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Hixson, TN
Students enrolled: 487
Before care: Yes
After care: Yes

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5210 Cassandra Smith Rd
Hixson, TN 37343

(423) 843-4793
(423) 843-4794
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Map of Big Ridge Elementary School address.

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November 21, 2014
This has been the biggest mistake I have made with my child. We have been with Big Ridge for 3 yrs now and it seems to be getting worse each yr. The staff on the upper level are rude to the children, will not communicate with the parents, nor will you know what your child is learning. If you do not pay all the fees the school request up front, you child will "start missing book " as a way to get the fees from you. Please keep in mind the fees are not required, they are optional. My child has struggled for some time in reading and l have request for extra help has fallen on deaf ears. I have been told that some kids just fall in the "gray area" and there is nothing that can be done. If you are looking at the test scores, please don't be fooled. As the school does not follow State standards. The teacher read the material and answers to the students instead of letting the kids show what has been taught. If you are a family that has time for one parent to volunteer at the school your child will be fine. As for the single parent, your child will be discriminated against and will not be treated as an equal. Hoping this helps someone else not make the mistake I did.

- submitted by a parent
February 21, 2014
BRE is a great school. Unfortunately there are some teachers that are full of themselves, that it interferes with the teaching/learning process. I know that flaws are everywhere, but when you reach out to them and have conferences, nothing changes. The last parent teacher conference I attended, one of the teachers came in half way through the conference, was in defensive mode, her facial expression made it apparent that she had something more important to do. It was pretty ridiculous compared to the other teachers that were personable and inviting, had a sense of humor and could actually carry on a conversation. I had even reached out to her for advice, and when I got nothing, I scheduled the conference. From her demeanor the entire time, it made her extremely unhappy to have had to be apart of it. I can't wait until my child moves on to the next grade, just to get away from the 'teacher' that acts like she would rather be somewhere else!

- submitted by a parent
August 12, 2013
The education at Big Ridge is excellent. My child is very sensitive, so I have asked for help from the teachers, who have always gone beyond what was necessary to make it a positive experience for him. I addressed one issue with the Principal. During a meeting in her office, she was friendly and understanding. She took notes, asked thoughtful questions and addressed the problem. Numerous times she has spoken passionately about the programs for funding literacy & technology, robotics & strings programs, & school safety. She speaks passionately about the school programs if you attend the general PTA meetings and open houses. There are only 2 employees in the front office who are responsible for payroll, kids transportation, maintenance & personnel issues and more. When you walk in the office, you aren t greeted with big friendly smiles, but they have a huge workload. They are just trying to take care of you and your child s issue and get all their work done. Overall, I think my child is getting a great education. I have friends with kids in the private schools, and I know that Big Ridge does a better job than some of them, and I suspect as good a job as any of them.

- submitted by a parent
August 12, 2013
I have been at Big Ridge for four years and very happy with how the teachers and staff go above and beyond! My child is very emotional when it comes to certain things and his teachers have been very sensitive to his needs. Everytime I needed to call a meeting with the teacher or principal they wasted no time in meeting with me. His first and third grade teacher actually took the time to call me when he was having some difficulty. That is above and beyond in my book. Since our new principal has come to Big Ridge, she has made so many positive changes. The main change is the safety of our children! I have a child going into kindergarten this year and I can say that I have NO worries! The school welcomes and LOVES all of the volunteers and parent involvement! There are always negatives and positives to every school and teachers we like and don't like. We the parents are the only people that will stick up for our children so if you have a problem and feel like you aren't getting any help then you fight until you do!!!!! Don't complain FIGHT!!!!!

- submitted by a parent
August 02, 2013
Last year we were very disappointed with Big Ridge school. Three out of the four teachers our child had last year were out of touch, unattainable, and just plain rude. We could never get a face to face conference with the teachers after multiple attempts. Mrs. Parker is oblivious and will just pacify everyone until it "goes away". Along with the rude front office staff, we would say Big Ridge has been a negative experience overall.

