My son attended kindergarten and 1st grade here. His kindergarten teacher, Ms. Ramsey, an EDUCATOR, demanded and received excellence, discipline and follow-through from her students.
Many children entered her class barely able to read, write and/or complete math problems. Upon 'graduating', 99 percent of her students read, completed math problems and reading comprehension at a second and third grade level. It was obvious these excelling students completed their homework and their parents were involved in their education. Sadly, the remaining 1 percent of the failing students lacked family support.
After Ms. Ramsey left to become principal at Bethune, I worried my son would not receive challenging work in first grade. I was correct! Although his teacher attempted to teach her class, she was prevented from doing so. Barriers included OLD 'Dick and Jane' school books; inconsistencies from the Administration; lack of a functioning school printer; distractions from coddling parents who thought the teacher provided too much school work and homework. In reality, it was NOT enough.
Eventually, my son became bored from the easy work he did in kindergarten. He began talking, playing and not focusing on his work.
BIG RED FLAG!!
At the end of the school year, I transferred him to a high achiever school in another county located more than 15 miles away (yeah, I drive more than 60 miles per day, round trip).
Initially, he missed his friends at Banneker, but gradually, he made new friend, 'loves' going to school, thrives in class, and enjoys the class's weekly hiking adventure. He doesn't have to worry about not having toilet paper in the bathrooms (Banneker), someone trying to bully him (school bus), or reading 40-year-old books (Dick & Jane).
Everyday, he is excited about going to school; doesn't want to be late. Upon pick-up he excitedly talks about his day including his schoolwork. At school, he feels safe and all of his classmates play together instead of trying to dominate the outdoor slides (Banneker).
BTW, Gary schools are set up to fail the students!! And, Banneker is NOT a school for HIGH ACHIEVERS! And, yes, I respect and like Ms. Givens. But, I think it's time for her to enjoy her retirement.
When my son was bullied, initially, the principal didn't believe it. So, we came up with a plan in which I would monitor my son as I sat on the lunchroom bleachers.
The following day, within 10 minutes into lunch, his big bully appeared, and tried to take my son's lunch.
Immediately, I jumped up, stood next to the bully, and made her, an older child, return his items. Immediately, I contacted Ms. Givens, who was monitoring the hallway. Givens spoke to the student, who admitted she took my son's boxed lunch daily.
Within two minutes of admitting the truth, Ms Givens called the girl's mother, who was not happy with her child's behaviour. After this incident, it never reoccurred.
My child was there from kindergarten to second grade. I did not particularly care for how Ms. Givens ran the school but I must admit she means well and has a good heart. She wants the best for her students and expects the best .The teachers are very caring and really there for the children. When she got to second grade she had three different teachers everyday and in my opinion that was too much for a second grader to handle. My child personally did not thrive in environment where everyone was always yelling and being treated like they were in prison. However some children do work well in that environment. It is a good school for some but not for others.
Banneker is the best school in the city of Gary Indiana hands down students who attended this School are successful. It is very hard work but in the end there's a huge benefit to our children. Life is tough so if you want to excel school must be the same. Lots of homework and discipline but 100% on Ideas testing and pizza party after.
The school is operated like a prison, the children care not allowed to talk during lunch and if they talk they have detention. The students have too much homework on a daily basis, including the weekend and holiday, it takes my child at least 3 hours to complete the homework.