My son has been at Bishop for two years, and is now in the first grade. I was concerned about sending him here given the low testing scores, but after talking to my close friends who have sent their boys through the school decided to enroll. I've been very pleased. The teachers are excellent and committed, with several having taught at Bishop for 20 years. The Principal, Mrs. Cicala, is approachable, and the front staff is friendly. The students are sweet and respectful. Academics are strong --all students in kindergarten recieve one-on-one reading instruction (a perk of having low scores is that everyone gets more resources), and they use Jiji and Razz computer programs for math and reading. My son has learned so much in the year and a half he's been at Bishop, and has been able to advance at his own pace. There's a garden program for fourth graders that has been active for 20 years and is led by volunteers from the Sunnyvale garden club. There's a lunchtime "Run Club" led by one of the teachers, Mrs. Pound. Fifth graders go to a science camp. Students get taught pedestrian and bicycle safety through the Safe Routes to School Program. The school is the oldest in Sunnyvale, and thanks to a bond voters passed, it will be rebuilt starting in 2016 with brand-new classrooms (two stories!), larger drop off area, a new garden.
I didn't put "great" because 1) formal communication from the school to parents is spotty - I've gotten flyers sent home for events happening that day, and it took me weeks to hear about any new parent tour 2) not a lot of parents participate in the PTO - though it seems like parents are involved in other informal ways - for example, attendance at events is high 3) lack of strong music, arts, pys ed. They do have these enrichment programs, but they are not as frequent as I would like. To be fair, the majority of the school comes from economically disadvantaged families, so cannot afford to donate money to the school to pay for these things.
In sum, Bishop is a bargain, you can send your kids here feeling good about supporting public schools and knowing they will be getting a good education and making friends they will carry through life.
We left this school after 2010/2011, taking both children out. Should have left sooner. Most of the teachers were very good, some were truly amazing, dedicated, loving, nurturing, and so on: all you would want for your child. The PTO had some very dedicated parents who go out of their way to build a community, volunteer supervision during recess and lunch, etc. However, the principal at the time was awful. Having coffee meetings with parents does not equate to managing the school to be a safe environment were children can learn without fear of being attacked on the playground. When I complained that my 3rd grader was assaulted by a boy who tried to choke her, his response was that I should take pity the child because his life is not easy. My very bright and active 1st grader cried every day because she was afraid to go to school and wanted to stay in at recess. I understand that the school has a new principal this year, and cannot comment on how the school has changed. However, it is still over-full, under-supervised, and has very limited after-school care options. If your child is bully-proof and would thrive in any environment, I would still look for better options.
We have been pleasantly surprised with our kids' experience at Bishop. The low API scores gave us serious pause when considering it, but after speaking with other parents, we decided to give it a try. The teaching staff ir remarkable and quite dedicated. Both of our kids have advanced to higher reading levels than their current grades and are able to visit other classes for more challenging material. Both have adjusted well and enjoy going to school each morning. I would strongly recommend that any parent considering the school attend one of the open houses or PTO meetings to learn more. If you are actively involved in your child's education, s/he will probably do quite well here.
Very impressed with the teachers here. The atmosphere is one of a caring and dedicated staff and that to be is one of the most important factors in the success of the students and therefore the school.
I have two children attending Bishop Elementary. We are so pleased with the education our children are receiving. Bishop has an amazing teaching staff. My children have had the most wonderful and dedicated teachers who truly care for my kids, communicate well with families, and work to challenge every student in their class. To really get to know Bishop, talk to parents who actually have a child at the school, come visit, and get involved in the PTO.
We were very hesitant to send our son to Bishop for kindergarten last fall (2011), but we are so happy we did. After meeting with the principal and attending open house I was excited about the school. I'm so glad I formed my own opinion rather than only going off what I read and heard from people who really didn't have first hand knowledge about Bishop. His education is off to a great start thanks to a wonderful teacher, staff and school community. He's excited to start 1st grade! My best advice, form your own opinion! Be involved with your childs school.
I love this school. I totally disagree with the comment about the principal/child not being challenged. The principal is very involved and approachable. He hosts a monthly coffee hour for the parents just to chat and give parents a change to ask questions, etc. My daughter is only English speaking and she is absolutely thriving at Bishop. She is challenged, only in the 1st grade but at a 2nd grade reading level, loves school, has lots of friends, etc. The teachers are also fantastic!! Bishop has more Nationally Board Certified teachers than any other in the district. They got a new playground this year and computer lab. All of the 2nd and 1st graders have ipads for learning, google volunteers to come in to do a robotics lab with the older students....so many great programs, even in this economy. Don't worry about the test scores, they are consistently going up each year and if you know how to read scores correctly there is nothing to worry about, it's not about the final score. Love, love Bishop!!!
My child goes here and only speaks English. I found my child to be ignored and neglected socially, academically, and emotionally with the mindset that he already knows the English language. I have over heard that the Principal goes on his phone and text teachers during school hours. I have never seen the Principal around the school he is not really involved. This school did not meet my expectations.
My son is entering 3rd grade and has language processing disorder - global. It is a type of learning disability which gives him significant challenges across all areas at school. I meet with his pediatrician every trimester, I volunteer in the classroom, I support the teacher at home, I am involved at the school level thru the PTO, and I check-in with his resource specialist and tutor regularly both in person and thru emails. After 2 years of intervention services led by Ms. Swantje Agape, I must say that Bishop s resource specialty staff, teachers, principal, and staff are TOP NOTCH. They are respectful, patient and caring to my son, his siblings, and our family. I can't imagine my son being educated anywhere else. Parental involvement is so important - whether your child struggles educationally as mine does - or is performing well at school as his brother does. Be involved regardless.
I read some of the comments here and was really worried about staring our kindergartener. I met with the principal in April and felt much more reassured. He spent over an hour answering our questions. We just met with the teacher this week in a welcome meeting and are SO excited about the new year. I know everyone has different experiences, but before you react to any of the comments here, take some time to visit the school first. I'm certainly glad we did.