Posted August 22, 2011
BCA maintains small student-to-teacher ratios to enhance learning for every child. Individualized and guided instruction provides a student-centered focus in every classroom.
We are very happy with Bannockburn Christian Academy and the teachers we've had there. My kids love going back to school each year. The environment is great, classes are small enough for individualized attention, while the school is large enough for lots of friendships and fun. My kids are coming home and talking about their academics in a conversational way. I love it! This way I KNOW they are understanding what they're being taught. PE is very fun and engaging and exceeding my expectations. (I didn't realize that I would be so focused on a good PE class, but now that we've experienced BCA we see how important it is for kids to get exposure to lots of exercises, games and sports). The school improves in areas each year we are there and that to me is a good sign.
We attended this school and had to leave for the best interest of our children. The principal is too focused on growing the school instead of being focused on the students that currently attend. Decisions are made that benefit a few students (mainly teachers kids) vs. the good of the entire student body. Poor judgement is used when having guests with political agendas speak at chapel (topics that are not appropriate for elementary kids.) When addressing any issues with the principal she speaks to you in such a condescending manner that you feel like you're 5 again. The teachers are AMAZING but are not given enough resources to teach to kids who are either gifted or struggling. Too legalistic about dress code. The school (not teachers) care more about what my kids are wearing vs. whether or not they're reading at the appropriate level. It may be a convenient and cost-effective option for a private school in South Austin, but if you want to get what you pay for, try another school. This one is too much about growing the school, not growing the students.
I have both my children enrolled at BCA and will continue to do so for a multitude of reasons. The main reason is that the Christian environment of love and forgiveness that we teach at home, is presented and actively used in the classroom and school environment. I am thrilled that my children recieve the exact same message for 7 hours a day, that we teach at home. In my experience the teachers have always used Christ as the example when kids are just being kids. And it is done in a loving way. My kids are more excited about Jesus each and every day.
We are in our first year with an Elementary student. We previously were at another private school (not in this area) and an exemplary-rated public school. Thus far, we are very happy, and our child looks forward to going to school. If that changes, I'll post a follow up review. I'm not sure why the principal has been bashed ... we are very impressed with her credentials and knowledge. A school needs a strong principal who drives the curriculum as well as recruits new students. Our confidence in her leadership abilities and experience in the standard AISD curriculum was very important to us. My understanding is that this school does not accept special needs children. They do have children of differing abilities (and ours is "average" academically), but they do not accomodate learning disabilities that require special resources. We evaluated all of the other schools in the southwest Austin area before making our choice. Price was a factor (Bannockburn is at the lower end of cost), but we ended up choosing the school on our evaluation of its merits vs. the other schools independent of tuition. Note that we did not choose the school based on religious beliefs.
When someone asks our daughter, Reagan, where she goes to school, she proudly says, Bannockburn Christmas Academy. She s only five years old and I don t have the heart to correct her just yet. The other day, after hearing her say it for the hundredth time, I realized Reagan is actually quite right. She does attend an academy where it s always Christmas. Christmas is in the hallways covered in our students artwork. Christmas is in the way our teachers have chosen financial sacrifice to be here, to live out BCA s mission wholeheartedly. Christmas is in music class, it s discovering a new language and it s forming friendships founded on Christ s example to each of us. You know the kindness, the generosity of spirit and the anticipation felt this special time of year? That s found at BCA every time the doors are open because at our school, dedicated Christians lead out the lives Jesus has called them to lead and it shows.
I would definitely not recommend BCA. Though many of the teachers seem exceptional, the myriad of problems seems to come from the leadership. The principal's white-knuckled grip of control over everything that goes on in and around the school allows no room for creative thought, innovation or even sharing God's will on the part of teachers or students. In trying to differentiate the school from its Hyde Park school roots, the administration seems to have thrown out everything that was good about the school along with everything that may not have worked. Different is not necessarily better. It's just different. I agree with other postings that state there seems to be a desire to make the school as much like public school as possible. Our child came to the school academically ahead of his peers. After a year at BCA, we were forced to move our child to another faith-based school. He then was struggling to catch up to his peers. Because of the kindness of his new principal and teachers, he is catching up. He (and we) are glad to have moved on from BCA.
