Plan for a tutor. Very high faculty turnover rate. Not on par with other private schools= overpriced 9 years Hebrew = not fluent Singapore Math = need tutor, big expense.
My second grader actually came home with an end of the year 2nd grade review math packet that included test prep problems for the PSLE, which is the national Singapore Primary School Leaving Exam administered to all sixth graders! I was so impressed that my second grader was given this review problem: A, B and C are three numbers. The average of B and C is 5 greater than the average of A and B. If C is 38, find the total of A, B and C. Even more so, I have been totally impressed with how many young children are reading books like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and The Mysterious Benedict Society. What is even more impressive is how the school makes sure that the same children receive 30 minutes of phonics instruction every single day! I am very impressed with how my child spent five months of in-depth study on Solids, Liquids and Gases this year, too! I am very impressed that the school has such a rigorous general studies curriculum along side of 90 minutes of Hebrew/Judaic Studies, and seven weekly specials (3 periods of gym, and one period of each: Art, Music, Technology and Library) a week! And, the school makes sure the kids still receive two recess breaks and lunch time.
Love Brandeis! The head of the SF campus (started in 2008?) effected several changes to both the curriculum and staff, making an already wonderful school even stronger. My son has had amazing teachers who encourage students to think critically, participate actively, celebrate their own personal strengths and passions, and treat others with respect and kindness. As a non-observant Jew, I had my concerns about the time spent on Jewish studies but have been pleasantly surprised. More traditional academics have not suffered in the least. When alums visit, they report being extremely well-prepared for high school. Many in both independent and public schools are in leadership positions on Student Council, sports teams, clubs, etc. The high schools themselves report that Brandeis students are extremely well-prepared. Are the kids at Brandeis perfect and no one's feelings are ever hurt? No, of course not. That being said, I have a hard time believing that there are many places that compare to Brandeis in the camaraderie amongst students (both lower and upper grades) and the warmth of the school community. I am so thankful that our family is a part of Brandeis.
I have learned so much at this school. Everyone is kind, and gives so much to the community. I really enjoy going to this school and all my years at this school have been a blast.
The great: The academics are rigorous but taught in a humane and caring way. Graduates excel - many go on to Lowell. My kids constantly impress me and others with what they know for their age. They have made close and lifelong friends here. Community is great (surprising comments below). The bad: The administration school is arrogant and price is high. That said, a new head of school this year seems to be improving things. Also, not ethnically diverse. And, and a glaring omission from a school that teaches a foreign language from Kindergarten (Hebrew) is the lack of any Spanish or other language curriculum in mid school. The neutral: The Hebrew and Judaica component is a burden unless the family is Jewish. If you are an observant Jew, the school's observance of holidays etc is a great benefit in scheduling and academics. Bar Mitzvah prep is built in.
I am startled by the two previous reviews. I am a middle school parent nearing the end of our time at Brandeis and my child has thrived at this school. This year the school hired a strong, effective principal. Jewish studies & Hebrew is not taking away from general studies. It is natural to establish close ties to those that share similar interests and lifestyles. I have witnessed the strong community at Brandeis come together, repeatedly. It is sincere and heartfelt. My child had a wonderful lower school experience & any concerns about the middle school proved unfounded. Middle school is better than ever. Alum report excelling in high school. The administration is very responsive to the vocal parent body and the faculty is typically very caring and available to the students. I couldn't ask for a better school for my child and family. It's all it claims to be.
The school now has the best facility in town. Much of the administration s energy and resources over the past decade have been focused in that direction. However the education, which the school stresses as superior falls short of the mark. Many graduates struggle in high school and often rely on tutors help. The school culture is snobbish. Some grades are OK others have cliques. The school faculty and administration are politically correct and often send mixed messages to the children. The nice and polite fa ade is all it is a pretense. I don t feel that the school genuinely fosters strong moral and family values or genuinely cares about students as individuals. It is a great school for some, but not for all. If you are interested in investing in their child s education consider this school, but make sure it is a right fit for you before you spend over $20,000.
