We moved here for two years for a fellowship at UVA. Everyone told us to try to get into Venable or Greenbrier, but no houses were available in those areas that were suitable. We ended up at BME, and I am so glad we did. Our first grade son had a great year. He is a handful, but his teacher had lots of creative ideas to keep him focused and productive. Every conference we had, she mentioned how great something he did was - she really noticed student strengths even within weaknesses. The teachers found harder math and reading for him to do, since he was ahead of grade level, and he thrived as a result. My son adored his specials teachers. All students are given math programs (to access with Internet) to use at home to hone math skills. Communication was timely and professional. I really couldn't ask for a better school for my kids. My youngest starts kindergarten in the fall and she cannot wait!
Against recommendations, we enrolled our child in Kindergarten. Although our child did well, I am sure this was only due the great education at a private pre-school. (There are many, many in the area.) We should have waited and enrolled our child in first grade. I had the opportunity to volunteer at the school and was shocked with the poor conduct of many of the children and foul language they used against each other. Apparently, this was their first experience in a structured environment. Although our child was way ahead of the curve, too much time was required getting all students to master basics skills like hand washing, waiting in line or sitting in a chair quietly. Some children sought attention by hitting, pushing, throwing objects or chewing on (sometimes disgusting) objects. Clearly, no matter how badly a child behaved, they were not sent outside of the classroom. Apparently, the principal did not want to deal with these disruptive children outside of her office. This school desperately needs a designated timeout room with a full-time attendant!
We have been at this school for three years, and plan to continue sending both of our kids here. The level of education and individual attention that my child receives is amazing. The teaching staff is phenomenal and the administration is really talented and runs the school with skill, and the rest of the staff is excellent as well.
We have a daughter in her second year at BME, and we have been very pleased. The teachers and staff are top-notch, and are under the direction of an energetic, available principal. The overall atmosphere is very caring and open to student and parents. The socio-economic mix of students is a plus in our opinion.
We have only been here for a few months, but I am so impressed with the quality and enthusiasm of the staff. My kids have never been so happy in school; they can participate in after-school clubs such as Mock Trial, World Music, and Math Olympiad. Their teachers are caring, eager, and engaging. The principal runs a tight ship, but is at the same time very receptive to parents' needs and full of ideas. We went to considerable trouble to move here for the schools, and consider it time and money well spent!
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