Story from the Rogers family

We have three children currently attending Burton Elementary, the International Baccalaureate (IB) magnet school in southeast Durham. This school is a fully accredited IB school with a focus on global and multi-cultural learning. Three foreign languages (Spanish, French, and Chinese) are taught daily to students. Visit Burton’s website here.

From the moment we walked in to tour the school 4 years ago, we knew Burton was the place for our three children. We were immediately impressed by the program, the staff and the students. The students we interacted with were respectful, intelligent, and impressive. There was discipline in the halls. You could see and feel the love the Kindergarten teachers had for their students. In fact, I fondly remember that I was barely able to get out of the school, as the Kindergarten teachers kept proudly showing off all the talents of their students. We were regaled with songs and poetry and facts the kindergartners had learned that year. It was a fantastic experience and tour!

Well, that was then and this is now. I have to say that Burton has lived up to our expectations. We watch with excitement as our children grow in knowledge at exponential rates (no kidding!). The teachers are in a word, amazing! They focus their students on what they need to learn in the various subjects with an emphasis on the IB curriculum and community, both local and global. Our children exited kindergarten at 2nd grade reading levels and the new math curriculum is impressive. Our kids absolutely love to read and enjoy / have confidence in math. Additionally, they have taken foreign language every day beginning in Kindergarten. They have impressed many people with their conversations in Chinese. Their teachers love them and are extremely supportive. They make the school day fun and have instilled a love of learning in our children. Is there any wonder why we love their teachers very much?

The administrative and office staff is fantastic as well. I want to mention the principal in particular, as that is the cornerstone of any good school. Mrs. Mitchell, the principal, is impressive. She ensures that the IB program guidelines are met, that the curriculum is robust, the teachers are accomplishing their yearly goals and are supported as much as possible, and the students remain disciplined, focused, and growing in knowledge. It’s a tall order but she does it…somehow.

There have been some relationship challenges between our kids and others at school but I believe that’s normal at all schools every once in a while. I have to say that a few challenges are good for our kids to learn and grow. I wanted to mention this not only to give a full picture of Burton but also to convey gratitude at how lovingly and professionally the staff handled the situation. They treated my child like one of their own. They were extremely quick to address the issue, made my child feel loved, cared for, secure, and reinforced that no nonsense is tolerated at Burton, discipline was affirmed. I could not have asked for a better response.

The one area of improvement I see for Burton is that, like almost all Durham public schools, it is understaffed. My hopes for the future are that, like my children, Burton would continue to thrive and excel. To that end, I hope that the Durham school board will provide additional staff to Burton and all Durham schools.

In summary, we have been so blessed by the staff & educational program at this school and want to encourage as many families as possible to consider Burton as their choice for their child’s elementary education. Speak to the staff. Take a tour! At the very least, you’ll be treated like royalty by the Kindergartners.

from The Rogers on Friday, April 23, 2010

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