This is a one size fits all school. The bar is set very low, especially for spelling and reading. All kids get the same spelling words for an entire grade level, they are set for the very low students who are below level. Discipline is good and parents are involved but I agree a lot of the challenging has to be done at school. I am very disappointed.
I have a child that just got through Kindergarten and the school has been simply amazing. Extra support for those that needed it small groups. A class of only 15 with a full time para so basically 7 to 1. My son is now reading 100+ sight words, knows an extensive math program and I am confident he is ready for all 1st grade holds. Way to go Memorial.
Memorial school is in a nice area. However, it has a very low reading program in first grade with no modifications unless your child is really gifted and talented 3+ reading level. The PTA is only for stay at home moms. They meet during the week in the morning. They really don't want the majority of the parents to be involved in the schools. It is still better than schools in Manchester, but for the area they could do much much better.
I agree that something is not right. We had our kids in a Private school then decided to put them in Bedford. We were there a few years. My son was in the highest level in math in Bedford, but when we switched him back to the Private school, he was average to below average. I wouldn't rely upon the scores or the grades your child gets in Bedford. I think the bar is set far lower in the Bedford schools.. If I had to do it again, I wouldn't have spent those two years in Bedford and I would have just kept him in the Private school. Having been in both schools, we can definitely see the flaws having been in both schools. Have your kids tested outside the school.
Bedford shows high scores in the elementary and middle school however the NECAP is a dumbed down test. I had my kids tested outside Bedford and was shocked to find them not doing as well as I thought. We've also had to do outside tutoring. When you look at the high school NECAP scores, half of the students are not proficient in math and science. Again a huge disappointment. On the up side, the teachers are wonderful and I don't blame them for what is going on in this district. Parents are very involved, but I think they need to become more vocal in the lack of quality academics.
I have a set of twins that have gone to BEEP, Bedford Early Education Preschool, for two years. The preschool program and the coordinator are fantastic. Ms. Nancy is wonderful!
Basics are very good. Gifted program is adequate. Extras and 'management' are lacking and overtaxed. Hot lunches, while improved, are still poor. All staff complains of not enough time for their programs (40 min per session). Responsive classroom program is great - all teachers should be required to implement it.
Memorial was named the top NH elementary school in the past decade. Test scores at this school are among the highest in the state. Great teachers and over crowding problem has been taken care of with the addition of 2 new school buildings opened in Fall, 2007. Memorial is now a K-4 school.
Memorial school tests are high however give thanks to the parents. These children come from families who spend a lot of homeschooling time as well. There are some great teachers at Memorial but the principal is lacking in charisma. The music program is in the gym with many distractions. Parent involvement is strong however the school tends to be crazy busy and almost chaotic at times. There is no computer rooms and the playground (which was recently done) has a dangerous rock climbing mountain that the kids most of the time are unable to use. The Everyday Math program has failed in other school districts and this is the same program Memorial uses. Several children from Memorial get extra tutoring help to supplement what they don't get at school. As a parent at Memorial I am not impressed.
Memorial School is a treasure and tremendous blessing to our family and the community. We have 3 children at Memorial. In addition to the regular classroom studies, we have used both the special education services and the program for gifted students. All of them have been outstanding. The quality and dedication of the teachers has impressed us. There are many opportunities for parental involvement. Memorial School has received awards for the number of hours of work volunteers do on an annual basis. Mastery of basic math skills is a part of daily homework and school life. Our experience gives us insight as to why the Bedford Schools are ranked one of the best in the state. Memorial is truly a remarkable school. Come and visit and see for yourself.
Be Warned. Bedford recently adopted Everyday Math which is being used in the Seabrook schools. Seabrook is ranked dead last on math assessments. Everyday Math does not require mastery for the basics.
With the recent National Testing scores, it is a testament to the quality of education my 3 children receive at this elementary level school (at the top in New Hampshire!). The small, quaint atmosphere allows for better attention to both the child and the parent, often getting response within the hour to questions! What makes this school stand out though is the willingness to listen and change. Memorial harkens back to a day when schools were basic, yet it has all the modern necessities (i.e. advanced technology). In my opinion, no school is perfect however, and should always have room for improvement. Where I see this is in the areas of child to teacher placement, music program and math program (although good as they sit now). I have moved within this district and have had my children attend the other schools, and truly find Memorial at the top.
Bedford's best kep secret. Small class sizes overall. Some great teachers (Christine Madison, Kathy Stavenger) here with small class sizes. Would like to see physical education curriculum to expand, and parent eacher organization to meet routinely at different hours (they meet during school hours so if you work, (even teach), you're out of luck. Flavoring could be changed with other involvement. Tough going if you have an active playground child--very strict rules on behavior on playground.
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