Greetings! Selecting a school for your child may well prove to be one of the most important decisions you will ever make as a parent. As you evaluate the many educational options in the area, please allow me to share a bit about with makes our school distinct. At Mt. Bethel, we value community. As a school of approximately 400 families, your child will be known. His strengths, his challenges, his many successes and occasional setbacks will play out in the context of a nurturing classroom and loving teachers who have the time and desire to know him well. You ll form friendships with like-minded families who share your desire for a school that will prepare your child to pursue a lifetime of learning built on a foundation of faith. Mt. Bethel is a Christ-centered, college preparatory school which means that we approach the educational process with a Biblical worldview and with the intention of preparing children to gain entry to and be successful in college. Our aim is to equip every student with the skills they need to pursue their passions with excellence and thereby earn a platform from which to project a Godly influence in the world. As helpful as we hope websites like this can be in describing the Mt. Bethel experience, there is simply no substitute for a personal visit. I invite you to come to our campus and see for yourself what a difference our school can make in the life of a child. I know you ll be glad that you did and I hope to meet you soon.
The bullying is intense among the girls and in our case was encouraged by the teacher who negatively singled out our child in front of the class frequently, even holding her work up to the rest of the class to see a "bad example". The year our daughter attended in Mt. Bethel, she was an emotional mess, crying when she got home, nightmares, low self esteem. It was recommended by my daughters PEDIATRICIAN that we remove her from the source of the stress as the child was experiencing extreme anxiety. Our child had straight A's at her previous private school, no behavioral issues, tested fine & was happy. Now we have moved away from Mt. Bethel, she is is back to straight A's, all is well again, no issue. This never should have happened. Worse... being it's a private school..we PAID them to do this to our daughter. Horrible. The year our daughter attended in Mt. Bethel, she was an emotional mess, crying when she got home, nightmares, low self esteem. It was recommended by my daughters PEDIATRICIAN that we remove her from the source of the stress as the child was experiencing extreme anxiety.
I do agree bullying does start in 4th grade. I remember always getting made fun of because I was a different race. It kind of dies a little down when you reach middle school. I moved to a public school last year and I feel this is a better environment anyway. Also I am also very unhappy with the lunches. Not that they are bad but the quantity! They only let you have 2 cheese sticks and no seconds! Sometimes I say to myself I payed $12,000 for this? Why just save your money and go to a public school. This school is not very religious either. So I dont understand.
LOVE this school! I have spoken with many graduates going to both public and private high schools and they have all thought they were very prepared for high school from MBCA. Our family has been there for 6 years. Incredible faculty who really care about your student. Two teachers per grade until middle school, top class size is 22, so 11/1 ratio. Incredible academics, great athletics, spanish and latin. 5th graders and up have their own laptops. in art, the children learn about famous artists, in music, they learn about composers. I get a chill every time I leave thinking about the positive environment my kids are in. No girl drama yet and I have one in 5th....the children love each other and support each other. Amazing!!
We chose this school over our excellent local public school because we wanted smaller class sizes in a Christian setting. After now being at MBCA for 8 years (currently have a 7th and a 5th grader), we have been overwhemingly pleased. Our children are academically-challenged, growing Christians. There are certainly situations where things have not been ideal for some families (however I have never heard of or experience some of the extreme situations mentioned here). The school has not been traditionally equipped to teach children with learning disabilities - but we now do have a specialist on-board. The communication has not always been wonderful but has improved. We have always had excellent, caring teachers and we love having a parapro in every classroom. The new Headmaster (this is his 2nd year) has been terrific for the school. We plan to probably go to public high school and feel that MBCA has prepared and grounded our children so that they can meet the challenges of high school, college, and beyond. Overall, I highly recommend MBCA and would not change our decision.
Our family was at Mt. Bethel for two years. Lack of communication was frustrating. As a family we found ourselves "out of the loop" frequently. Parents are responsible for reading teachers blog each day. Our teachers never posted at the same time each day, which added to the confusion. Other times teachers never got to it.. There is also a school blog that is different from the teacher blog that you must keep up with too. Several occasions the school closed early for inclement weather, in those cases an email went out. If you were not at a computer or have an electronic devise to alert you on incoming emails...you were left out of loop and received disgruntled call from staff to pick your child after the fact. [Sigh.] The children, myself and my spouse were relieved to move to a school district that still sends home notes and does not assume the whole world has iphones attached to their heads.
My association with Mt. Bethel Christian Academy dates back to 1998, before our first student crossed the threshhold. From that day forward, my passion for the mission and philosophy that formed the foundation of the Academy has not waivered. God has truly blessed me by allowing me the opportunity to grow both professionally and spiritually through my position with MBCA. My position as Director of Admission and Marketing has given me the opportunity to promote the growth of this extraordinary school. It has been a joyous ride and I am truly inspired by the level of professionalism and integrity that is reflected everyday by staff, faculty, and families.
Our child attended only a year. Very disappointed. The schools emphasis is on THEIR RATING, NOT YOUR CHILD. If your child scores a D in the same subject two semesters in a row, or scores two D's in one semester, they are asked to leave. If your child is discovered to have any kind of dyslexia or ADD, no matter how slight, they are asked to leave. If your child does not leave, the faculty make your childs stay unhappy, singling them out, saying negative things to and about them in front of the class. They are held to a higher standard than the other children and, at least in our case, snap under the pressure. We have had feedback from several other families who either left or are leaving based on this same situation. We were also informed point blank that Mt. Bethel pretest (for admission process), is to screen out students with potential disabilities, and told, regarding our child, "We don't take his kind." By the time we left I was unsure whether to call Family & Child Services to report emotional abuse, or call the American with Disabilities organization. NO other school has this kind of policy... but at least it keeps Mt. Bethel high on the rating system.
Now that my children attend another school, I can look back and say that, for us, this school lacked a communicative sense of teamwork between parents, students, and school. It was a culture issue for us, but basically, unless something was wrong, I found communication between administration/teachers and parents to be skimpy and mostly one way. As a parent, I found it challenging to independently follow what my child was doing (just to have a starting point for conversation) as there were no teacher websites -- at least not when we were there -- and few parent volunteer/interactive activities, etc. As for the kids, we found it to be cliquey here. Sports is VERY competitive. Some of the teachers play favorites. The sense of teamwork and fun was just not there for my children. To add to this, I felt intimidated if I spoke up about any concerns. I did not get a sense that my input was respected or welcome. Academically, I would say that the smaller class sizes were nice. The facilities -- very clean.
I have a 5th grader and an 8th grader who have both been at Mt. Bethel since Kindergarten and we couldn't be happier! I read some of the previous posts about bullying and would like to comment that, yes, there may have been a problem with it IN THE PAST under prior leadership, but I can assure you the problem has been taken care of with our new Head of School. Bullying is a thing of the past and will not be tolerated at Mt. Bethel. As far as the curriculum not being challenging enough - I have to disagree with this, too. With our school only going to 8th grade, there are obviously MANY high schools that our 8th graders apply to. Our students have no problem gettng accepted into any of the private or public schools to which they apply. In the majority of cases, they are placed in honors/AP classes. The class sizes at Mt. Bethel are small, so it is easier to get individual attention. The lower school classes actually have a lead teacher and a parapro in each classroom. I whole-heartedly recommend MBCA - I am going to be sad to see my 8th grader leave.