Burlington, ON | Grades JK - 8 | Shortlist
We have four children who have all experienced a wonderful transition from the public school system to BCA. Our children appreciate so much about their experience at BCA - the caring attentiveness of each of their teachers, the smaller class sizes, the specialized, hands-on learning in the senior programs, and the holistic approach to their academic pursuits that includes reflection on issues of life and faith. What disappoints them? The only complaint I've heard is that they wish their was more time provided to eat their lunch.The move to BCA has been an incredibly welcome change for each of our kids. Each of them is glad to call BCA home.
Principle Crossing, the board and staff have all excelled in their leadership of the school. We have been so appreciative of the way in which we have been welcomed as a new family. Principal Crossing, board members and staff have been approachable and knowledgable when we have needed to connect with them regarding school matters. There have been no significant discipline issues that have impacted our family this year but we have been very satisfied with the intention of school leaders to foster an environment of safety and respect for our kids. Communication has been a highlight - we feel like we are receiving the best communication we have had from any of our previous school experiences with weekly communications from the Principal and lots of updates via web classrooms, email, and social media that keep us up to speed on things happening at BCA.
The teachers are capable and attentive. Our children are extremely happy with their classroom environments and have a high level of respect for their teachers. Teachers seem extremely passionate and committed to their work at BCA and with their students. We've been extremely happy with their encouragement, care, and feedback pertaining to each of our four kids. Our children enjoy their classwork and seem to be challenged which is something that we highly value.
The school is easily accessible and ideal for drop-off and pick up as it is close to my work. Its is near the highway and, as such, more of an island - not an ideal or safe place for students to walk to and from school. That said, it is on a beautiful piece of land with a forested area behind which is adequate of the size of the school. I wish the parking lot was a bit bigger as it can be difficult to navigate during pickups or during school events.
Parents are extremely involved at BCA which we have found to be a positive. There are lots of opportunities to be involved but we haven't felt pressured or experienced unreasonable expectations. Everyone we have encountered so far (parents or volunteers) has been positive to work with and the relatively small size of the school allows for a sense of community among families who choose to be known and involved.
Our children love being students at BCA! Their teachers are so encouraging and positive. As parents we find teachers to be very approachable and are extremely pleased with the initiative they have taken to get to know us and communicate with us. Our kids love being challenged with hands-on programming like Curtain Call, Advanced Level Programming in Athletics (ALPA) and EdVenture. We have found our kids to be more engaged than ever. They love chapel and look forward to this time to gather with their school community. Our children have formed good friendships and are generally feeling well-accepted and encouraged in their relationships which is very important to us. There are numerous opportunities to support local charities as well as explore new, untapped skills in the arts, sports, etc. Overall we are experiencing a high quality of school life!
Students get along well with one another and we have often noticed younger and older students interacting positively with one another. This is fostered through buddy programs and multi-grade level programming wishing the academic model of the school. The school is relatively small which makes the atmosphere a little more intimate. Despite the smaller size, however, students have numerous opportunities for unique learning and experiences afforded to them (field trips, specialized programming, music, art, languages, sports, etc.).
Our grade 7 student has had numerous opportunities to be involved in extracurricular sports activities. We've been completely satisfied with the options available to us. Because we live about 20-30 minutes from the school and have four children spanning from JK-Grade 7, we probably wouldn't choose to participate in a high number of before or after school activities although we have chosen a few to take advantage of. Our children also benefit from music lessons that happen outside of the academic schedule but within the school day which we are very happy about!
We have found the academic program at BCA to be appropriately challenging for our children. Each of them are enjoying their learning and come home regularly with new learnings and questions for us to discuss at home. Our children only occasionally have lengthy homework which we are completely satisfied with. We are confidant the academic program at BCA will adequately prepare them for higher learning. The specialized senior program provide highly valuable hands-on learning that have our Grade 7 students more engaged than ever. He puts a large amount of work into has presentations and projects without being hounded by us because he honestly enjoys them and is inspired and encouraged by his teacher in those tasks.