My son is currently in the second grade. He has been in Berkely school since kindergarden. Our experience with the teachers have been great. My son has ADHD. And we have had some difficult times through out the past two years. However, his teachers have been very supportive and understanding. He scored a 3 out of 3 for language skills and a 2 out of 3 for math. The problem i see is that not enough parents are involved. I am not part of the home and parent association and i do not dedicate time to the school; however, i do dedicate time to my son and his education.
Like any public school there are some really great teachers and some so-so teachers. My daughter has had a bit of a mixed experience at Berkeley. Overall, it's an adequate school, she scored very well on the NJ State ASK test, whatever she learned in grades 2-4 prepared her for it well enough. The administration is generally helpful (we've dealt with the Child Study team on a regular basis due to our daughter's ADD) if a bit disorganized at times. Important paperwork has been misplaced on a few occasions, etc. I don't want to say too many bad things about Berkeley, since everyone there seems to have a good heart and wants the children to do well and I have seen some improvement over the years.
I honestly beleive that the Principal in this school is very good. She seems to be on top of everything and is trying her best to address the issues in the school. You are correct in reference to the issues with theft but those issues need to also be addressed by the parents of the children not only the school itself. in reference to parents involvement unfortunatly not every parent has a 9-5 job or can take time off in order to attend those meetings. My daughter is very happy in this school and as a working parent my only issue is that they dont provide after school programs.
The principal leadership is horrible. There are no extracurricular activities. There is slim to none parent involvement as well as teachers being involved with the PTA. They need to get a handle on the constant theft issues this year. It is as if the children that attend this school have no positive direction which is definitely needed for these young minds to grow. I am very disappointed with performance of this school for the past 2 years.