This school was a waste of my son's time. He has ADHD and they couldn't cope with his issues. Whenever he wanted to show his intelligence, they would force him to take a break while recess happened. This doesn't match his personality, because he is a really active person who likes to run around and play. If your child wants to learn, but struggles, don't send him/her there. Failure may be guaranteed for these types of kids. However, some people may have enjoyed their education there, because they were able to survive a small school with a big classroom. This school needs an update.
BHMS is a seriously bottom heavy school, with over a hundred kids in Pre-school & around 20 in the entire Middle School. Those 20 kids are pretty tight, but I worry about them heading off to HS. Complaints? We were advised to remove our eldest child who had learning problems whilst another more cashed up family were offered 2 years of preferential treatment for their more academically challenged boy. The School is VERY $$$ friendly. The board is almost exclusively made up of club of wealthy white moms, whose entire Modus Operandi seems to bring MORE rich white moms to the school. When my kids started their over 10 years ago, the BHMS parent community was such a mixed society of artists, musicians, grocery store clerks, bankers & all... Now it seems the trust fund kids are running the show. Bullying is an issue. One close friend had their child hounded from the school mid year. Teachers seem ill equipped or unwilling to deal. The music department is HORRENDOUSLY run. Sports are improving. My youngest flourishes in the school however. Academically & socially it's the perfect fit for him, though he'll be removed before Middle School to get used to the real world.
My oldest child spent eight years in the school, and her three younger siblings also attended. All four of them flourished there with all their different personalities, abilities, and interests. BHMS is a small school that allows every child to have their time to shine. The school remains true to Maria Montessori's tenants through middle school. This is a great for the kids, but often difficult for some parents who start worrying that their child will not be able to deal with the larger competitive environment when they leave the school. Having seen so many alumni excel and thrive when they leave for larger and more traditional schools. I can attest that those fears are not warranted. My children were instilled with the self-confidence, a self-directed love for learning, the desire to perform service, and to have respect for others. Two years have passed since we moved from Brooklyn, but my girls still carry those values with them.
We absolutely adore this school. We have a child in both the Upper Elementary division and one in pre-K and we have been blown away by the balance of structure and freedom afforded our children. The environment seems remarkably "safe," or free from cliques and overly-competitive families. There are very high academic expectations as the children rise through the program, and the Montessori pedagogy at work in pre-K has been nothing short of a revelation. (Our oldest went to another "prestigious" pre-k and there is honesty no comparison between the two.) The faculty is engaged and encouraging and the facilities are top-class. It is a smaller school, but we enjoy the benefits that come from the more intimate environment.
This school disappoints both academically and socially. While they talk a good game, the classes are too big and the teachers too checked out to really nurture small children. My child responded to the classroom structure academically but we were shocked to find so little "guiding" done in our class. Kindness is not a classroom value. Bullying and bad behavior go unchecked, as does their work. When we were reviewing a book of subtraction our child had made, some of the answers were wrong. When we asked how the child corrects the work we were told they don't bother with that until the kids are older. We didn't see high quality work displayed from the upper grades so we won't be back next year.
BHMS is a wonderful school. My children have been at this school since preschool and are now in the elementary grades. They are very happy at school and have developed close relationships with their teachers and peers. The children stay with the same teachers for 3 years which allows for these relationships and the teachers really get to know their students both academically and personally. Because of the mixed aged classrooms -- a component of the Montessori philosophy -- the children are encouraged to move beyond their "grade level." Older children take on leadership roles within the class, often teaching and aiding younger children. If children are advanced in certain areas, they are encouraged to work beyond his/her grade level. There are two teachers in each classroom, so the children receive a lot of individualized attention. Children make choices about their work which gives them a sense ownership and responsibility. At BHMS, they don't just talk about educating the "whole child," they actually do it.
I couldn't be happier with BHMS. My two children, who are quite different both adore this school and so do we. The Montessori Method was new to us - mixed age classes child centered, emphasis on community and courtesy - but after four years I am completely sold and feel lucky they are a part of this community. They are engaged, love to learn and have terrific friends. It is different and if you are looking for a school that teaches to the test, fosters competition, and uses standardized methods this is not that school. For us, BHMS really gets it right in terms of educating kids to be people. They are unapologetic about not doing test prep, but do not look down on parents that feel that is important. The materials are great for learning - especially preschool math such as skip counting chains and cubes. The geography study is amazing (map making, culture study) . Not every child will choose every work so they do move along differently. In first grade, they study different virtues, keep a journal, do a lab experiment and present it to the class, have lessons on Shakespeare, cook in the test kitchen, learn Spanish, dance, drama, music...The school is great.
Honestly this school should lose its green medallion or at least be re evaluated for its current state of education teaching etc.
My children have attended the school for 5 years now and we have been very happy with the school. One of my sons had difficulty at first being in a mixed age class. He has sensory issues, adjusting to older children, the fact that they bring the younger kids to their level as opposed to the other way around was overwhelming to my son. I thought the teachers did a spectacular job working with my son. They identified it early, met with us, and had constructive solutions for inside and outside the class. My son now thrives at the school socially and academically. My wife and I joke that it has been a while since we needed a pre-conference conference for our son. Academically he has never had problem with the work, and we have found him to be challenged and doing very well. All and all it has been a great experience and we look forward to many more years at the school.
