When it comes to Special Education and Autism. This is NOT the school for you. Completely unaccommodating and your child will be fit into the programs that already exist instead of what the IEP calls for. IEP's are not followed.
I was a student here for six grade and half of the seventh grade. I dealt with many bullies during six grade and felt that the education was below par. There was no sense of community and the teachers lacked enthusiasm. It seemed as if they were just there for the pay, there was no real student and teacher connection. I completed six grade feeling very unsatisfied and I knew that I hated my school with a passion. In seventh grade I was miserable and depressed because I dealt with social problems as well as harassment from teachers regarding the dress code. Class sizes were so large sometimes almost 40 children, that I never got to have any individual attention, unless they were criticizing the way I dressed. One teacher in particular was extremely rude. Every day I would come home crying and talking about how much I hated going to school. It was awful. My parents decided to transfer me to a private school midway through the year. It was that bad I had to leave. Now at my new school I am so much happier and I love the smaller class sizes that I never got to have at Burley.
This school offers so much for creative thinking students. The teachers use hand's on methods, and there's a Gifted and Talented teacher on staff. The Girl's Choir is award winning. There are many opportunities here not seen at other middle school, including performing Shakespear, building and launching rockets, and performing at the White House ellipse. There are levels of learning I have not seen offered elsewhere. For example, in 6th grade, you can take grade level math, Advanced math, or Honor's math. Truly amazing opportunity.
I had doubts when I first visited - no doubts anymore. Really good middle school. Great extracurricular activites and music program. Some good teachers. The principal is all business. Things to improve (not that they are bad, just things that could be better) are (1) the sports programs and (2) some community feel to the place. The bottom line, my daughter really likes it and say there are fewer problems at Burley than when she went to a Catholic school.
My fourth child is finishing at Burley this year and it has been an incredible 11 years- the school continually improves and the teachers are fantastic, dedicated, and caring. I have never experienced a dictatorial feel to either chorla or band programs, just high expectations and award winning groups filled with students who love the experience and teachers. I am thankful for the experiences my children have had at Burley.
My son is in Burley and receives additional help from the Special Education department. The Special Ed department is wonderful. The teachers are caring, yet allow the children to accomplish projects within their means. They provide support, but they don't baby them.
I have had 3 children at Burley and have found it to be a terrific school. Both the choral and instrumental music programs are outstanding and have won numerous state and national awards. The kids adore their directors. The school places a strong emphasis on appropriate behavior and a positive school climate, and each year devotes considerable time to teaching students peer relations skills and discouraging teasing and bullying. Schoolwide surveys document the positive feelings that most students have toward the school and their teachers. The school is strongly committed to achieving SOL standards; for example, each year that I have been a parent here ALL of the Algebra I students passed their state examinations. A very energetic staff offers numerous sports, clubs, and social activities each year. The weakest areas I have observed are in foreign language and art.