Our 3rd Grader loves coming to school each day at Brent, and he is clearly learning a ton, which to me are the two biggest measures of whether a school is succeeding. He adores his terrific teachers -- Michelle Farkas in 2nd Grade and Joann Hill in 3rd Grade. Everyone's experience is different, but our son has found Brent to be challenging in the classroom and fulfilling outside it. He's taken field trips to the Supreme Court and Congress to learn about government, and gone canoeing on the Anacostia to study environmental science. He's currently participating in the school play, and his music teacher, Mr. Krohn, has gotten him so motivated to learn the recorder that he practices almost every day. And he finds plenty of opportunity to blow off steam with kickball games at recess. He came to Brent from a Montessori program and had no trouble adjusting, in part because Brent classrooms are structured to encourage participation, cooperation and interaction. It's a shame there isn't a Hill middle school the equal of Brent.
Brent is great at the preschool level but collapses at the higher levels, and is especially bad for boys. All the teachers are (mostly young) women (without kids), and there is virtually no male presence in the school. There is no full time support for teachers, and no behavior policy. If your son (or daughter) has any learning differences (ADD, ADHD), or if you have a jumpy or active child, Brent will be a terrible because there is no support. The principal frequently cancels recess, and teachers withhold recess as punishment. The principal is also not transparent with the community (sneaky, really), and makes decisions behind parents back on issues the parents have been involved in, and not not create school-wide policies that benefit all students, but rather is swayed by individual influential parents who lobby him to get there kid in (or out of) a specific class or to set up a certain program. There has always been a sharp outflow of parents starting in 3rd grade, in part because there is no feeder middle school, and also because of problems in the classroom.
This school is fantastic. It seems like every adult in the building knew my son already during his first year there (as a 3 year old), and almost as many knew my daughter, who tagged along at pick up and drop off time. After several years and now both kids in school there, we love this school. Teachers and parents are enormously engaged in the life of the school. Families participate in special theme nights organized by the school faculty: Museum Night, Publishing Night, Planet Viewing Night, Science Night, Math Night, etc etc. It is just amazing.
Brent is a top-notch elementary school with a fantastic principal, great teachers, and strong parent support system. We feel lucky to be there. My oldest is beginning her fourth year at Brent this fall, and my youngest is beginning her second year there. Love it.
My son is in the PS 3 program at Brent. We have been incredibly impressed with the teachers, staff, and leadership of the school. They are genuinely interested in ensuring that each student gets the support they need and has the best possible educational experience. We feel lucky to be at such a great school.
This is a great school with teachers who are incredibly caring and committed to teaching using the latestest information about how students learn. My oldest has been attending Brent for 4 years after starting at PreK 3. We feel incredibly lucky to attend this school!!!!!
We feel lucky to be in-bounds for the best school on the Hill. We have not been disappointed with our daughter's experience at Brent. The school is beautiful, the teachers are amazing, and the parental involvement is incredible.
As the parent of a student in Brent's pre-K program, I cannot say enough about how the faculty have created a welcoming, homey environment and brought out the best in our son developmentally and socially in the 4 months he has been there. Based on our friends' and neighbors' experiences at Brent, when it came time for our son to start school, we never seriously considered any other option for him, and we haven't regretted it.