This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Bonnie Brae Elementary School2
Posted October 29, 2014
- a parent
It was bad, now it's going towards worse... Every year someone introduces something new in the curriculum. This year is called "Holey Cards" a speed test that ONLY teaches anxiety. We will see where this one is headed to.. This education system is creating guinea pigs out of our children.. NOT happy with this school.
Not great, not bad. My daughter attended kindergarten here and her teacher (Mander) quit part of the way through the year, due to behavior problems during class. The replacement was a nightmare teacher who was harsh to the kids, did not communicate to the parents, and began teaching knee-jerk memorization in an attempt to raise - kindergartners - test scores? My kindergartner was very talented and had trouble finding a place in a school where there is little art, not enough music & movement-based curriculum, as did many of the other kids. Greatschools calls this a good school simply because the socioeconomic class of these parents means kids are in LOTS of supplementary arts, language & sports activities not provided by elementary school.
I have had three children attend Bonnie Brae and have been extremely impressed! We have been at the school for four years so far and our children love it! The front office staff is attentive and will even address me by name when I arrive. The teachers have been FANTASTIC. My children came from another FCPS and their education was lacking. The Bonnie Brae teachers got them up to speed in less than a year and they were excelling academically. The principal Ms. Bruce is dynamic, engaging and truly cares. Before moving to the school we stopped by and she personally gave my children a tour of the school and warmly welcomed them. They felt so special and the transition to a new school went perfectly.
Our family moved to Burke after our daughter completed kinder in another state. We were amazed at how well BBES was run compared to her last elementary school. First and second grade were amazing years for our daughter, so much so we had a hard time deciding what to do for 3rd grade and AAP. We did end up switching schools for AAP, but honestly regret it. Our youngest is still at BBES and we know she will stay there till the end (we wont make the same mistake twice). The teachers and staff go out of their way to help and have always been available to talk and more importantly listen! Love BBES
The "idea" behind this school is a big clique, unfortunately... Even though we love our teacher this year, and the year before, the leadership must change. She has been there too long (10+ years I believe) and has gotten extremely comfortable. PTO is full of white American females, who have nothing else to do, and make it look like they are running the country, and YET it is the same activities year after year. They are reluctant to make any kind of changes, scared to bring in new voice, and resist a new idea! We have people who are upper middle class, and lower middle class, and the ones in the "upper" levels are running the show. The office staff are fake, and are very picky about who they want to talk to, and not even say "hi" to others. Very interesting community, to say the least..
Bonnie Brae has been great for our son, who started K there last year and is now in 1st Grade. Not only is the staff excellent, our son benefits from the teacher having two assistants, ensuring each child gets attention and assistance. Kudos to Ms. G and Mrs Rapanti!
I was hesitant to send my daughter to our neighborhood public school, but now I cannot be more content about it. The school building, inside and out, is great and the facilities are nice. The principal, teachers, assistant teachers, staff at the office, they all put students first, they are able to achieve an excellent educational level. I love the fact that they emphasize Respect, Kindness, and Positive Discipline and model that too. Any inquiries or concerns that the parents have are taking care of right away. It does not matter if you talk with them over the phone or in person, they are always polite and effective. I am impressed at their organizational level too, since they have a great communication system that is daily, weekly, by-weekly and monthly. They also embrace each family from the start and create a good school community environment. The most important thing is that my daughter is happy there and loves her school, her class teachers and the ones from Music, Art, PE, Library, her classmates, play friends, bus buddies, the principal and the ladies at the cafeteria (by the way, they offer the kids healthy food and show them the best lifestyle choices to stay healthy.)
Communication has been going downhill. The PTO has a few pet projects, but doesn't seem to sponsor too many fun activities for the kids. The school itself does not plan many fun learning days for the kids (like a Pioneer Day or a Medieval Day) or exciting field trips. The teachers seem to lack enthusiasm and do not off feedback to the kids, and not much more to the parents. I hope the administration seeks to have its own ranks and those of the teacher re-commit themselves to making learning educational and fun.