Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Parent Perspective: Why My Family Chose BCS

I met with Wanny a few weeks ago because the school reached out to those of us who are new to BCS and wanted to know how we are adjusting to BCS.  That by itself is refreshing and unusual for a public school, as I don’t believe other public schools will make such efforts to get feedback and to get to know families who attend their schools.  That gesture and effort, among other things, reinforced that we made the right decision to come to BCS.

Prior to BCS, our older child was attending a district school in Los Altos.   Although he had great teachers there, he was bored with the cookie cutter one-size-fits-all curriculum there.   He repeatedly told us that the only motivating factor for him to go to school there was his friends at school and recess.   Needless to say, we had a sigh of relief when he finally moved up the waitlist for BCS  and got in after being on the waitlist for years.  We needed a change, because our old school didn’t work for us. 

What a change for the right direction!  Now both of our kids are at BCS.  Our younger one is a kindergartener.  After experiencing kindergarten here, we so wished our older one had done his kindergarten here at BCS, and for that matter, first and second grades.  The kindergarten academic curriculum here offers so much more breadth, depth, and challenge than our old school.  In addition, it offers so much more in foreign language, music, art, drama, PE, public speaking and performances.  

BCS not only sets higher academic standards for their students, but also teaches their students to be good citizens and innovative thinkers.   Unlike a lot of the empty slogans adopted by other schools, BCS truly teaches the whole child and individualizes its classroom instruction and homework assignments.  Our kindergartener gets extra attention for areas where he needs to improve and more challenges for areas where he has already mastered.  His teacher is wonderful, conscientious, and more than capable, and is in constant contact with us to address any areas with which we have concerns.   We are looking forward to first and second grades as they hold so much hope and excitement for us.

Our third grader told us coming to BCS was the right move for him.  He felt the academic curriculum here was more challenging than his old school.   Unlike his old school, where the “individualized learning” is ad hoc and purely up to the classroom teachers, here at BCS, the individualized learning is institutionalized.  For instance, the third graders go to different classrooms for math, depending on their levels for each math unit.   Therefore, they are being assessed constantly,  regrouped constantly, and challenged constantly.  

In addition, we enjoyed all of the other programs that I mentioned above.  The higher academic standards coupled with the enrichment programs and opportunities make BCS an exciting place to learn and grow.  Here, the sky is limit.  If offers so many diverse programs and opportunities that it allows anybody to shine in his or her own way. 

Finally, we find the BCS community to be warm, caring, and welcoming.   The BCS community reflects the larger community in Los Altos.  It has the same demographics as our old school.  Everybody at BCS gets accepted through a public lottery witnessed by the community.  It is here to serve the community, and it has served us well.  I am glad we live in Los Altos where we can have a choice so that we can choose to go to a school that meets our needs.

- The Becker and Liu Family