We enrolled our children just before what the last reviewer called ‘the bumpy years’. Interestingly, that year had the highest enrollment in years and there was a noticeable improvement in both the school’s activities and the community involvement. Now, enrollment is at an all-time low, most of those teachers are gone and the good programs too. We found nothing wrong with the school, the teachers, or the principal. What we found disappointing was when the board got rid of the principal and the good teachers. Since the school is still crumbling, we have to assume that something much deeper was wrong and it seems like the board itself may be to blame. Wish it weren’t so, but it is.
As you can see by the date on other reviews, there was a bad administration and two bumpy school years fixing it. It also appears that at least one reviewer had a personal issue with the Principal, who has not been there for 4 years now. This is all over with. 2013/2014 was great, and this year has been even better. Things are running great and the basketball program is back up and running for boys and girls. All three of my kids have gone, or go, (one graduated), to BL. The school size creates an incredible dynamic that you will not find other places. Because k-8 is on one campus, there is a kindness and respect you do not see in other larger schools. There is not a pecking order but instead you will see older kids helping the younger grades. Priceless. I can only assume the low rating is based on the state test score? This was another issue with the one year bumpy administration, (but note the science score91%.) My kids have excelled, and my oldest is taking AP classes in high school. The campus is unlike any you will ever see, 30 foot tall blooming rhododendrons, and acres of green grass surrounded by towering spruce trees.
That last review was written by Ms. Blanc. We actually don't miss her at all! Unless somebody misses being yelled at and intimidated by a crazy person who hates children. Many families have come back to school since she is gone and that is great. Things seem to be run by somebody who cares now. Most of the changes are for the better and that is a positive turn for Big Lagoon. The teachers seem to have more say in how they teach. The new principal seems to know what he is doing. I am concerned for my daughter going into the 7/8th grade teacher's class since he seems to pick favorites and fails to teach to everyone but we shall see.
This is a unique school in a wonderful setting with the forest and nearby lagoon and ocean. Your child will receive individualized instruction and benefit from small class sizes. For a small school they have remarkable programs that other, bigger schools have cut: Art, Music, and an outstanding hands-on Science program K-12. All the teachers are dedicated and care about kids. Unfortunately the staff morale has always been high until this year when they hired a new principal. I wish Mrs. Blanc was still here. She was really terrific and cared about kids and the school. The new principal has made a lot of people really unhappy and caused people to leave the school. The school doesn't feel the same. I hope it gets better. It deserves the best.
We were very disappointed when our daugher who was alway a straight 'A" student at this school seemed VERY unprepared when she entered high school. Studends are heavily prepared for CA standardized tests and even a failing student will 'apparently' do well. The teacher supervision is often lacking allowing problematic students to be continually disruptive and disrespectful without consequence. They accept repeatedly suspended or expelled students from other local schools. The arts program is creative but there is nearly no music and zero organized sports or even so much as a PE class.
We transferred our children to Big Lagoon 6 years ago and we made the right choice! They are thriving with all of the personal attention they receive, the guidance they are given and the fun they have outdoors. Stats show that children in K-8 settings do better academically. This little school is a "family" . The science and aquatics programs are amazing. The setting is incomparable.