- submitted by a parent
June 03, 2013
Big Ridge Elementary has been an excellent choice for my children. The teachers are caring and the atmosphere is pleasant. Is every teacher the best in Hamilton County? No. Are all of the students perfectly behaved? No. It is a school! It is full of 5-12 year olds! The current principal, Mrs. Parker, has been very proactive in her involvement at this school and has met any concerns that I have personally had head on. The parent participation is excellent and enhanced by a very active PTA group. I hope that anyone considering this school for their child's elementary education chooses to take the plunge and give it a try. Remember that every school will have it's pros and cons and you will surely not be disappointed!

- submitted by a parent
May 28, 2013
At Big Ridge Elementary, we work hard to put children first. Any concern that is brought to our attention will be addressed. Sometimes folks don't always like the outcome and if that is the case here, we apologize. As you can see, we show a 9 out of 10 Great Schools Rating.

- submitted by a teacher
May 26, 2013
There is a hostile environment at BRE from the front office to the classrooms, some of the teachers are high-strung , agitated and with negative animosity towards the children. these teachers need to be identified and removed. It is impossible to see the Principal to address concerns, and when you get a phone call "everything" has been decided. Presently Teachers play a "gotcha" game with the discipline on both parents & kids. I've offer to volunteer and organize programs to help students, I was ignored repeatedly for 7 yrs. I know there are good teachers in BRE, specially in the early grades, to them Thank you. The board of Education needs to look closer at BRE.

- submitted by a parent
October 28, 2012
Parent involvement makes this a good school. Atmosphere has changed and it seems different than when we first started there.

- submitted by a parent
October 15, 2011
I am a parent who spends a lot of time in the school. The last two reviews could not be farther from the truth about what actually happens. When a class is walking through the hallways, if the are talking it is absolutely disruptive to students who are in classes. At lunch they most certainly are allowed to talk, provided the decibel levels are appropriate. I apologize if this seems personal, it is not, I do not not know you. But, be assured that your children are being taught a vast range of descriptive words that are more than 4 letters. And, as recently as yesterday, every child in the school had a hilarious good time playing 'minute to win it" games with the principal and their teachers. The administration can not please everyone all the time - myself included - but I know that putting the best interest of the child first, is their priority.

- submitted by a parent
February 28, 2011
I love Big Ridge!! All 3 of my children and 2 of my brothers have attended this school. This school is great at making sure that the kids are prepared for middle school and beyond. There is good and bad everywhere that you go. All of my experiences with the teachers there have not been positive. However, part of the responsibility for that lies at my child's feet. Most of my experience there has been excellent. Part of this school's success is because of the parental involvement. 99% of the time, I have found the staff to be extremely welcoming. I have and have had great relationships with the majority of my children's teachers. This is because of my involvement in the school and building a strong relationship with the teachers there. My daughter is now a Senior in high school; she is constantly telling me how much she misses the school. Thanks to their dedication for academic excellence, she was more than prepared for middle school. This comes from a child that has ADHD and learning disabilities. I gladly stand by this school and am constantly raving about it. If I have my way, all of my nieces and nephews would attend there also.

- submitted by a parent
October 12, 2010
Big Ridge is a great school but the teachers head are in the air they just care to teach and don't bother on the emotionally development of the child, they don't care , they expect everything to be perfect the child has to know everything or they make the child feel dumb.It is not a fun place to be , its true discipline is a must but going overboard with everything is bad.The New Principal is great but reaching parent voice to her is difficult.I totally agree with her comment below "The school is punitive to the students and uninviting to the parents.Choosing to punish all children when only a few being 'noisy' is fundamentally wrong and shows a total lack of leadership among teachers and administrators. Hate coming in to work? Quit or retire! Don't take it out on the children! Teach and make it fun! "

