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Bernardo Heights Middle School1
Posted March 27, 2015
- a parent
In the 3yrs I ve had a student at BHMS there have been MANY meetings to discuss the dress code (addressing things like "cleavage" and shaming 13 y.o. girls for how "distracting" an exposed bra strap can be), however I have not heard of nor has the school invited me to a meeting to address bullying or language at BHMS. There has been continued and intensifying bullying & the school has not shown significant interest in changing the environment. The boys at the school are simply told to "settle down" when they re seen punching or hitting each other. The teachers and volunteers on campus seem slow and reluctant to respond to violence, aggression, and bullying. Teachers turn a deaf ear while an ocean of predominantly Caucasian children regularly use the "N" word & homophobic terms are used on a daily basis (these are not tolerated at the high school level nor at the elementary schools). BHMS has not taken action to create a hate-free environment, instead they tell kids to "toughen up". Students are warned at the elementary school level how rough it will be in middle school.
I have had 2 boys attend Bernardo Heights and overall it has been a positive experience. The principal is fantastic, always willing to listen to parent and student concerns. He runs a tight ship especially when it comes to the dress code (no shorty-shorts here). The teachers are well-qualified although they give a lot of homework/projects and are quite strict with their homework policies. The office staff are friendly and helpful. A downside is there has been a large student to teacher ratio the past few years due to state budget cuts. Unlike the elementary and high schools, parents aren't asked to volunteer much here. The music programs are definitely something to brag about, band, orchestra, and choir, and they feed into the award-winning RBHS music programs.
Office staff seems nice enough..some teachers are okay..but too many kids, too few teachers..I agree about the element here. The bullying does seem to be an issue and most of the teachers seem like drones. They really do not seem to care about the kids who actually need help. Just wanna get through another day.
My child has gone to BHMS for the past three years. The first year there was 3-4 hrs of nightly homework with many projects. In 7th and 8th grade, there has been very little homework. This practice should be reversed, with much less in 6th as students get used to having multiple teachers in a new school, gradually increasing as they finish 8th grade, so they will be prepared for the rigor of High School. We loved the old principal - friendly, professional, student-centered. She was a positive force on campus. The new principal, in my opinion, has been heavy handed in issuing dress code violations. My child and their friends are so worried about getting dress-coded, they can't focus on academics. As a parent and educator, I have found the environment fearful for my child, over the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years. A very sad commentary on a place that we should be secure in the knowledge our children are receiving a quality education without the fear of bullying... by administration, teachers, lunch duties, or students. I feel this administrator is out of touch with his students. The focus is not where it should be at this school, and I have met with him directly about my concerns.
My daughter graduated from BHMS in 2012. She had a wonderful experience. However, my son finished 6th grade at BHMS in 2012, then we moved to another school. His first year was vastly different. He was bullied at BHMS. We also found out he had Aspergers and the school was not able to accommodate his special needs. One teacher worked with us, another teacher would not accommodate my son's learning style. My son's profanity expanded quite a bit while playing Yugioh cards with 8th graders. Too bad its changed so much from being a top notch school.
My 6th and 8th grader started school her in the fall of 2012. I will have to say, not a good experience at all. There is bullying, the school does not practice what it preaches on safety, (my son broke a bone in P.E., it never should have happened and no follow-through on safety measures.) My 6th grader who enjoyed her old school does not like this school at all. She went from a zero tolerance on bullying, traditional middle school with similar A.P. scores to BHMS and wants to be home-schooled now. Front office is great, teachers and staff just so-so, good music program. Overall, what a disappointment!
This is a great school and I'd recommend to anyone that lives around the area. The teachers are nice,the students are also nice and they are very very friendly. I left the school 5 months ago but I miss every single person I've known at that school.If there's a problem(like bullies),just tell the assistant principal and the problem would be solved asap.