I'm about to enter my 7th year as a Kimberlin parents (3 kids) and potentially will be there for 11 years by the time they are all done. Its been a great experience, the emphasis on responsibility and ownership has tought ME lots. Putting these G/T kids together in one building is literally raising the bar. They thrive off of each other, learn from each other and get to be themselves. These kids are "nerds" and don't know it! The peer pressure here, is "the good kind". I am so thankful that we are part of this great program, with great teachers and amazing parental envolvement.
My kids have thrived at Kimberlin. It's great to have them at a school with such concerned teachers, administration and parents. The curriculum is more interesting and in-depth than at other schools they've attended, and their arts and music classes are wonderful.
My eldest child went thru Kimberlin K-5 and is now finishing up at Austin Academy. I have child that has not been in the G/T program and attends a 'normal' neighborhood school. The differences are night and day. I wish my younger child could attend Kimberlin. I'd be willing to move to a house right next door just for her to get in as a 'neighborhood' student. The differences are even apparent to my children. Other schools are just 'fluff' when it comes to academics and there are too many parents doing their kids work. No personal responsibility is taught. At Kimberlin with the Bingo Card, daily assignment books started in 1st grade, changing classes/teachers, etc taught the kids to be leaders. ALL schools should be modeled after Kimberlin. The intergration of the neighborhood kids is also a HUGE plus.
The parent who said that a child is sent to the office for 4 marks is incorrect. Five marks in one day can result in an office trip, but even then, it depends upon what the marks are for. If her child went to the office after 4, there had to have been special circumstances involved. What I love about our system is that all involved know what the marks are for. I worked in other schools with a color change system. By the end of the week, no one can remember why a color change was given. With this system, everyone involved knows, at bare minimum what rule was broken to result in a mark. It is on record so that we can analyze trends as to what subject and time of day marks are happening. It often reveals struggles that no one would have understood without the Bingo card.
Kimberlin is a good school with great emphasis on academics. I am, however, thrown by what gets my child marks on her bingo card. Last year, it was humming. This year, it has been not having a spiral on the desk in time or forgetting homework in homeroom. It's so much like high school that my child is often coming home in tears. Good or bad for them? You be the judge. Perhaps my child isn't cut out for the G/T program. Ugh!
We've been pleased with fourth grade daughter's experiences. She's had some very caring and excellent teachers. Administration is involved and makes an effort to know students. School nurse is probably the best in the district! The school does a great job of providing enrichment experiences. Excellent enriched music course and there are more field trips than many other schools have thanks to PTA support and administration encouragement. Administration often has parenting workshops and/or book studies that are very beneficial. Cultural diversity is not overlooked here. Extended day programs with an extensive range of topics are provided for students one to two days a week: Topics range from study help to Mexican Dance to aerobics to Games Galore and everything in between. Special emphasis on organization skills and good study habits has given my daughter a really great foundation for the rest of school career. Daughter can't wait for annual fifth grade camp!
Kimberlin has an intensive Gifted & Talented curriculum which has proven to be a positive challenge for my 7-yr old son. Its parental involvement is also impressive. However, I have found its expectations regarding homework & tracking of assignments to be a bit unrealistic. Beginning in 1st grade children change classes 3-4 times per day, are held responsible for writing down assignments in a daily planner, and are penalized w/marks on a 'Behavior Bingo Card' for not writing them down & not getting a parent's signature. Two marks deprives a child of their daily, 15-minute recess. 4 marks gets them sent to the principal's office. The school is probably ideal for children who are regularly well-behaved, quiet, & not academically challenged. My son is a boisterous, expressive child w/a propensity for being a control-freak, so we've been struggling all year.
My daughter has attended Kimberlin since kindergarten. Everything about this school is great. Faculty and staff are awesome. Parents are very involved making PTA effective and worthwhile.
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