Our school, Blythe Academy, is a creative, diverse, and rigorous learning environment. All three of my children attend Blythe, and the greatest strength is the amazing teachers. Each of my children has been able to excel in their strongest interests and has had support and encouragement in their weaknesses. Their teachers have been approachable in person and by email an phone. Love of reading is a huge emphasis in the classroom and in homework. Teachers us hands-on activities with manipulatives and classroom movement to reinforce concepts. I have had teachers use music, yoga, bubbles, cartoons, Legos and dance to teach through play. The principal is a strong leader. She is present in most classes daily to support the teachers. She makes sure the kids are safe. As a parent, I have had access to her easily through email and in person. She knows my kids by name. The excellent school rating and Palmetto Gold award speak for themselves. Legislators and community activists visit our school to see an example of how a partial immersion school in a downtown neighborhood can be so successful. Middle school teachers tell us how well- prepared our graduates are.
I have had one child go through the entire program at Blythe and 2 others that are currently in it and have consistently been impressed with the school's model for partial immersion, the quality of the teachers, communication with parents, and administrative leadership. Over the years that we have attended, the school has strengthened it's community and parental involvement, improved academic standing, and excelled in providing a safe, secure, stimulating and inspiring environment for children to learn. Blythe provides an excellent option for public school choice, as it provides a high quality program in a unique learning environment.
Blythe Academy is a wonderful partial immersion language school. This year (2012-13) Blythe received an Excellent Rating Overall on the Annual State Report Card. An Excellent Overall on "Closing the Gap" and an overall Grade of "A". What is incredible about this score is that 80% of the children at Blythe are taught Math, Science and Health in another language (either French or Spanish) and take these standardized tests in English. So not only are they able to do well on the tests but are learning the content in a different language. I have been an involved parent at the school for over 10 years and travel over 30 minutes one way to send my kids to school here. I am grateful to have the opportunity for my children to attend Blythe. Blythe has an incredible group of teachers that represent over 20 countries. The Principal and her staff provide strong leadership and are focused on Academic Achievement for all students. The PTA and SIC offer a great deal of support to the school with many opportunities for parental and community involvement within the school. Most importantly, the children love coming to Blythe and are getting a great education! What more can you ask for?
The children are not bilingual when they leave the school. I have had one go all of the way through (K-5 - 5th grade) and she knows the basics of Spanish. The principal is terrible and has no idea of what the program should be. The test scores are mediocre. The Spanish teachers don't know how to teach, they just know Spanish. I am definitely not impressed.
For those comments that Blythe immersion is available only to an "elite" few, I strongly disagree. My daughter as well as her friend were both accepted in the immersion program and neither one of us knows anyone at that school. If you have an older sibling, then yes, you are accepted before other students, but that is all magnet schools. Acceptance is based on how well your child scores on her recommendations, parent letter and interview. My daughter has had a wonderful K5 year, with great teachers and students.
The fifth grade teachers have really prepared my grandchild for middle school. The challenge program has been amazing for our grandchild. Every teacher she has had since K-5 has built on the previous experiences and I'm very thankful as a grandparent raising a grandchild.
My daughter has been in the Spanish Immersion program at Blythe since K5. Overall I am very satisfied with Blythe. The principal was new when we began so we have no one to compare her to. But I think she is really pulling the staff together to provide a good education for our kids. I have been happy with most of my daughter's teachers, but you will find good and average teachers from year to year in any school. Regardless of my opinion of their teaching abilities, all of her teachers have been very caring and attentive whenever I've brought concerns. All of the staff has been very caring and concerned about the safety of the children. The PTO is very involved and while it sometimes seems like a country club atmosphere, if you take time to get involved you will find it a welcoming environment.
To have my child graduate from elementary school fluent in Spanish is a gift. Blythe is amazing in that the teachers cover the required curriculum and manage to teach our children a second language at the same time, not skipping a beat. I feel that my child will be ahead of others within the state and across state lines upon completion of elemenary school and that is a great advantage. Also, the school is welcoming and has many volunteer opportunities. Blythe is a magnet school which means that many of the parents picked this particular school for their students. If it were not working, the choice would be gone. The fact that it is growing stronger and a more popular choice only adds to the excellence of this program.
