Burlington, ON | Grades JK - 8 | Shortlist
All 3 of my children thrive in the small class room size where they feel like a student and not another body occupying a seat. They feel they are an individual with a unique style of learning. They feel their needs are assessed and met. They enjoy the lack of stressful competition and embrace the learning experiences offered. They love that teachers look outside the box and incorporate other learning styles in to their plan such as group work in the hall way, or shooting baskets in the gym in-between math questions or just cuddling up on a couch to read.
The school principle is very involved and available both personally and professionally. She is involved in so many of the school activities and goes above and beyond to create a welcoming and happy place to learn. This leadership style ripples over all the teachers. Each teacher appears to watch to be there, that they love the children and their job. Discipline is dealt with privately and parents are called upon when necessary. The weekly principle corner letter and use of wiki are very useful resources to feel connected as a parent. Sometimes I wish I had more updates regarding my child's progress more frequently.
I feel that each teacher that my children have had/has does an excellent job at teaching and setting expectations based on the age and grade level. I like that most teachers expect the learning to occur at school and anything as home is extra or can involve the parents help. I don't feel my children have too much homework which I feel is appropriate. I value family time in the evening and not the stress of homework. I have 2 children who require extra assistance for IEP and I feel it is efficient and effective.
The academic program suits the needs of my 3 children. I feel they are always challenged and that the teachers set them up for success. I strongly feel that the teachers want the students to do well even if that means additional time on projects or extra studying time. I love the senior programming offered and feel this helps kids who require more activity in their learning environment or who learn best with a hands on approach. It also makes my kids excited for school.... that it is not just desk work. I would like to see more Chrome books and use of computer for more subjects. I appreciate the use of wiki and homeroom monitoring of my child's progress.
There is enough extra curricular for my children. I love how much is offered to the students from extra science to sewing , athletics and writing.
I love the "family feel" of the school. Small school and very united. Children in grade 1 know the students in grade 8. Students are encouraged to help each other fit in or find their niche. Due to very small class room sizes in grades 2-3, I love that they blend together do learn certain subjects- this helps with networking and finding great friendships outside your grade and class room. I do find at times their is pressure for everyone to be friends.... but this is not life, we can be kind to one another but not be forced to be friends. Due to small classroom and grade sizes fitting in or finding friends can be challenging.
My 3 children chose to come to BCA. I was very shocked to see my daughter leave her prior school in grade 5 and embrace a new school and friends at a fragile age. BCA was overly welcoming and made my daughter feel genuinely valued and special- she has been absolutely prospering as a person and a student. My son finally decided to join his sisters this school year at BCA. I can honestly say for the first time that my son is actually learning. Prior to BCA I feel he was just taking in bits and pieces of academics but not really learning. His needs and learning styles were not being met. This year I have seen my son's confidence mount.... he literally glows. He is taking on new challenges that I never thought he would. He has made new friends and looks forward to school everyday. My youngest started out with a lot of school anxieties which I think we have finally overcome thanks to her grade one teacher advocating for a psych ed test to be done. My youngest is now learning and progressing at her own pace. I could not be happier as a parent.
I love being involved as a parent at BCA. Parental volunteering is encouraged, valued and is paramount to making the school a better place. I always feel welcomed and greeted by my first name. There are plenty of opportunities to be involved in the school and lots of social opportunities to meet other families as well... such as welcome BBQ, donuts for Dads, tinsel town.... etc. I believe that if a parent had an idea of how else to improve the community at BCA the staff would be open to ideas.
Aside from a lot of people being totally unaware that there is a school on the service road, the location for us is superb. We are minutes from the school. I do wish it was easier and safer to walk or ride bikes to school. The school grounds are beautiful- set back from the road with lots of green space.