I would give "0" stars if i could. Please, please reconsider if you plan to put your child or children in this school in the upper elementary grades, especially 5th-8th grade classroom. We pulled our daughter our due to 'shaming' "discipline" practices by the (main) teacher. (very old-fashioned, parochial, un-informed, and harmful ways of dealing with pre-adolescent/adolescent social issues) Also, there is very little direct teaching/instruction and the teachers are actually not qualified to teach students at this level... for what they need to know in this modern age. Kids are given busywork sheets and then left on their own to figure them out. We are the 2nd family this year to pull their child out of this class.
If you are looking for a school where your child will enhance their learning abilities in a highly customized and enriching environment where their spirit and aptitude will be celebrated on a daily basis then this is the school for you. We were looking for a school we could trust and we found it! It is a place where you can have full confidence in the study programs your child will receive. My child loves going to school everyday, the challenge and the staff. As a parent I can relax knowing she is being watched over carefully and 1:1 with her teachers daily. She has tested consistently above her grade level on STAR testing (standardized testing). She has been developed academically, socially, creatively, physically and received numerous awards in the community from assoc. for her leadership, conflict resolution, creativity, volunteer work, and responsible citizen. This is all a direct reflection of her role models who look out for her best interests at BCMS. Every parent who has left the school tells me it was a mistake and I notice the light in their child's eyes is not the same. There is simply no other school like this. We are very fortunate!
Montessori is an amazing teaching style. Our children have benefitted from it with their creativity and reading. Unfortunately, the school lacks the organizational structure for us to continue. While one of the teachers has wonderful teaching ability, the rest of the organization is unable to provide an acceptable learning environment. Supplemental teaching was required. My kids had to catch up. Testing scores are deceiving. While scores are high, students are not matched with equally involved parents. Communication with the teachers and administration is challenging at best.
My two children went to this school for two years. If you are looking for academics, this is not the place. We now have to have our children tutored over the summer, just to be at the same level as public schools in our district. There is NO Science or PE. Free recess is not PE. The kids just play by themselves, with no adult supervision. If someone gets hurt, the teachers, who would sit on benches far away are available for emergency. They wouldn t be bothered for one and a half hours, unless someone cried or screamed. The tour is great, but the actual academics and educational leadership were HORRIBLE. Our child s teacher was there 4 days a week. Friday was considered fun day by the children. This goes on for 3 years. I would not sign up my kid for this school without talking to parents that have had kids in this school first.
BCMS is an outstanding educational setting for your child. It is NOT owned by 3 teachers as stated, several teachers own the buildings and grounds(LLC), the school operations are nonprofit. Located in a pastoral setting with lots of green space, the school just celebrated 40 years, so it has educated generations of local families. This school is a certified Montessori training school, the ONLY one of its kind in the Bay Area. The Montessori philosophy is truly child-centered, so work is assigned at different levels, not by age/grade. Some 8 year olds can complete high school algebra and some 8 year olds still are struggling to read. ALL children are taught to their individual skills/abilities. There are many/diverse opportunities to volunteer for parent involvement. PE has improved over the years, but recess time is significant. Homework is given in the elementary classes, grade 2 and up. School highlights include Drama- for K - 8, Spanish-ages 3 - grade 8, Band- grade 4 and up, Art - ages 3 and up, Creative Writing - K and up. Our students are well prepared when they move on to high school. BCMS students are some of the most well behaved and calm children.
I was a parent of 2 children at this school. They truly provided a terrible education. We spent a lot of money for very little return. There was no Physical Education there, and that is the way it is through 8th grade. Our son's work was hardly ever corrected or checked. We have kept his work to share with others. He was given tons of worksheets below his level to keep him busy. I know other children that leave there behind grade level. They are brought up to grade level in public schools. We did the research, and public schools spend more per child than this private school. When we tried to speak with the teacher, she would tell us what we wanted to hear. After they knew we were upset with the school, we were treated really poorly. We were stressed most of the year. This is a very honest review from a previous parent. This school is owned by 3 teachers, so it is very hard to disagree with anyone there. My friend just took her 2 children out, and will have to have them tutored all summer b/c they were 2 grades behind in math.
