This is our first experience with American public school system. We were stupid enough to purchase a home based on excellent rankings of this school. "We are set till 8th grade," we thought. What a joke. The school is extremely overcrowded and disorganized. A lot of children are being hailed from outside of school boundaries--that is done by parents providing fake or made up lease/deed, whatnot. Everyone knows that this is going on, however, nothing is done to deter that. The communication between the teachers/counselors and parents is lacking, or, truly, nonexistent. Your child may have an A or a D, but you won't know until you look at the portal, at which point, it is too late. There are no textbooks. To find out what your child is learning so that way you can reinforce it at home is nearly an impossible task. You need to make an appointment with the teacher who may or may not answer your email or, better, volunteer. Unfortunately, working parents often are not able to volunteer due to time constraints. The math curriculum is atrocious. It truly is a disgrace, and so is so called "science." There is no chemistry, biology, physics, but a pseudoscience class, which is about everything and nothing at the same time. No continuity. So the working parent has to come home, and turn on "teaching mode" to teach everything that the school was supposed to. Yep, you better go and purchase those Singapore Math and AOPS textbooks if you want your child have a solid conceptual understanding.
Overall, very frustrating experience for our family. A lot of teachers are superb, very qualified and a pleasure to talk to. However, most teachers have an insane class load, they are not able to keep up with all the emails and requests that they are bombarded with. Because the classes are so large, the individual attention is not there, plus the teachers are forced to follow the ridiculous Sunshine State curriculum. I have deep respect for teachers in this school, and I think they are put in an impossible situation.
Let me also tell you how this school gets such high marks on tests: at certain point of the year, the teaching stops and the test prep begins. Gotta get those high test scores to get funding!
Teenagers from this school go to 98th St Park after class where they constantly scream the F, S and N word loud while doing their activities with the school uniform. As a result many mothers felt offended and left the Park with their children, others have our 3 year old kids repeating these words at home. As a result Bay Harbor Isl residents have to take their young kids to Surfside Park. Also the students brake many traffic laws when leaving the school, jeopardizing their own lives as well as the drivers that are passing by. There is no supervision from Police and when an old lady stopped to ask a few kids to stay away from the road, they start to rant "F. U. your B." to her. I'm not sure what are the school and parents of these kids teaching them, but certainly not a positive education.