- submitted by a parent
October 11, 2010
Bg Rdge does have high expectations but if they didnt then they would not survive in the world.I went there last getting prepared for middle school. I learned that some people don't know stuff we learned last year.They made it easy for us for the next year.I enjoyed getting up every day and going to school.There wasno bullying problems ever when I was there.The reason we had silent lunches was because we were out of control.They gave us a enough warnings and we disobeyed.The teachers were great I loved all of them.We did active stuff every day like experiments.I believe this is the best school to send a kid to.So everyone back off I love this school and actually went there

- submitted by a community member
December 15, 2009
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a student
no rating June 09, 2009
It seems this school is all about TCaps and not about creating a fun learning environment. 2nd grade was nothing but worksheets and did not stimulate the children. Instead it made learning boring and taught them very little. The school is punitive to the students and uninviting to the parents. There were beautiful days when students were not allowed to go outside for recess and not allowed to talk during lunch! Children can only be quiet for so long! If you deny them the opportunity to play and socialize a little during lunch, then you are doing a great injustice to the education of our children. Choosing to punish all children when only a few being 'noisy' is fundamentally wrong and shows a total lack of leadership among teachers and administrators. Hate coming in to work? Quit or retire! Don't take it out on the children! Teach and make it fun!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 24, 2009
This used to be a great school but unfortunately it has been on the decline recently. Great Teachers have left and continue to leave and you can see a great void. Some new teachers are great others leave a lot to desire. This school is not for everyone and parents will continue to pull their kids out due to the high expectations it has carried and maintained over the years. Do not know what is happening now ?

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 21, 2009
In response to your negative comments about 2nd grade, you do not need to make comments about all the teachers unless your child has been taught by each teacher. My mom taught 1st grade last year, so thank-you for the rave reviews of 1st grade teachers.

- submitted by a parent
May 21, 2009
This is the forum to express your thoughts so other parents can make informed descions. We have found the teachers to be unreponsive to requests for meetings and uncommunicative when asked questions. Perhaps if the teacher student ration was indeed 16 instead of 21/22 per class the teachers would have time to teach and not give out worksheets. It doen't help that many people are not zoned for the area and are allowed to attend the school anyway.

- submitted by a parent
May 10, 2009
I choose to send my children to Big Ridge because it was one of the best schools in Chattanooga. My children have been going there for three years now. The school is challenging, engaging, and meets high expectations for students. I have read some of the negative comments about this school..and I say shame on you as parents. You should stand behind your school and your child's teacher. I am a firm believer in working with teachers. They play a part in your child's future, why put a strain on that. Big Ridge teachers are young and old, but everyone of them seem dedicated to teaching our young babies. They should be praised for what they do..not talked about! Go to Big Ridge yourself and see all the parental involvement that goes on, parents are welcome and you see them ALL the time at school. What a great school!

- submitted by a parent
May 01, 2009
1st and K were indeed wonderful! 2nd leaves much to be desired. The joy of learning is gone. Classroom instruction is not engaging. The students are expected to sit and be quiet all day. Punishment is taking away recess; which many days they don't even get! They're allowed to watch way too many non-educational movies. Test scores reflect months of drilling the students, not truly teaching them. Kids this age deserve a fun learning environment. Technology is great, but more important are teachers that can get the kids excited about learning. Administrators really need to make some changes, and get some teachers that enjoy teaching the kids. Otherwise, more and more families are going to be sending their children elsewhere.

- submitted by a parent
May 01, 2009
I couldn't agree more with the most recent post. Second garde has been a huge disappointment. The kids do nothing but worksheets all day and are completely unmotivated. There is absolutely no creativty added to the curriculum. It is all about drilling the kids for TCAPS and not at all about learning. Big Ridge is definitely on the decline. Additionally, it is no longer a welcoming place for parents or students.