We had a terrible experience at this school. My daughter, who entered in kindergarten, was constantly bullied in her class, as the other children, who had been in the same class for 3 years, did not want to accept the "new girls". When I complained to the teacher, she minimized the situation. When I went to the administration for help, they immediately became defensive, and started to create a campaign against my family, without even addressing the bullying. After 3 months, we needed to pull both both of our children out of the school, as my daughter was severely traumatized. Sorry for the bad news, but I don't want any other family to have to go through what we endured.
Don't get me wrong, I think this is a fantastic school from Pre-School to 3rd grade. I attended BHMS for 11 years and I was very happy with the school until 4th grade. Then things started turning sour, where theories like "independence" and "self-motivated learning" translated into a lack of discipline and academic challenge. The math and science programs also stray far behind those of other upper elementary and middle schools, and though I do consider myself to have a natural aptitude for math, I have consistently found myself confused in high school when my math teachers are running on the assumption that we learned a concept in middle school. Frequently, I haven't. That said, I think the history and English programs are fantastic, and I think the teachers are very good people who are great at building a sense of a loving family community. I really did enjoy my time at BHMS, but I also would have liked to be better prepared in math and science.
Many positives here, but a few negatives - Students with behavioral issues are not always counseled out, I'm concerned fundraising plays a part in this. Teacher feedback in PT conferences is very often lacking, many teachers are severely unprepared for the conference and look for the parents to take the lead. Administration has apparently done nothing to correct this. Need more science, math, arts. Need more transparency with success of graduating 8th graders.
I would recommend this school for kids who will be attending grades pre-k-6th grade. I am current student attending grade 8. My 7th grade year was dissapointing and so is my 8th grade year. The math department is beyond poor. When taking the standardize test I had no clue what quantative reasoning was and neither did my fellow classmates. BHMS did NOTHING to prepare us for tests that count when im trying to get into high schools. BHMS did NOTHING to prepare the 8th grade for the ISEE or SHSAT. My parents have told the school before that the math is terrible, but they don't listen. They should revamp the whole math system from pre-k to 8th. The spanish is terrible as well as Language Arts. Sports are very weak.
This school was very disappointing. My 5 year old was placed in a mixed age preschool classroom of 22 children with 2 teachers. There were many children misbehaving and many of the 5 year olds (including my son) were extremely bored with the school work and materials, and frustrated with the younger children's behavior. Now that my son is in a school with a stimulating (and challenging) curriculum he is flourishing. I do not recommend this school.
I went to this school from 4th to 8th grade. My first three years were great, but once I got to middle school, I found that the humanities department was excellent, but the math, science, and spanish departments were inadequate. By the end of 8th grade, I was definitely not prepared for high school in these subjects. , I left the school a year ago, so I don't know how the school has changed since than. I've heard that it is much better than last year thanks to the new head of the upper school. Still, I believe that this school is best for younger children. If you have an older child, this school might not be the best choice.
This is my three year old daughter's second year at BHMS. I can say without reservation that we are exceptionally pleased with her experience. She eagerly looks forward to school each day. I am particularly impressed with the head of school, Dane Peters. He is at the front door each morning greeting everyone as they arrive, and seems to know every student and parent by name. He will think nothing of getting up on a crane to change lightbulbs before a fundraising event, but he will also write a provocative essay about the Montessori methodology. My daughter is quite precocious, so we love that she is now in a class of 3, 4 and 5 year olds. This allows her to learn from the older kids, and not necessarily 'run the show' all the time. Alternately, I've witnessed some of her very shy classmates really blossom here.
That is another problem with the school, the inconsistancy of the teachers. Mostof my 8th grade year, besisdes for applying to higschool, I felt as if I was donig nothing, and I know many of my former classmates can attest to this. My other classmates did not take the school seriously and acted disrespectivly towards others because of the lack of discipline and academic load on the students. I felt ill prepared for most of my high school work load and very confused on the subject. I now have a hard time writing a structured essay or tackling a word problem in math class. This is a great school for younger kids and I highly reccomend it if you want a small, loving, family community, but because the Upper Elementry and the Middle School are still fairly new, they haven't gotten the chance to adjust it yet.
It is absolutely wonderful. My second grader has been there since the age of three and I, and my daughter, could not be happier. There is a wonderful community feeling when you walk through the doors every morning. The parents are friendly and welcoming and the students are happy and easygoing. The faculty and support staff are outstanding and are receptive to parent participation and feedback. There is an active Parent's Association and the social activities have good representation from all divisions: Preschool, Lower & Upper Elementary, Middle School and The Little Room, a special school within the school for young children with speech and language delays. We are big fans of BHMS!
I have had children in the school for nine years now. There are many things that are wonderful about this school. Mixed age grouping, whereby smaller children look up to older ones and want to do what they do. Older children reinforce what they have learned by teaching younger children. The teachers are with your child for three years and really know his/her strengths and weaknesses. Hands on learning. Love of learning. Great teachers! Parents are involved. Global curriculum. We are very happy at this school and highly recommend it.
My daughter has been at BHMS for 4 years and loves it. We seriously considered moving out of the city. Her adoration of BHMS was the primary reason we stayed. BHMS allows each child to excel and fosters a love of learning. The teachers know the children so well. At each conference and in each report, there is an annecdote that paints such a clear picture of my daughter. I love the community feeling. It's like the entire family goes there. It's common to see parents chatting, socializing, planning or volunteering after dropping their children off. The academics and extra curriculars are of big school caliber. It's really a small community who has spent the last 5 years developing and starting to implement a strong financial plan. This spring the middle school did Midsummer Night's Dream. The sets, acting and directing were phenomenal. I cannot say enough good things about BHMS.
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