This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Barton Open Elementary School5
Posted October 25, 2013
- a parent
Clara Barton is an amazing community of students and teachers. Everyone works together to build a sense of community where students feel safe and cared for. Teachers work hard to meet the needs of each student and care about the child as a whole person. We are thrilled to have our 3 children attend this school. Highly recommend it to others.
What impresses me most about this school is how they try to practice what they preach. Kids are happy and learning. They multi-age classrooms and no grades in the elementary. The teachers and administration seem to really care about what they are teaching and what they are doing. There are kids from all different backgrounds playing and learning together. They don't claim to be perfect, but are trying to do what is necessary to have a really good school in an urban setting. The middle school kids get great opportunities to explore their unique gifts. Just today I saw Barton 7th and 8th grade kids dancing, doing a lesson on hip hop, and reading really superbly presented, personal poetry in front of 800 of their K-8 peers and teachers. It gave me goosebumps! Love the leadership and vision of this school. I hope that they continue to champion open education!
It s considered a great school so there are many teachers with seniority, but many are burned out. Teachers do things like give kids with good scores Smartees candy, the others Dum-Dums, and in other ways mock or belittle kids. If kids complain to an adult it s dismissed as joking, a classic bully response, and adults stand by when kids are taunted day after day. (There are some nice posters, though.) Some teachers don t know their subjects. When parents push for changes, teachers just get moved or get a lighter load. Standards are very low so all can succeed. Special Ed and non-English speakers are in regular classes with no aide. There are 10-12 field trips per year, many of no relevance, wasting both time and a significant amount of (our) money. Middle school starts at 7th rather than 6th. The 7th and 8th graders are together with no differentiation as to academic level except in math, and in 1st 6th there isn t even that. It s a Somali magnet but there s no training for teachers, apparently, on culture. For example, girls might have to hold boys hands, and conservative Muslim kids can t do that. Obviously, we left. No one from the school ever asked us why.
I am a student at this school, (8th grade) and its not the best school in the world. Bullying is a big problem for me. I get bullied in front of teachers and they do nothing. And what do i get bullied for? Being a different nationality. They do not stop it what so ever. I get made fun of by teachers, TEACHERS! Thats not right if you ask me. Also, they put the 7th and 8th graders to together. And to save money i bet. You only learn science one year may it be 7th or 8th grade. Then take history the next year. Or the other way. Cause of this i am going to fail my Science MCA's. Its not a good program if you ask me. This is coming from a student. NOT a parent I do not suggest this school what so ever.
My daughter is finishing her first year. Last night she read me her favorite book without a problem. She is thrilled. What difference it makes to have teachers who care, listen and change lives. And with 20 kids at one time - I can barely manage 2. Gloria deserves a person of the year award! So impressed with this school and the teachers.
Horrible special education. This school was actually ok for my child until 7th grade. At that point the accommodations became nonexistent and the communication abysmal. The principal will do nothing to improve the special ed situation and he may be passively ignoring the real needs that the school has in this area. He will defend his teachers to the end and can be downright insulting and demeaning to parents.