I have a kindergartener and a first grader in the school. So far, my experience has been great. Teachers are qualified, kind and caring toward the children. Both of my kids learned beyond my expectations and are truly eager to go to school every single day. School is small so it seems that everyone knows each other, including teachers from other grades that know my children's names. The new principal also brought great new ideas and I am excited to see the additional enhancements to come. In terms of approvement I see a need in technological improvements and more diverse after school activities.
After teaching in multiple schools in the FCPS and DC, I can attest that this school is one of the best. It has outstanding teachers and students. The teachers are highly educated and really understand best instructional practices. They are endlessly dedicated to their students. The diversity is incredible. It's a great places to learn!
My daughter was in Kindergarten at Bren Mar Park last year. We had a wonderful experience. Her teacher was amazing. I saw clear evidence of her use of best practices in the classroom. Because it is a Title 1 school, the lower grades have class sizes of 24 students or less, and there is a lot of extra staff (ESOL, reading specialists, math specialists, etc.) There were 3 or more adults in the classroom at nearly all times. I saw a lot of evidence of differentiation and data-based instruction throughout the school. The assistant principal, Ms. Baxter, is very approachable, and you can tell she has put her heart and soul into the school for many years. There is minimal parental involvement in terms of the PTA, but the school hosts many family nights and other events that are well-attended. One of the benefits of the school is its incredible diversity. My daughter learned about many different traditions and cultures from around the world. We changed schools in order to attend a special program, but there are many days I wonder if we did the right thing. I highly recommend Bren Mar Park.
I am very unsatisfied with the lack of technology education as we all know technology is becoming a very big part of this generation of kids. Although they upgraded their play ground and got new dell computers I would highly recomend they invest money in Ipads for indivisual students and maybe have a special class that is meant for higher graded students so they can learn more advanced things and be more educated for the future.
My daughter finished kindergarten at Bren Mar this last year and loved it. I had the opportunity to meet many of the students and teachers throughout the year and they were all very nice. The teachers seem very dedicated and put in a lot of extra effort through the special events and activities at the school. The school is very diverse and has a relatively large special education program which I think is reflected in the test scores/rating. We were initially reluctant about the school, but after speaking with other parents decided to give it a try and did not regret it.
My little brother is currently attending the school. He has made new friends and is doing great but, a kid is bullying him and his teacher is doing nothing about it. The teachers are not in the cafeteria as this is happening. They won't do anything even though he has told them several times. I am very disappointed in this. My brother and his friend should not be being hit and beat up. It's ridiculous and they are lucky I'm not with him during school hours.
I love the small size of this elementary school and the small class sizes. I was initially hesitant about trying a public school, as I thought my child would not receive the high quality and personalized education. I am glad I tried, Bren Mar Park! My child is in K and his teacher is absolutely fantastic. The principal and her team are excellent and have a genuine interest in the children. There are also many parent/student activities that engage children.
I was converted. I was strictly sending my daughter to private school, but I heard so many other parents in my neighborhood talk so highly of Bren Mar Park that I thought I would give it a shot... and save a lot of money too. Wow! It's a wonderful school and it resembles the public schools of my childhood... not at all what the media would have you think about the public school system. I am so glad I made the switch. BTW, to me 5-stars is perfect... I gave it 4-stars, which in my mind is extremely good.