This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
British International School5
Posted August 13, 2014
- a parent
FANTASTIC SCHOOL! First of all, I am writing this of my own free will, not because anyone has asked me to. I am a longstanding parent at the school and each one of my kids is extremely happy and either academically on par or ahead of where they should be. I have several family members within the NC school system in various roles, so I am well versed on both public and private curriculums in the area. It is important to know this is not a traditional school, and as such kids are not bogged down at an early age with homework and tests. That comes at a later age as kids move through the system and mature. Teachers here are top notch and DO NOT bully children. I thought my kids could comment on this best and their response was-absolutely not, never! International mindedness is of the utmost importance and is interwoven in almost every subject taught. Most kids here have a rather sophisticated knowledge of the global world in which we live. Unlike most other schools, they do not skim the surface on anything, they dig deep and dissect. Form your own opinion, but know for many of us, this is an amazing school which teaches kids to make the world a better place in which to live.
BEWARE!!!!! I agree with the recent reviewer who mentioned that parents are asked to flood this site with positive reviews after there is a negative review. Our son attended this school for quite a long time. In talking with other parents who had already pulled their children out of this school, we found that children who had attended this school for a long time were academically far behind kids who were in other private schools and even public schools (many of which are quite good here.) Their kids are playing catch-up. The other very serious issue is the number of kids who struggle emotionally after having attended this school for a while. I have never seen anything like it. They portray an image of being friendly and kind - a "safe" environment. It is exactly opposite. The culture of bullying (even by teachers!) is almost pervasive. Talking to the administration about it is like talking to the air. I personally heard teachers screaming at kids (when they didn't know I was there). It took us a while to realize that this school is mirage - an acting job by the administration.
Today my son returned to BASC after having started his high school experience. He could not wait to go back to share in his accomplishments no different than he was able to share his learning with his peers and mentors while at BASC in an atmosphere of individualized learning and partnership. I was asked what helped prepare him for his transition, and I replied the instilling of emotional well-being and confidence that he can meet any challenge with the tools he not only received but integrated during his 4 years, his middle school years, at BASC which were truly a gift.
My son is in his second year at British American School of Charlotte. He is 12 and in his 12 years we considered and toured almost every private school in Charlotte as well as the leading public schools. It was an easy choice. This school truly stands behind their motto and deliver "personal learning". This starts with the team and family feeling you get from all the staff. You can feel their happiness with their jobs and school family immediately. It is clear they are a team and happy to be so. This translates to them knowing their students uniquely. Each teacher seems to know my son whether they have taught him personally or not. And all this leads to a safe and invigorating learning atmosphere. The teachers feel safe to take risks and support each other, and this passes to the students. Their curriculum gets learning and development right. It is based on the kids and not on arbitrary rules. It is detailed and thorough and my son thrives. We are extremely happy here!
Make no mistake: This is a for-profit school, and they do a good job of selling an image.I would urge anyone reading these reviews to take note of the dates of the reviews below. The school encourages parents to post positive reviews whenever a negative one is posted online. So please, take all the five-star reviews with a grain of salt. My story: My child was at BASC for five full years. After a one year in the exemplary CMS school in my neighborhood, I wish I'd never spent the money. BASC is good for 2-3-4 year olds, and they have some good teachers, But the small class size in the older grades can really work against a child socially. Almost every parent I know who's had a child at BASC takes that child back a year when they leave. They don't learn study skills or how to handle exams. For all the talk of high academic standards, diversity and international focus, our local elementary does a much better job, and with better discipline and perhaps most importantly, accountability. Another issue is the transient nature of many of the teachers. Very often, they literally don't even set foot in Charlotte before coming here, and some don't like it (and it shows.)
Teachers are phenomenal here and contrary to what is said below, there is no yelling here. I am a veteran parent and volunteer much time at the school on multiple projects. I have never seen or heard of any yelling. Between my 3 children and 7 years here, I have spent a lot of time there. The admin is extremely objective and very willing to listen to calm reasonable parents. I would suggest reading a fabulous book called Mindset by Carol Dweck. The beliefs in this book are embraced at the school. I believe the curriculum at every level is top notch but not for one looking for a traditional education. I don't see any deficits in some areas as mentioned below. I see a school that is extremely forward thinking, very personal in their approach, and very conscious of preparing our kids for a global world where the jobs they will have probably have not yet been created. Kids are loved and respected, academically pushed when appropriate, motivated, and their achievements are always recognized here no matter how big or small those achievements may be.
As an expat family who moves in and out of international schools frequently, we couldn't be more happy with BASC! The teachers and staff truly understand the needs of children, especially ones who are transitioning to new cultures, new learning styles and new friends. We first found BASC after returning from an assignment in Belgium and this is our second round at BASC. We spent the last year in London and our three children picked right up where they left off with friends and curriculum. A huge emphasis is placed on individual student learning and personal development. We wouldn't have our kids anywhere else! I believe the teachers have a true love of teaching children and you can feel it when you walk into the school! Our children are so sad to be leaving this year as we are off on another assignment. However, we will never leave our BASC family and are confident that through the efforts of the staff, our children are prepared for our next adventure!
Our daughter has grown exponentially since enrolling at BASC. She is suddenly reading (she is not yet four years old), speaking both French and Spanish, and has become much more socially aware. She dislikes the weekends, and constantly asks when it will be Monday again so she can go to school! It doesn't get better than that!
Someone termed this school Charlotte's best kept secret and that is the truth. If you are looking for a school with excellent academics, but also a caring atmosphere, BASC is it. We are thrilled with the progress our children are making. They are way ahead of their peers and they simply love attending school. There are so many differences in the way this school approaches learning - too many to describe here. Its amazing.