Some are amazing at their own things. One teacher was really into journaling and my kid just loved it. The thing I kept and will likely keep forever is the journal that she did that year. It's amazing.
I have a 2nd grader and Kindergartener at Birney this year and I have to say that I'm grateful to have a school of this caliber as my neighborhood school. I've never seen a principal, PE teacher, And team of parents so devoted to a school. I can't remember my own childhood with a group this large dedicated to the well being of all children.
My children are going into 4th and 2nd graded this year. I love this school. The IB emphasis helps create well rounded people. It also has a great breadth and depth of learning. I love that the children ate taught to be problem solvers, creative and empathetic. I love the diversity of the families at the school and the way the school celebrates and honors multiple ways of learning. The science scores are very high and the specials make for more fun learning. The organic garden is award winning and provides the children opportunity to connect with the earth that is hard to do in a multi unit dwelling. The staff is responsive and caring. With the drop off situation, after the accident, the school solicited imput from parents and created a drop off zone protected by cones and staffed by parent volunteers who monitor traffic and greet the children at the car door. You have to drop your child off before school to use it. I have used it and it is very convient. The school was built prior the use of the drive through parking lots. There is a strong sense of community and investment in the children at Birney.
I have loved Birney for the first 2 years, but for us, it's time to go. The extra programs are excellent, but last year, I had several issues with our teacher, and after emails to the principle, nothing was addressed or resolved. The homework load is WAY too much, and very little is done to manage students as individuals.
Mostly though, I'm really concerned with the safety of the pickup procedure. It's a complete mess - parents drive up, have to basically abandon their cars in front of the school, run in to the classroom, run out, to put their kids in the car and drive away. There is no pickup line or orderly fashion - cars are driving every which way with kids running between them. There was a woman hit by a car during this procedure last year, and it's only a matter of time before there is a bigger tragedy. Yet the school refuses to fix it.
I chose this school for my daughters after touring the facility and being blown away by the principal's leadership and the implementation of the International Baccalaureate curriculum. So far I have not been disappointed. The quality of the teachers is top-notch, the level of passion from the principal extends down into all the staff and I have been very pleased with the well-rounded education my daughters have been getting. I can't recommend this school enough!
The leaders and parents at the school think that getting involved in the community and doing everything they can to engage and educate the students is of the utmost importance. My child is always coming home with positive things to say about his teacher, his classmates, and the interesting things they have done in class and in the "specials" program. He is getting a well-rounded education and is also learning about helping others, respect, and how to be a good citizen of the world. We love Birney Elementary!