This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Big Apple Academy2
Posted June 25, 2014
- a parent
Overrated, overpriced, loosely managed school with the biggest accent on charging clients lots of money while hiring poorly trained, uncertified, inept teachers. This is not a school - this is an overly expensive parking lot of your children.
Wish city would take this school as a model for public schools. cost per child is much lower than what city pay. Most parents are happy with education. I am very happy. The only reason i am posting the review is because i was looking for official address and did a quick Google and got to this site. I really do not care what others think I know I am doing the right thing for my child.
After reading the reviews I decided to post one myself. As a parent of a child who attended Bambi for K and also as the husband of someone who taught at the school. Most of the teachers are NOT licensed. Some of the younger teachers have yet to graduate college let alone have a master's. My daughter needed therapy after the negative reinforcement techniques used by the teachers. When we got next to the school each morning, this usually happy child would put her head down and beg not to go. When she couldn't do 2nd grade math problems (in Kindergarten) the teacher actually threatened to write "DUMMY" on her forehead with a permanent marker. When my wife confronted her, she didn't even deny it. The admin staff encourages teachers to give good grades even if the children don't deserve them in order to prevent parents from pulling their kids from the school. My wife who is a licensed NYS teacher with a Masters pulled my daughter out and left the school herself. By far the biggest mistake we ever made.
My kid had been studying in that school starting from pre-school and finishing last year in the 9th grade. Unfortunately there wasn't 10th grade in the school, otherwise my child would have been there for sure.
Two of the departments that really stand out in my memory are the Math and English departments. Math teachers in this school are really strong and very serious about their subject. Lessons were very clear and homework assignments were challenging enough for us to absorb the material, but not overwhelming. I recall seeing math topics studied at other schools and they were a joke in comparison to the ones we learnt. English classes... I cannot stress how difficult it is to encounter good English teachers nowadays and I have seen quite a few from different middle schools. They often do not teach grammar or skim through the reading texts and just focus on having their students perform on simple standardized exams, which I hate. In Big Apple Academy this is really not the case. They have strong faculty for both - grammar and literature lessons. This really helps once you get to taking SAT's for colleges. I came to BAMBI knowing no English at all and got perfect on the SAT English and 75% of grammar I needed I learnt at BAMBI. Overall, once I got to high school, I realized just how well prepared I was in all the departments. BAMBI is a great and challenging environment.
One thing that is truly unique to this school is the attention provided by faculty. Everyone - from teachers to the principal - is available for parents and students to talk to. The environment is respectful and caring. I do not remember being in a situation when I, as a student, had a problem - personal or academic - and was not offered help from the faculty. I really enjoyed the personal approach to academics. My classmates and I knew the teachers and felt free to speak to them about our progress and the subject material. If we ever had questions, they were always answered. In general, I would say that this school is for those who want to succeed. If a student is serious about academics and wanting to learn, he/she will REALLY benefit from this program. If a student wants to slack off, this school is not right for them. The only negative feedback I ever heard about the school came from students and parents of students who wanted to breeze through school without lifting a finger. In terms of the environment, students become really close friends. Teachers move from class to class - not students, which makes it a lot easier to interact during breaks. I had a great experience.
BAMBI was the first school I attended in the United States after I immigrated from Russia. Teachers helped me assimilate, learn the language and get up to speed in all of the subjects. Within two years, the school prepared me for the SHSAT and I got into Staten Island Tech without having to receive outside tutoring or paying ridiculous amounts for the preparatory programs. When I started attending SIT, I felt confident in all of the subject areas and aced my classes, not without BAMBI's influence. I now attend MIT; I got here without participating in any of the SAT prep programs. I feel that math, English, and science base I received in BAMBI helped carry me through high school years and really aided in preparation for most of the standardized tests I took for college admission. I sincerely recommend this school.
I was concerned about this school because of some reviews and even more concerned when I went there for tour and was unfortunate enough to be toured by careless secretary who kept texting someone on her phone while talking to us. So we decided to give this school another chance and still went for placement test to Kindergarten at Big Apple Academy. That was a shame of organization. They put about 100 parents with their kids at the SAME time into ONE space - tight hallway. Nobody gave us any direction or tried to organize crowd somehow. Everything was very chaotic. And THAT was my daughter's first schools experience! I looked at this disorganized crowd and thought: will stuff of this school be able to organize students and get them out in case of emergency??? I doubt that. Sorry, but this school is out of our list.