I went to this school many years ago. Besides the after school model airplane class, everything else was terrible. I was bullied and pushed around and nobody did anything. I couldn't stand the kids that went there so when I finally graduated, I made my parents put me in a private school. Luckily, that worked out. It was far and away the worst school experience of my life. I don't remember any of my teachers to this day.
Fully agree with the post right below. Why isn't principal Purcell held accountable? She does not deserve to be an administrator, especially for children! Most parents I Know try to duck under her radar, even when they feel the school and teacher quality are going downhill fast. The other schools in the district, reed and del mar, are still great though. I guess 3 years isn't that long?.....
If I could, I would give this school a zero. While this school has some really good teachers it is poorly run by the administration. I think the principal is unethical, incompetent, and a bully. I'm not sure how she can ignore emais from parents month after month and keep her job without a response. However, after finally meeting with her personally, I realized most parents are scared of her and therefore don't bother. She is known to be a beligerent person and they also worry their kids will be treated unkindly and not given band aids or a part in the school play. Even though the PTA claims responsibility, she is completely in charge of it! They also worry if they complain that their kids will be given the worst teachers in the school. The music, art and math program are non-existent. Kids who get good teachers and parts in the school play are most likely big donors, untalented or poor students. The math/reading program is completely focused on the underachieving kids. The only thing we liked about this school was the few hard working, kind and talented teachers but with the interaction of the administration, they were never allowed to do the right things.
Awfully. My daughter finally graduated from this school. The school is disorganized.It's too bad the school is ran by such poor quality teachers.
At a party, the principal was complaining and gossiping about the 3rd grade parents. She doesnt mind when the teachers do this either. Not all of them do, but our certainly did! Reminds me if the silly cliques in high school, only it's the supposed role models and educators for our children. Disgusting!
If you want one of the better teachers in each grade, be prepared to donate a lot of money and time to this school. Seriously, be ready to work f/t hours as a volunteer both in the classroom and on committees. I agree with the other reviewer that you need to be in the "inner circle" with the super, principal, and pta moms who run the show. Some people rationalize it by saying it still costs less than a private school if you have 2+ kids. Just be prepared. I also agree that this school is quite magical and fun for average students. If your child is in the top or bottom 10%, you may truly be better off at a private school. The principal and teacher will act like your child is a nuisance, and I've seen perfectly bright children walk away from here disengaged. We know at least half a dozen kids who left this year and are much happier at their private schools. Many kids also have behavior problems, but if the family is very involved with the school, they are untouchable and know it. We have been to school in westchester and palo alto but have never seen anything like this! There is so much potential and some great families. It's too bad the school is run by such nut cases!
High performing school..a lot of time is spent on practice tests, test taking skills, and teaching to the median. Differentiated learning is not always available and is teacher and classroom dependent. because high test scores are such a focus, only subjects that are tested (language arts and math) are covered uniformly throughout each grade. Science, art, critical thinking, deductive reasoning, and creative explorations are not nurtured, or perhaps are so if you get the right classroom. The principal is not receptive to any constructive criticism or concern; any suggestions of change are countered with suggestions to look at private schools. Individualism, gifted ness, and learning differences are not valued. The defensiveness of teachers and admin, when trying to open a discussion about anything, is most concerning. Many families believe that higher donations to the foundation can secure better teachers and better response from the admin. Even the superintendent has commented that they seek inout of "key parents" before deciding on implementing change, ranging from support of special Ed, gifted, or non-STAR tested subjects. Looks good on paper....
Computer time and morning school run t.v time should be limited. More of a back to basics approach would be a benefit to the children.
Love it!!! My son has adored every teacher and staff member. I am especially impressed with the incredible music program- with opportunities for participation in chorus, band and musical theater! Spanish and computers are integrated daily. Teachers truly care about each of the children. The facility is stunning.
The school environment is excellent from every angle. The staff and teachers are accomodating to the parents as well as to the children and the community is very supportive of the school as well. Retired school teachers seek to volunteer the children at this school. The kids get to learn a sense of independece without feeling lost. Any child that has the oppurtunity of attending this well rounded school is very fortunate and the parents should be absolutely happy
This school is an outstanding learning environment tailored to its age group (grade 3-5). Each of my three children thrived here and found something to capture their imagination - be it drama, music, or the opportunity to be in student government. The academic support was excellent as well - two of my kids got the extra help in math they needed and left 5th grade with the confidence they needed to go to middle school.
Any child that is able to attend Bel Aire Elementary School is extremely fortunate. The school is phenomenal and the community support outstanding. The district has been able to pass two bonds and maintain a parcel tax to ensure the quality of the education continues.
Such a great school. The teachers are excellent. I went to a great school myself, and these kids are much more advanced
My son is in the fourth grade and I have been most impressed with the quality of the teacher and school. His class just finished a great project where each child built a separate CA mission. Each child loved this project, took ownership and exercised creativity in the building of this poject.
The office is low staffed and disorganized. School lunches are not that creative or nutricious and very expensive. Lunches are done by the PTA. The students daily milk is warm and left out in the sun. The principal is hardly seen by the students or parents. The school does not have a full time nurse. The nurse is only there on certain days.
Great parental involvement and very committed teachers! The children are given a well rounded education and are well prepared to move to junior high school.
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