This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted November 20, 2014
- a parent
We enrolled our daughter at Bixby after seeing her struggle with the larger classes of BVSD. The teachers were wonderful at drawing her into the new group of students and in no time she had made Bixby her school. It's been three years now and we can't say how happy we are we found this school. Our understanding is that they are teaching to the whole child and not just to a curriculum, our daughter is learning to problem solve and think for herself. We love it.
Bixby has no written curriculum, and it shows in the classes. Teachers make it up on the spot, some manage this better than others. There are a few good teachers, but most have no understanding of how to engage with children. Teaching is outdated, with no multi-sensory methods. There is too much talking by the teachers, to very bored students, out of their minds trying to sit still. Much of class time is wasted on discipline. Even with very small class sizes, the teachers cannot manage the students, and EVERY day you hear teachers screaming at the kids. They even have a "naughty" chair in the gym/cafeteria. Teachers and administrators are unnecessarily harsh. If your kid can learn on their own, and remain oblivious to the chaos around them, they will do fine here. If they need a supportive environment, I would look elsewhere.
Bixby preschool has an excellent play-based learning model with loving and compassionate staff. My children have learned science, math, reading and writing skills without spending anytime at a desk. The playground, swimming pool, music and gym programs round out the child's experience and allow for fewer extra curricular activities to shuttle your kiddos (to). The lunches prepared on site by chef Mary are amazing. With before and after-school care, as well as excellent summer programs, Bixby is the best choice in town for working parents.
The upper grades at this school are thriving, but one can't help but notice the declining enrollment in the early elementary years. The funding gap this creates is noticeable. The facilities are in decline and the learning environment (split into many small classrooms, sometimes divided only by curtains or cubicle walls) feels disorganized. The school does have a niche in providing knowledgable emotional support for 2E kids. But, the environment itself seems counter to what most 2E kids need.
I've really enjoyed seeing my son thrive at Bixby School. He enjoys all the small group setting, the independent time his schedule allows and time with friends, playing outside. He has struggled with the number of classes and transitions that are part of daily life at Bixby for 1st - 5th graders. Some teachers, as in all schools, are more experienced in the classroom. It seems difficult, with the frenetic setting, for teachers to manage the ever changing tide of children that they see throughout the day. It becomes a bit catch-as-catch-can without forethought into curriculum day to day. I do so appreciate the small group setting for each class, but after some time I can see where the model doesn't work for all children. He misses having a single classroom and one main teacher. We don't want to take him away from friends, but are considering moving due to the drawbacks of this model.
We are very impressed with the school. Our kids are in the Preschool program and they LOVE going to school. The teachers are awesome and sensitive to the child s needs. They focus on developing the child s personality in areas where the child really need help. The biggest difference between this school and others we have been at is that the teachers really understand your child and work on addressing their needs. The preschool director is very involved in the day to day activities and has been very receptive to our needs. Overall, we just love this school!
Bixby school is a terrific place. I have been so impressed with both their preschool and elementary programs. I have found the teachers to be both well prepared and well supported. They have an amazing focus on community across the age span. This school has a well-deserved reputation for working with gifted and "twice exceptional" children. I have a child who falls into the "2e" category and the staff at Bixby have been unfailingly committed to understanding my child and helping her develop in both areas of strength and challenge. Over the past year, there has been some transition in leadership. I have been impressed with the school board's commitment to making this go as smoothly as possible. A secondary, but wonderful benefit of Bixby is their terrific grounds and support of physical development. I would highly recommend this school.
My three children have all attended Bixby, the eldest of which is a graduate and now attends a public high school. Our experiences at Bixby, and subsequently in public schools, have provided us with some perspective as to why Bixby is so special. In my view, Bixby has offered my children a uniquely valuable education. The philosophy of the school is motivated by the results of a broad array of educational research so as to optimize its learning environment. It emphasizes age-appropriate skills and teaches well beyond worksheets and texts to encourage curiosity and instill a love of exploration. Due to its exceptionally low student/teacher ratio, it is also in a unique position to teach students in a manner catered to their individual learning styles and needs. The focus of Bixby is not just on academic skills, though it does cover those thoroughly, but on the interpersonal and emotional skills that are essential for success in middle school and beyond. Bixby's evaluation methods are incredibly comprehensive and I've heard many parents gain new insights into their own children from teacher parent conferences. Bixby is a model for other schools to follow.
We were lucky enough to find Bixby (through a referral) and enrolled in the last open spot in preschool! The preschool was amazing. My son came home every day talking about his friends, the activities, the pool and especially the tasty lunch. This was not the case at our previous preschool! Since everything was going so well for son, we decided to stay on through elementary (which is tough since Boulder schools are great) and boy are we glad we did! We saw families leave public school starting in 2nd when their kids weren't challenged. Not a problem at Bixby!! The VERY small class sizes are unique and teachers that are totally in tune with your kid's learning. Probably the most profound experience for our family has been the series of annual rubric evaluations that Bixby does for each student. It is hard to describe what an in-depth process this is. You get ~9 pages of intimate detail on your child's growth (social, academic) and attention you never dreamed a school could provide. Sending our kids to this school was financially a big decision for our family, but it has paid immense dividends in over the years. Our education expectations were exceeded by Bixby.
The teachers at Bixby were able to take our highly-gifted, sensitive child, and encourage his curiosity and energy. He has blossomed into an energetic, engaged kid, and has made so many wonderful friends. Bixby is as much of a family as a school, with a very non-pretentious environment for a private school. The teacher student ratio is so favorable that the teachers know our child in many ways as deeply as we do, and they are able to teach and guide him on a very individual level. Our son is doing algebra in 3rd grade! Every lesson is taught to the level of each individual student, so they are always appropriately challenged. I wish I could have gone to Bixby.