lack of liberal arts education, no physical education (bad for health), and no arts and music. If you go to one with too many indian staff member, then your kids will speak English will and indian accent even though they are America born and speak no foreign languages .
I have attended Challenger Berryessa since Kindergarten, and it has been going downhill each year. The academics are great, but the students aren't encouraged to participate in contests outside of school like Math Counts, Quiz Bowl, etc. In fact, the teachers are prohibited from organizing any teams for these contests. Students will still go out and compete in these events. Unfortunately, the school decides to take credit for the glory. Once they hear about a win, they write an article about the win and give themselves credit for helping the children. It's hypocritical. Also, the heads of Challenger have recently decided to take control of the 8th grade math tests. Our math teacher is a great teacher, but the tests the Corporate throws at us are ridiculous. It takes over an hour to finish each test. The last test we had took 2 hours, and with that amount of time, some students didn't even finish. The departure system is also ridiculous. It wastes a lot of the parents', students', and teachers' time. Although CBA has many bad points, it has a few good ones as well. The students and most of the teachers here are very nice people.
If you think the GATE program is the tops at public school, you have not seen anything yet. Your child will get a new level of REAL learning at Challenger. I have kids in both sections - elementary and middle school. They are primarily academic focus - teaching my kids not just facts, but how to think and take personal responsibility for themselves. If you want music, sports etc, then they leave you to find your own afterschool activities. I do not mind this, as we can find Olympic-quality programs in swimming, soccer, TT and other sports in the Bay Area. Campus continues to grow each year with new facilities - parents you can be proud of this. The pickup and dropoff is a synchronized exercise in organization. Overall, you definitely get your money's worth here.
As a Challenger Berryessa graduate who has attended the school since Preschool, I believe that the whole Challenger system has a bad reputation for being an unbearable and strict school. Parents constantly criticize Challenger for pushing their children too hard with absolutely no time for fun. Although Challenger does indeed have a very accelerated curriculum, it (at least the Berryessa campus) is definitely not a "jail" that some describe it as. Although it is much less lenient than other public schools, or even some private schools, we students developed strong friendships with one another and were not socially awkward at all. And all those essays and book reports have, at the end, made us competitive in the eyes of private high schools in the area, which is why nearly all of us are attending top high schools after we finish Challenger. Sure, Challenger could improve on some things, such as reintroducing intramural sports days between campuses and being a little looser in its regulations, but all in all, I believe that the pros still outweigh the cons, and Berryessa is still a pretty awesome campus.
As a parent of a lifer Challenger student that just graduated college, what the students learn at Challenger will help them through all aspects of life. My child is a confident, logical thinker and I thank Challenger in helping her to develop to her fullest potential. Yes, they have very high standards but there were no struggles with high school or college curriculum. She was offered four different position upon graduating college. I can't thank the Challenger program enough for all they provided for my child!
This is great school. I have not had any negative experiences so far. My 4 year old son has learnt how to read upto 5 letter words and is writing well. The school has very high standards which is very good in my opinion. The only very minor issue I have is that they donot offer half day classes. The teachers have been awesome. They are fun and energetic.
This school may be challenging, but the teachers in our middle school are really fun and the company you get is fantastic. Having a challenge is what life is; challenger prepares you for other difficulties you can come up with in the future. I have been a lifer in BA challenger and I may have disliked this school because of its hardships but then I realized that it is really going to be much harder in college and as an adult so I should be happy that I get an advanced education that would make my future much easier.
I am an employee of Challenger School. So my comments of course will be biased. I have found with Challenger a group of people, (teachers, parents, and students), who have come to an agreement: children can learn at high levels if given the opportunity. Many comments written negatively about Challenger are actually strengths. Mom and Dad can take a child to the zoo. Students play city basketball, they swim, they participate in ballet, etc. all as family led outside activities. They are not provided by the school (except on a limited basis), but academics are. Parents take their child to dance, we teach them to read. That relationship works for our parents. We are not perfect, but we are successful. Please visit a campus; watch a teaching session. Come see us in action! I think you might just like what you see.
In the beginning, the teachers were Good-Ok. As the years progressed on, the teachers got worse and worse. School was no fun. Parties and field trips were canceled and there were no more free dress days until the end of school. Not to mention the price is high.
Better than average public schools, but could be better. Challenger seems to rely on a corporate ciriculum taught by teachers with less experience. My advice, move to a good public school district and use the money you save from Challenger tuition to pay the higher mortgage.
This school is no fun. Their expectations are too high and there are no field trips. I have to wear a school uniform that's ugly. The assemblies are boring
It used to be great school. It is still good for preschool and kindergarten programs. I do not recommend any grade higher. Teachers have no experience when school hired them. Kids do not understand lecture to do well on their test.
very good school! great school spirit, everything about this school is awesome! academically challenging.
As an 8th grader at the Challenger Berryessa campus, I can truly say that because of Challenger, I am have grown both academically and mentally over the years. The middle school teachers are second to none, and they personally see to it that every one their students succeed. the CBA community is very close, and I would like to thiank Challenger for teaching me qualities that I will use throughout my life.
CBA has been my home for a great deal of years now, and I find it to be a great Challenger campus. The teachers are so personable and always make time to give help to their students. All the middle school teachers give special care to each and every student and actually care about how that student does, not about their paychecks. True, sometimes the teachers are tired and get cranky, but isn't that true of any school? Even though there aren't many extracurricular activities or sports teams, students become so close knit and turn into a family that cares for every member. As someone who will graduate in June, my experience has been a great one with ups and downs just like any other student, but I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.
Where to start? Pluses; New building, courteous non-taching staff, better than San Jose Public Schools. Minuses; Not accredited by WASC, tired-overwhelmed teachers, no extra-curricular activities, teachers are hard to get & communicate.
As a parent of a girl who started in 4th grade and will soon be graduating, I am very pleased to have found this school with high academic standards and caring teachers. In middle school, the 6 teachers get along very well together and are always willing to see a parent and find a plan to help a child in need. It is true that the teachers are sometimes stressed, but that is true of any profession. Overall, they love the kids and have their best interest at heart, and take any problem seriously.
I have very mixed feelings about this school. One one hand their system produces kids who do well in national competitions. But on the other, I feel that they begin at too basic a level for the younger ones despite testing their abilities and apparently having high expectations. There are no field trips. And there is no 'holistic' education. I didn't feel like I received much of a human interaction with the teachers either. They seem very stressed. I keep getting the gut feeling that parental involvement is not encouraged. But still, when I asked around, everyone praised the school saying how much they focus on academics. I already focus on academics at home but want a school environment that can provide other aspects of education like hands-on experience. We've decided to pull our child out because he just wasn't enjoying himself like we hoped he would.
I love CBA. I've been a student there since preschool. The curriculum is great and the teachers are all wonderful. Although, there aren't that many extracurricular activities, the ones that are available for students are wonderful programs. The class sizes are just right. Students learn and have fun at Challenger. The school is well structured and not at all demanding. It's accelerated curriculum also makes it easy in high school or at another school. I would recommend CBA to any parent who wants a bright future for their kids.
I was a former student at CBA. I really liked the afterschool activities. I would really recommend this to anyone who is looking for a good school.
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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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