This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Key Biscayne K-8 Center1
Posted November 06, 2014
- a parent
Key Biscayne is a great place to live if you have children, but the school is overcrowded, teachers from elementary ESOL program( children that are learning to speak english) are very rude, yell a lot and the principal will do nothing about it. I would never recommend this school! Can't wait for the school to finish to get my children out of there.
My experience with the school was with the ALL DAY Gifted Program (All day CATS), the program uses the non bilingual score to allow access to the program. It is the best kept secret. Classes are small, teachers are really trained to teach the gifted. (children who learn fast without repetition.). Teachers encouraged the children to work in teams and spend more time in creative activities, experiments, etc.. The quality of the teachers in this specific program is outstanding. This program is geared towards children who can learn independently, quickly and well. When evaluated, the children in the program perform at three or four grades above their level. Hard to find something equivalent unless one goes to a private school, and even then..... However, if your child is not 130 or above, he/she will not be able to keep up or remain in the program, the amount of independent reading could be overwhelming for some. A child can be at the top of the class in a regular classroom with two hours of gifted and be totally frustrated in this highly competitive environment. The group forms an incredible bond. Parents and incredibly caring and cooperative. Principle and PTA are amazing.
Good school but cannot be compared with schools in Broward or Pinecrest. Private evaluations for CATS are always reviewed by school counselors and are not the only criteria for a child to be placed in CATS! Some teachers at this school are great and some are not so good regardless of CATS. In my opinion the best teachers of this school are not teaching gifted. The principal is amazing.
Dirty, teachers who don't want to be there, lack of hands on teaching, overcrowded with children who do not even live in region, overcrowded CATs classes filled with unqualified children who's parents have paid private testing to get them in. This school maintains a top rating due to parents paying for private tutors rather then the teachers. Saying that there are a few brilliant teachers at the school who work hard with little support.
I am a new mom to this school but my family is already loving it. The school principal and teachers show to be deeply involved in the school happenings, there's great communication to keep parents updated with school information, I love the community involvement in the school, the interest of parents in the school's performance, progress and improvements.
I think it is essential that prospective residents & parents realize there is an effort by a local parent, Manny Cambo, to convert this school to a Charter School. This is why you see so many negative reviews below. You can read about his position in the Herald if you Google "Manny Cambo". I find it extremely unethical to see a local resident jeopardizing home values to promote a personal agenda.
Not a fan of this school. We came from a private school in the NE and this school does not even come close in every aspect. Supposedly a top rated school for district and state??? Academics are solely geared towards the FCATS. Teacher's are hit or miss. Some I will say are very good and caring. Spanish teacher (for non Spanish speaking children) is beyond HORRENDOUS. Had to pull my child out of the class and I am not the only parent to have done that. Elementary facility is in horrible condition and filthy. Bullying is a major and serious problem. I believe they are trying to finally address the problem. In the past, it was never taken care of. The vice principle I will say was the ONLY person who actually did take action. I do know there have been many children here bullied and have left the school or are considering leaving. The plus to the school is, it is a great community and your child can walk safely to school. Academically, it is poor. Most parent's who seem to love the school are coming from a foreign country and barely speak the English language. You get what you pay for here!
Being as I attended this school for 10 years, I feel as if this school has its flaws just like any other school. I was severely bullied for almost all of elementary and only one teacher actually helped me in my situation. The administration is very relaxed, especially the middle school teachers, however I learned almost everything I know from those teachers and I couldn't have asked for more helpful people such as them during my experience with the magnet programs. Those teachers taught me a lot of useful information to better prepare me for the world. While the administration is on the relaxed side and the bullying was rampant all through out elementary, the teachers there are the most qualified teachers in all of Florida. It would be a mistake not to send your child here.
I moved to Key Biscayne from the Northeast, where the schools are phenomenal. I have friends whose children attend Pinecrest & Palmetto (top-rated schools in Miami-Dade) and considered enrolling them in one of those schools, however, I had heard Key Biscayne K-8 Center was pretty good as well. Let me say that I couldn't have been more wrong. This school is TERRIBLE. Of course, there will be parents who ADORE this school..and that's fine (they may have had a good teacher & an uneventful year.) The ofc admin is SLOW, UNORGANIZED, RUDE, & they don't seem to want to be there. The principal pretends to care, but it is evident (to some of us) that her position as principal is just a job that pays the bills. I have a friend who works for the Board of Educ. and he mentioned that this principal has received NUMEROUS complaints. She does not handle most situations to the BEST of her ability. Also, some teachers are verbally abusive, bullying is an issue, and the teaches only teach for fcat. I was angered that my child's teachers constantly changed D & F grades to a C grade (perhaps to save their jobs!) Such a disgraceful situation over there. I DO NOT reccommend this school to anyone.