the dismissal of an excellent Art instructor for extremely substandard replacements and is reported due to financial issues however exact reasons are unknown. The recent dismissal of the schools music instructors for over 42 years and replacement that lead to the dismal performance last evening and then forced standing ovation by the principal: it was a disgrace! The computer science department is running on windows operating systems and programs with no thought or consideration about those with Mac computers, iPads, iPhones etc........Needs to enter the current century! For the amount of Tuition, some of the class sizes are extremely large, yet in the upper grades a large class size seems to be greater than 5 (think there might be some academic issues?) I wont go on: hope it gets the attention of ....
My child is in a lower level grade and we are very pleased overall. Outstanding academics and children very much strive for meeting high academics and social standards. I love the small class sizes, parental involvement, like-minded families with similar goals. Areas for administration to focus on: retaining teachers (likely a salary issue), and enhancing middle school academics (which would then increase class size appropriately there). I think if these areas are addressed, Brookfield would earn the 5 star rating that it is capable of achieveing.
I am also a current parent, and yes, while this school is NOT for everyone. I would disagree with this school being for TOP performers and provides superior academics. I would say for the middle school French, History & some parts of the English are very good. Math, Science... go elsewhere even public for a Top Notch, Superior education. I do like the class size but that's pretty much it. I'd say for 7th & 8th for sure you can find MUCH better for free as students do not perform better or in some cases even as well as their public counterparts. Just my take.
There is clearly one disgruntled parent posting multiple bad reviews of this school. You can tell it is the same person, because he or she misspells the same word in each posting. I assure the reviewing community, that I am an actual parent at the school, and I wrote one of the very positive reviews posted below. The school is not for everyone. If a child is not a superior academic performer, the child is likely to experience difficulty at the school. The school best meets the needs of the truly top academic performing students. It has been a fabulous academic experience for our children.
This school was a very bad experience for us. Several children in my child''s class were either pushed out or left voluntarily with no refund. My child's teacher told me honestly that she would not send her own children there. It is true about the homework. If you want to do 3 hours of homework as a parent, with the result that your child hates school, this is the school for you.
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