Branham is a hidden gem. My son graduated this past year and my daughter is entering her sophomore year at Branham. The environment is extremely accepting with tons of activities and clubs to keep the kids interested and social. I would recommend this school over most every neighboring school. There is less entitlement and attitude by a mile than you find at Leigh. Zero tolerance for bad behavior or bullying. The teachers are for the most part very dedicated and prepare the students for testing and college. You get out of the school what you put in. If your child needs to be pushed a ton and have their hand held then perhaps a private school would be better. If you and your child are willing to manage the process some and take advantage of the resources this school is great. Some parents expect the school to do the work and blame others for not getting the SAT scores or grades required to attend their preferred college. The resources are all in place if you want to take advantage of them.
I've been pleasantly surprised by Branham. My daughter just finished her Freshman year and loves the school, its activities, and the student population. The only issue was a first-year teacher we complained about that administrators are attempting to coach. This is the only teacher that my daughter has ever not liked. Hopefully her experience with this teacher will not dampen her interest in the topic. Branham was firm in keeping my daughter in the class when we requested to move her.
Our experience has been disheartening. There is serious grade inflation going on because of Standards Based grading where a student can retake tests. It might help the mediocre student but for those who need to buckle down (discipline) and study and get it right the first time, it is a disaster. They want to be "cutting edge" and be the "first" in the area to make this work....our kids are being used as experimental rats in a horribly flawed system. If I had known, I would have moved before subjecting my kids to this messed up system. Think of it..colleges don't let you retake tests! There are great teachers (Nguyen, Johannsen, Fernandez (an absolute gem) and then there are others who will remain nameless. The culture is stifling and there is a fair amount of mean spirited bullying going on and although I realize this happens everywhere this school's administration is more focused about getting every student to participate in AP classes so that they can take credit for a school with improved ratings, than fostering an environment of kindness and child focused. Kids need advice about their lifestyle before taking on a huge AP load. Much better AP & College counsel needed.
Branham is a friendly outgoing school. It has really been great for my son who is now graduating this summer. The new principal and assistant principal work great together and have really striven to push the school and academics forward. More AP classes being started this year. The teachers have been both good and bad, but nothing is perfect.
Branham high has excellent admin staff and new principal is very devoted. This school has gone through lots of reform for better in terms of remodeling and academic excellence. Counselling program is superb!
I am about to enter my junior year at Branham. It could be a lot better, but it could also be a lot worse. Many of the electronics need replacing, the buildings need remodeling (a bigger gym would be especially nice, considering our large student body - it's stifling during the MANY and UNNECESSARY rallies), and a more sincere effort could be made by the staff members (especially the counselors) to consider individual student's needs and concerns. Some teachers are much more qualified than others, and it definitely shows. However, while I am on this subject I feel the need to mention that the single best teacher I've ever encountered in my life instructs here. Compared to Leigh and a few others in the area - but especially the former - the student body is much more accepting and openly kind to others. The school is ethnically diverse and gay-friendly. Yes, there are the bullies and drama queens, but this happens everywhere. It is not a specific trait of Branham. Overall, this school isn't amazing academically or aesthetically. But if you're looking for a kind student body, helpful teachers, and opportunities to participate in community activities, you should consider Branham.
I have two kids at Branham. Both kids have had a wonderful experience. We have found the teachers and administrators to be kind caring and helpful. In regards to retaking tests, It's all about learning the material and getting It down. My kids have mastered their subjects.
I am concerned about hte use oft he Pickering/ EFFECTS style grading that waters down the grades. Studnets are allowed to take the same test over again multiple times. My student's Spanish teacher gives a C grade for knowing 20 words. The english teachers re- adminster the same tests for full credit. This is not typical at other schools in our area. our son is a high achiever, but I am afraid he is getting a sub-standard education compared to Leland, Leigh HS and Lynbrook , where the academics are much more challenging.
Branham really tries to keep kids engaged, keep the standard high and promote high academic excellence. We have been in the music department for 2 years and the kids are excelling! The instructor can be a bit challenging though. The test scores include the special ed. which not all high schools in the area have to do so the scores aren't really an indicator. The front office lady is mean and unhelpful... come on Branham... replace her!
this is not the school that put students first and looking how to help them to be successful and motivated. The stuff is superficial and will not look how to help student. The stuff have not professional attitude to help students in a very important live period.