Beginning With Children Charter Lower School
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One of the city's first charter schools, beautiful building
Difficult transition to new leadership
One of the citys first charter schools, Beginning with Children has bright and spacious classrooms, skylights that light the hallways, and a beautiful, well-equipped library with padded armchairs, wall-to-wall carpet, and a computer research center. The school has long had financial support from the Beginning with Children Foundation, a nonprofit organization set up to raise extra funds for the school.
The elementary school grades are housed in a building donated by the Pfizer company; grades 6-8 are housed in a renovated school building a few blocks away. The elementary and middle schools each have their own principals.
The school offers a variety of electives in dance, self-defense, and chorus and encourages classroom debates. See the schools website for videos.
The school has undergone some wrenching changes in recent years. The schools board of trustees appointed Les King as principal of the elementary school and Dionne Jaggon as principal of the middle school in 2011. Half a dozen teachers left, teachers said. More than half the teachers responding to the 2012 Learning Environment Survey said they mistrust the administration. While students mostly feel safe, some middle school children complained of bullying, according to the survey.
Admissions: A lottery is held in April. Priority is given to District 14 residents. Open houses are held Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings from January to March. Call the school to confirm the times. (Clara Hemphill, web reports, January 2013)Read more