This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Brentfield Elementary School1
Posted October 01, 2014
- a parent
While this school may have a good academic score, we ended up going elsewhere because the clicks were getting so bad that the children were becoming more and more like the mean-girl moms. No support from the principal or counselors on this, as the counselor had a child in the schoool and the principal seemed to either play favorirtes or ignore the situation. It's such a shame because it is a good "school" but part of the elementary experience should be carefree, silly and making friends. Your child will not be treated well if you are not a part of the click. Last, we did not realize this was primarily a Jewish neighborhood when we moved here, so that made it even more difficult for our non-jewish children to be accepted. Rather than watch our children sit on the sidelines and be excluded from everything, we opted to move to another school in RISD and could not be happier
I've read the notes below and there are some interesting comments. Seems like most either love the school or hate it. Here is what I've observed: The BEST thing about this school is parental involvement. The WORST thing about this school is parental involvement. With so many parents (usually moms) highly involved, there will ALWAYS be clicks of folks who know each other, and they may not always play nice with you. Regarding students outside the district, there are lots that live elsewhere and their parents are not all teachers. I have no idea why this happens, but it does. Oh well, it does not really bother me, but I'm sure it's unfair to those who tried to get in and could not. I've found the teachers to be pretty good... above average (although lots of turnover?) The principal seems a bit like a politician but he seems to know his job and do it well. Not thrilled with the PTA, as they are very disorganized and cant seem to get anything done (other than ask for $$ at fundraisers.)
As an elementary school teacher in another district, I know when my children are in an excellent school. As far as the class sizes, parents need to do their homework instead of blaming a school. Class sizes were changed to 23 with waivers for 24 by the state, not the school or district. Parents in this school do NOT "run" this school. In fact, I've been very impressed how they are great at keeping parents in check, and I'm a working mother. Yes, they have a high parent involvement, and that's why the school is so wonderful. The teachers are very consistent throughout the entire grade level. They have extremely high expectations, and that's why my children go there. The only students I've seen outside the district are teachers' children. I would pick Brentfield over almost every private school in the metroplex. Remember, this school has an extremely high percentage of gifted children, so some may feel this is too much pressure for their child. However, your child would not get the quality of this education at just any other DFW public school. This school is the reason our family has not moved to a larger home in fear of not finding one in Brentfield's boundaries.
Generally speaking, Brentfield is as good a school as you are going to find within the public school arena. They have very good teachers (some better than others though), outstanding leadership from the Principal, and lots of parental involvement compared to other public schools in DFW. If you are looking for a great public school, then I would definitely recommend Brentfield. However, because of the way our public school system is setup (which encourages teaching for passing the standardized tests only and focuses on improving the average kid s performance, but not necessarily the brightest ones ), neither Brentfield Elementary nor any other good public school will challenge or come close to using the full potential of an above-average, gifted, high achieving child. If your child fits this profile and you want to fully realize his/her potential, then you will need to look at a private school. Be careful with private schools though, as I can probably count with the fingers of my right hand the ones in Dallas which will truly make it worth paying their tuition instead of going to a very good public school like Brentfield.
My daughter did 6th grade at Brentfield Elementary. I told them that I thought my child had dyslexia. She was below grade level in reading and comprehension. She could not spell and struggled to write. The counselor and teacher said that they would observe her. There were meetings to discuss the many problems she was having and they blamed my child saying that she was disruptive and lazy. Her self-esteem was destroyed. I begged them to test her for learning issues but they said they would do not because she was not failing. I had to have her privately tested which cost me $1000.00. She was diagnosed with dyslexia and slow processing. I lost my faith in public schools. They do all they can to avoid providing services to children with special needs. I put her in Fairhill School, a private school for children with learning differences, for 3 years. She got help and her confidence and self-esteem back. She is now in 11th grade at Harmony Science Academy Dallas, a free charter school. She has a very high grade point average and has taken 4 college credit classes. Harmony Science Academy tested her immediately and she has a 504 plan that she would not be able to succeed without.
We too moved specifically for the school's reputation, and while there are definitely some things I'd like to see improved, overall I'm satisfied with the school. We did find SOME parents were less welcoming and clickish, and OTHERS were very open and welcoming. (much like any where you go, so if anyone says it's all one way or the other, I would disagree!) I'd rate the school as above average, but the parent involvement is excellent, which is important to me. The teachers are generally good (above average) but I see a trend where new families tend to get the teachers with less tenure. That should be addressed, but still overall, a good school. Get involved and don't let a few bad apples (moms) ruin the reputation. Ignore them.
We moved into this area expressly for the schools and have not been disappointed in the slightest. The teachers are great and care about the students, and the administration has been very willing to address issues as they arise. We have not found it cliquish at all, and in fact, have been overwhelmed by the friendliness shown to us "newcomers". The learning environment is top notch, and the social aspects of the school, both for the kids and the parents, has exceeded our expectations. I have absolutely no qualms whatsoever in recommending this school to any family. Great familial environment, friendly people, and an excellent academic environment are only part of the reasons why I do not hesitate to give Brentfield 5 stars.
My son is in his second year here and we love this school and so does he. The staff takes education seriously and it shows. Which brings me to the thoughtless author of the review dated 9/13. The fact you as a parent entered a rating that is clearly meant to be punitive and not at all based on the educational aspects of the school as a whole, gives me a clue as to why your child is having so much trouble following those simple rules. My son is 1st grader and is a bit rambunctious himself, but is not having a problem with these zones. And if he were I would support the school, those rules are there for a reason. But I must say, you do have a talent for hyperbole!
I am completely disappointed in this school. The principal states that they are here for "the families" but it's clear that "the" is the operative word. The new "silent" zones this year are unrealistic for small children and the punitive discipline used to enforce it only serves to belittle and shame the students into compliance. Addressing any issues with this school is pointless as they are completely inflexible and blind to their own faults. We will be changing schools as soon as possible. I could find a monkey that would treat my child with more respect than the staff at this school. Of course, if you are of the opinion that children should be seen and not heard or that they are inferior to adults this would be the perfect school for you.