Barton Hills Elementary has some incredible qualities: caring teachers, a very strong and dynamic administrator, emphasis on whole child education and wellness, and one of the best music programs in town. It's also slightly smaller than most elementary schools, and located near downtown Austin.
Barton Hills Elementary is amazing. Academics are very strong, yet students never feel pressured or stressed. There is also a strong emphasis on the arts. My (KINDER) son is learning to read music, has discovered he loves to sing, (thanks to an amazing music teacher) discusses Picasso and Degas, attends a beautiful computer lab weekly & goes to school every morning excited to learn. Huge emphasis on character education: atmosphere is polite, calm, and respectful. I feel like I have stepped back in time (in a good way) whenever I enter the school. The parents are diverse and relaxed, fancy cars mix with rusted old clunkers, and there is never a feeling of snobbery. I looked at every school and neighborhood in Austin before choosing BHE and it's exceeded my expectations. My VERY shy son feels safe here. There are so many parent & grandparent volunteers patiently helping kids who need extra help, it feels very homey. Every teacher is certified to teach gifted students. The older kids (the products of & the best measure of a school) are polite, sweet, and allowed to BE KIDS: a rarity in the world today. You don't ever hear bad language or see bullying. Wonderful atmosphere.
BHE has great kindergarden teachers, however in the oldest grades some teacher don't go further to keep advance students stimulate. This school don't have a strong gifted program. Infrastructure and cafeteria are not very clean and students are constantly sick. Some teachers and personal are not very competitive to manage challenging situations. On the other hand, the school has great parent participation and good PTA. Excellent in the areas of music and the environment is somehow positive. Some teachers make the difference !!
We took great care in selecting an elementary school and went out of way to transfer to Barton Hills Elementary with the hope that it would live up to all the great things we heard. Indeed it has so far! We're in our third year and have been so pleased with the teachers, not just from an academic standpoint, but also in terms of the positive learning environment they create and the "emotional IQ" learning that goes on, which some public schools seem to be lacking because the teachers simply don't have time to deal with it. There seems to be such respect for the children as individuals and a welcoming atmosphere for the parents to truly participate in their children's education. The small school and class size and the friendly, down-to-earth community makes it a warm and wonderful place. Most parents are involved and enthusiastic about making it even better. We also love that the schools feels connected with Austin's vibrant urban center.
I went to Barton hills from grade PK-5th grade and I loved every min. of it. 20 years later, I know have a child of my own and want her to go there, I am praying they do not close the school down! Best school ever!
Barton Hills is a small neighborhood gem in this large urban district. With skilled, caring teachers and hardworking, talented parent volunteers, the educational experience is rich. It's an incredible community to be a part of.