My son has attended the school since kindergarten and is currently in 4th grade with an IEP. We love the principal! She is great and the resource teachers and speech specialist have been great in meeting his needs and making proper accommodations. Unfortunately and surprisingly, not all of his classroom teachers have been accommodating.
We could not be happier with this school. We have had the opposite experience of the parent who wrote in June 2014. Our child needed extra help learning to read and he received it. Ms. Patton, the principal, worked with him personally to build his skills and his confidence. She also helped us to develop a plan with his teacher and arranged for a tutor to help meet his needs. The parent involvement in this school is exceptional and helps to make this school so very special. I feel that all around the expectations are high, but not to achieve high test scores. It seems clear to me that the goal is to foster a love of learning, to provide a rich learning environment and the great test scores are a the result. I also have to say that I see the school going well out of their way to needs of children with special needs, even having a health aid go on the field trips to make sure that children with health needs are not left behind.
Scores aren't everything. If you have a child who's above average, this may be a good fit for your family. However, if you have a child who needs extra guidance, there are too many staff members here who don't want to tolerate with it or "waste" their time. There are a handful of wonderful teachers who are nurturing and encourage a love for learning. However, all-in-all, the school is not well-balanced. Too much time is spent on test pressures, moody staff members, and a lack of tolerance toward children who are outside of the "norm". If a child has a lot of energy, the suggestion of medication is given rather than classroom modifications. Young students have hours of homework every night, get their behavior pins moved down for having to go to the bathroom, are not allowed to drink water throughout the day, and are constantly reprimanded for the silliest of reasons. Children with special needs are excluded from field trips and other school activities. This creates a tense learning atmosphere. It's difficult to imagine putting my child through years of this which is why we are considering leaving the school and so many other nice families have already done so.
This school is amazing! The teachers are fantastic, Mrs. Patton is fabulous, and I think the PTA is very hardworking, and they supervise a lot of school events and fundraisers to help our school and community. The students are, for the most part, friendly and helpful. I love this school!
2/3 of the way through our 2nd year at this school and I'm ready to say we made a good choice sending our son here. I understand he reads better than most kids while math comes easy to him, but his writing is a little behind his peers. Had we NOT sent him to a school with higher standards, or if we as parents were not as involved in his educational journey, this would be more of a concern. But I am encouraged that the extra work we put in with him at home along with the higher expectations of the teachers and the performance of his peers will lead to better results. My wife and I work our butts off to balance work, school and family. I can't imagine how difficult it must be for struggling kids to get the help they need when that combination of factors mentioned above is hard to come by at other schools, in other families, in environments where life brings so many welcome and unwelcome distractions. Is BW a 5 star school?. Maybe. I'd give it 4.5 stars if possible...because I always feel there's room for improvement. It's not perfect. There's no way all 550+ kids/families are going to be completely satisfied. But we feel we gave our little student the best chance to succeed.
There is a good reason this school has a10/10 rating. The teachers are top notch, the principal is amazing and the parents are involved. This school found the formula for success and we are thrilled to have our children attending here.
I love this school!!! I attended this school for all of elementary!!! This is a wonderfuo school to attend!! The teachers are loving && they really do care about your child!!! Your child will never be left out
Not what it used to be! As a parent active with the school, the classroom and the PTA - I can tell you that if you disagree with the powers or offend the highly inflated ego - you will be treated poorly. We enjoyed our first 3 yrs, but-this year It was made clear to me not to question authority. For a communication magnet - there is an extreme lack of communication! When questioned why my kid was taken out of "math" and sent to a counselor (without my knowledge), I was told that "school sees things parents don't". Yet they couldn't tell me what they saw - Shouldn't I be informed if there is a problem, the clever response, "we don't need to tell you every little thing". Yes-Exact words! The rest of the response was "the school doesn't have account for the time of each student to the parent" And when I said, "well, why did I choose Benchley, what benefit am I getting" instead of justifying my choice like I wanted, I was told (again exact) "if you feel that way, you shouldn't come back, I think you should find a new school." I know there have been other parents who were told "not come back" and I can assure you none of us are extreme, overly emotional or unreasonable.