My daughter goes to Baker, and I can only say that I wish I had sent all of my children- why did I wait so long to find this wonderful school? She is well cared for, educated and known. The staff and students are so respectful of our family's differences and they celebrate it! She is so excited about what she is learning, and I could not be happier. No school, no job, no life is perfect everyday, but this school helps the children to embrace the struggle, and become lifelong learners. I would recommend this school to anyone!
My children have attended schools in different places and for the FIRST time, they are thoroughly enjoying school every single day at Baker. Some schools do not suit the child or the child doesn't suit the school. I have seen many sides to this school. This is a school full of hugely passionate, hard working teachers and staff who go to work every day aiming to make it the best day for their students. At the heart of it, it is what the large majority of the school's population feel about their education and their day to day experience that counts. It is a wonderfully diverse, accepting population and the children love the act of learning because of the way they are taught to embrace it. One of my more hard to please children came home 2 days ago to show me how much he now loves math. He showed me equations, various ways to find the correct answer, and the activities done in class to simulate the mathematical situation. Brilliant! Schools won't always get it right. But from the heart, this is a school that cares for its people, and a staff that work hard to give it their very best. And I can see the proof of this through my children's development, confidence and happiness.
Today, we can say that Baker is an excellent school, why? My son has a team of teachers very knowledgeable and great human beings. Our son is in 6 grade and he has been in Baker since he was in Prekindergarten. Our son is Latino, bi-cultural, bi-lingual and from an immigrant family. He was not fluent in English when he started at Baker, because he stayed at home with a Latina babysitter, and we spoke Spanish at home. While, these could be difficult for some private and public schools, for Baker it was a plus. We have been able to communicate with Baker's administration and teachers about our son learning educational goals as well as to advocated for the improvement of the Spanish program. Based on our family experiences in Baker, we can say, that if we have to choose school again, we will choose Baker.
Be very careful before deciding to enroll your child here. I would give one star for the beautiful facilities and one star for their expensive but fun summer program. Otherwise I have little positive to say about my family's experience. I should have known there would be trouble when my child's teacher, during our orientation meeting, contradicted my own observations about my daughter (whom she had yet to meet) and dismissed concerns I raised about race (my child is African American). After struggling with this teacher for three months I was at my wits end, as was my daughter who would often sob at the end of the school day. I finally broached the idea of withdrawing my child and Baker s principal and director of education gave me no option but to keep her in her existing class, which was a social free for all with ineffectual instruction. I paid 95% of the year s tuition though my daughter only attended for 3.5 months. Baker's administrators revealed a callous disregard for my child's well-being and education. Parents would be better served choosing another school.
Baker is an amazingly close school community. I have children in second and fourth grades and I would say that almost every adult in the building knows them by name. Not only do the faculty and administration make an extraordinary effort to know every child, but this sense of community is fostered among the students as well. It is fairly common that an eighth grade student will greet either one of my children by name and have a conversation with them. This feeling of closeness and the trust it creates between students and teachers and students and their peers has an immense impact on learning. My children are not afraid to take risks, they embrace their creativity and passions, they don't worry about trying new things and possibly failing, they are able to be self-advocates and to ask for help without fear that they might look dumb. This environment frees them to truly love learning and to challenge themselves without hesitation. This is why we believe that Baker provides and exceptional educational experience.
Baker leaves a lot to be desired! All three of my children are performing at below grade level because of a lack of educational integrity at this school. Please look closely before you pay for this school. Many children require tutors to keep advancing. We agree, buyer beware!!!
Our children all attended Baker and our experience with the school spans from PreK to 8th grade. Each section has tremendous strength. While not every day was perfect, the vast majority of teachers "got" each of the kids and their learning styles, personal strengths and weaknesses which allowed the kids to be kids and learn what they need to know to succeed. I am not talking about "special services" for a learning challenged child, I am talking about meeting each kid - smart, middle of the road or otherwise - at the place they are to allow them to grow and succeed. The classes were small and the friendships forged were life long. Our kids moved on to New Trier where they were very successful in such a differently structured environment. Middle school prepared them for the rigor and their years at baker prepared them as thinkers and leaders. Our HS son recently wrote at paper on educational philosophies and schools. He thanked us for sending him to Baker after he studied other schools in Chicago and the North Shore (both private and public). He and his NT classmates agreed that Progressive Education at Baker better prepares students for HS (and life).
For the last 7 years our daughter has found in Baker an exceptionally caring and nurturing environment that embraces her as an individual, fosters her creativity, and has made her love to learn. As parents, we have found in Baker the personalized attention, academic rigor and results that make us realize we were right to choose Baker over public school. The best part about the school is that while our daughter is excelling academically, she also has access to robust arts and physical education programs, and is being taught by teachers who also value and foster social-emotional growth. This all contributes to what we believe is a very unique educational experience for which we are extremely grateful.
I have two children attending Baker school in grades 1 and 2 and I can say that for the first time, they love going to school every day. They are challenged, stimulated and educated in ways that allow them to learn at their ability level, which appears to be very high... and also to tend to their individual interests. Daily swimming in the school's indoor pool and PE gives them athletic and team sport education together with creative art and music departments. They create colonial families of their own to understand American history; have created butterfly atriums in the centre of the classroom to understand evolution and science... create their own businesses to experience math and business management. They learn through experience and creative expression. There is also a strong emphasis on reading, vocab and understanding not only mathematical equations but why and how they attain the right answers. I can only account for early years, but it is definitely the right school for children that are explorative, inquisitive creative and want to understand the why and how not just the formulae!