This school professes to have a strong knit community that practices kindness, etc.. and yet it is very clique-ish. Most of the friendships are superficial and the school doesn't promote any kind of student get togethers, middle school dances, etc.. that foster community and interaction. My child's class has been the most unsocial and superficially friendly group. The emphasis on Jewish studies and Hebrew is too much and too repetitive as you get into the higher grades. General academics are glanced over and the learning and teaching is sent home in the form of homework. Some of the teachers are not qualified and there is a high turnover rate. At best, the reputation is riding on the backs of a bunch of narcissistic back slapping few. This school is the Bernie Maddoff of private schools.
There is nothing I don't love about this incredible San Francisco independent school. I love the teachers: all three of my daughters' classroom teachers, plus all of the specialists (art, music, library, P.E.). I love the Jewish values and celebrations, and the Hebrew language. I love the community. I feel so happy to be part of the BHDS Family. We had very high expectations and this school managed to surpass them. We are thrilled.
I'm a staff member at BHDS, and I have been impressed by this school since the first day I set foot in its doors. I have never before seen such a dedicated community of parents, teachers, and administrators working together. Through their efforts, they have created an institution that stands for more than just stellar academics; it also makes strong ethical values a priority in the education that the students receive here.
I am a student at Brandeis Hillel, and overall, I am not impressed by the quality of the school. The principal is awful, and takes sides in many cases. The 'electives' are a waste of time. The teachers are really disorganaized, and this year, over half of the middle school teachers are leaving. I am really unstaisfied with this school, and had a bad expereience. I would not recomend this school for others.
As a parent, I have been continually impressed with the quality of the teachers at Brandeis. They are caring and competent educators who really prioritize strong academics. The culture of radical kindness is also one of the great characteristics of this community, and I feel fortunate to be a part of that.
I have had my son in this school for four long, painful years, and was disgusted by the outcome. The environment was repulsive; the children all turned against my son. The academics were nothing special, and so much time was spent on Jewish Studies and Hebrew that all the general studies were pushed over to homework time. We had no lives for a good couple of years, all because of long term projects, and make-up work that was not taught well in the first place! The level of parent participation was high, and all extracurricular activities were just a form of after-school torture.
I am a student at Brandeis and I love it! I have always felt comfortable and able to have my own opinions. The academics are challenging, but very rewarding. The teachers are carefully chosen, and I have loved every teacher to date!
This school is truly the best. If you want your child to have great Jewish Education, send them here. It's great I've been with the school almost 9 years and I've loved every minute
This school provides a solid Jewish education as well as a strong academic base. The small class size and low student-teacher ratio really have an impact on the upper grades, specifically middle school. Parents are involved and the faculty always is available to listen.
Great school in years k -5, very balanced approach of academic focus and nurturing environment. In middle school years, 6-8, the heat really turns up on academic intensity, which is probably a good thing in many respects but I think catches students--and their parents--a bit off-guard. The Jewish studies program is very strong; a really unique school in SF for parents who want a non-orthodox comprehensive education in Jewish studies and hebrew.
Brandeis Hillel Day School, San Francisco campus, has been a wonderful experience for our daughter. The teachers and staff are dedicated, creative, nurturing and bring out the best in a variety of children. We have seen our daughter's math skills improve dramatically in the 15 months she has been there. The administrative staff are equally dedicated and effective and very aware of each and every student's well being. The parent community is very active and involved. They are welcoming and accepting very committed to the school's success. Overall, we have been thrilled with Brandeis Hillel and our daughter's education.
As a Grandparent-having raised 4 children - all of whom went to Private Schools and having other grandchildren in Private schools--have been very impressed with the care and concern the Principal and Head of school have shown. The imaginative way they lead the students and the cooperation with the parents to solve problems.
I have a student in the school right now, and am not totally impressed with neither the carriculum nor the environment. The school is over $16,000 per year, but lacks in personal attention to the individual student.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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