- submitted by a parent
April 13, 2009
Due to continued concerns from parents who have removed their children from this school once they reached 3rd grade -- parents I respect their opinions -- I too am removing my children from this school. K and 1st are wonderful. great teachers continue to retire and not replaced with the same quality. I moved to this school district for this school. Due to numerous complaints from 3rd grade families, I will not subject my 2nd grader to those same issues next year. So sad. I love this school and want to support public education, but not at the cost of my child's education and overrall experience. But the focus seems to be on managing and not leading, defending teachers, not students, using worksheets to teach, not creative techniques. Administration needs to address the numerous complaints or the involved families will continue to leave.

- submitted by a parent
March 13, 2009
I have two children that have attended Big Ridge the past 7 years. During that time: 1. Test scores have gone up each year - and they started out at a high level. 2. An experienced faculty has started retiring and the school now has a mix of experienced and younger teachers. Practically all the younger teachers come to Big Ridge with experience in other schools. 3. The PTA has funded an Art teacher each year. 4. A new track has been built. 5. New playgrounds have been installed. 6. A technology upgrade is placing Promethean interactive whiteboards and new computers in classrooms. Literally 1000's of volunteer hours are logged each year. A stack of Thank You cards are next to the Volunteer sign-in book. A volunteer luncheon is provided by the faculty each year to express their appreciation. Big Ridge is a great school, providing an experience comparable to a private school.

- submitted by a parent
March 06, 2009
We currently have 2 children that attend Big Ridge. We will be moving both children after continued concern that has not been appropriately addressed by administration the last few years. We have 2 other children that have graduated from Big Ridge. The administration has changed and the overall school philosophy and atmosphere has declined. The focus of the administration seems to be favorable to the tenured teachers and not necessarily in the best interest of the children. Spanish programs are not available even though PTA has raised the funding for this enhancement. Volunteers are not appreciated. The friendly atmosphere that once graced the halls of Big Ridge has almost completely disappeared.

- submitted by a parent
February 02, 2009
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a student
October 27, 2008
Big Ridge has declined over the past 5 years. The focus seems to be on pleasing teachers not students. Unfortunately students are being left behind and not receiving the education and leadership that is needed. Many students have transferred to other public and private schools.

- submitted by a parent
October 01, 2008
This is a great school. There is lots of parent envolvment and the Teacher's are excellent. The PTA goes above and beyond. It is just great. We Love It

- submitted by a parent
September 30, 2008
I have to agree with the other poster. We transferred our child this year to another public school and know of at least 4 other families who did the same. Big Ridge definitely needs improvements in its faculty and staff.

- submitted by a parent
August 07, 2008
While it once was an exceptionally good school it has been in decline in recent years. With a tenure rich faculty it requires strong leadership to keep teachers motivated to perform, which it lacks. A change of administration is all this school needs to turn it around.

- submitted by a parent
June 26, 2008
I think Big Ridge is the best Elementary school for any child living in Hixson. When my daughter went there for 5th grade she learned things that I didn't learn until I was in 7th grade, but the teachers made learning so easy. My daughter showed no sign of stress at all.

- submitted by a parent
April 30, 2008
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
December 17, 2007
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
no rating July 02, 2007
Two of my children attended Big Ridge K - 5th... we had a wonderful experience. Both of them were well prepared for middle school and could have easily skipped to 7th. Curriculums were well prepared and teachers were very knowledgeable and the students were well-behaved and had a wonderful rapport with their teachers. Excellent parental involvement.

- submitted by a parent
November 13, 2006
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a former student
June 26, 2004
I am a previous parent and employee of Big Ridge Elementary. It is an excellent school offering much and more than other public and private schools. Go for a tour and talk with the new principal, Susan Hixson. You will be impressed. Since you are in the Big Ridge school zone, feel fortunate. Save your private school money for middle school, high school or college.

- submitted by a staff
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Big Ridge Elementary School
5210 Cassandra Smith Rd, Hixson, TN  37343
(423) 843-4793
Last modified Big Ridge Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 10 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Big Ridge Elementary School Rating: 3 out of 5 based on 35 reviews. Top