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DC Prep -- Benning Elementary Campus1
Posted June 23, 2014
- a teacher
This is an extremely high performing school for both students and staff. The issue is, nothing is fun. Say what you want about joyful movement breaks and silent cheers...but it's not fun. The curriculum needs to include more recess or free time for kids to actually interact with one another so they can practice the culture lessons from each morning meeting in a safe space. I do believe a lot of the early childhood expectations on behavior are developmentally inappropriate. This school does not lack passion, determination, kindness or grit. It just lacks common sense. Something is dead wrong with wanting a room full of first graders to be silent all day, even during lunch. Something is off about taking away recess from kids that are antsy from sitting with a bubble in their mouth for 4 hours. Those are exactly the kids that need the recess in order to turn their day around. As for the actual teachers, I think they all have good hearts but are just run to the ground by an extremely results driven, data enthusiastic administration that wants to hear no kids in the hallway and put a test score next to each kids face.
I have been a teacher here for 2 years and in ALL grades there's a great balance between strong academics and "developmentally appropriate" community/culture building activities, play, etc. Kids earn incentives like Friday on the Field, have community meetings as a grade level and morning meetings in their classroom, and instruction around character traits like respectfulness, teamwork, and honesty is provided through authentic conversations with students "in the moment". Yes, our kids work HARD and our staff works even harder to be sure that every kid reaches their academic and personal goals... this means that everybody sweats the small stuff, but there's also a lot of joy, love, and humor in interactions amongst the staff and between staff and students. The level of detail with which staff at our school plans for every minute of instruction is hard work, yes, but this allows us to make sure every child is challenged academically and personally - no matter what. I have worked in other area schools before and never have I been on a staff whose approach to teaching every child is so individualized. I love being part of a team where every kid gets exactly what they need to succeed.
My daughter has been at this school for 3 years and I have nothing but good things to say. All of her teachers have been very good. She is in Kindergarten and they do give her a lot of homework but I know this will help her in the long run. I am a little disappointed about the schools turn over but all in all I love the education that my daughter is receiving.
This school claims to be a high performing, but is actually a turnover machine that burns out both teachers and students with their unrealistic expectations and rules. The school is led by a very inexperienced leadership team that knows nothing about what is best for teachers or students, and instead forces staff members to implement a developmentally inappropriate model of education where creative thinking and individuality suffer at the expense of a high-stakes, militaristic atmosphere. I only hope that the community members in Benning are able to advocate on behalf of their children, and the school will start to listen to the people it is supposed to be serving.
The teachers at this school are beyond dedicated, however, the administration runs them into the ground. There is no regard for teacher morale nor what is appropriate for children at this level. There is no time built into the day for interaction/socialization and because of this, many of the children have very poor social skills. Many of the older students and parents are extremely disrespectful to the teachers/staff.
My rating is from 2010 -2011 school season. Last year and the year before was acedimically great,but some admin. and staff where unprofessional and disrespectful to my child and I. Also, they had some parents bullied me because I was different then them and my child. i am proud to say that those bad people are no longer there. When i said different, i am talking about my attitude was too nice for them.
This school has rigorous program but very developmentally inappropriate for early childhood. The new leadership and founder are completely disconnected from the community and the culture of the students. The feel that they should push ideology on parents because they think that they know more. I would not recommend employment because teachers are not valued and they have a very high turn over rate.
The school is big on Academics, and nothing else. Your child will learn, that's for sure, but nothing else is offered. The administration at this campus is changing, so hopes for the best, as the outgoing administration did not appear to be too interested in solicting or resolving parent feedback. The CEO, she too has some issues, and she can be somewhat resistant to critique. And again, overall, the school will provide your child with a good academic cirriculum, but not much else.
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