As a certified teacher with ten years experience, I can honestly say that there are underlying problems with the way the school is being managed. After viewing my child's work and listening to my child speak to me about what was going on in her classroom at Banff, I've concluded that many of the claims on the website in regards to the curriculum are untrue. When you tour Banff please keep in mind that anything the admin tells you regarding extracurriculars might be cut after you sign the contract with no explanation. Also, be aware that the science experiment worksheets your child brings home may not actually be taking place. The school is too cheap to provide the materials for those experiments. I would urge any parent interested in Banff to compare the tuition at Banff and notice how low it is compared to the other private schools in the area. THAT is how they hook you. Then, they get you to sign a contract saying that you are obligated to pay full tuition for the school year even if you withdraw your child for ANY reason. The fact that they make you sign something like this should be a red flag! We were basically conned out of $9,000. Many of the positive reviews here are from students who don't know any better or parents who only have their kids here because they like the warm fuzzy environment. The curriculum as a whole is horrible. If you want to know what your child should be learning, please refer to the TEKS. Those are the Texas standards. The Banff does a poor job of keeping up with the public schools. Please pay attention to the negative reviews. They are true.
I'd like to thank the students who left negative reviews of the school. At least you had the guts to speak up. Too bad I didn't take your reviews seriously. Now my daughter hasn't learned anything in math or science, and there is no music theory or art being taught at Banff. As a parent, I just got conned out of 9K.
My daughter was babied and coddled in two subject areas to the point of her teacher doing her math work for her. My daughter never did any real work in science. All she did was copy answers from the board.
THIS SCHOOL IS AMAZING! IM A NEW STUDENT HERE AN EVERYONE IS SO NICE AND I LOVE IT! The academics are great and the teachers are very helpful to everybody. This is frankly the best school I have ever been to. If you want a good environment for your kid to be in its definitely Banff :) -Student in 7th Grade
What the second grade curriculum says on the Banff website is not what was being delivered at Banff. There is no Art program unless you want to pay extra. The homeroom teachers are NOT teaching art despite what the website or admin might say.
The second grade science curriculum talks about experiments and the scientific method and recording the data. My child told me that the hypothesis, observation, and conclusions were written on the board from the Teachers Edition of the textbook. My child never laid eyes on any science tool. There is only one experiment in the textbook. I have seen the science textbook in it's entirety. I taught in Alief ISD for nine years and have a degree in elementary education. I am qualified to make these observations. When I brought my concerns to the principal I was told that the purpose of the book is for "exposure." The science text is very dumbed down and there is no critical thinking in math or science. The teacher just writes all the answers on the board and the students copy it. My daughter told me there is not much discussion during science. They are made to sit quietly and copy from the board.
The math is weak. The teacher does not seem to know how to pull way from the textbook. Everything going on in her class is textbook driven. That does not lead to critical thinking or creativity. Children are naturally creative if we get out of their way, but the only think going on in this room are worksheets. No meaningful learning takes place in math or science.
The music class we were promised on the tour got cut. They do NOT teach a well rounded music curriculum as written in the TEKS at Banff as promised. We even met a music teacher and we were told that my daughter would have the opportunity to learn music theory. Since they cut the music, they changed the website on that subject after we had already signed the contract. They teach nothing but show tunes now so the kids can impress the parents with a show at the end of the semester, but there is no theory being taught.
In short, the website is fraudulent in regards to the math, science, and art. Don't believe the hype! If you have a child younger than the age of seven, try Northwood Montessori. The tuition is cheaper, and you can use the extra money to provide good quality extracurriculars elsewhere.
We are now homeschooling our daughter.
It depends on who the teacher is. In second grade, the science and math teacher? No.
Language arts with Peduzzi, yes. She pushed my child to do her best and did not accept anything less than her best work.
I have not seen any character training going on and I think the dishonest behavior of sending home fraudulent work student work in science is not a great example for students.
I do think Mrs. Peduzzi is an ethical teacher. She pushes them to complete work and to do it correctly! She was the only thing I saw about Banff that rang true to their claims on the website.