We have lots of experience with private, public schools and international schools as we moved quite a bit over the years. We are very happy with the teachers - they had provided my son with great support and challenges that had helped him grow. He is a happy student here! To top it all, the PTO organizes a variety of after-school enrichment programs that is affordable and fun. When I came here, I was told Niskayuna has the best schools and they certainly live up to the reputation and exceeded my expectation! The teachers and the principal here make a great difference! Please continue the great work!
My daughter's been a Birchwood student since kindergarten (she is now in 3rd), and I have to say I'm stunned by the first reviewer's report of her experiences. My daughter had the same 1st grade teacher, and it's VERY hard for me to imagine Mrs. C. behaving the way this mom describes. I also cannot see any teacher working with Mrs. B. (the principal) behaving this way and remaining on staff. I feel for any parent whose child struggles with school or skills (BTW, my daughter also couldn't tie her shoes until end of 2nd grade), but I hope this mom did write her letter or make some attempt to talk this over with the teacher. In my experience, staff at Birchwood bend over backwards to provide services to students who need ANY kind of developmental support (including motor skills). Finally--the notes sent home for fundraisers, staff appreciation lunch, etc. are from the PTO, not the school or the staff. The funds raised by the PTO pay for things like educational assemblies, class field trips (otherwise a thing of the past, since the district no longer funds them), extra equipment, plus fun FREE events like the End-of-Year Ice Cream Social for students and families.
We are new to Niskayuna this year, coming from a district the next town over and need to say I am NOT impressed with this school or their "professionalism" or "care for their students." Seems the staff care more about themselves and their staff appreciation luncheon donations than the kids - seriously 4 memos home on giving $ or food - where are your priorities? My sons 1st Grade teacher is a horror story (I've asked 6 other parents all share the same feeling)!!! She told him two weeks ago he couldn't leave to go to the bathroom and he pooped his pants, made him stay in it all day! Yesterday's issue (he has some fine motor skills issues) and we've been working on him tying his own shoelaces. I pick him up and he's crying saying she screamed and threatened him that if he didn't learn to tie his laces by the end of the week - it doesn't matter how well he does on his weekly work he will not be getting any reward stickers (which mean the world to him) until he masters this. How about sending a note home first Ms. C or calling to discuss? Not bullying or threatening a child??? Now I need to write her a letter because it will get VERY UGLY if I walk in there!
The teachers and atmosphere are very positive at Birchwood. Teachers are up-to-date on new teaching techniques and guinine caring of the students and the schooll. My grand-daughter attends Birchwood and she loves it-she is very positive about herself and has learned to be positive with her friends. There is always laughter in the halls of the school and they have great parent and student activities that are done together..
My son is high-functioning autistic and the teachers and students at this school are the best! All are very kind, supportive and accepting. He was a new student to 5th grade and it has been as if he had been there all along. He is very happy.