This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Mount Bethel Elementary School5
Posted April 19, 2014
- a parent
We moved to the area 2 years ago from Puerto Rico and I was worried about my kids (6&9then) adapting to a new area and new school. This school has been a perfect for them. Every teacher they've had has gone above and beyond to help them adapt and excel. The teachers really want the kids to learn the material and they make it fun for them. You can feel they love their students. About the PTA and the parents , they're very involved and it makes a big difference, there's a real sense of school community. The principal and the administration are just the best, always with a smile and willing to help. I really have nothing bad to say about this school.
We have been at Mt Bethel for a total of 3 years. One of my children receives the majority of the special services he requires. The financial constraints placed on the school make it very hard to accommodate kids with special needs. The speech therapy and occupational therapy programs could be much broader. Additionally, the county is not equipped to deal with children who have social/emotional type needs but are NOT failing in the school. We struggled to get services for one of our children who had multiple diagnoses and letters from professionals stating that the child needed services. The battle was long and expensive. It seems as though special ed services continue to be cut annually - not specific to this school but across the county and state. We have been very fortunate to have teachers who went above and beyond to help our children. The dedication of the teachers combined with the funds provided by parents continue to make this a great school overall.
Having read some recent reviews of Mt. Bethel I felt compelled to comment. There has been criticism over class size at the school and I want to point out that sadly, this is the case across the county, not just at Mt. Bethel. Class size is a concern for us as well but this is not really within the school's control, they are bound to county numbers. The administration has changed for this school year and I do hope we get more attention to parental concerns going forward but the staff and the teachers that we have experienced thus far have been of high quality.
So far, so bad. My child has now attended for 2 years, and we are not happy. The classes are definitely too large. The students do not get the attention they deserve and need. They get one chance to build this foundation for their the rest of their lives, and it's weak. The teachers that we have experienced are nice people, but not strong educators. We feel like our child has fallen through the cracks and has not received adequate leadership and guidance. What's worse is there is a sense of of frustration among the teachers, too. They are instructed to focus so heavily on Math and English and cram so much into the students' curriculum, it's exhausting. When we moved to the area, everyone told us how great the school is, but I personally feel like everyone has been coerced. I think they are just blindly repeating what they have been told by others. Yes, there are worse schools, of course. Mount Bethel is not a terrible school. However, if you are looking for smaller class sizes, teachers that care (and are not overloaded), a more thoughtful curriculum, more diversity and strong leadership then you may want to consider looking elsewhere.
I just graduated from Mount Bethel and it was amazing!!! The kids and staff are so great. I was a new kid in 1st grade and everyone was so nice and excepted me as an individual. Teachers are very good at making sure the kids do well. For example, my friend and I were having trouble with math. My teacher let us stay after class for a little while and gave us both individual attention on what we were having trouble with. Mount Bethel is amazing!!!!
The teacher to student ratios are too high. Simply put, not enough attention on the students as the teachers are overwhelmed. If there are disruptive children in the class, which is the case in our son's kindergarden class, then everyone suffers.
We moved to GA from abroad, and chose Mt Bethel after reviewing and touring all the schools in the East Cobb area. And what a great choice we made - our daughter adores school, has been exposed to so many opportunities and activities, and is achieving well beyond our (high) expectations. We simply couldn't be happier.