I feel that every teacher has something to offer your child. The staff at Bnai are very well trained, and attend conferences quite frequently. They always have fun creative ideas. I had looked into other schools when we were thinking of moving to another area in town. When I asked what a typical day would be like, there was consistently a lot of "free time" where there would be movies etc. The teachers here have a thoughtfully planned out lesson plan for the entire day ( which I am sure that with two year olds, some of those plans probably morph through the day).
During the Shabbat services on Fridays, each class has a mini mensch. (essentially a citizen of the week). This child is chosen by different methods, but for example, in my daughters class they have puff balls that they earn for good deeds, leadership qualities, and positive behavior.
We have had the pleasure of being a part of the B'nai family for six years now, and are looking forward to another four! Our four children, three of whom are still enrolled at B'nai have had truly wonderful experiences. We are not a jewish family, however we have always felt very welcomed to join in the festivities. A few of the traditions such as our friday night shabbat ( our family game night) will continue to be a mainstay in our home for the rest of our lives. The gardening, chickens & outdoor enrichment activities really fall in line with our desire to have active, environmentally aware children. Classroom activities are very age appropriate, and although they don't promise to have your child reading by the time they are graduating pre-k, the various classroom activities reinforce the letters, colors and numbers that they are teaching. My son, who is currently in Kindergarten was extremely well prepared for school both socially and academically. We have had the opportunity to interact with, or have as a teacher, most everyone in the school. They all have one common theme to their personality…..a love for children. I have not been an active member of the PTA, but there is a strong one at the school. Though I do not attend the meetings, the PTA members get information out to everyone whether via flyers or emails. The "community" at this school is amazing, and as you can see I have a hard time finding an end point to my review. There is just too much to list.
The teachers are top-notch. This is our 4th year, and each teacher has been effective for the age group. In the early years (1-2), the focus is heavy on developing social skills and gross motor skills. In the later years (3-5) the focus seems to shift to more cognitive abilities and fine motor skills. The teachers have good temperaments and develop close relationships with the kids.
They don't really have homework until the Pre-K level. And even in Pre-K, it's one homework a week where they work on a letter - practicing to draw the letter in upper and lower case, and they draw things that start with that letter.
This is our 4th year at Bnai. My daughter started Bnai when she was 14 months and is now finishing her Pre-K year. I will be sad to leave Bnai because this has been such a wonderful school! Each year, we've had great teachers and aids in each class. The staff at Bnai are caring, thoughtful and very detailed. The school is clean, safe, incredibly organized, has a great curriculum, has a garden, chickens, an amazing outdoor play area with a nature trail, a library, and a computer room. I have been the "room mom" for the past two years, so I have spent a good amount of time in the classroom helping with service and special projects. I have always been impressed at how well the school is run and how responsive the teachers and administration have been. But above all - the best review I can give is from my daughter. When we pick her up, she is incredibly happy and is usually having so much fun that she doesn't want to leave! I would highly recommend this school.
My child attended this school for 7 months. There are a couple of great teachers (Rose, Cori), but as the saying goes: a few bad apples spoils the bunch. There are a LOT of bad apples in this bunch. Parents felt when they complained, their children were retaliated against. One parent allegedly witnessed a child snatched up by the arm and shouted in his face. Mothers alleged children were being mistreated in several ways. Drinking water is not available to children at all times--children picked up dehydrated, lips dry, with an empty sippy cup. Things were allegedly done carelessly, from poor cleanliness to not screwing on sippy cup lids properly, leaving onesies unsnapped outside the pants (just take the time to snap the onesie closed! c'mon!) to not properly reporting what my child ate, clearly not warming food up (I know you didn't warm up my kid's chili if the shredded cheese on top of it isn't even slightly melted), coming home in diapers that were not hers, coming home with very bad rashes and no note on the daily sheet indicating the child had developed a rash, many parents alleging children came home with bruises, scratches, injuries that the teachers did not tell them about and/or could not explain; hand-washing is minimal, children coming home almost every day covered (dried in their hair and eyebrows, snot dried inside their ears)... I believe the administration is aggressive and bullying, and parents are afraid to complain. Parents have to kiss up to the teachers, if you want your child treated well. Teachers play favorites. I am sorry to the few wonderful teachers that work there, but the administration is letting everyone in that community down.