I have been extremely happy with BCA! My children not only look forward to going to school every day but learn so much more than I could have imagined. BCA is a family. Everyone knows your name and cares about you. The teachers truly love on your child while teaching them the Gospel and all the academic subjects. You can't beat the 10-12 student ration per teacher. My kids are not only preparing for college but building character everyday. If you are looking for an affordable Christian school, BCA is the best in Austin!
Bannockburn Christian Academy is an amazing school both academically and biblically. The staff is loving and helps the students achieve excellence. We are starting our second year at BCA and have three children enrolled. I highly recommend BCA for your child's academic and spiritual needs.
We love Bannockburn Christian Academy. Our daughter came to BCA from public school last year. While her grades have always been good, her self-esteem and attitude was suffering. Her friends were not always a good influence. Within weeks of enrolling her faith and joy had returned; she enjoys being a kid again! I disagree with the comments posted on July 5, 2011; our experience of the school's faculty, leadership and resources are the exemplary. And the Bible-based teaching is excellent.
Our child attended BCA this year which is the first academic year. Not sure what these comments prior to 2010 are for as 2010 was the first year of operation. Due to our experience, we are moving our child to another faith based private school. There are two main reasons: 1. We have real concerns regarding the leadership in the principal and administration. Decision were made that did not seem in the best interest of the students but rather for the school's growth. The principal did not return my phone calls to meeting requests in a timely manner, had difficulty communicating with me as a parent, and seemed unprepared and disorganized during meetings when they did occur. 2. Seemed lacking in a resource rich educational experience. No resource support for struggling students-the answer was to hold them back. There are no extra-curricular opportunities outside of daily music and art classess with most school activities focused on bringing new families to events as prospective students. Overall, there was too much focus on growing this school bigger rather than focusing on the paying students that were there-focused on building church fellowship rather than on academic excellence.
Our child has attended BCA since Kindergarten. I have been extremely happy with his teachers - whom I have found to be dedicated, gifted, and caring. I disagree with the statement that BCA is following the same curriculum as public schools. BCA has incorporated the Texas Essential Skills and Knowledge that is used by the State of Texas, but the classroom materials, objectives, teacher expectations, and pacing is very different. BCA students are working and performing consistently ahead of grade level. I have not been as satisfied with the choice of principal this year. I haven't agreed with several of her decisions, but I cchalk some of this up to "growing pains" as BCA forges an identify spearate from Hype Park.
Our son, who is now finishing 5th grade, has attended school at this location since Kindergarten. Since the change from being part of Hyde Park Schools to being part of Bannockburn church, things have been rough. The Admin and Teachers have a lot of work to do in getting back on track with making learning fun and effective. It is hard to justify the cost. Our son will start Public school next year.
The teachers are great. The kids are great. The learning environment is great. The level of education, however, is the same as public school - they use the same curriculum as the state public schools. It makes it hard to justify the tuition.
Excellent school with all the right intentions for learning and a Christian environment and longevity in its teachers. I would highly recommend this school.
I love working for BCA. The faculty is very friendly. The principal is a genuinely caring person. The parents are super supportive and the kids are all eager to learn!
This is a wonderful Christian school that allows children to excel at the highest level. The teachers and principal treat the children and parents as if they were family. There is a tremendous amount of parental participation and involvement. I highly recommend Bannockburn Elementary.
Very clean and friendly environment; students are exceptionally motivated and serious.
My daughter attended Bannockburn and found it to be comfortable environment. The teachers seemed very caring and supportive of parental involvement. Most students found the curriculum somewhat challenging, and there were many enriching experiences. This school would be a great place for the average/bright to moderately gifted child, but cannot really accomodate below average or highly gifted students.
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