Ella Baker follows a progressive educational model, is small, and brings students together from across New York City. You really have to want this for your child to be here with joy. We live in a school district that does not have this type of school available. We consider ourselves quite fortunate to have discovered Ella Baker. Our daughter (pre-k) loves this place. In the mornings, she leaps into school and runs down the hall happy to be there. At home, she casually talks about what she has learned. Her teachers have been so welcoming and supportive. We like the trips which support the learning taking place in the classroom. We like that staff want to be there. We like that the schools co-located in the building have a good relationship with each other. Unfortunately, I think the change in recent years by DOE in how pre-k seats are distributed has affected the school's stability between pre-k and k. I hope the school can manage this change. I also wish the overall parent body was more active. There is a strong core of parent leaders, but the city wide reach of the school may impact the level of overall involvement.
My child is going to second grade and still struggles in reading. I think the school should invest more in teach writing and reading more than drawing, painting, coloring... Going to the Bronx zoo and taking the kids ice skating doesn't make it a good school. No books or notebooks are required. Homework only once or twice a week, and 1 or 2 pages.
If you are a parent who believe that children learn best when they are happy (which studies show is true), this school is for you. They focus on creativity and student led learning. So many schools are trying to cram a bunch of facts into kids heads. Here students learn through hands on activities, there is work time every day where students can choose from a list of activities, in K its pretend, blocks, sand table, water, writing, art, etc. Really involved calm happy class rooms with experienced teachers that have been there a long time. Very happy with the school.
I have a child graduating this year. She has been at Ella Baker since kindergarten. I think it is an excellent school. She has excelled well with the program which I thought at times was too liberal. But time has proved it has been successful. She has been excepted into every school she applied for as her first choice. She will be attending a very elite school next September. She has learned to be a very outgoing person and has made some lasting friends. I think the teaching staff is excellent and over the years have gotten to know they really care about the students. It has been an excellent nine years being involved with Ella Baker.
A wonderful, small, progressive school with a play-based curriculum. Amazing teachers, great student to teacher ratio. Children love to learn at Ella Baker. It's like a small town school in the big city.
I'm a mom of Pre-k child.. Wonderful teachers! They really take care of our children.. They check if our kids are happy, if they eat well, if they have fun and what they need!!!!! This happen every single day!!!!
I agree with the struggling student below. My advise to you is get a tutor quickly. I took my child out of the school but I wish I would have donr it sooner. Parents when you have your child take an independent test is when you will truly realize how much they don't know. Also the student are correct the prior graduating classes are struggling my child never had to write a book report or work on a project independently. Everything was done in school and now he struggles to work independently and complete a project. I have been to many orientations and curriculum nights and again the student comments below are correct its all repetative. The principals daughter attends the school and that age group gets to utilize all the extra funding. Also the community coordinators out of control daughter attends as well. This place is a friendly daycare but the children need to be educated. The math teaching is a joke the kids just don't get it the way they teach and they are extremely scattered. The school leadership team is a joke they never discuss the budget or try to get the student outside help the Principal hides everything she is a sneaky slick lady. Get your kids or her out of there.
I have been a student in Eb for a long time and I want to seriously inform others I deeply regret going there. I hardly learned anything my entire time there because many of the kids where struggling, and not because our curriculum was stimulating or challenging, but because we simply didn't really have strong foundation on any of the major core subjects. The students that were actually capable were dragged because others were failing, in response our teachers would make us review simple math and English rules over and over, which we were supposed to master in 5th or 6th?! Also the teachers can seriously be unorganized. We would work on one project then jump to another without completing the other. Student are barely given opportunity to express ourselves in a variety of extra curriculum too. There isn't that much to do. The only thing I liked in EB was how cool the staff was. They are really kind and concerned for the kids. The school is like a big happy family, but as a student I felt like I needed to put my future before my social life. EB is undergoing many changes, some good and bad, but overall it needs to improve a lot, starting from when the kids are at a young age.
I used to think that the whole "no textbook, no test" thing was odd too. You just have to get used to a new philosophy, which is made pretty clear at parent orientation. My son is in fourth grade. He is doing great in academics, but he's also a kinder, more thoughtful person now, since we switched him from "regular" school to Ella Baker.
My child's teacher sends a family letter home every week, which explains the curriculum she is doing in her classroom. When I have a question, I e-mail her and she explains it. I also like that much of the day is spent doing projects, and that the projects vary according to the children's abilities and interests.
I agree with the last persons opinion. This is a place that talks a big talk but does not live up to it. Your regular public school is better. Some teachers are really good, but they are few and far between. The vice principal is running the place. The principal arrives late and leaves early. 3pm sharp. They are very disorganized. Well meaning, but disorganized. The kids seem to all fall behind because of it.
Stay away from this school. They promise the world and do not deliver. Their curriculum is 'non-curriculum', or your child makes it up as he goes along. Nobody can articulate what or how they are teaching and the are rabidly anti-testing, yeah that thing your child HAS TO TAKE. The problem lies at the top of this school. The Principal is not strong. She's nice, but not much of a leader. the wishy-washiness starts with her and cascades down through the ranks.
I can say that I'm a parent of a 4th grader and Pre K student and been around since Ella Baker came about. I can truly say it's a very safe and friendly enviroment and the kids do learn on their own pace, however I do feel that no matter what school your child attend, parents still have to play a role in their childs acdemic learing procees. So I leave saying eventhough, Ella Baker state exams numbers are not high that does not mean your child is not learning. Test numbers does not prove that your child is smart.
I have been to Ella Baker for three years it was a good school in fun activities but not to much in other activities it was a excellent school and I made lots of friends.
Ella Baker is truly a great school despite what test scores reveal. When my child entered this school under an NCLB transfer he was struggling socially which prohibits academic growth, when many schools would have given up and recommended alternative placements EB remained steadfast and worked diligently and tirelessly with him. As a result his academic performance improved, test scores went up and he will enter an academically rigorous HS ready to meet any challenges they put before him. More importantly, he has become a critical thinker,life long learner, and best of all a confident, caring young man.
My daughter go to Ella Baker, and I LOVE it. EVERYONE at that school, and I mean everyone every parent, every teacher, every child is open, accepting, and lovely. The environment at this school is the best for learning and growing that I've seen.......I'm going to miss it and am praying the school my child goes to next year is half as good as this one.
I have two children at this school, one in 4th grade and one in Kindergarden, they've been there for six years. I thought like other parents that Ella Bakers' focus on designing their curriculum based on the students interests was good. But the lack of homework, text books and basic boundaries and dicipline has changed our view. We decided to get our chidren tested by an independant learning center and the results were shocking. Our 4th grader was grossly behind in reading comprehension, vocabulary, compostion writing, and 'math' forget about it. Our kindergardener is behind in age appropriate letter writing and math skills but since he's so young his deficiencies are not as severe. Ella Baker is a fierce opponent to standardized testing and based on their low scores I can see why.
My son has just been accepted into Ella Baker and I couldn't be happier. It is the perfect school for him. Rather than focusing on test scores, Ella Baker focuses on designing curriculum based on the student's interests. Kids have recess twice a day and in the winter, they go ice skating once a week. The balance of play, arts and study is a perfect formula for engaging interest and love of learning.
great creativity and collabritive studies of multiple subjects such as music,chorus,dance,poetry,photography,and technoligy
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