Barrie School is located in Silver Spring, MD. It is a private, montessori school that serves 310 students in grades PK,K-12. Barrie School is coed (school has male and female students) and is nonsectarian in orientation. The school belongs to the National Association of Independent Schools.
Upper School Review: Barrie provides an utter lack of academic rigor and a paltry electives component - especially in the arts and athletics department. If your child is outspoken and questions the administration, they will be labeled as poisonous. The headmaster is so concerned about Barrie's reputation and PR that he will coach your child on how to speak to the other students about disciplinary, and other, issues. Disciplinary actions are inconsistent and lack follow-through. For a school that emphasizes the harmonious development of the "whole child," I find it bizarre that teachers will often curse at the students and gossip about them with other parents. The administrator has a very difficult time composing thoughtful correspondence that does not contradict itself; perhaps, she too, was educated at Barrie? 6 weeks before an international study trip, there is no curriculum or schedule in place. Over-priced tuition, declining enrollment, high staff turnover, poor curriculum = a bad deal. Invest elsewhere. If you have a well-behaved, self-directed teen who doesn't like sports, art, music, theatre, or challenging assignments, this would be the place for her.
The new head of school is a career bureaucrat who is detached, uninspiring and lacks vision and leadership. The two strongest programs, equestrian and drama have lost their leadership under his watch. Quality teachers and longterm families continue to depart. Morale and attendance are both at an all time low. Many of the outstanding staff are looking for new jobs. Hopefully the trustees will acknowledge their mistake and begin the search for a new headmaster before this one simply runs the school into the ground.
I have 2 sons who attend Barrie and the school has been an excellent place for both of them. They both started school as Montessori students at 3 years old. One son is a 4th grader and is a serious student in class. He is also athletic, kind, active and fun loving. At Barrie all of these traits are valued. He loves math and is able to excel at a perfect rate for him. My older son is an 8th grader. Barrie's Montessori program officially ends in the Middle School (6th grade). Barrie's Middle School was the perfect place for him to transition from the Montessori program. In middle school he has become more independent and responsible. Barrie has helped him discover new interests like mythology and drumming. He is a conscientious student that finds the perfect blend of enjoying life and getting his work done. Barrie has great teachers that love teaching and are excited about teaching kids from 2 years old to 12th grade. Barrie has a great Head of School always willing to listen to parents and work on ways to improve the whole Barrie experience. Barrie is an excellent academic institution that is diverse, safe, healthy, encouraging and enriching.
by a Parent
on Sep 10, 2011
I think the school has very poor leadership in terms of administration. My son attended this year in the lower school and I found myself doing most of the teaching, the teachers were there solely to inform you of what your child could not do, though, they did very little to "teach" themselves. Very disappointed in the school, teachers, and overall administration.
This school doesn't even deserve one star. My daughter was a student in the lower school for about half a year. In that time, her teachers managed to knock her confidence in herself so low she was failing subjects she's always excelled at (the teachers actually told her she didn't know how to add even though the for three years before that she had been in advanced math classes). She was consistently ignored by her teachers, bullied on a daily basis by other students, called fat frequently enough that my normally engaging child would come home in tears and stopped taking care of herself (even though she is by no stretch of the imagination overweight). Received notes calling her a b*tch, which were given to the teachers who did nothing about them. This escalated to the point that she was cutting herself. She was at the school for 4th grade! All attempts at engaging the teachers and directors were pointless. The teachers would constantly say they never noticed anything happening at school and told me that I was "overreacting". I had to withdraw my daughter and hire a lawyer half way through the year and send my daughter to counseling to counteract the damage she incurred while in the care of Barrie's staff. I would NEVER recommend this school to anyone.
by a Parent
on Feb 12, 2010
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