This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Billings Middle School4
Posted July 07, 2014
- a parent
Five and one star reviews are typical when the only people who comment are those who either love it or hate it. The haters comment to get back at the school for a perceived injustice, the lovers comment to counter the haters...and so it goes. I have been affiliated with Billings for 10 years . It's sad to say, but so few haters come through that I can pretty much identify them on this site. If the child is troubled or a trouble-maker and parents refuse to work with the school, they will leave unhappily. This goes for Billings and every school. But go to an open house - you'll interact with students who love to represent the school, see the work that students do in class, talk to teachers who love their work, listen to the passionate, articulate and dedicated head of school, and see photos of hand-on, minds-on, experiential learning of kids who love school. Is it for everyone? Nope. Choose well according to what your child needs, because they are as wonderfully different as the schools you see. But if you seek honest, compassionate, highly educated teachers who are enthusiastic about sharing their love for learning with your child, look at Billings.
I just graduated from billings a few weeks ago, and it was interesting. Let me just that if you are super concerned about academics, then I don't recommend billings. We didn't learn a whole lot that will likely translate to high school, with a few exceptions (mainly math, which is more or less your typical math class in terms of what is studied, but also language arts and foreign language). For example, billings has a different social studies class for every grade. In sixth grade, there is geography. In seventh grade, there is history. And in eighth grade, there is global studies. What is global studies you may ask? It was literally our teacher teaching us whatever the heck she wanted to teach us about, which did include some "global studies," but also included many unrelated subjects. For example, one class she lectured us for the entire time about logical fallacies, a perfectly good waste of 1 and a half hours that I don't think anyone learned from. The teachers are also hit or miss -- I had some really awesome teachers, like my eighth grade math teacher, eighth grade science teacher, and sixth grade geography/seventh grade history teacher (though now she only teaches (part 1)
Nice outdoor education program with academic enrichment if that's what you are looking for. Lots of weeks are 4-day instruction. Nice, well-meaning teachers, strong sense of community. It often seems like there is lots of theory and lofty ideas with few checks on whether it actually works. To their credit, they work with kids other private schools wouldn't. If your kid is strongly self-motivated and looking for an intimate setting, it might be a good fit. You average teenager will just cruise through.
Very pleased with this school. My daughter has almost completed her 6th grade level and is thriving in the direction we were hoping for. The school encourages children's creativity and values academics that's not monotonous. My daughter looks forward to going to school and is rarely bored. Very strong outdoor program. In addition to high regard for traditional academics, the school also offers weekly classes in Yoga and is well-rounded in exploring other unique learning experiences. Staff is welcoming and insightful to middle school age complexities. Makes good use of its community base at Green Lake.
This wasn't our first choice for a private school, but we've been pleasantly surprised by our first few months. Billings saw something in our son that other schools overlooked, and he has already developed some close friendships and relationships with mentoring adults. Pick this school for its individuality and well-rounded education, along the way you'll find a challenging program designed to allow students to grow their confidence and abilities.
It is frustrating to read the overly positive reviews, clearly planted by the schools administration. It is unfortunate that Great Schools does not have a way to guard the integrity of this site. Really now, 40 reviews from a school with fewer tht 100 students? Sudden spurts of positive reviews whenever a genuine negative is posted? Maybe you could loop back and confirm posters at the email they used, perhaps rooting out some of the false ones?
We are a new Billings family with a 6th grade girl. In just 3 months, we've been blown away by the community that has both welcomed and guided us. This is a school where passionate teachers take the time to find out what inspires your child. From the extra-curricular activities to the hands-on learning and outdoor expeditions, every day at Billings is a day of discovery and growth.