Blythe is a wonderful, diverse school that provides an excellent environment for my children (who are both in the Spanish Immersion Program, K-5 and 4th grade) to grow and learn. The teachers are excellent and our principal provides solid leadership which focuses on quality academics in a safe and secure learning environment. We have an extremely dedicated and involved PTA at the school. I am consistently amazed at how my children are able to learn in both languages so effortlessly. It is a wonderful program!
Not impressed with Blythe. Office staff is less than stellar. Teachers are great, but school is falling apart from poor leadership.
I have 1 child in 3rd grade and another child in kindergarten at Blythe and we love it. They are both in the Spanish immersion program and we have seen nothing but excellent results from Blythe. It is very challenging and keeps my children on their toes. We cannot say enough good things about Blythe. It is a great foundation for their education.
Blythe Academy has been a wonderful experience for my children. I have a child in 1st grade French Immersion and a child in 4th grade French Immersion. I have been very pleased with their teachers and the academics in the classrooms. Along with that they are learning the French language. Also my daughter is in the challenge program that is offered in grades 3rd - 5th which has broadened her even more. Now we are now having the pleasure of starting the flute in our home, our talented music teacher gives more of her time to our students by offering band at our school. I grew up living in different areas and I believe learning any language at a young age will help a child in life. Our teachers, students and parents make this a great school!
Blythe Acdamey provides strong academic instruction as well as enrichment in foreign languages. The teachers are amazing and parent volunteers are very supportive.
Blythe is a wonderful school. The French K5 teacher is the best. All the children love her and learn so much. The children in my childs class are a great mix. Some are zoned to the school and others are able to join the program. The kids range from all walks of life.
Blythe is a good school, IF your child is a very visual learner, and is well ahead for their grade. It is NOT, however, a good school for any child who is struggling or simply 'average'. This school caters to the 'country club' set, and the kids who can keep their test scores up. The principal can be very hateful and rude if you question her judgement. There is LOTS of emphasis on PTA fundraisers and selling things. Overall, I'd say that if your child is average, or strugging, or you're not very well off, stay away from Blythe. It's all about who you know, how much you can contribute, and what you wear there.
When I went to Blythe, the teachers were really hands-on about learning. I went to Blythe in K-5 through 5th grade. I did the immersion program where I learned math, science, and health in spanish. I'm in 7th grade and I'm very fluent in spanish. The school that I go to is good because it focuses on international studies,so all that spanish really paid off!!!!
When comparing Blythe to other elementary schools in this area, there is no question as to which school comes out ahead. My daughter did not get into immersion in kindergarten but did for first grade. We are very pleased with her progress so far this year. I agree with the other reviews that the selection process is not completely fair. I do not understand the reviews about more emphasis needed for the French program. I was extremely impressed by the French immersion, but I do not feel that French is as useful in this country as Spanish. Therefore, the program should put more emphasis and money on its Spanish Immersion.
For those below who have written about this school being biased to an 'elite' few, you must understand that it can be a difficult thing to have a child immersed completely in the environment of a foreign language, if the child is not able to succeed above his/her grade level from the beginning. My son is in this program because when he was ready to enter kindergarten, he was already on a first grade level. That does not mean that a child who is not in the program is worse off. Also, the funding for this program is limited. Spanish is a more commonly used foreign language than French in this country. There is not enough funding for the French language to be totally immersed. It would be nice to have every child be able to learn another language, but the school can only do so much.
Although this school is a magnet academy for foreign languages, little emphasis is placed on French. From the minute you enter the building it is obvious that the focus is on Spanish. There is typically one immersion class per grade level. This provides appropraite study for approximately 150 students. The remaining 650 students receive at best, 15 minutes of language a day. This is not what I had in mind when I sought to place my child in a magnet academy. Also the school overall is administered poorly.
The offer of Spanish and French immersion programs means little if students aren't admitted to said programs based on ability. Parents can only hope that more thought is given to day-to-day education than is given to admission to immersion programs. So far my son has learned that it is not what he knows that counts but whom.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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