Benfield finally has a Principal that can lead this school. Some of the teachers still think they are "God's gift" to the education system as stated in a previous review, but the new Principal seems to have a plan to address the mess that she's inherited. There are actually rules and goals. MSA preparation didn't start the first week of school and has been as heavily emphasized as in the past. The facility is old, but it is scheduled to be replaced. Though your Kindergarten may be the only current student to benefit from the replacement at the rate things are going. The neighborhood remains nice and the community continues to support the school. Parent involvement remains strong.
We just moved the neighborhood. We came from a great school. The kids like this school even better. The school is dated, but they are going to starting a multi-year replacement soon. The teachers we are dealing with are top notch. There is a new principal this year. She has been wonderful to us. She appears to be a very strong leader.
Many of the teachers think they are God's gift to the education system. The Principal is thankfully leaving--she ALWAYS took the side of the teachers, regardless of evidence. There are more parents involved in the school than there are kids, which is great. Parental involvement and expectations (and smart kids) = good results. Some teachers think it's because of their teaching skills--hardly! Some teachers coast, and some don't want to help kids that need extra attention. If a kid can't keep up, they will need outside help, because they sure won't get it at Benfield.
The teachers and surrounding community are excellent. The school is badly in need of renovation, but that supposedly is coming down the pipeline in the next few years. I sent both my sons through Benfield, and my youngest will be a 5th grader there. I have no complains, other than what I previously stated about the outdated facility. Anyway, they are getting a new principal for 2012-2013 school year as the long time principal retired. It could be a good thing as I think the outgoing principal was fine I suppose, but seemed to be sleepwalking through her time at Benfield. My oldest has gone on to excel at SPMS and now SRHS STEM program. I am confident my current Benfield student is being well prepared as well.
This school is in decline. The Principal is the major contributor to the decline of the school. She is unable to address issues that are outside of the box. There is too much yelling inside the schools. Bullying is not handled properly. There are some excellant teachers that appear stuck inside a bad situation. Teaching to the MSAs is part of the curriculum. Large class sizes and a poor facility also contribute to an increasingly poor school environment. Parent involvement is still good but declining as more mothers are working.
My previous review was removed? This is a mediocre school, they focus 90%+ on MSA tests. The school is old and decrepit, class sizes are humongous approaching 30 students per class. Watch Stossel on you tube, this school is a prime example of the BLOB. I removed one of my children and enrolled in private school, SP is way over rated for public schools. AA county has a low tax base, therefore no $$$s for education. They have one bus system for ALL three school levels!
Moved to area Summer 2010, and my child is now attending first grade at Benfield Elem. Staff make it clear they teach students to take tests. School's state test results are sometimes 100% in all categories in multiple grades? My child is having a difficult time learning math and responses for help have been answered with red ink on course work. Course work sent home has been observed with dates as far back as 2001 and everywhere in between. Language on course work is inconsistent adding confusion of child to grasp concepts. The school was built around 1961. My first grader is sharing a class with 25 students. There are two other 1st grade teachers with class size of 24 students. This seems to be an average class size among all grades. We are now in search of a private tutor to augment our child s learning despite attendance at Benfield.