This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Benjamin G. Brown School4
Posted March 01, 2014
- a community member
It's a great school with no problems with bullying. The downside are that there is no gym or Caffiteria, and the food tastes awful. It is a great community though. With only about 300 students, everybody knows eachother.
The Brown School is an old building, so parents who choose it do so for the academics and the sense of community, not for a fancy gym (there is none; the library fills in during bad weather) or other external factors. Parents are a mixture of people who grew up in Somerville, who immigrated here, and/or who are highly educated & thus value education. The school has a new, energetic principal who has lived in Somerville for several years and has small children; she understands the community. She's great at open lines of communication and actively seeks parents' input. She also has started a student advisory board. The students are well-behaved and interested in learning, and older and younger get along well. The teachers are mostly all excellent & well loved, tho K teachers (tho nice) aren't as outstanding. Many field trips are offered, from walking to Powderhouse Park to study rocks or taking the T to Boston to study Amer. history. The PTA is active and many parents (not just PTA members) help out w/ activities including clubs like drama, Stock Market, Zoom, or events like Harvest Fair, Tropical Family Dance, ice skating and swimming nights. I love the small school atmosphere!
Facilities looks worse than what they really are, specially from outside the school. Kids have a (not too fancy) patio where they play, and a large library/gym room inside for when it's too cold out. They have had recess in the past two month; not too often, but that was because of the harsh winter. This patio cannot be used as a parking lot because it's fenced, so that thing in the comment preceding mine is utterly false. My kid's got a fantastic, yet traditional, group of teachers. Lots of people from Somerville only, without any sense of vision? Don't think so, there are >10 languages spoken in my kid's 20-some student class, and there's plenty smart people that create a very interesting sense of community and diversity. It's a small school with a feeling of being not-really-in-the-city, yet neither-in-the-burbs. I've heard that the schools in Cambridge are much better, would like to see it to believe it, and not in subjective things, but in objective matters. In sum I like it, though I think there are things that could be improved.
Great feeling to this school despite horrible facilities. Kids are happy here but did not have an outside recess for 2 months because the only small playing area is used as a parking lot. Academically is good due to some fantastic teachers but teaching is mainly traditional and somehow dry (e.g. a field trip last year was a visit to Shaws supermarket). A lot of parent involvement and good community feeling but mainly dominated by parents that lived in Somerville all their lives and lack vision on how to make the school better.
I love this old school (the oldest around) because it keeps the warmth of the community. All the children know each other and the PTA is the most active around this area. Every child that had been graduted from this school had obtain scholarship and the community has respected them for their efforts and glories obtained. The school has received higher rating in MCAS and in the state stardards.
I love the sense of community at the Benjamin G. Brown School. My child is learning and progressing well, and any issues he has had have been spotted quickly with kind, appropriate action taken to help him succeed. The school excels in teaching good citizenship, kindness, and social skills and also does quite well in academics, especially for a school with relatively large class sizes. The teachers are wonderfully great at what they do. Our principal, Mrs. Davis, is amazing, too.
There is so much to love about the Brown School. They have small classes, great teachers, dedicated PTA and a great sense of community. The only drawback I have found with the Brown is with the administration. While seemingly very friendly and caring on the outside having an open dialogue with the principal is impossible. She talks and does not listen. Thankfully my children are not discipline problems so my interactions with her are infrequent. Nothing new, with the rare exception I have always found principals to be a bit arrogant and in love with the sound of their own voices. It is worth it though the teachers are really the best in the city.
I love all the teachers so fare. It is a very good school and very academic oriented. The children do very interesting book projects forcing them to do research and use creative way to show their work. All teachers are very dedicated and it shows in the result.