Our positive experience at BMS has been declining over the past two years. Honors class sizes are large, students use tablets/Chrome Books for learning-actual textbooks are not used in some classes & teaching/learning is only from computer. Honors classes move quickly, sometimes leaving students behind. The Common Core method is being taught & students who are struggling with math (like Algebra) are also struggling to change to the method CC requires. This prevents parents from helping their student b/c they do not know how to work problems the CC way. A tutor who knows CC will be needed. Kids can access computer games & play in class. A teacher told me kids cannot be stopped from playing during class because, "I have 30 kids in class to keep track of". Power Point presentations are sometimes the only material used for teaching. Teacher collects info. from sources, arranges onto slides & the students to teach themselves. Students study for tests off of a PP presentation. Computers should be a supplement for learning. Study skills are not taught. If your elementary school does not do this in 5th grade then help from home! A positive, the TEAMS class has been enjoyable!
Blythewood Middle School is a top notch educational facility where academics come first! Teachers want their students to succeed and provide many opportunities for that to come to past. They also provide many extra curricular activities such as Student Council, Charger Art, Model UN, and many, many more! They also provide an technology enriched environment with ITEC and iPAC classrooms which provide 1:1 computing. The only con that this school has is that the student to teacher ratios are very varied. For instance, I had a Honors Science class with 20:1 ratio and a Honors ELA class with 31:1 ratio. Other than that, it is a great school!
Academics are of top priority at Blythewood MIddle. The teachers are very helpful and most are willing to go the extra mile to stay after school to help a struggling student. They offer computer based courses, as well as advanced and Honors classes for students who are advanced. If your child is at the top of the Honors class, I have not seen any further help to keep the student engaged. The administrators are very no nonsense. I thought this was good at first, but I now believe it is to the detriment of the students social development. There is ZERO free time. Lunch is conducted in the cafeteria, and volume is kept low. Choosing where they get to sit is an occasional treat. Immediately following lunch its straight back to work. No standing around, no time to unwind. Inmates have more freedom than these students do.
This is one of the best schools in Columbia. The curriculum is challenging, the administration is active and supportive, and the faculty and staff are outstanding. Each child is made to feel special. There is something for everyone here. The PTO presents tons of opportunities for parental involvement.