Our two older students are now in middle school and we have one elementary child at this school.We have always loved this school and our children have had many wonderful learning experiences. There is a new principal as of the 2015-2016 school year. There is an insincere edgy quality to this person, and the school climate seems to be in jeopardy. I think a lot of the excellent teachers will be driven away by that. This is so unfortunate. Wise leadership makes all the difference.
I'm now going to 7th grade but this was the best elementary school I've ever went to put of the 3. I attented this school for kindergarten through 3rd grade. I made some really close friends at this school. The kids are friendly and definitely the teachers. The lunch was delicious. The playgrounds were so much fun because there's two of them! (Sand and grass) I had outstanding report cards thanks to all my teachers!
What a wonderful, nurturing school. We, parents, are fortunate to have AMAZING teachers work daily with our two children and soon third. However, because of various reasons, I believe, the school has some classrooms that are not as challenging or as engaged as others. The experience, from the parents' side, is "hit or miss", an inconsistency of quality of teachers from year to year. It is apparent to those parents, who are extremely well informed, which teachers are excellent in each year. However, unfair to those parents who may be less in the "know" there some less than enthusiastic teachers that are part of the school as well. The principal is very caring and we appreciate her attention to many details. However, her attention to minutia and details do not help her to see a strategic vision for the school nor help her to implement and work on larger changes or issues. Transparency for information, whether good or not so good, is always helpful to parents. She is not forthcoming with challenging information and will bog us many times down with too much detail. Leadership means having to do and say things in a timely way that is sometimes difficult.
As an educator, I find this school to be an excellent place in which to work. Staff cohesiveness is strong, exceeding that of many comparable schools that struggle to create unity in their vision to meet the needs of the students. The principal is a team player who supports all staff and welcomes democratic processes that create a collaborative system in which all interested players have a hand. Parental involvement at Bandelier outstrips most other schools, with dedicated parents who put their thoughts and ideas into action through advocacy and participation. The Banda Bear community makes this a well-rounded school of high quality.