It's a good school overall. There are some great teachers who always help, plus they're pretty funny and nice. Also the kids here are all nice and chill. Especially the high schoolers. Some people don't like it because there aren't lots of students here but most people find friends even if there aren't many people in the school. I've been here for some time and my grades literally blasted up from the ones I got in my old school. Banff does have its flaws, such as the installations that should be remodeled, but it's a pretty nice school.
My son who is in 12th was previously attending public school and had lost his love for learning. He dreaded going to school each day and complained of bullying. To make matters worse, his district would not make accommodations for his ADHD. I put him in Banff at the beginning of his 11th grade year. I saw a huge and quick turnaround. I no longer had to wake him up for school; he woke up early. He became excited about his classes and the course work. When I asked him who his favorite teacher was, he named several of his teachers. He excitedly shared information on things he was learning in class. To my amazement, he made all A's last year, and with no ADHD accommodations. The small class size, engaging curriculum, and teachers who know how to teach to a variety of learning styles was all he needed. I could kick myself for not putting him in Banff earlier. I think his earlier school years would have been much more enjoyable and rewarding.
This school has been wonderful. Our daughter is the second generation in our family to attend. It's family oriented, small, and very caring. Perfect for my daughter to get the individual education and attention she deserves. They are doing a great job updating technology and the school building itself while still hanging on to the charm that makes this school special and unique. The teachers are wonderful. Some of the same teachers are there from when I was a student many many years ago, and they still remember me. Returning to Banff school to enroll our daughter felt like going back home. Great school!
My son has attended this school for over two academic years. This was the best decision I made as a parent in advancing my child's social and academic development.
The school's administrators and teachers are highly engaged and invested in your child's education. The founder, principal and teachers are all very present and have an open door policy when it comes to discussing concerns or suggestions. Most importantly, everyone at this school cares and deeply understands the purpose and patience it takes to educate children as a whole. They know each and every child personally and I am very grateful for this place.
My daughter has recently started attending this school and I cannot tell you how impressed I am with the level of care, compassion and personal attention the teachers have given her. My family is not just another unfamiliar face to the office staff. They know who we are and greet us personally every day; they care about my daughter's progress in school; they honestly seem to want what is best for each and every student on a one-to-one basis. I have also been happy with the new technology the school has implemented just in our first year here, along with apparently some much-needed changes to their facilities, administrative processes and overall communication. I see this school continuing to get better and I am overjoyed my daughter (and her two happy parents!) have found a home for her where we know she will succeed.
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! 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.
Our daughter's teacher made my daughter copy answers from the board for a science experiment that never really happened. The work is sent home to fool parents because the school is too cheap to purchase simple items like thermometers for experiments.
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 tools nor did she make any 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 at Banff. 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.
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 thing going on in this room is 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.
I actually really like this school. Other people do not like it but I do, the students are very nice, and the teachers really care, and want to help. They give the students lots of opportunities to become better and improve.