Just happened to find this website recently. Shocked to see the negative comments back then. We have quite a different experience. I check out the websites of both GL & UCVTS today, lots of acknowledgement and awards go to the Mountainside kids, and it I understand that it has always been this way. They are well prepared for High Schools, even at the competitive ones. The results speak for themselves.
Poor preparation for high school. Class sizes are 24+. They stop teaching right after NJASK. They have a medley of school class trips, field days, many movies and "historical videos", board games, dodge ball games and generalized baby sitting until the end of June. The teachers are absent very frequently at the end of the school year. What a waste of time! Then, to cap off the year there is a popularity awards event. Just what we need another pat on the back for supposed humility!! The three stars is an act of generosity to keep up my property value.
We had two children at Deerfield. The older (daughter) did well despite the mediocre level of teachers and staff at Deerfield. The principal did little to offer advanced courses comparable to those in Berkeley Heights. Our son was more typical of the average level student at Deerfield. Every effort we made to get him into a more challenging class, particularly math, was blocked by the principal. The school failed him and many other boys. There is now some pressure from the Berkeley Heights school district to improve the preparation that Deerfield offers - since they do not want BH students to suffer from the lack of preparation their Mountainside peers have .
The school , town and people are wonderful. We have opened a new school. we now have two schools (k-2) and (3-8). Our test scores have soared over the past year and new programs have been set to make the school that much better. They keep the parents involved as well. Its a great place to be and is just getting bigger and better.
Deerfield, because it is only K-8, is lacking in a lot of services that larger schools have. For example, my daugther does chorus and band, which meets before school starts and is not considered part of the curriculum (there is no music room). Sports are very limited - no football field, or track. We have to provide all the supplies for science labs, and the labs are not real labs, just classrooms. The library is tiny and very limited in terms of resources. The after-school program consists of kids sitting in the cafeteria and coloring while TV is played at very high volume.-no music room