We specifically chose this school out of all the private and public schools in the area after interviewing almost all of them. Everyone in administration and staff has been excellent and absolutely as advertised. Our daughter has made many friends and done exceptionally well since we started here. It's very important to point out that the grouping of negative reviews in the past month or so (below) came from a small group of parents who clearly did not understand what Montessori was before they signed up their kids and are frustrated that it doesn't fit their rigid ideas on what a "private school" should be. If you need progress reports, report cards, grades, and constant weekly updates, then Montessori probably isn't for you. If you understand the methods and approach and can see the big picture, I highly recommend Brush Creek. As to the "no physical education" comment; the kids have 75 minutes a day of outside play time. That they're not being forced to play dodgeball seems irrelevant to me. (I'm a parent of a current 4th grader and have every intention of staying at BCMS through 8th grade.)
My son, now at another school, had a similar experience to the parent below. When you first see the school, it is warm and inviting. What you will receive is the opposite. There is a lack of communication, the staff is cold to the children and my son left behind in kindergarten. In his school now, he is fine. That is b/c they focused more on him, and basic skills. I have spoken with a few people, and they have told me that this school has a bad reputation. I am a father, and this is my first review. I feel it is important to let other parents know about our experience. Once your child is in, it is hard to make a change. We were very impressed with College Oak, but they were full.
My child went here for one of the most miserable years of her life (preschool). Went from being a happy, active learner to having night terrors. She still blocks that period out of her memory. Everything got better after switching her to another Montessori program in the area.
My child was failing in public school. I attempted to homeschool him, but he missed having friends and I am not the best teacher for him. We entered BCMS mid-year (2nd grade) and my son immediately made quality friends, his teachers are/have been working around his learning disability (dyslexia) but they don't focus on his flaws. He is taught as a whole person, he is taught respect for other people, nature and education. We are very happy at BCMS and plan on staying to the end of 8th grade.
My child is a middle school student at BCMS. The decision to place our then 6th grader at BCMS came after tearful parent-teacher conferences at the public school and low test scores. BCMS allowed our child to learn with all the senses, to think and understand the lessons, to complete the work at school until the lesson plan was mastered. The teachers truly care about each student and their success. Teachers and students communicate on a first name basis and there is a mutual respect. The location is in a country setting but they have state-of-the-art PCs. There are no social barriers, popularity struggles nor a fraction of the drama that you d find in the public schools. The best thing about BCMS is that it gave our child a renewed confidence. My child s test scores were above average.
I have been a parent at BCMS for over 6 years (2 children) from primary to elementary. My children come home happy and rejuvenated by the school experience. The staff is outstanding and the curriculum is very beneficial to the learning process.
BCMS has an amazing program for preschool through middle school. The staff is amazing. The Head Of School, Susan Cohn, is passionate about her school. The well-rounded education is individualized to meet each student where they are (part of the Montessori philosophy). We have one child in the Primary (preschool) program and one in the Lower Elementary classroom. Both girls participate in Art and Spanish classes with specialized teachers. In addition, the Lower and Upper Elementary classroom also benefits from a music and science program. There are ample opportunities to participate in special events, classroom upkeep, as classroom parent, a volunteer to listen to young readers, drive for field trips, etc. We have found communication to be extremely good and the teachers and Head of School are always accessible to discuss our children s progress. The children in the elementary program consistently test above their grade in standardized tests.
Great extracurricular pieces, good staff but communication to parents needs improvement. Opportnities for parents to participate are limited to upkeap of grounds and fundraising. We would have liked to have been invited to be present in the classroom, at least a bit for our preschooler.
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